2022-2023 Speaker Series: WELCOME TO THE MACHINE
In 2022-2023, the Fisher Center interrogated the multiple meanings invested in the concept of the machine.
Ethical machines, molecular machines, trading machines, killing machines, caring machines, sex machines—what do they all have in common? What separates them? For some, the machine is a figure of liberation and endless innovation. For others, the machine is a figure of enslavement and proletarianization: a deskilling of the human. Does the machine figure singularity or the matrix?
Kalindi Vora: AI Imaginaries and the Given World
This talk looks at the design of automated and learning machines that interact socially with humans, inscribing histories of racial capitalism, imperialism, and colonization onto projected future social and material worlds as machines become infrastructure for how we become human subjects. After critiquing the limits of technoscience imaginaries, it asks: what other possible forms of sociality, care and relation can we open up through rethinking the infrastructure of human machine interaction? I’ll conclude by sharing thought experiments I’ve done with students about what a decolonized, anti-racist feminist artificial intelligence could be.
Kalindi Vora is Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, of History of Science and Medicine, and of American Studies at Yale University. Dr. Vora’s current research includes ongoing writing and publishing on artificial intelligence and automation through the lens of STS and critical race and gender theories. She is also beginning a book project, supported by a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Studies award (2022-2024) tentatively titled, Autoimmune: Chronic Conditions and Care in a Time of Uncertain Medicine. It places contemporary narratives of illness by patients facing racism and sexism in their daily lives within an analysis of the history of the concept of autoimmunity and contemporary practices of healthcare self-monitoring to understand the potential for patient-physician co-production of medical knowledge.
Kalindi Vora is author of Life Support: Biocapital and the New History of Outsourced Labor from the University of Minnesota Press (2015), and co-author with Dr. Neda Atanasoski (UC Santa Cruz) of Surrogate Humanity: Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures from Duke University Press (2018) and of Technoprecarious from MIT Press (2020) as a member of the Precarity Lab. Her collected work on transnational gestational surrogacy in India was published in 2022 under the title, Reimagining Reproduction: Surrogacy, Labour and Technologies of Human Reproduction.
Sophie Lewis: Baby Factories: Machine Metaphors, Actual Machines, and the Abortion Struggle
The talk will put into dialogue the reproductive freedom struggle (freedom to both safely engage in and quit/abort gestational labor) and the past, present and future of ectogenetic technology.
Sophie Lewis is the author of Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family (Verso, 2019), hailed by Donna Haraway as “the seriously radical cry for full gestational justice that I long for.” Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation (Verso, 2022) is her second book.
He is a coauthor of the experimental scholarly book Technoprecarious (MIT, 2020) and is currently writing a book about transgender people and the Internet.
He is the lead producer of the podcast Transcripts, a production of the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project. He has also worked as a story consultant or script editor for major literary and media projects, including Brit Bennett’s #1 New York Times Bestseller (and Mariah Carey and Noname reading list pick!) The Vanishing Half; Wondery’s chart-topping series Twin Flames and Harsh Reality; the award-winning audio documentary “Not This Again” for KCRW’s Bodies podcast; and StoryCorps’ Peabody-nominated “Stonewall Outloud” podcast series.
Shanté Paradigm Smalls is a scholar, artist, and writer. Small’s new book, Androids, Cyborgs, and Others: Black Afterlives in Imaginary Futures, thinks through the ethical, theoretical, and material desire to preserve Black life, creativity, and futurity by investigating how Black sentient life—human, plant, hybrid, machine—renders itself and gets rendered in the near-present-and distant-future. Smalls’s teaching and research focuses on Black popular culture in music, film, visual art, genre fiction, and other aesthetic forms. Dr. Smalls’ first book, Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City, won the 2016 CLAGS Fellowship Award for best manuscript in LGBTQ Studies. Dr. Smalls is currently an Associate Professor of Black Studies in the Department of English and Faculty in the Critical Race & Ethnic Studies Institute, and Founding Co-Director of the LGBTQ+ Center at St. John’s University in New York City. In addition, Small is co-editing an anthology Black Non-Binary with Tavia Nyong’o featuring writers, artists, critics, and scholars as they consider the expansive relationship between diasporic blackness and the genres of gender.
