CEE | Center for Experimental Ethnography
A Video Installation Exhibit
Join us on Saturday, December 9th for our end-of-fellowship event with Sosena Solomon, who will present and curate a multi-projection exhibit consisting of the experimental video documentaries of students in her fellows course. The exhibit will take place at Addams Gallery at Charles Addams Fine Arts Hall at 200 S 36th Street.
Strategies on Black queer feminist freedom-making
CEE Fellow Jennifer Harge will present her ongoing archival project that houses movement scores, maps, prayers, and citations she's utilized over the last decade to craft a Blackqueer feminist creative praxis as a dancemaker in Detroit, MI. In this presentation, Harge will share choreographic entry points into the archive and discuss the permissions she has given herself and her work to build a practice rooted in Black longevity. Harge will be joined by scholar-practitioner and assistant professor of Africana Studies, Jasmine Johnson.
This talk reflects on the collaborative construction of a multimodal platform aimed at seeking integral restitutive justice for the victims of prison massacres in Ecuador. In making ethnographic multimodality adequate for accompanying victims and reclaiming justice, the platform – Prison Observatory 593 – brings together families of prisoners killed while incarcerated, human rights lawyers, liberation theology priests, and decolonial scholars. Building on our experience with the Observatory, this talk is an invitation for an interdisciplinary conversation about how the notions of cinematic accompaniment and decolonial reclamation can help us contribute to an abolitionist intervention against the carceral state.
Indigenous activists everywhere are attempting to steer the world away from climate collapse. The films in this year’s series depict efforts to reclaim land in order to save all beings on the earth and for a more livable future.
The Bishnoi: India's Eco-Warriors
Dir. Franck Vogel and Benoit Segur, 2011, 52 min.
For centuries, the Bishnoi of Rajasthan in India have been stewarding and preserving the biodiversity of their land. They follow a 500 year old philosophy that all living beings have the right to survive and share all resources. Filmmakers Franck Vogel and Benoit Segur share the stories of three Bishnoi people: Khamu Ram Bishnoi, who fights against plastic pollution; Rana Ram Bishnoi, who has planted over 22,000 trees in the desert; and Ranveer Bishnoi, who hopes to become a priest.
Presented with new subtitles created for this screening
Screening followed by a conversation with filmmaker Franck Vogel and Dr. Nikhil Anand, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.
Please come to the small Diwali reception after the screening.
Join GSWS, CEE, and members of the public for an exciting showcase of films from Ricardo Bracho and his students!
Videos in this showcase were made by students in Ricardo Bracho's courses (Surrealism in the Americas, Planets in my Pen), in indepent studies, and in collaboration on theater productions, for a Sachs mini-grant and when Bracho was a Fellow with the Center for Experimental Ethnography. You'll experience wild pink ladies, the US/Mexico border, Brazil's fashion industry at war with its military dictatorship and so much more!
GSWS/FQT Center Suite 345 Philadelphia, PA 19104
Join a workshop directed by Victoria Costa and Kristina Baines, co-directors of Cool Anthropology, focused on public scholarship in anthropology. Workshop attendees will participate in exercises that explore how to make their research more accessible to the public through various types of media.
Penn undergraduate, graduate, faculty, and staff are invited to join in this free event.
Join us for a Second Sunday Culture Film screening followed by conversation with filmmaker Alexi Liotti and Pacheedaht First Nation Elder Bill Jones.
A peaceful indigenous-led movement to protect the Ada’itsx/Fairy Creek watershed in the last of British Columbia’s untouched Old Growth forests has become Canada’s largest act of civil disobedience. Named the best environmental film at the 2023 Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, Rematriation follows concerned citizens exploring the confluence of scientific, cultural, economic and sociopolitical perspectives, as they take a stand to protect the last big trees from being cut down.
The Second Sunday film series is organized by the Penn Museum and co-sponsored by the Center for Experimental Ethnography, the Wolf Humanities Center, the Cinema and Media Studies Program at Penn and the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities.
Calling all collaborators and volunteers for CAMRA! If you are interested in participating in this student-led collective, please fill out the form by Friday the 13th. On Friday, October 13th at 1:15pm in the Student Lounge at Penn’s LGBT Center, CAMRA will have the first Open Meeting of the year. Come and join us to imagine what this year will look like! We extend the invitation to returning and potential new members to brainstorm our vision for CAMRA and discuss our plans for the year ahead.
