Fall Convergence

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ASAP/14: Arts of Fugitivity

October 4-7, 2023
UW Seattle and UW Bothell
with satellite events at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle University, and Wa Na Wari

Register online

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Poetics at the University of Washington Bothell poses the central questions of poetics, inquiring into the social, cultural, and technological aspects of writing to ask: How is creative writing an ethical, political and aesthetic endeavor? Each year kicks off with the Fall Convergence, a gathering of internationally renowned writers and artists to engage topics in contemporary poetics. We are honored to partner with the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) for this year’s Convergence. Founded in 2002, ASAP is an international, nonprofit association dedicated to discovering and articulating the aesthetic, cultural, ethical, and political identities of the contemporary arts.

A detailed schedule and registration details can be found on the conference website.

The conference theme—Arts of Fugitivity—addresses strategies of survival and imagination, asking “what does it mean to hide within plain sight, to create alternative ways of being, seeing, and doing, to escape?” More than just longing for something else, arts of fugitivity show us how to get there and suggest that we might, in fact, already be there. Fugitivity is a keyword in Indigenous studies, where it asks us to think critically about the politics of movement and place and their intersections with settler-colonialism. As Jarrett Martineau and Eric Ritskes write, “Fugitivity finds its energetic potency in remaining illegible to power, incommensurable with colonialism, and opaque to appropriation, commodification and cultural theft. That which is fugitive proposes an insurgent force of dissident visibility; it is the hidden that reveals itself in motion.” We are curious about how fugitivity emerges as lines of flight, creative camouflage, and aesthetics. 

Featuring panels and workshops by members of ASAP, keynotes by Billy-Ray Belcourt, Elisheba Johnson, Fred Moten, Dylan Robinson, Julietta Singh, and Tania Willard, and a sound artwork by Mary Edwards that attendees will experience en route from UW Seattle to the Bothell campus. 

Sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities, the University of Washington Arts Division, Seattle University, and the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics.

Keynote Presenters:

Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt is a writer from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of four books: This Wound is a World, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, A History of My Brief Body, and A Minor Chorus.

Photo credit: jaye simpson

Elisheba Johnson

Elisheba Johnson is a curator, poet, public artist and consultant that lives in Seattle, WA. Johnson, who has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, was the owner of Faire Gallery Café, a multi-use art space that held art exhibitions, music shows, poetry readings and creative gatherings. For six years Johnson worked at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture on capacity building initiatives and racial equity in public art. Johnson was a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network advisory council and has won four Americans for the Arts Public Art Year in Review Awards for her work. She currently co-manages Wa Na Wari, a Black art center in Seattle’s Central Area that uses the arts to build community and resist displacement.

Photo credit: Inye Wokoma

Fred Moten

Fred Moten teaches in the Departments of Performance Studies and Comparative Literature at New York University. His latest book is Perennial Fashion Presence Falling (Wave Books, 2023).

Dylan Robinson

Dr. Dylan Robinson is a member of the Skwah First Nation whose scholarship, art, and writing seek to affirm Stó:lō epistemology. His book, Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies (2020), examines Indigenous and settler colonial practices of listening, and was awarded best first book for the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, Royal Musical Association, and the Society for Music Theory. His current work includes a book on Indigenous public art considered alongside public art that seeks to interpellate settler subjectivity.

Julietta Singh

Julietta Singh is a decolonial scholar and nonfiction writer whose work engages the enduring global effects of colonization through attention to ecology, inheritance, and identity. She is the Stephanie Bennett-Smith Chair of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of English at the University of Richmond. Singh is the author of three books: The Breaks, No Archive Will Restore You, and Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism & Decolonial Entanglements. She is currently at work on The Nest, a feature-length experimental documentary project with Chase Joynt produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

Photo credit: chase joynt

Tania Willard

Tania Willard is a mixed Secwépemc and settler artist whose research intersects with land-based art practices. Her practice activates connection to land, culture, and family, centering art as an Indigenous resurgent act, though collaborative projects such as BUSH Gallery and support of language revitalization in Secwépemc communities. Her artistic and curatorial work includes Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2012-2014) and Exposure: Native Art and Political Ecology at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe (ongoing). Willard’s work is included in the collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Forge Project, Kamloops Art Gallery, and the Anchorage Museum, among others. In 2016, she received the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art. In 2020, the Shadbolt Foundation awarded her their VIVA Award for outstanding achievement and commitment in her art practice, and in 2022 she was named a Forge Project Fellow for her land-based, community-engaged artistic practice. In 2023 BUSH Gallery was named as a Future Studies recipient from Ruth Foundation for the Arts.

Photo Credit: Billie Jean Gabriel

Mary Edwards

Mary Edwards is a composer and sound artist whose interdisciplinary practice encompasses installation, cinematic audio and environmental design. Themes of temporality, impermanence, nostalgia and the natural world recur throughout her work. She is interested in the invisible architecture and the emotive, historic and spatial properties of sound. Listening to, and describing sounds are an inherent and integral part of her process in conveying how all sounds have the potential to be habitable and can be transformative once you get inside them, as they are simultaneously intimate and immense.

In 2021, The Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery produced her first career survey concurring with Something to (Be)Hold, her first large-scale public sound installation.As the 2022 Artist-in-Residence for the ACA Soundscape Field Station, she was living and working in Canaveral National Seashore, audio recording, and researching for her book and interactive project, Conservation/Conversation as part of Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her other residencies include Headlands Center for the Arts, The Beach Institute Savannah, The William T. Davis Nature Conservancy, Wa Na Wari, Epsilon Spires and The Arctic Circle Residency. In 2023, her sound installation Everywhere We Are is the Farthest Place, premiered at The Spitsbergen Artists Center in Svalbard. The first in a series of odes rather than elegies to the transforming Arctic landscape comprises a composition and ambient field recordings gathered from landings around Svalbard while on a sailing expedition on a research vessel above the 78th parallel to document the sound properties of glacial geology and oceanographic data, ultimately intended to provide sonified “access for all” by “de-centering the centered and un-othering the others.”

Her most recent works include Fathom a site-intended sound installation for the Atlantic Center for the Arts, launched during the 2023 World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) Conference, Listening Pasts/Listening Futures, and Tamalpais Higher, a geophonic reimagining of a seismic event based on a blind thrust fault running through Mount Tamalpais north of the San Francisco Bay.

Her extended discography includes Endeavour: A Space Trilogy for the NASA Expedition of Dr. Mae C. Jemison, and Everyday Until Tomorrow, a conceptual soundtrack for TWA Terminal 5 at JFK airport.

Her writing has been published by Oxford American, Invert/Extant (U.K.), The Mentor that Matters series, The Santa Barbara Literary Journal and the anthology, Joy Has a Sound: Black Sonic Visions.

Mary Edwards holds an MFA from Goddard College. She lives in New York and works internationally.

Previous Fall Convergences

To view previous Fall Convergences, please visit our Fall Convergence Archive.

Access and Accommodation

This event will take advantage of auto-generated live captioning in Zoom. CART and ASL interpretation are available by request at least ten days in advance.

The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), or e-mail at dso@uw.edu.