2021-2022 speaker series: Beyond
What does it mean to be, or to go beyond? “Beyond” names a crossing over, a surpassing of constraints. Beyond can signal hope (as in beyond racism) or despair (beyond survival). Beyond can index a change in pace (an acceleration) or a movement in space (moving out, moving towards). Beyond is about possibility and change, but what kind of possibility/change?
Beyond can query ethical principles: moving beyond the binaries/divide of relativism and universalism, communitarianism and individualism. Beyond ignites debates over human enhancement and transhumanism. Beyond foregrounds the possibilities and perils of geo-engineering as we address global climate change. Beyond illuminates scientific horizons and gulfs in our understanding as we race for a Covid vaccine/cure or struggle to imagine life beyond Earth or beyond carbon.
Does the beyond simply name a condition after something, such as “post-” in post-capitalist, post-historical, post-secular, posthuman? In its surpassing of limits, “beyond” shares conceptual territory with transgression. Is an overcoming of a limit, simultaneously, its affirmation? Beyond the human still names the human as the point of reference and comparison. And is the phrase “beyond racism” a prospect for a reconciliation or does it deny its painful and ongoing reality? Should we conceive the beyond in a more radical sense, as moving beyond the given coordinate space entirely, taking off in a yet unknown direction-the radical outside of imagination and thought?
DECOLONIZING MUSEUM PRACTICES
Brandie Macdonald is the Senior Director of Decolonizing Initiatives at the Museum of Us (formerly the San Diego Museum of Man), which is located on the unceded territory of the Kumeyaay Nation. Brandie's work focuses on systemic change within museums through the implementation of anti-colonial and decolonial theory-in-practice, which centers truth-telling, accountability, and tangible change to redress colonial harm. Her 12 years working in non-profits is based around capacity building through transformative policy, repatriation, and education. She is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, with ancestral ties to the Choctaw Nation.
Fossenvue, a staged reading of a play by Chris Woodworth.
FISHER CENTER FACULTY RESEARCH FELLOWS
IS THE INTERNET CONSCIOUS?
Associate Professor of Psychological Science
WHAT DO WE GET WRONG ABOUT CRISIS AND CREATIVITY
Fisher Center Predoctoral Fellow and a PhD candidate in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester
THE HWS MUMMY: HOW DO WE CARE FOR OUR DEAD?
the Clarence A. Davis Visual Arts Curator in the Department of Art and Architecture
ALL THAT REMAINS (A 10 MINUTE PLAY)
Associate Professor of Theater, and students
WHAT IS QUEER DEATH POLITICS?
Associate Professor of Women's Studies
SCHOOLING AND RACIAL CAPITALISM: WHAT DO SCHOOLS DO?
Assistant Professor of Economics
RETHINKING 'CLASSICS': IF AUDRE LORD'S MASTER IS DWELLING IN A HOUSE HE MISREPRESENTS AS HIS OWN, SHOULD HE GET TO KEEP IT?
Associate Professor in Greek & Roman Studies
Anindita Banerjee is an associate professor of Comparative Literature and the chair of the humanities concentration in the Environment and Sustainability Program at Cornell University. Her latest book is South of the Future: Marketing Care and Speculating Life in South Asia and the Americas, co-edited with Debra Castillo and published by SUNY Press in December 2020.
SPECULATIVE GEOGRAPHIES: THE ETHICS OF TERRAFORMATION
Jayna Brown is professor in the Graduate Program in Media Studies at Pratt Institute. As well as numerous essays, Brown is the author of Babylon Girls: Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern (Duke University Press, 2008) and Black Utopias: Speculative Life and the Music of Other Worlds (Duke University Press, 2021). Her areas of research and specialization include performance studies, black expressive cultures, black feminism, speculative fictions, music, and our changing media landscape. Her current work is located at the intersections of science and performance.
NO SILENCE IN THE AFTERLIFE
Sound, illuminations, words, wailings, mourning by Julie Patton, Abou Farman, Sholeh Asgary, Leonor Caraballo (part of a series by the Ad Hoc Collective for Improvising Mourning Technologies for Future Grief). Visuals by Shelby Coley and Cori Spenser.
