The Wire—The Conference

Friday, April 8, 2016 - Saturday, April 9, 2016  8:00pm Various locations (see schedule for details)
    Event Videos
    The Wire Conference Panel 3: Immersion Journalism
    The Wire Conference Panel : Actors and Activism, Saturday April 9th, 2016
    The Wire Conference Panel 2: Seriality and Narrative Experience
    The Wire Conference Panel 5: Music from The Wire with Diablo Flamez and DJ Technics
    The Wire Conference Panel 6: Mass Incarceration and the School-to-Prison Pipeline
    The Wire Conference Panel 7: Religion, Race, Politics in the Inner City
    The Wire Conference Panel 1: Teaching The Wire
    The Wire Conference: Actors and Activism Panel Highlight

Full conference schedule here

Tickets for Actors and Activism and Moving Mountains Panel on sale now: General Public.: $15 in advance/$20 at box office / Students: $7 in advance/$20 at box office:

Although critically acclaimed from the start, the HBO series The Wire was far less widely viewed during its original presentation (2002-08) than it has been in the succeeding years.  It is one of the very few television series that has become both more popular and more revered over time--consistently ranking on top-ten lists as one of the best series in television history—despite never having been heavily publicized or available for viewing free of charge.   It has also become a frequent text in sociology, African-American studies, anthropology, education, religion, law, urban studies, criminal justice, and media studies courses at universities in the United States and abroad.

This two-day conference considers the afterlife and legacies of The Wire. For those involved with its creation, the experience of The Wire was unusually transformative.  The same might be said for those who study and learn from it.  What accounts for the unique status of The Wire as an object of multi-disciplinary inquiry?  Why does it appeal so strongly to those in the academy, and increasingly so as the years go by? In what ways has its unusual degree of creative collaboration led to other forms of collaborative work for creators and consumers (community activism, public humanities, team-teaching across disciplines)? What effect does its subtly traversing the borderline between fact and fiction have on interpretation?

Friday panels address teaching The Wire and the issues it raises in different pedagogical contexts; scholarship on The Wire, focusing on questions of seriality; the ethics and challenges of "immersion journalism"; and Baltimore as a "public square" site of stories about community, race, and responsibility.  Friday will conclude with a panel featuring Blake Leyh, the music producer of The Wire, and some of the musicians on the soundtrack.

Saturday morning sessions focus on the school-to-prison pipeline and the intersection of race, religion, and politics in the inner city.  

Saturday Afternoon proceedings require a ticket (which can be purchased here) and will feature a roundtable on "Actors and Activism" featuring Wire actors Jamie Hector, Felicia Pearson, Wendell Pierce, and Sonja Sohn, followed by an early evening performance by the Moving Mountains Theater Company, a non-profit founded by Jamie Hector that empowers New York City youth through performing arts.  All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Moving Mountains Theater Company.


Special Panels

  • Panel 5, "Music from the Wire” | No tickets or registration required | This panel begins with discussion by those whose music and work behind the scenes gave the Wire its Baltimore sound. It also features performances by Wire soundtrack recording artists, including Baltimore’s Diablo Flamez and DJ Technics as well as producers Juan Donovan Bell and Jamal Roberts of Darkroom Productions.
  • Panels 8-9 | Ticketed event | Wire leads Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield), Felicia Pearson (Snoop), Wendell Pierce (Bunk Moreland), and Sonja Sohn (Kima Greggs) speak on their community activism.  Moving Mountains Theater Company, Jamie Hector’s nonprofit performing arts company for NYC teen will showcase their work.





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