Third OHIO ‘Challenging Dialogues’ lecture featuring alumnus Kyle Bowser will focus on deportation

Sep 5, 2019
By Alaina Bartel

Should cherished rights and liberties be extended to non-citizens residing in the United States, and if so, do those rights supersede the ideological imperatives of political power? 

Members of the Ohio University community will be able to weigh in on that question during the University’s third Challenging Dialogues lecture, “Trial by Jury: A Case of Deportation,” presented by OHIO alumnus Kyle Bowser. 

During his lecture from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, in the Baker University Center Theater, Bowser will show a 30-minute film he produced that depicts a trial and jury deliberation. Immediately following, there will be an hour-long town hall discussion where 12 members of the audience will be selected to serve on a sequestered jury in a nearby room. 

The 12 jury members will discuss the case for approximately 15 minutes before returning to Baker Theater. Bowser will ask the impromptu jury a few questions about their discussion and its outcome, before asking the larger audience to render a verdict. 

“’Trial by Jury’ was developed to address our increasing gravitation toward silos of political punditry and social media vitriol that affirm singular strains of ideology,” Bowser explained. “We communicate in echo chambers that reverberate a reliance on sameness and reject the time-honored tradition of consensus building. More specifically, ‘Trial by Jury: A Case of Deportation’ is offered to provoke meaningful dialogue and debate regarding immigration policy and its relationship to the elasticity of our founding principles. What is American? Who is American? How clear and constant are our answers to those questions and many more?” 

Bowser’s interactive lecture will give audience members a chance to deliver their verdict with either a green or red card, which they will find in their program for the evening. While the film portion of the event will not be live-streamed, the discussion afterwards will be streamed for those with an OHIO ID to enjoy. 

“One purpose of this lecture series is to provide an outlet for constructive conversations about timely issues in the world around us,” President M. Duane Nellis said. “Immigration and deportation have been making headlines for the past several years. We greatly look forward to Kyle’s interactive presentation and the dialogue it will bring to the University community about these topics.” 

In addition to his Challenging Dialogues lecture, Bowser will be presenting another of his films, “Trial by Jury: The Case of the N-Word” at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Athena Cinema as a part of Black Alumni Reunion. This event is sponsored by the Scripps College of Communication Diversity Committee.