Julie Ezelle Patton, is a sculptor of sound, image and text. She is the founder of Let It Be ArkHives, a time-based living sculpture. Her visual poetics take the form of found object assemblage, scrolls, extended texts, limited edition work, performances, ephemeral libraries and site-specific installations. Patton's sound and performance work emphasize collaborative “in-the-moment” composition, otherworldly choreographs, and bridge musical and literary improvisation. A Foundation for Contemporary Art awardee, Julie's Womb Room Tomb Installation, inspired by her mother, artist Virgie Ezelle Patton, was featured in The Front International Triennial, 2018.
Sholeh Asgary is an interdisciplinary sound artist whose immersive works, performances, and audience participatory scores implicate the viewer-participant into future mythological excavations, bridging large swathes of time and history, through water, water clocks, crude oil, movement, light, imaging, voice, and sound. Her work has received support through numerous residencies and awards, including UCLA Art Sci (2021), Mass MoCA (2021), and Headlands Center for the Arts (2021). Asgary is a Lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice. Born in Tehran, Iran, she holds degrees from Mills College (MFA) and San Francisco State University (BA).
Abou Farman is an anthropologist, writer and artist. He is the author of On Not Dying: Secular Immortality in the Age of Technoscience (2020, University of Minnesota Press) and Clerks of the Passage (2012, Linda Leith Press). He is Associate Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research and founder of Art Space Sanctuary as well as the Shipibo Conibo Center of New York.
Leonor Caraballo worked as a photographer and video artist between Buenos Aires and New York. She is the co-director of the feature film Icaros: a vision. She has won a number of fellowships and grants, including the Latin American Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, and an Eyebeam Art and Technology Center residency. Leonor left her body on Saturday January 24th, 2015.
Leo and Abou conspire together as artists.
2021 WOODWORTH FELLOW PRESENTATIONS
HASHTAGS AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE FARMERS' PROTEST
Sadia Rahman '22
IMMIGRATION, IDENTIFICATION AND CAPITALISM
Aroob Ahmad '22
ANTIDEMOCRACY IN AMERICA
Caleb Austin '22
2020-2021 Speaker Series: What's in a Name?
"Black Lives Matter" or "All Lives Matter?" Global warming, climate change, or climate emergency? Translation, interpretation, or appropriation? Anthropocene, Capitalocene, or Chthulucene? She/he, ze, or they? Emancipation, decolonization, or liberation? Entrepreneuralism, precarity, or sharing economy? Prostitute, whore, or sex worker? Revolt, insurrection, or coup? Planet, ice planet, or ice dwarf? In 2020 - 2021, the Fisher Center wants to talk about how we talk about what we talk about. Names matter. We want to know when, where, why, and to whom.
The stakes regarding shifts in meaning and uncertain definitions -- of today's language politics -- are high. In the seventeenth-century, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes associated the instability of the meaning of words with civil war. He concluded that avoiding civil war required an absolute authority who would determine what words mean. Is our setting of globalized personal media where fake news seems to reign a contemporary digital version of Hobbes's state of war? Or is this what democracy looks like? Can we communicate if we each have our own names for everything or is there something necessarily shared, common, and collective about names? If so, do names generate commonality or does commonality precede naming?
The Fisher Center is excited to consider projects that interrogate practices of naming and renaming. How do names become settled or attached to particular objects, persons, and places? Who gets to change them and by what means? How do aliases, pen names, user names, nicknames, pet names, anonymity, and multiple use names challenge conventional modes of identification? What sort of power relations and potentials for resistance do they open up? In what ways do names identify and in what ways do they mask or obscure? How are place names sites of political struggle? Projects might investigate the effects of labels, the histories of branding, the raced and gendered codings associated with proper names, the contestations effected by improper names.
Endowed to further the study of gender and justice in the liberal arts, the Fisher Center welcomes applications from researchers in the humanities, arts, sciences, social sciences, and performing arts that demonstrate commitment to interdisciplinary discussion and collective inquiry. We encourage proposals from a wide range of perspectives that reflect on the stakes of calling something one thing rather than another.
