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Riotsville, U.S.A.

Friday, February 2, 2024, 7:00–9:00pm

Logan Center for the Arts 201, 915 E. 60th St.

Welcome to Riotsville, U.S.A., a fictional town built by the U.S. military in response to the mounting militancy of the late-1960s protest movement, and a desperate attempt by the nation’s rulers—politicians, bureaucrats, and police—to win the war in the streets.

Using actual footage from these “Riotsvilles” where military and police were trained to respond to civil disorder, in addition selections from nationally broadcast news, director Sierra Pettengill connects the stagecraft of “law and order” to the real violence of state practice and militarization. Recovering an obscured history whose effects have shaped the present in ways both insidious and explosive, Riotsville, U.S.A. (USA, 2022, 91 min., DCP) is a poetic and furious reflection on the rebellions of the 1960s and the machine that worked to destroy them.

3CT fellow Allyson Nadia Field will introduce the film.


Allyson Nadia Field is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, Affiliated Faculty of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago. Field is the author of Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film & The Possibility of Black Modernity (Duke University Press, 2015). Field is currently completing a book on the rediscovery and afterlives of Something Good-Negro Kiss (Selig, 1898) and is at work on another book project tentatively titled The Speculative Archive.

Presented by 3CT and the Film Studies Center and co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture and the Department of Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity.

This event is free and open to the public, and registration is recommended. Please email us at  if you require any accommodations to enable your full participation.