CAMRA (Collective for Advancing Multimodal Research Arts) fosters interdisciplinary collaborations amongst scholars, sensory ethnographers, artists and educators within and beyond the University of Pennsylvania to explore, practice, evaluate and teach about multimedia research and representation.
We ask questions about the affordances, challenges, and possibilities of multimodal scholarship in teaching, learning, mediamaking, and knowledge production. Our aim is to support media-based research and pedagogies, with an explicit focus on: (1) providing practical guidelines for evaluation of multimodal research; (2) utilizing participatory, digital, and ethnographic methodologies; (3) creating digital and physical spaces for multimodal work to be showcased; (4) critically examining how technology is changing the processes of teaching and learning.
Andrea Ballestero (Associate Professor of Anthropology, USC Dornsife) will present "Aquifers: Ehtnography at the edges of a concept," in this second installment of the "Elemental Thinking: Troubling States of Matter in the Americas" lecture series sponsored by the CLALS Interdisciplinary Research Cluster (IRC). This IRC is led by Penn professors Kristina Lyons (Anthropology) and Jon Hawkings (Environmental Sciences) in collaboration with other professors and graduate students across Penn’s schools and partners from Latin America and the U.S.
RSVP HERE to attend in person.
RSVP HERE to attend by Zoom.
Imagining what life will become in the near future, public officials and community members in Costa Rica are coming together to take responsibility for underground water worlds. In the process they oscillate between two concepts: groundwater and aquifers. Groundwater efficiently conveys a sense of water as a fungible unit that can be exchanged, banked, or spent. In contrast, the figure of the aquifer activates a grounded concept whereby land, liquidity, and history are inseparable. This paper queries the technical and legal tools people use to move from groundwater to aquifers, and back. Focusing on questions around jurisdiction and database making, I consider the everyday tasks required to align the world that is with the world that could be.
The elements have been taken up as a heuristic in the Arts and Sciences to understand environmental systems and change across geographical and cultural contexts. The approach to studying environments through the elements – most notably the classical elements of fire, earth, water, and air – has been foundational to the composition of Environmental Anthropology and its configurations of expertise, as well as the Environmental Sciences. However, the stakes of our current socio-ecological crises demand we engage with the elements as more than only taxonomies, statistics, and natural resources. This proposed interdisciplinary research cluster focuses specifically on socio-environmental conflicts and justice struggles involving these elemental assemblages. Our IRC cluster will engage with these pressing issues by placing the social studies of science & technology (STS), environmental law/justice, and the natural and environmental sciences in conversation through the combination of several activities: talks with invited guests and the organization of workshops and roundtables. We will focus on both case studies and broad trends occurring across the hemisphere in academic scholarship, scientific knowledge production, and public praxis. (Written by Kristina Lyons)
choreographies of responsibility, and has developed the concept of casual planetarities. Her scholarship is located at the intersection of feminist STS, legal anthropology, and social studies of finance and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright program.
Join CEE for a conversation with author Asale Angel-Ajani on her book "A Country You Can Leave". We have 4 books available for in-person pickup for the first interested readers that get in touch with us (email@example.com).
When sixteen-year-old Lara and her fiery mother, Yevgenia, find themselves homeless again, the misnamed Oasis Mobile Estates is all they can afford. In this new community, where residents are down on their luck but rich in humor and escape plans, Lara navigates what it means to be the Black, biracial daughter of a Russian mother and begins to wonder what a life beyond Yevgenia's orbit—insistence on reading only the right kind of books (Russian), having the right kind of relationships (casual, with lots of sex)—might look like.
Lara knows that something else lies beneath her mother's fierce, independent spirit, but Yevgenia doesn't believe in sharing, least of all with her daughter. When a brutal attack exposes the cracks in their relationship, Lara and Yevgenia are forced to confront the family legacy of violence and the strain of inherited trauma on the bonds of their love.
A Country You Can Leave is a dazzling, sharp-witted story, suffused with yearning, as Lara and Yevgenia attempt to forge their own identities and thrive in a hostile land. Compelling and empathetic, wry and intimate, Asale Angel-Ajani's unforgettable debut novel examines the beauty and dangers of womanhood in multiracial America.
We are excited to present an asynchronous virtual screening of Be Holding, an original performance created by a team of professional artists in collaboration with students at Girard College. It transforms
Ross Gay's award-winning poem of the same name into a multidisciplinary, site-specific experience that combines poetry, music, choreography, and video.
Inspired by Philadelphia 76ers basketball legend "Dr." and his iconic baseline scoop in the 1980 NBA Finals, Be Holding wonders how the imagination, or how our looking, might make us, or bring us, closer to each other. How our looking might make us reach for each other.