Unpacking the Portmanteau: Blend Words as Ideographs
Maggie Werner and Star Vanguri
This presentation demonstrates the rhetorical aspects of the portmanteau (blend word) by examining the blend "Megxit," used for a variety of reasons but most commonly to refer to the stepping back from royal duties by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. We consider the significance of the name's form (its structure as a portmanteau) and function (its use as a media-circulated term for an event), as well as its ideological value (the belief system it conveys). Drawing on Michael McGee's conception of the ideograph as a "one-term sum" of an ideological orientation, we suggest that when portmanteaus function as ideographs--as Megxit does--they force conceptual associations between source terms that may not otherwise exist and present them in a playful and innocuous way, making the portmanteau an ideal form to disguise hate speech and racist ideology in a fun, media friendly package.
All Mod Cons: Conspiracy, Community, Consent
This presentation demonstrates the rhetorical aspects of the portmanteau (blend word) by examining the blend "Megxit," used for a variety of reasons but most commonly to refer to the stepping back from royal duties by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. We consider the significance of the name's form (its structure as a portmanteau) and function (its use as a media-circulated term for an event), as well as its ideological value (the belief system it conveys). Drawing on Michael McGee's conception of the ideograph as a "one-term sum" of an ideological orientation, we suggest that when portmanteaus function as ideographs--as Megxit does--they force conceptual associations between source terms that may not otherwise exist and present them in a playful and innocuous way, making the portmanteau an ideal form to disguise hate speech and racist ideology in a fun, media friendly package. The prefix con- that we see in many English words comes to us from a Latin root that means "together with." (Etymologically speaking, a convention is a place where we "come together"; a collaboration is a project where we "work together"; a conspiracy is an occasion where we "breathe together"; and so on.) In this paper I consider how some of these "cons" might have resonated differently in Shakespeare's time, in the earliest days of the modern era, than they do for us today. As a philosophical movement, modernity was inextricably linked to the rise of individualism, the birth of the subject, and the binary of subject and object. Our experiences of togetherness, I contend, were dramatically altered by the very premises of modernity. As we seek to put some of the worst elements of modernity behind us, I propose that there are valuable things to be learned from a reassessment of pre-modern togetherness.
Pandemic Pharmaceuticals and Paradoxes of Ocean Governance
While environmentalists foretell the "ends of the ocean," so-called Blue Economy policies tout the oceans' abundance and depict a future in which biomedical innovation will bring human and ecological health into harmony. As biomedical industries embed lively marine materials ever more tightly into human health networks, these divergent ocean futures are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore -- and reconcile. This presentation examines the tensions among conservation science, biopharmaceutical governance and economic policy with a focus on a nonhuman "savior" of the coronavirus pandemic: the horseshoe crab.
"What's the Buzz?: Practices and Politics of Internet "Buzzers" in Indonesia
Iskandar "Izul" Zulkarnain
"Buzzer," a term used to characterize an individual hired to amplify/attract attention to a certain message/product on social media, has come to the forefront in Indonesia's public discourse, mostly due to its role in political campaigns, misinformation and disinformation. Focusing on overlaps in the construction of Indonesian buzzers and global micro-celebrity/influencer culture, this presentation frames the former as the "evil twin" of the latter with its own complexities specifically tied to the development of Indonesian digital culture. A look into the mechanism and "industrialization" of buzzers illustrates a shift in practices from marketing auxiliary to digital "dark op" foot soldiers. This presentation highlights the importance of considering the Indonesian buzzer phenomenon in light of its interconnections with cultural contexts specific to the country, rather than merely conflating it into the framework of internet influencers and micro-celebrities.
The 'F' Word: How Should We Talk About the Far Right?
The January 6 coup attempt has newly enlivened debate about the applicability and appropriateness of the term "fascism" to describe some of the right-wing elements that sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election. What are the implications of longstanding historiographical controversies regarding the use and meaning of this term with respect to philosophical considerations about the meaning, explanatory power, and ethical import of "fascism" as a social category?
