Institute for Advanced Study, Northrop, and University Honors Program Present

The American Flag as a Cultural Symbol

Featuring: Professor Mark Clague, Professor Ekene Ijeoma, and Marc Leepson. Moderated by Kevin Lindsey, Minnesota Humanities Center.
Past event
Feb 17, 2022
Protester holds an inverted American flag among crowd of demonstrators

Mark Clague, Associate Professor of Musicology and American Culture, University of Michigan
Ekene Ijeoma, Assistant Professor, Media Arts and Sciences and Director of Poetic Justice at MIT Media Lab
Marc Leepson, Journalist, historian, and author
Moderated by Kevin Lindsey, Minnesota Humanities Center

This panel discusses contemporary cultural responses to the American flag, as well as its musical counterpart the National Anthem, including artistic and historical perspectives. Mark Clague, Associate Professor of Musicology and American Culture at the University of Michigan, researches music-making in the U.S. with a special focus on “The Star Spangled Banner.” Ekene Ijeoma, artist, Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT and Director of Poetic Justice at MIT Media Lab, brings his musical and installation projects including Deconstructed Anthems into the discussion. Marc Leepson is a historian, journalist, and the author of Flag: An American Biography. In this panel discussion, they consider the emblems of U.S. patriotism and the role they play in defining national identity and staking out political ideologies. Long a symbol of devotion and of hatred, the United States flag—and the anthem that pays tribute to it—serves as a touchstone to reflect on American identity and the current moment.


Please note: you will receive an automatic email reminder one day and one hour prior to the event which will include the Zoom link and instructions for those who wish to attend in person.

Part of the 2021-22 Spotlight Series

The University of Minnesota Spotlight Series is a collaborative partnership between the University Honors Program, Institute for Advanced Study, and Northrop, to present lectures, panel discussions, exhibits, and other events throughout the academic year around timely topics of interest. The six-part 2021-22 series, hosted in partnership with the Minnesota Humanities Center, focuses on patriotism, public service, and civic engagement. The moderator for all six events will be Kevin Lindsey, CEO of Minnesota Humanities Center. All events are Thursdays 3:30-5:00 pm and may be attended in Northrop’s Best Buy Theater or online via Zoom. Q&A sessions will follow each event.

In Partnership With

Minnesota Humanities Center logo