Fall 2017
IAS Research Colloquium

Challenging Resistance: The Poetics of Survival and the Politics of Refusal

The talks this quarter each explore tensions between survival, self-determination, and what is often termed ‘resistance.’ How do people reject and/or rework liberal notions around identity, property, family, self-possession, humanity, and even resistance itself, in and through projects of collective life-making under difficult circumstances? What are the stakes, and what kinds of new socialities can emerge in such instances? IAS faculty Naomi Bragin, micha cárdenas, and Sarah Dowling will each address different aspects of these questions. 

Black Power of Hip Hop Dance: On Kin-ethic Politics

Naomi Bragin

Tuesday, Octoer 3, 2017
4:00-5:30 pm

Soul Train's 1971 syndicated premiere screened the collective performance of improvised dance aesthetics among Black youth. Positioning the landmark popular music and dance show against a backdrop of state terror to dismantle Black radical movements, I ask: how do Soul Train's dance celebrations perform the violence and value of Black sociality? This talk poses a wider challenge to the idea of Hip Hop dance, building a framework of kinethic politics--a sense-ability of kinship in movement that refuses bourgeois humanist notions of property, privacy, authorship and possessive individualism.

Professor Bragin will be joined by guest discussant Dr. Kemi Adeyemi from the University of Washington Seattle. 

I Would Rather Be An Android Goddess

micha cárdenas

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
4:00-5:30 pm
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

Algorithms define possibilities of life and death in the contemporary world. The coded logics controlling drones, social media, and government identity databases shape the ontologies of race, gender, sexuality, nationality, ability and other social categories. Science fiction media, including streaming digital television, movies, comics and books, offer ways to conceptualize the ways technologies shape our life chances, and also ways of resisting. Female androids in science fiction are a powerful image that often bring together questions of the human, racial and gender passing, reproductive futures and struggles for survival. Through popular media examples, as well as examples from her own practice-based research, Professor micha cárdenas will offer examples of algorithms as analytic and practical tools for art and activism as interdisciplinary scholarship. Building on materialist feminism, trans of color poetics and queer of color critique, cárdenas suggests new operations for thought and action made available by digital media.

Professor cárdenas will be joined by guest discussant Dr. Lauren Berliner from the University of Washington Bothell. 

Making Queer Family in the Shadow of Indian Child Removal

Sarah Dowling

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
4:00-5:30 pm
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

 This paper examines Frozen River (2008), a critically acclaimed and award-winning film focusing on two working-class women, one white and one Indigenous, who seek to improve their economic lot by smuggling Asian immigrants from Canada to the United States across the frozen St. Lawrence River, through the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. I argue that although none of its characters are explicitly coded as queer, Frozen River raises a number of questions at the heart of queer studies today. While many queer theorists have critiqued the ways in which the intimate sphere is increasingly figured as a privileged site for the management of racial conflict, I argue that Frozen River sketches a portrait of queer family that avoids the neoliberal trappings of gay marriage and adoption narratives, and of racial reconciliation. Instead, it raises profound questions about the wages of solidarity and alliance, and about the proper subjects of queer and queer Indigenous studies. In particular, the film presents a redistributive reversal of the politics of Indian child removal, and demands that white characters accede to and live within Indigenous characters’ articulations of political sovereignty as the condition of their economic survival. 

Professor Dowling will be joined by guest discussant Dr. Dian Million, from University of Washington Seattle.

The IAS Research Colloquium provides a forum for graduate students, faculty, and external partners to learn about interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research practices, and to think critically and creatively about the implications of different forms of research design. 

All sessions are open to the campus-community and general public: No RSVP required. 

A two-credit course option (BCULST/BPOLST 598B) is available to graduate students: contact Christian Anderson (cmander@uw.edu) to enroll.

The University of Washington is committed to providing equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To inquire about disability accommodations, please contact Rosa Lundborg at Disability Support Services at least ten days prior to the event at 425.352.5307, TDD 425.352.5303, FAX 425.352.5455, or email uwb-drs@uw.edu.


Background readings are available via the campus e-reserve system under “IAS Research Colloquium.” If you would like access to these readings and do not have a UW NetID, please contact Bruce Burgett at burgett@uw.edu.

Past Colloquia

Learn about past colloquium presentations.

Subject areas included: education policy, sex trafficking, rethinking Marxism, environmental justice, arts-based research, qualitative geovisualization, religion and HIV risk, conserving biodiversity, human rights, and media activism.