Vanessa Wills is assistant professor of philosophy at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and is on the editorial board of Spectre Journal. Her research focuses on how economic and social arrangements inhibit or promote the realization of values such as freedom, equality and human development.
Pracarity and subversion: the new language of radicalism
Contemporary capitalism has generated forms of suffering which the familiar language of injustice, centered on inequality and exclusion, fails to capture; to be genuinely radical, we need new categories, argues Albena Azmanova in her new book Capitalism on Edge: How Fighting Precarity Can Achieve Radical Change Without Crisis or Utopia. Dr Azmanova is Associate Professor of political theory at the University of Kent in Brussels. We will discuss some of the new categories she has introduced in her work: precarity, the metacrisis of capitalism, and pragmatic subversion as a strategy for radical change.
CONTAGION: COVID-19, the Outbreak Narrative, and Why We Need to Change the Story
The way we talk about diseases has consequences. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of a pathogen--a diseasecausing microbe--but if COVID-19 is a "newly emerging infection," it is also a newly emerging, though familiar, story: the latest version of "the outbreak narrative." In this talk, Prof. Priscilla Wald will discuss how we imagine the threat and why we react so fearfully, and which problems merit our attention and resources. Wald is R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English and Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University. She is the author of Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative (Duke University Press 2008) and Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form (Duke University Press 1995). She is currently at work on a monograph entitled Human Being After Genocide.
Naming and Naked Protest: Naked Agency, Ndong, Genital Cursing, or Adjanou?
A scholar of sexuality, race, biopolitics, and postcoloniality, Naminata's research primarily explores African, African American, Caribbean, and Afro-Hispanic literatures, cultures, cinema, and new media.
Haa Saax'ú Tóonáx Woosh Wutudzikóo: We Know Each Other Through Our Names: Peoples, Places, and Identity in Indigenous Language Revitalization
X'unai Lance A. Twitchell (Du Aani Kawdinook)
Lance A. Twitchell carries the Tlingit names X'unei & Du Aani Kawdinook, and the Haida name K'eijaakw. He is from the Tlingit, Haida, and Yup'ik native nations, and speaks & studies the Tlingit language. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota.
X'unei is a multimedia artist in poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction, Northwest Coast Native design, and traditional & contemporary music. His grandfather Silas Dennis Senior was his first teacher, and his grandmother Dorothy Dennis lives in Skagway, Alaska, where Lance was born. He is an Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast, and lives in Juneau with his wife, son, and daughter.
2019-2020 Speaker Series: The Drowned World: Water, Politics, and the Future
Water is a conduit for connection, the undercurrent of life. Struggles over water animate social justice movements from Flint, Standing Rock, and Seneca Lake to Palestine, India, and New Zealand. What role does water as a resource play in the struggles for a better world? How does one recover submerged histories and afterlives--of slave trade, piracy, lawlessness, and statelessness? How is the sea as a ground of colonial violence implicated in the liberatory imaginings of the oceanic? "The Drowned World" names the loss of hope, the breakdown of sociality, and apocalyptic visions that accompany climate change, while at the same time drawing out the hybrid entanglements that inspire us to imagine new flows of life and currents of possibility.
Book Launch - Associate Professor of English Alla Ivanchikova's Imagining Afghanistan: Global Fiction and Film of the 9/11 Wars (Purdue UP, 2019)
The launch will include comments from Etin Anwar (Religious Studies), Kevin Dunn (Political Science), Michelle Martin-Baron (Women’s Studies) and Robinson Murphy (Environmental Studies).
About Imagining Afghanistan (from the publisher's website):
"Afghanistan" serves as a lens through which contemporary cultural producers contend with the moral ambiguities of twenty-first-century humanitarianism, interpret the legacy of the Cold War, debate the role of the U.S. in the rise of transnational terror, and grapple with the long-term impact of war on both human and nonhuman ecologies.
