Society, Politics, Surveillance and History: Augustana Professors to Discuss '1984' and 2017

Augustana professors will lead a discussion following the film "1984"

Event Details


Date: April 4, 2017

Times: Doors open at 6 p.m. | Event begins at 6:45 p.m. | AU faculty-led discussions to follow

Location: Icon Event Hall, 402 N. Main Ave., Sioux Falls

Ticket Info: Tickets are $7

Purchase tickets to this event

Three Augustana professors will lead discussions about society, politics, surveillance and history following a showing of the film "1984," directed by Michael Radford and based on the best-selling dystopian novel by George Orwell. 

The event, organized and sponsored by Cinema Falls, will begin at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, at the Icon Event Hall, located at 402 N. Main Ave. in downtown Sioux Falls. 

Cinema Falls will join more than 140 art house movie theatres in 124 cities and 41 states, plus four locations in Canada, in screening "1984" starring the late actor John Hurt on Tuesday, April 4 — a symbolic date that matches when the novel's protagonist, Winston Smith, begins rebelling against his oppressive government by keeping a forbidden diary.

Tickets are $7 and are only available at cinemafalls.com. Attendees will be required to present a valid driver's license at the door. Following the film, attendees can choose from one of three post-film discussions led by Augustana professors: 

Who Controls the Present Controls the Past: 1984 in 1984
— Led by Dr. Jeffrey Miller
Chair of the Humanities Division and
Professor of English

This post-film conversation will first consider the aesthetic and industrial elements that define Michael Radford's re-vision of Orwell's novel. The discussion will then consider the social and political contexts of the film in its time and examine its place in the Cold War history of dystopian films. Learn more about Dr. Miller

We Are Big Brother, and Big Brother is Watching:
Orwell's 1984 and Our Modern Surveillance Society

— Led by Dr. Darcie Rives-East
Chair of the English and Journalism Department and
Associate Professor of English

This discussion will focus on how "1984" relates to and frames contemporary debates about the ethics and efficacy of state surveillance. The conversation will then discuss the connections between "1984" and today's larger surveillance culture in which we enjoy voluntarily watching and policing each other through social media (with particular focus on gender, race and sexuality). Learn more about Dr. Rives-East.

Doubleplus Good: The History That Shaped 1984,
and Why it Needs to Be Taught

— Led by Dr. Patrick Hicks
Augustana Writer-in-Residence and
Professor of English

Authors write about what they see happening around them, and in this post-film conversation, the discussion will examine what role Orwell's background, the Third Reich and the Soviet Union, all had in shaping his masterwork, "1984." Aside from examining the history that influenced the novel, the discussion will also consider how this narrative has been used in the classroom. Learn more about Dr. Hicks.


The film "1984" is rated R for nudity, adult scenes and violence.