And might make us be reaching for eachother.
And how that reaching might be something like joy.
Produced by Girard College, a tuition-free boarding school for underserved youth that was at the center of Philadelphia's civil rights movement, Be Holding opens the school's historic campus to the city and fosters conversation on social justice issues that continue to impact its majority Black population today.
Over two years of on-campus residencies, students collaborated with the acclaimed team of professional artists to study the themes of the work, explore how these artistic disciplines interact, and gain hands-on experience in developing a pertormance for the stage.
Be Holding is staged at center court in The Cheesman A. Herrick
Fieldhouse & Armory at Girard College in Philadelphia, PA.
Major support for Be Holding has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from The MAP Fund, which is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and Mellon Foundation.
Please join us for book talk and conversation with the talented scholar, journalist, and poet Stephanie Saldaña. Stephanie will share from her new book "What We Remember Will Be Saved."
Journalist and scholar Stephanie Saldaña, who lived in Syria before the war, sets out on a journey across nine countries to meet refugees and learn what they salvaged from the ruins when they escaped. Now, in the narratives of six extraordinary women and men, from Mt. Sinjar to Aleppo to Lesvos to Amsterdam, we discover that the little things matter a great deal. Saldaña introduces us to a woman who saved her city in a dress, a musician who saved his stories in songs, and a couple who rebuilt their destroyed pharmacy even as the city around them fell apart. Together they provide a window into a religiously diverse corner of the Middle East on the edge of unraveling, and the people keeping it alive with their stories.
At the first virtual Third Thursday of the academic year, Dr. Jasmine Johnson conversed with incoming CEE Fellows Jennifer Harge and Sosena Solomon, who are teaching interdisciplinary master classes with students from across the schools.
July 12 | NOON at PAFA
A conversation at PAFA, student-creators of the CEE "Reckoning and Repair" podcast reflect on relationships, deep listening, and the role of artists as activists and critics. How do artists and organizers in Philadelphia confront the troubling histories of Empire in their midst? Is it even possible for colonially-based art institutions to meaningfully reckon with their own exclusionary histories? What models of reckoning and repair already exist in Philadelphia's art worlds?
Panel speakers are: Katleho Kano Shoro, Chrislyn Laurie Larore, Adrianna Brusie, Anya Martin and Alissa M Jordan
Join us on May 1, 2023 for 12 hours of revelry, performance, screenings, and conversation in celebration of our fifth anniversary. Events kick off with a live performance of Primo Maggio, with screenings, performances, and treats throughout. Chill out in a relaxation installation, hear from Afghanistan's most prominent media makers in exile (in a conversation led by Wazhmah Osman), hear from Amitav Ghosh, participate in multiple soundings with Imani Uzuri, watch a drag performance by Cookie D'orio, dance to late night beats from DJ Reezy, and so much more!
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Primo Maggio Anarchico
Trust Your Moves Choir
Trust Your Moves Choir guided by Steven Feld at the Main Entrance Upstairs Landing.
10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
Suture Self in the Garden Disco
Emily Carris Duncan
A relaxation installation with lush textiles, plants, and music will provide the backdrop for a conversation about the quilt as an intimate textile that fosters rest, safety, and joy.
11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Soundings in the Chinese Rotunda
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM
Creating Future Countrysides and Future Cities`
Creating Future Countrysides and Future Cities: Portraits, Collaborations, and Non-Citizens in the Post-Industrial Present. A discussion about different forms of portraiture, which will include some ...
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Lunch and Screening of Mexican Psychotic
A screening of Ricardo Bracho's completed Mexican Psychotic video along with the videos made by students in his surrealism class (Widener Hall)
2:00 PM - 2:45 PM
A Conversation on Institutional Decolonizing
A discussion about institutional decolonizing with Wayne Modest and James Claiborne.
2:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Ethnography of No Place Screening (Directed by Saya Woolfalk and Rachel Lears)
A screening of an early film collaboration by Saya Woolfalk and Rachel Lears, followed by a multi-modal response developed by members of CAMRA (Widener Hall)
3:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Soundings procession from Widener to Mosaic Gallery Outdoor Space, led by Imani Uzuri
3:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Horn to Horn
A listening session to a collaboration with honking horn truck drivers in Accra (Africa Gallery)
4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Mosaic Gallery Coffee & Snack
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM
Media in Exile/The Embodiment of Displacement
A panel discussion with screenings with well-known Afghan media makers in exile.