Post-9/11 global Afghanistan literary production remains largely NATO-centric insofar as it is marked by an uncritical investment in humanitarianism as an approach to Third World suffering and in anti-communism as an unquestioned premise. The book’s first half exposes how persisting anti-socialist biases—including anti-statist bias—not only shaped recent literary and visual texts on Afghanistan, resulting in a distorted portrayal of its tragic history, but also informed these texts’ reception by critics. In the book’s second half, the author examines cultural texts that challenge this limited horizon and forge alternative ways of representing traumatic histories. Captured by the author through the concepts of deep time, nonhuman witness, and war as a multispecies ecology, these new aesthetics bring readers a sophisticated portrait of Afghanistan as a rich multispecies habitat affected in dramatic ways by decades of war but not annihilated.
Tiffany Lethabo King
Tiffany Lethabo King is an Assistant Professor of African-American Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Georgia State. She will be discussing her new book, The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies (Duke UP 2019)
About The Black Shoals (from the publisher’s website):
In The Black Shoals Tiffany Lethabo King uses the shoal—an offshore geologic formation that is neither land nor sea—as metaphor, mode of critique, and methodology to theorize the encounter between Black studies and Native studies. King conceptualizes the shoal as a space where Black and Native literary traditions, politics, theory, critique, and art meet in productive, shifting, and contentious ways. These interactions, which often foreground Black and Native discourses of conquest and critiques of humanism, offer alternative insights into understanding how slavery, anti-Blackness, and Indigenous genocide structure white supremacy. Among texts and topics, King examines eighteenth-century British mappings of humanness, Nativeness, and Blackness; Black feminist depictions of Black and Native erotics; Black fungibility as a critique of discourses of labor exploitation; and Black art that rewrites conceptions of the human. In outlining the convergences and disjunctions between Black and Native thought and aesthetics, King identifies the potential to create new epistemologies, lines of critical inquiry, and creative practices.
Fisher Center Faculty Research Fellows
Robinson Murphy (Environmental Studies): Climate Change and the Death Drive
Taylor Brorby (English), The Fracking of My Body
How Ocean History Can Help Save Our Planet
Helen M. Rozwadowski
Helen M. Rozwadowski, Department of History and Founder of the University of Connecticut’s Maritime Studies program, will give a talk called "How Ocean History Can Help Save Our Planet." Her talk considers how the long-standing and persistent Western view of the ocean as a timeless place, apart from humanity, contributes to oceanic degradation. Historical investigations reveal that this perception is far from universal, either across cultures or across time. Many cultures, from the distant evolutionary past and continuing in the present, have engaged intimately with the ocean’s surface, depths, and living residents. Today we are in the midst of a re-discovery of the ocean as a profoundly historical place rather than a timeless one. The humanities offer the prospect of better understanding of the complexities of the past and present human relationship with the ocean, promising to equip us better to deal with the future.
Professor Rozwadowski’s books include Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans (2018) and Fathoming the Ocean: The Discovery and Exploration of the Deep Sea (2005).
Fisher Center Faculty Research Fellows
Ricky Price (Political Science): Invasive Cultures in the Finger Lakes: From the Sullivan Campaign to Harmful Algae Blooms
Susan Cushman (Biology): TBA
Fisher Center Faculty Research Fellows
Tara Curtain (Geoscience)
Lisa Avron (Predoctoral Fellow)
The Ethics of Dust
Sharpe is Professor of Humanities at York University and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University. Professor Sharpe is the author of two books: Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects (2010) and In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (2016) both published by Duke University Press. The Guardian named In the Wake one of the best books of 2016. Professor Sharpe is currently working on a monograph called Black. Still. Life.
Estes is a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and an assistant professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico. As an activist and researcher, Professor Estes has concentrated on indigenous resistance in an era of climate change, with particular attention to the water protectors of Standing Rock. He is the author of Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance.
Singh is a physicist and award-winning science fiction writer. Professor Singh is Chair of the Department of Physics and Earth Science at Framingham State University in Massachusetts. Singh also serves on the Advisory Council of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence). She is the author of numerous short stories and novellas.
Fisher Center 2018-2019 Speaker Series: On the Move
Celebrating its 20th anniversary throughout the 2018-19 academic year, the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice hosted artists, scholars, authors and activists to examine contemporary concerns surrounding mobility, movements and migration.
