LU Panel Discussion Follows Screening of Disney Documentary

A panel of three Lawrence University faculty members and a Sudanese student will lead a discussion of the award-winning documentary film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” Wednesday, Jan. 20 immediately following an 8 p.m. screening of the movie in the Warch Campus Center cinema. Both events are free and open to the public.

Claudena Skran, associate professor of government and Edwin and Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science, will moderate the discussion. Joining Skran on the panel will be Judith Sarnecki, professor of French, Alison Guenther Pal, post-doctoral fellow of German and film studies and sophomore Nidal Kram, who grew up in Sudan.

Produced by Abigail Disney, the film chronicles the inspirational story of the courageous women of Liberia, whose efforts played a critical role in bringing an end to a long and bloody civil war (1989-96) and restored peace to the country. The end of the war eventually led to the election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as Liberia’s president, the first democratically elected female head of state in Africa.

“Pray the Devil Back to Hell” has collected more than 15 awards since its 2008 release, including the Best Documentary Award at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival and the Social Justice Award for Documentary Film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Lawrence will recognize Disney with an honorary degree on Thursday, Jan. 28 in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Following the degree presentation, Disney will deliver the convocation “Peace is Loud.”