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Morrison’s son visits campus for film screening

The son of Toni Morrison M.A. ’55, will visit campus Nov. 9 for a film screening and discussion of “The Foreigner’s Home,” a documentary based on Morrison’s monthlong guest-curated 2006 series of cultural events at the Louvre.

Ford Morrison, the novelist’s son and co-producer of the film, will join in a discussion after the screening with Dominique Bourgois, editor of Toni Morrison’s French publications. The event will take place at 5 p.m. at the Africana Studies and Research Center, 310 Triphammer Road.

This event is a part of Cornell University and the College of Arts and Sciences’ continuing recognition of Toni Morrison’s international significance as a writer and public intellectual. The College has hosted a series of events honoring Morrison as part of its Arts Unplugged series. The university also named one of its new residence halls, which opened this fall, for Toni Morrison.

For the Louvre cultural event series, Toni Morrison selected Theodore Gericault’s iconic painting “The Raft of Medusa” as the focal artwork, and curated exhibits, readings and performances of local Parisian artists, writers, slam poets, musicians and dancers.

“The film documentary Foreigner’s Home is a deeply moving film which eloquently poses fundamental questions of our time,” said Marie-Claire Vallois, associate professor of French literature and one of Bourgois’ hosts for her campus visit this semester. “The boat as a motif resonates with the ‘Medusa’ painting, as well as the migration crisis that has led millions of people to cross seas, oceans and lands in search of a new home.”

The film includes footage of Morrison in dialogue with artists, along with extensive archival footage, music and animation, presenting exchanges about race, identity, 'foreignness' and art's redemptive power, according to the film’s description.

Bourgois is a former editor at the French publishing company Christian Bourgois Éditeur. Ford Morrison studied at the University of California at Berkeley and at the Architectural Association in London and is an architect for Princeton University's Plasma Physics Laboratory.

“Ford Morrison will bring his perspective on the film project itself,” said Anne Adams, professor emerita of Africana studies and one of the organizers of the Morrison events, “taking the film beyond the walls and spaces of the Louvre to broader interpretations of Toni Morrison’s keynote-address words on the role of art in taking the journey ‘from data to information to knowledge to wisdom.’ “

The event is sponsored by the departments of Africana studies, Romance studies, American studies and French Studies and by the Design Justice Workshop in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. It is open to the public. Campus visitors and members of the public must adhere to Cornell’s public health requirements for events, which include wearing masks while indoors and providing proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.

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