When Home Is Another Prison: Movement and Stasis in a Draft Resister's World War II Diary
Cynthia Wu's work focuses on how racialized masculinities are produced through investments in physical or psychosocial difference, queerness and non-normative affiliations. Her books, Chang and Eng Reconnected and Sticky Rice, establish this research trajectory by examining Asian American and Asian-raced men's unsettling intimacies in the face of pressures that dictate conformity, respectability and upward economic mobility.
Unrolling Disability Culture and Aesthetics: A Meditation on Intersectional Disability in Dance
Alice Sheppard studied ballet and modern dance with Kitty Lunn and made her debut with Infinity Dance Theater. Sheppard joined AXIS Dance Company, an Oakland-based company where she toured nationally and taught in the company's education and outreach programs. Since becoming an independent artist, Sheppard has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru, GDance, and Marc Brew Company in the United Kingdom and Full Radius Dance, Marjani Forte, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton in the United States.
An award-winning choreographer, Alice creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging with disability arts, culture and history, Alice's commissioned work attends to the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race. Alice is the founder and artistic lead for Kinetic Light, a project based collaborative working at the intersections of architecture, dance, design, identity, and technology to show how mobility - literal, physical, and conceptual - is fundamental to participation in civic life.
The Politics of (Im)Mobility: Bodies, Borders, Cities, Planets
Stencling for the Revolution: The Geneva Women's Assembly Aesthetic Strategy
Marcela Romero-Rivera, Hannah Dickinson, and Laura Salamendra
Infrastructures of Movement: Bridges and Borders
Emina Musanovic and Ashwin J. Manthripragada
A Politics of Interruption: The Case of Txitxarro Terrorist Attack
Throwing Nutshells: Idiocy, Social Control, and the Illegibility of Intelligence in George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss
Moving through Identity
Moving Inhabitations: Listening to Music as Tripartite Engagement and Identity Performance
Fugitive Lines: The Experimental Black Poetics of Fred Moten, C.S. Giscombe, and NourbeSe Philip
Faculty Dance Concert
Includes performance by Fisher Center Faculty Fellow Cadence Whittier: Tethered
Crafting the Revolution: DIY skills for activists
Laura Rowley will lead "Crafting the Revolution: DIY skills for activists," a hands-on poster, card and silkscreen workshop.
Futures of Feminism
Twentieth Anniversary Lecture: Angela Davis
Angela Davis is an international icon for her decades of struggle against oppression. In 1970, she was on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List" for trumped-up charges connected with a courthouse attack in Marin County, CA. An international movement formed to "Free Angela Davis." After serving sixteen months in prison, including solitary confinement, she was acquitted of all charges. A long-time member of the Communist Party, in 1979 she was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union. In addition to her activism on behalf of prison abolition, anti-racism, feminism, and Palestinian self-determination, Angela Davis is the author of numerous books, including the classic, Women, Race, and Class. She is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
The treacherous terrain of movement building: Anti-radicalism, anti-blackness, and U.S. imperialism
Charisse Burden-Stelly is an assistant professor of Africana studies and political science at Carleton College. Co-author of W.E.B. DuBois: A Life in American History, Burden-Stelly holds a Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and has published scholarship recently in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society.
How Sound Shapes Demonstrations, and How Demonstrations Shape Sound: Case Studies in the U.S. and Japan
Noriko Manabe is an associate professor at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance. Her research centers on music and social movements and on popular music. Manabe's first monograph, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima, addresses the different roles of musicians in the performance spaces of cyberspace, demonstrations, festivals and recordings. The book won the John Whitney Hall Book Prize (for the best book in Japanese studies) from the Association for Asian Studies and Honorable Mention for the Alan Merriam Prize (for the best book in ethnomusicology) from the Society for Ethnomusicology.