5:30 PM - 6:15 PM
doomsday: a lecture demonstration
6:30 PM - 7:15 PM
Place, Space, Time, Dance: Getting from Here to There
Screenings and a discussion about what we get and take away from the value a place/space holds/shares, about how we move over time and space, and about whether or not this changes (Rainey)
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Dinner & Jungle-Nama
Screening of clips from 'Retold' Documentary and Discussion (Widener Hall)
9:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Drag Performance by Cookie D'iorio/Bearded Ladies
10:00 PM - 12:00 AM (+1 day)
DJ and Dancing
For our April Third Thursday event, artist and visual anthropologist Kara Mshinda (Tyler School of Art and Architecture) presents artwork from her current project All Hands Hold and discusses the relationship between art practice, visual narratives, and ethnography in conversation with Grace Sanders Johnson
A Black Transnational Ethnography of HIV/AIDS, Reproduction, & Dancehall in Neocolonial Jamaica
This talk frames Jallicia Jolly’s articulation of a Black transnational feminist ethnography of HIV/AIDS and reproduction. Jolly discusses how this methodological and epistemological practice displaces the dominant knowledge about Black women’s sexuality, young women’s reproductive capacities, and HIV and AIDS, thus rewriting colonial scripting of black female sexuality as well as humanitarian and biomedical portrayals of women's experiences. She explores dancehall - a soundtrack of fraught possibility of Black women’s erotic and political lives - as an extant arena through which young Jamaican women redefine historic racist and sexist stereotypes of urban working-class women as non-political actors, while contesting the heteronormative narratives of Black female pathology and the boundaries of exclusionary citizenship. Drawing from an intersectional ethnography of Jamaica women’s grassroots HIV/AIDS organizing, this talk illustrates how women’s multi- layered narratives and embodied experiences make way for alternative, expansive, and authentic visions of identity, politics, and community for multiply marginalized Caribbean
subjects existing at the margins.
dr. JALLICIA ALICIA JOLLY
Dr. Jolly connects her research to tailored community interventions that advance equity, systemic change & community-building within and beyond U.S. borders. She is appointed as a Visiting Research faculty by the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at the Yale School of Public Health to the Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars (REIDS). A public scholar committed to political action, Dr. Jolly co-leads Birth Equity & Justice Massachusetts (BEJMA), a reproductive justice coalition that aims to advance maternal health equity in policy and to improve the health outcomes of Black and Brown birthing people. Her public writing, which merges her community-based work on black politics, women's health, and political leadership in the United States and the Caribbean, has appeared in The Washington Post/The Lily, USA Today, Jamaica Gleaner, Ms. Magazine, and Huffington Post. Dr. Jolly's work has been published in American Quarterly, The Lancet, Feminist Anthropology, Souls, and Journal of General Internal Medicine and has received support from the Ford Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Brown University's Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, the American Association of University Women, MIT, and Blue
Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.
As we return our embodied selves to institutions, as we encounter the “new normal” that feels frighteningly and tirelessly old, the Collective for Advancing Multimodal Research Arts (CAMRA) invites you to the 2023 Screening Scholarship Media Festival, works in progress. We hope to realize a vibrant in-person festival (with a companion virtual program) that reflects and extends on the provocations, lessons and interventions of SSMF 2020/21, Rupture and Repair, and SSMF 2022, PAUSE that asked what it meant/means to be and to make in crisis, to survive and live into collapse.
Our programmatic vision is guided by Denise Ferreira Da Silva who in the essay “Invisible\Obliterating” asks, “[so] what is left after critique, after naming, explaining, demanding, protesting, and burning? What is left for us to do? Can art open a way into, through, across, and then beyond the naturalising gestures that feed the forces of representation?” We offer works in progress as a way to think together about how creative practice can contribute to a liberatory future after critique, after naming and explaining, and where we as scholars, educators, students, artists, activists, and the communities and institutions we inhabit land in that imagination. We are led to ask:
How do different modes and forms contend with unfinishability, with mistakes, with imperfection, in creative work and daily life? What is afforded by sharing imperfectly? / Where does our critical emphasis lie when we know we are engaging with something that is unfinished? What practices of gathering and engagement as spectators and makers do we forge "after critique"? / What are the necessary conditions for an emphasis on process and unfinished work? / What can creative practice that is necessarily in a state of flux give to the making of a more liberatory future? / What are the sensory attunements that makers, and spectators, develop in the encounter with creative work that are useful in interpersonal relationships and social, cultural and political engagements that stretch beyond the moment and space of such encounter? / What is creativity in work, what is creativity at work? Where is our work taking us? What work do we need to do to get to the place of our becoming?
