IAS Scholars & Artists in Context
Scholars & Artists in Context introduces who IAS faculty are as thinkers and people by engaging their scholarly and creative work. Featured faculty members introduce themselves and their scholarly/creative practice through a brief talk, and then engage in a wide-ranging interview intended to reveal more about the ideas and the processes that realized them. As a series of conversations, Scholars & Artists in Context allows us to consider differences and similarities in approaches across disciplines and fields, as an entry to engaging and developing new projects and collaborations.
Gardenland: Nature, Fantasy and Everyday Practice
Author presentation with an interview by IAS colleague Amy Lambert
Tuesday, November 13, 4:00-5:30 PM – Rose Room
Garden writing is not just a place to find advice about roses and rutabagas; it also contains hidden histories of desire, hope and frustration, and tells a story about how Americans have invested grand fantasies in the common soil of everyday life. Gardenland chronicles the development of this genre across key moments in American literature and history, from nineteenth-century industrialization and urbanization to the twentieth-century rise of factory farming and environmental advocacy to contemporary debates about public space, social justice – even the future of humanity’s place on earth.
In exploring the hidden landscape of desire in American gardens, Gardenland examines literary fiction, horticultural publications and environmental writing, including works by Charles Dudley Warner, Henry David Thoreau, Willa Cather, Jamaica Kincaid, John McPhee, Leslie Marmon Silko and more. Ultimately, Gardenland asks what the past century and a half of garden writing might tell us about our current social and ecological moment – and offers surprising insight into our changing views about the natural world, along with realms that may otherwise seem remote from the world of leeks and hollyhocks.
Relocating Authority: Japanese Americans Writing to Redress Mass Incarceration
Author presentation with an interview by IAS colleague Alice Pedersen
Tuesday, November 27, 4:00-5:30 PM – Rose Room
Relocating Authority examines the ways Japanese Americans have continually used writing to respond to the circumstances of their community’s mass imprisonment during World War II. Using both Nikkei cultural frameworks and community-specific history for methodological inspiration and guidance, Mira Shimabukuro shows how writing was used privately and publicly to individually survive and collectively resist the conditions of incarceration. Examining a wide range of diverse texts and literacy practices such as diary entries, note-taking, manifestos, and multiple drafts of single documents, Relocating Authority draws upon community archives, visual histories, and Asian American history and theory to reveal the ways writing has served as a critical tool for incarcerees and their descendants. Incarcerees not only used writing to redress the “internment” in the moment but also created pieces of text that enabled and inspired further redress long after the camps had closed. Relocating Authority highlights literacy’s enduring potential to participate in social change and assist an imprisoned people in relocating authority away from their captors and back to their community and themselves.
Producing Queer Youth: The Paradox of Digital Media Empowerment
Author presentation with an interview by
M.A. in Cultural Studies student Berette Macaulay
Tuesday, December 4, 4:00-5:30 PM – Rose Room
Producing Queer Youth challenges popular ideas about online media culture as a platform for empowerment, cultural transformation, and social progress. Based on over three years of participant action research with queer teen media-makers and textual analysis of hundreds of youth-produced videos and popular media campaigns, the book unsettles assumptions that having a "voice" and gaining visibility and recognition necessarily equate to securing rights and resources. Instead, Berliner offers a nuanced picture of openings that emerge for youth media producers as they negotiate the structures of funding and publicity and manage their identities with digital self-representations. Examining youth media practices within broader communication history and critical media pedagogy, she forwards an approach to media production that re-centers the process of making as the site of potential learning and social connection. Ultimately, she reframes digital media participation as a struggle for—rather than, in itself, evidence of—power.
All sessions are open to the campus-community and general public: No RSVP required.
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