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Award-Winning Filmmaker Alex Rivera Coming to AU on Oct. 24

Featured Speaker at 2023-24 College of Arts and Sciences’ Bishop McCabe Lecture Series

Alex RiveraNamed by Variety as one of “Ten Directors to Watch," Alex Rivera will speak at American University on October 24, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Abramson Family Recital Hall in Katzen Arts Center. Rivera is Sundance award-winning American filmmaker and MacArthur Fellow who is best known for his films about labor, immigration, and politics.

The talk is free and open to the public. Reserve your seats online.

Rivera grew up in a bicultural family in New York—his father is Peruvian, and his mother is American, and fittingly, his work illuminates Latinx lives and politics, along with the struggles of transnational immigrants. But this is just a launching pad for Rivera’s far-reaching artistic interests: his work famously explores the themes of globalization, migration, and technology.

Sleep Dealer Movie poster“I want to look at the big dynamics,” he told Variety magazine, “from globalization to border policy to labor politics. In the immigrant story, you have great human stories, but you also have this launching pad to see the future of the world.”

Ingeniously Futuristic

Rivera’s first feature film, Sleep Dealer, a sci-fi thriller set on the US/Mexico border, was screened at the Museum of Modern Art and won awards at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival.

His second feature, The Infiltrators, won the NEXT: Audience Award and the Innovator Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The LA Times raved, “The Infiltrators” has the energy of a crime thriller crossed with the urgency of a social-issue documentary.”

Still from The InfiltratorsStill from The Infiltrators

At American University, Rivera will discuss how rhetoric and the recent and profound emergence surrounding "artificial intelligence" have impacted his image-making and thinking about technology, labor, and power. He will be joined by Professors David Vazquez and Despina Kakoudaki for a panel discussion after his presentation. Vazquez is an Associate Professor of Literature and Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies (CRGC), as well American University’s Program Director of Latinx Studies. Kakoudaki is an Associate Professor of Literature and Director of AU’s Humanities Lab.

About the Bishop McCabe Lecture Series

Bishop Charles Cardwell McCabe embodies the spirit of American University's founders. McCabe, Vice Chancellor and Chancellor of the University from 1899-1902, dreamt of an educational system unlike that of any other university of its time. He believed in building a lasting future for AU and began the first successful fundraising campaign with his call to action, "Five dollars each, from one million people" to foster the new university. 

The Bishop C.C. McCabe Lecture Fund was established by the Board of Trustees in 1907 in memory of the bishop and through his generous bequest to the College of Arts and Sciences.