We imagine works in progress expansively and the program includes AUDIO / EXHIBITS & INSTALLATIONS / PERFORMANCES / RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS / VIDEO & FILMS / WORKSHOPS that engage the theme and/or the questions we lay out above.
SSMF 2023 will take place in person at the University of Pennsylvania. The Screening Scholarship Media Festival 2023 is produced in collaboration and with the support of the Annenberg School for Communications, the Graduate School of Education, the Center for Experimental Ethnography, and the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation.
For our March Third Thursday event in 2023, Rabani Garg and Larissa Johnson and Indivar Jonnalagadda join in conversation about the upcoming Screening Scholarship and Media Festival, open March 31 through April 2! They will discuss the theme of "Works in Progress" and the ways that the programmatic vision has been guided by Denise Ferreira Da Silva who in the essay “Invisible\Obliterating” asks, “[so] what is left after critique, after naming, explaining, demanding, protesting, and burning? What is left for us to do? Can art open a way into, through, across, and then beyond the naturalising gestures that feed the forces of representation?” Works in progress as a way to think together about how creative practice can contribute to a liberatory future after critique, after naming and explaining, and where we as scholars, educators, students, artists, activists, and the communities and institutions we inhabit land in that imagination.
MARCH 1 | STREAMING ON ALL PLATFORMS
We are proud to announce the launch of our podcast, "Reckoning and Repair: The Art That's Touched Philadelphia". Each of the twelve 15-minute episodes features a richly experimental oral history with an artist, organizer, or curator who has worked in the city of Philadelphia, and whose practice reckons with exclusionary social histories and the (im?)possibilities of repair in art spaces and beyond. It was created by Penn students in conversation with artists and organizers in a course by Dr. Alissa Jordan, “Reckoning and Repair: Conversations with Contemporary Artists,” at the Center for Experimental Ethnography.
“Reckoning and Repair” will be released in three curated mini-series of four episodes released every two weeks starting on March 1 2023, and the podcast is in conversation with the March 2023 exhibit, “Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America,” organized by the African American Museum of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. With rich sonic interludes, micro-stories, and poetic prose, listeners will be brought into different moments and spaces intersecting in Philly’s transnational creative scene. It delves into the ways that artists and organizers confront the troubling histories of Empire in their midst, and the way that institutions can be made or remade to forge community and promote care.
The professional-quality episodes are the outcome of background research conducted by students, oral history interviews designed by students, and group critique session. Through this project, students learned about oral history and podcasting as crucial tools through which scholars can explore and present the relationship between art, history, and power.
"Our students have done an incredible job of creatively engaging with a diverse set of artists who work in Philadelphia and who are at the forefront of challenging violent, extractive, and exclusionary processes that pervade society at large and can undermine art spaces” says Dr. Jordan. "Through these conversations, we hope to shed light on the artists, practices, and projects in Philadelphia that are reimagining what art is, who it's for, and towards what ends our institutions should be transformed.”
Telling Our Own Stories with Louis Massiah & Chrislyn Laurie Laurie
And I listen to the Robin Sing with Sheida Soleimani and Angel Gutierrez
The Urgency of Art and Life with Va Bene Elikem Fiatsi and Anya Miller
The Question of Home is Complicated with Tausif Noor and Angel Gutierrez
Bodies in Flux with Saya Woolfalk and Wang Yao
Crafting Black Survival and Joy through Time and Space with Emily Carris and Katleho Kano Shoro
Life Like Fragile Clay with Arlene Schechet & Rachael Borthwick
We Are Here with Dejay Duckett (AAMP) and Hakimah Abdul Fattah
Some Histories Are Not Beautiful with Shwarga Bhattacharjee and Hakimah Abdul Fattah
To Call a City Home with Aisha Khan (12Gates Art) and Hakimah Abdul Fattah
Connection, Collaboration, Conflict with Christina Vassal (FWM) and Katie Parry (FWM) and Jeanne Lieberman
Behind the Scenes of Rising Sun with Juan Omar Rodriguez (Formerly of PAFA) Ellie Clark (PAFA) and Adrianna Brusie
This Wolf Humanities Symposium is organized by Wolf Humanities Center's 2022-23 Graduate Research Assistant and CEE Graduate Student Jake Nussbaum; Graduate Fellow & CEE Graduate Student Larissa Johnson, and Graduate Fellows Max Johnson Dugan, and Anna Lehr Mueser; and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Ioanida Costache, Richard Fadok, Margaret Geoga, Rebecca Haboucha, and Peter Sorensen. This Symposium is cosponsored by Penn's Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy; Annenberg School for Communication; Center for Africana Studies; Center for Experimental Ethnography; Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies; Center for Research in Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies; Cinema and Media Studies Program; Department of Anthropology; Department of History and Sociology of Science; and Department of Music.
