The graduate certificate in experimental ethnography was just approved!
The Graduate Certificate in Experimental Ethnography is aimed at students who want to merge creative and interdisciplinary practice through multi-modal methods with their scholarly production. The certificate is open to Penn students admitted and already enrolled in a terminal degree graduate program. Check back in on the May newsletter to learn more about the application process.
On Tuesday, April 30th, students in ANTH 551: Experimental Ethnography at the Interfaces of the Arts & Sciences will share their sound, photo, print, drawing, poetic, narrative, video, and light installations.
Join us from 5:00 to 8:00 PM in Penn Museum Classroom 2.
Some of the installations include:
Conservar : Elizabeth Bynum This installation contemplates how an attention to sound encourages us to linger on the sedimented histories and open questions of environmental conservation and heritage preservation in Mexico City.
The Look of a Network : Jimil Ataman This project invites participants to engage with their presumptions with networks.
Afterimages : Hanna E. Morris Mirror and books with light displays attachments. The "afterimages" mark the colonial violence of anthropological artifact acquisition and display within museum-goers' retinas- now stuck to the eyeballs of patrons. This pervasive yet often unseen violence can no longer be evaded, erased, or ignored.
Mapping Lines and Anti-Maps : Pablo Aguilera Del Castillo Mapping Lines explores the effects and affects of mapping as a practice of inscribing the worlds around us. The project starts from the premise that different forms of inscribing time and space carry with them particular logics. Each map embodies a specific logic of looking at the world.
Oscillations in (Ill) Health : Taylor Dysart Oscillations thinks with patient testimonials from ayahuasca and kambo healing center is the Loreto Region of Peru to unpack how a specific patient group navigates medical decision-making.
Snake Rhythmss and All Kinds of Time : Jake Nussbaum Snake Rhythmss draws and writes through the movement of snakes to divine ethnographic understandings of rhythm and time.
"And with a Kiss" : Aisha Chughtai Focusing on attachment and detachment, this installation provides perspective into the affect and emotions that weave themselves into our romantic lives.
Named Storms : Maris Jones Named Storms is a meditation on hurricanes, loss and ongoing aftermaths.
Rust in the Garden: The Historical Baggage of Preserved Space : Maggie Hart Rust in the Garden uses prose poetry and video as a lens through which to engage with the overlapping historical narratives, landscapes, erasures, and repetitions that converge at Bartram's Garden, a historical landmark and public park in Southwest Philadelphia.
In late March, the Collective for Advancing Multimodal Research Arts (CAMRA) hosted its 7th Annual Screening Scholarship Media Festival. SSMF is collaborative space that since 2013 explores the affordances and challenges of multimodal strategies in research, and to interrogate their social implications. The theme of this year, "Rendering Matters of Concern and the Present Histories" gathered media works developed by scholars, educators, activists, and artists working with indigenous people, persons under any form of detention, diasporic communities, LGBTQ+ collectives, and environments in conflict.
Students, scholars, artists, and media-makers from Columbia, Portugal, Finland, Canada, and the United States attended and participated in this year's festival. With twenty sessions spanning three days, attendees were able to watch films, participate in scholarly discussions, experience immersive installations, and listen to live musical performances.
"By having a word like collective... by saying that, you join as part of that collectivity." - Kate Zambon (Ph.D. '18)
Aimee Cox, the visiting fellow at CEE, and her colleagues Saya Woolfalk and Daniel Alexander Jones, engaged the audience in an interactive movement experience. Their ritual-performance transformed the Rainey Auditorium into a scene in which attendees were singing and clapping folk songs from the African American church tradition. Then, all attendees left the room on a parade towards the Mosaic Hall guided by Aimee Cox' stonish dance movements and meaningful poetry. The ritual-performance reminded the audience about the transformative power and the healing capacity of each human being.
They encouraged the audience to consider how we create our own paths through our connection with others- rather than in spite of them- and how we can transform the spaces around us while acknowledging that we do not have full control of these spaces.
This recap was written by Juan Castrillón, 2019 SSMF director.
Launch Party Trailer
CEE Post-doctoral fellow, Alissa Jordan, compiled footage from our Launch Party in February to create a highlight reel of the event. Check it out below!
Faculty Spotlight: Kristina Lyons
CEE affiliate, Kristina Lyons, is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Humanities at Penn. Lyons´ first book project is interested in the ways practices with “soils” are deeply enmeshed in struggles between farmers, politicians, aid workers, armed actors, and scientists over the meanings of “peace”, “productivity”, “rural development”, “sustainability” and what constitutes a “good and healthy life” within the context of the U.S.-Colombia War on Drugs in the Amazon. Her forthcoming manuscript engages in a poetic writing practice from which to explore what limits and possibilities – alternative temporal registers, diverse economies, ethico-political arrangements, and capacities for freedom – emerge along with different modes of relating, doing, and knowing not only for the lives of soils, but for those who engage with soils as partners in-for life.
Lyons has also directed a popular education film series, collaborated on the production of a soundscape, worked on photo essays and creative non fiction projects, and engaged in ethnographically inspired street performance. Her new research focuses on the interfaces of militarization, environmentalism, and socio-ecological justice; in particular, the reconstruction of the biocultural memory of a watershed in the Amazon and the emergence of participatory science practices in Colombia’s post-peace accord and transitional justice process.
Above is a clip of one of 13 short films, directed by Lyons, that forms part of a popular education audiovisual project called Cultivando un Bien Vivir en la Amazonia (Cultivating Living Well in the Amazon). Cultivando un Bien Vivir seeks to circulate viable farmer-to-farmer technical alternatives to rural communities in the Andean-Amazonian foothills of Colombia.
Thursday, April 25 2019 10:30 - 11:50 AM Student Screenings McNeil Building Room 395
Ben Mendelsohn is 2018-2019 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow with the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities. This spring, he is teaching an undergraduate course titled, "Documentary Experiments in Urban Research". Five students will be presenting rough cuts of their 5-10 minute video essays about urban questions, developed in dialogue with experimental documentary film and critical urban studies. Topics range from neighborhood redevelopment in South Philadelphia to the history of the American with Disabilities Act and its impacts on public space. We will be workshopping these short films before students make final changes and submit them to me in early May.
Friday, April 26 2019 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM Wolf Conference Kislak Center, 6th Floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Come learn about 'Immersive Storytelling: Creating Narratives with Virtual and Augmented Reality' with lunch and demos, as well as discussion with Kiira Benzing, Anrick Bregman, Sarah Stevenson, Jean Lee, Peter Decherney, Veda Shastri, Courtney McCarthy, and Nonny de la Peña