Futures of Revolution: Fall 2017-Spring 2018
Wasun's Comrade Music: African-Canadian and Indigenous Revolutionary Hip Hop and the War of Position against Neo-liberal Capitalism in 21st Century Canada
Chris Harris is a musician and organizer in the Black community in Toronto. From 2000-2009, Chris was the lead youth organizer at the Black Action Defense Committee (BADC), launching the Freedom Cipher Program (2007-2009). Freedom Cipher was a revolutionary anti-racist youth movement inspired by the Black Panther Party. It organized former Bloods and Crips into a "Hood2Hood" campaign to end gang violence in Toronto's Westend. It organized young black women into "Set It Off" girls groups to close the educational attainment gap in Westend high schools. Since 2005, Chris (a.k.a Wasun) has released three revolutionary hip hop albums: What Must Be Done? (2005); The Prison Notebooks (2010); Comrade Music (2015).
He is completing a doctoral dissertation at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, on the history of revolutionary nationalist/communist activism in Toronto's Black Left from the '60s Canadian Black Power movement to the Black Action Defense Committee in the first decade of the 21st century. In 2015 Chris launched the Antonio Gramsci-inspired radical adult education institute, Freedom Justice Academy, as a legacy of the Freedom Cipher Program (fjacademy.org). FJA organizes healing, mentorship, and leadership training programs for indigenous and Black federal ex-prisoners in this era of mass incarceration.
Ada Ferrer is Juilius Silver Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University. She is the author of two award-winning books: Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898 and Freedom's Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution. She is currently working on two projects: the first, tentatively titled Cuba: An American History, is a new popular history of Cuba from the arrival of Columbus to the death of Fidel Castro. The second is Visionary Aponte: Art and Black Freedom, a contemporary art exhibit she is co-curating and that will also result in a book by the same name.
Abstract: Inspired in part by Carolyn Steedman's classic exploration of the relationship between a historian and her working class mother in Landscape for a Good Woman, this presentation explores connections between family stories of revolution and migration, academic histories of the Cuban Revolution, and the elusive power of recognition that potentially links both.
Caribbean Left: Diasporic Circulations
Carole Elizabeth Boyce Davies
The recipient of the 2017 Frantz Fanon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association, Carole Boyce Davies is a professor of Africana studies and English at Cornell University. She is the author of the prize-wining book, Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (2008) and the classic Black Women, Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject (1994). Her most recent book is a study of transnational migration and Caribbean culture, Caribbean Spaces: Escape Routes from Twilight Zones (2013). She is currently studying the political leadership of black women in the African Diaspora.
Professor Boyce Davies launches this year’s theme, Future of Revolution, by putting the revolutionary work of Caribbean women at the center of our inquiry.
Spontaneity and Revolution
Artemy Magun is a Professor at the European University at Saint-Petersburg and a Visiting Professor at Bard College (Fall 2017). He is the author of Negative Revolution (2013) as well as multiple books and articles available only in Russian. Professor Magun is the editor of the social and political philosophy journal, Stasis. He is a member of the art and philosophy collective, "Chto Delat" (What is to be Done?).
Professor Magun will consider the legacy of the 1917 Russian Revolution from the perspective of spontaneity. What is the role of spontaneity in the future of left political movement?
The Bells of Balangiga: Resonances of the Philippine National Democratic Revolution Toward Socialism
Sarah Raymundo teaches at the University of the Philippines, Diliman Center for International Studies. She is a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence and Faculty Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. Professor Raymundo chairs the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Committee for International Relations, which steers the International League of Peoples Struggles (ILPS) Commission 11. She is the Chairperson of the Philippines-Venezuela Bolivarian Friendship Association and the Vice Chairperson of the Philippine Anti-Imperialist Studies (PAIS). She publishes a regular column, "Blood Rush," on bulatlat.com, an online alternative platform, which advocates "journalism for the people."
Professor Raymundo will discuss US imperialism, the anti-imperialist class war in Philippine history, and the ongoing revolutionary armed struggle.
Viewing the October Revolution from the Land of Zapata
This talk will assess the Russian 1917 revolution from the perspective of revolutionary events in Latin America.
Bruno Bosteels is a Professor in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University. His books in English include The Actuality of Communism (Verso) and Marx and Freud in Latin America (Duke). He is a past editor of the journal, Diacritics, and the editor and/or translator of half a dozen books by the French philosopher Alain Badiou.