What is the relationship between heritage—a set of shared articulations and sensations of the past—and our lived realities? How do efforts to construct and erase these shared understandings impact the possibilities of a shared and shareable present? These questions have acquired new urgency over the past several years as historical formations of plantation slavery, settler-colonialism, and extractive capitalism become increasingly recognizable in the mundane operations of the university and the state; heritage claims fuel political violence and mass social movements; and supposedly unifying nationalisms deteriorate into entrenched positions around ownership of the past. Of course, for those most harmed by the projects of white supremacist heteropatriarchy these questions have always been urgent—matters of presence in the face of ongoing erasure—complicating easy distinctions between past, present, and future. In this multidisciplinary symposium, scholars, community organizers, and artists come together to unsettle the demarcations between heritage as an object of study and heritage as a site of ongoing practice and contestation.
10:15 am–12:00 pm
Beyond the Institution: Perspectives from West Philadelphia and the Problems with Talking About Heritage at Penn
Recent activism at Penn has joined and amplified a long and expansive history of Black-led community organizing in West Philadelphia that has been critical of the university and its role in inflicting harm on their neighborhood, including the forced displacement of the Black Bottom, the gentrification of so-called “University City,” the possession of the remains of Black Philadelphians at the Penn Museum, and the abuse of Black prisoners for research by Penn scientists. In this roundtable, activists, organizers, scholars, and media-makers discuss these ongoing issues and elaborate on community-driven practices of heritage-making that are grounded in ethics of care, refusal, and self-determination.
1:30 pm–3:00 pm
Contesting Heritage: Counternarratives in the Material Record and the Built Environment
Moderator: Rebecca Haboucha, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Wolf Humanities Center
Institutions, from the state to the university, often set the precedent for the management and preservation of historical knowledge, while academic disciplines such as archaeology, history, and anthropology have historically served to legitimize the erasure and removal of material histories of the marginalized. These authorized narratives of history have been challenged from both the grassroots and, to varying degrees of success, from the top down, suggesting the constructed and contested notion of the very term “heritage.” The speakers in this session explore how the material record and built environment can be a productive resource for contesting dominant understandings of the past and rethinking disciplinary and institutional trajectories.
Heritage Beyond the Record: Embodiment, Memory, Performance
Moderator: Ioanida Costache, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Wolf Humanities Center
Heritage is something that we do. As Laurajane Smith posits it is “the multiple processes of meaning making” through acts of remembrance, communication, intergenerational transfer of knowledge, identity, and “social and cultural values and meanings” (2012). This panel interrogates multifarious ways of doing heritage. How can doing heritage articulate histories of colonial distortions and their patterns of continuity in the present? How are alternative epistemologies and ontologies embedded in the praxis of heritage? What tactics have been used historically and today to destroy, silence, ignore, disrupt, and distort heritage for the purpose of dehumanizing or delegitimizing marginalized communities' claims to selfhood, subjectivity, history, rights, and land? This panel critically examines how heritage is made in the body, in performance, and discursively and how these processes inform what each of us carries forward in the world.
Master percussionist Hafez Kotain leads participants through a workshop in Arabic percussion.
The Critical Museum Study Group presents the exhibition, Partage, featuring the work of 13 artists. Partage, comes from the 19th-to early 20th century archaeological practice of dividing collections and splitting objects in half between the host nation and the nation of the extractor, a premise that fractured histories and their representations.
Don't miss a conversation with the filmmaker on Feb 16th at noon as part of CEE Third Thursday Series!
"We recently went to Guinea Bissau to research the guerrilla schools of the mangroves. Instead, we soon became ourselves the apprentices and the first lesson we had to learn was how to walk. If you walk straight, placing your heels on the ground first, you promptly slip and fall in the dams of the flooded mangrove rice field or you get stuck in the mangrove mud. You need to lower your body, flex your knees and stick your toes vertically into the mud, extend your arms forwards in a conscious and present movement. In the mangrove school the learning happens with the whole body." - Sonia Borges
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