The new black

The new black

November 7, 2013

Skidmore’s student-run Speakers Bureau presents Piper Kerman, author of "Orange is the New Black," Nov. 12 on campus. 

Piper Kerman

For anyone with a Netflix account, Orange is the New Black is a must-see.

The popular series is based on the memoir of Piper Kerman, a white-collar woman sentenced to 15 months federal prison for transporting drug money for an international drug smuggler—who also happened to be her former lover. The show generated more viewers and hours viewed in its first week than any other high-profile Netflix original series, and it has been lauded for its poignancy and illumination of social and justice issues. 

This Tuesday, Nov. 12, Kerman will speak about her time in prison, her book, and the Netflix series. The talk begins at 7 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium. 

“We picked Kerman to lecture here because her memoir—and the subsequent television series—tell powerful, sharp, and brilliant stories of women and the correctional system in America,” says Becky Stern '14, president of the Speakers Bureau, which coordinated the event. “I hope her lecture illustrates the role of privilege (she is an upperclass WASP) in our prison system, the systemic power struggles she faces as a woman in prison, the current state of prison reform (or lack thereof) in this country, and the adaptation process of her book to film.” 

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is first-come, first-served. For those who can’t be seated in Gannett, the lecture will be simulcast in Davis Auditorium. 

The Speakers Bureau is a student club that provides funding for other clubs and organizations to bring “interesting, educational, diverse, and thoughtful speakers of all kinds” to campus. Other notable Speakers’ Bureau guests have included Ira Glass, Mo Rocca, and Dave Eggers.

Tags: Campus Life, Student Clubs, Piper Kerman, Orange is the New Black, Becky Stern '14, Speakers' Bureau