Decolonizing Humanism(?) Initiative2022-06-01T11:02:47-07:00
Loading...

Left Image (public domain, Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sacred_Stone_Camp_North_Dakota_(29167637232).jpg)
Dakota Access Pipeline protest at the Sacred Stone Camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. 25 August 2016 Credit: Tony Webster. Right Image (courtesy of Dylan Rodríguez) Sign from mass demonstration in Downtown Riverside, CA. 1 June 2020

Decolonizing Humanism(?) Initiative

Decolonizing Humanism(?) encourages inter-/trans-/anti-disciplinary collaborations that address the categories of ‘human’ and ‘humanism’ as formations of colonial power/violence.

This stream of activity and programming centers knowledge, archival, and aesthetic practices that challenge the presumptive coherence of the ‘humanities’ as such, including canonical and hegemonic institutionalizations. This collaborative labor aspires to cultivate conversations and connection across intellectual sites, within and beyond university and academic spaces.

“The Decolonizing Humanism(?) initiative has collaborated or will collaborate with organizations that include:”

UCR as a center of gravity

Jamal Batts: “‘I Cruise a Black Maze’: Black Visuality, Queer Disorientation, and the Siting of Risk”
Virtual Event on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 1:00pm to 2:00pm

In queer studies, spaces for public sex often serves as architectures of liberation—bastions against the onslaught of deadly homophobic antagonisms. This talk considers the ways in which black lesbian film and black gay poetry navigate and imagine these spaces—considered dangerous vectors of HIV transmission by the state and some liberal LGBTQ political actors. By considering artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s short experimental video The Labyrinth 1.0 (2017), the semi-autobiographical poetry of Essex Hemphill, and the photography of London-based South Asian photographer Sunil Gupta, I claim the disorientations produced by inhabiting blackness in white space and gendered difference in gay male space as productive models for the engagement and critique of queer pleasure. These works argue for a potentially agential navigation of queer space and racialized forms of sexual risk-taking.

Jamal Batts, PhD is a scholar, writer, and curator. He completed his doctoral work in the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. His dissertation, Immoral Panics: Black Queer Aesthetics and the Construction of Risk, reflects on the relation between black queer contemporary art and the intricacies of sexual risk. He is a 2020 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow, a ONE National Lesbian and Gay Archives LGBTQ Research Fellow, and a 2020 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Scholar-in-Residence. With the curatorial collective The Black Aesthetic, he organized four seasons of black experimental film screenings and produced three edited volumes. He is currently a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Irvine and the first Curator-in-Residence in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. His writing appears in numerous publications.

******

Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu: “Weaving Tongan Futurities Through Refusing the March of Surrender and Honoring Our Commitment to Protect the Sacred ”
Virtual Event on Thursday, January 27 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm

REGISTER: https://bit.ly/Jan27_niumeitolu

“This presentation examines Tongan race, gender, and sexualities produced through a colonial phenomenon that I term as “March of Surrender.” The March of Surrender highlights the quintessential objective of “white terror” in the Pacific Island nation of Tonga and here in California–the desecration of the Sacred. I redefine “white terror” as a racialized violence aimed to produce colonial systems of kinships and social relationalities by surveilling colonial institutions of gender, sexualities, and families. This new status quo is produced as well as maintained through the normalization of violence against the bodies of Tongan women and girls. Correspondingly, I argue, the scope of white terror is inextricably tied to the expropriation of the Tongan natural world, the fonua (land and mother earth) to the Moana (spatialities of ocean). These cosmologies are often delineated as Feminine and located at the core of what we defined as the Sacred.

Considering what Ohlone/ Costanoan, writer Deborah Miranda terms as the “genealogy of violence,” I trace two contemporary renditions of March of Surrender and consider how they stem from early nineteenth century and extend to the present. I begin by looking at the Marches of Surrender that took place in May 2015 in Tonga to protest women’s rights led by the Christian Churches’ Forum. Additionally, I turn to the diaspora, as in 2009, Tongans were performing Marches of Surrender throughout California and standing with the Mormon Church to protect the institution of heteropatriarchy by supporting Proposition 8. In my final section, I turn to Tongan futurities in the East Bay, California, to highlight the decolonial marches produced by Tongan and Pacific Islander “arrivants.” I conclude with examples of “regenerative refusal” to the March of Surrender, specifically our commitment to stand as “allies and accomplices” with the Lisjan Ohlone Tribe, the Indigenous stewards of this land, in their work to protect their Indigenous Sacred sites from desecration.”

Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu is a Tongan (Pacific Islander) scholar, storyteller and community organizer and her work centers: climate and environmental justice, ending violence against women and building radical solidarities with California American Indian tribes to protect Indigenous Sacred Sites in the Pacific and here in California. She graduated with her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow and Facilitator of the Oceania: Pacific Islands Studies Research Working Group in the Department of Native American Studies at University of California, Davis. Fui is a part of the Sogorea Te Land Trust, an Urban Indigenous women-led organization, that rematriates Indigenous lands back to Indigenous peoples and she hosts the popular “Sogorea Te Seeding Hope Speaker Series.”

******

Yatta Kiazolu,”Determining Diaspora Solidarity: The National Council of Negro Women in West Africa and African American Women’s Fight for Full Citizenship, 1960
Virtual Event on  Wednesday, February 16 at 1:00pm

REGISTER: https://bit.ly/GSSTKiazolu

1960, African decolonization on the world stage presented greater opportunity to actualize new political terrain in the interest of people of African descent. Committed to this cause, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) under the tenure of then-president Dorothy Height, emphasized building relationships with African women nationalists for both its leaders and members, many of whom traveled to the continent for the first time. Through solidarity with African women nationalists preparing for new roles in emerging societies, Council women’s on-the-ground interactions helped advance their case for Black women’s inclusion in public life at home, and more broadly, for full citizenship. This research explores the gendered Black global imaginary produced by contradictory investments in uplift, nation-state inclusion co-existing alongside deep commitments to African decolonization, and the ways the politics of diasporic solidarity respond to the needs and pressures of citizenship. These experiences offer an entry point into Black women’s global struggle for self-emancipation in the age of decolonization, civil, and human rights.

Yatta Kiazolu is a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego with community engagement and research interests at the intersection of the contemporary African diaspora, African American history, and Women and Gender studies. She received her Ph.D. in History from UCLA.

Black Study in Times of Antiblackness: In Conversation with the Black Study Initiative Committee: A Roundtable Discussion
Virtual Event hosted Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 11:00am to 12:00pm

Members of the UC Riverside BSI Committee in a roundtable discussion about the Department of Black Study proposal and Fall 2021 programming.

******

Department of Black Study: Open Forum
Virtual event: May 19, 2022 at 11:00 am

WATCH VIDEO

At this online, open forum, Black Study Initiative (BSI) members will discuss the origins, foundational concepts, and imagined futures of the proposed UCR Department of Black Study. This is an opportunity for faculty, staff, students, and community members to acquire information, ask questions and raise concerns. BSI committee members will share the proposed department’s focus, details, curriculum, goals, and investments that we, and hundreds of others, believe affirm Black life and Black futures.

Black Horror Salon: A Literary Conversation
Virtual Event hosted Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 4:00pm

WATCH VIDEO

The conventional horror tropes of the return of the repressed and of the monster do not adhere to black life which has been characterized by ever present terror and the misnaming of the monster. Through this convocation of dynamic writers, theorists, and artists, the conversation will touch upon issues of craft as well as of how to live blackly, attuned to the unique yet common experience of what John Jennings has called “the Black gothic.”

Hosted and organized by Courtney Baker

Image Credit: Art by John Jennings

Kiese Makeba Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the author of Long Division and How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. Laymon is the recipient of 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard.

Dr. Lisa B. Thompson is professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is author of Beyond The Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class, Single Black Female, and Underground, Monroe, and The Mamalogues: Three Plays. Thompson’s plays have been produced throughout the US and internationally. Her accolades include LA Weekly Theatre Award for Best Comedy nominee, Irma P. Hall Black Theatre Award Best Play winner, Austin Critics Circle David Mark Cohen New Play Award winner, and Broadway World Regional Awards Best Writing of an Original Work winner.

Dr. Therí A. Pickens is Professor of English at Bates College, specializing in African American, Arab American and disability literatures and theories. Her monograph, Black Madness :: Mad Blackness, explores the connection between Blackness and madness. Her first book New Body Politics: Narrating Arab and Black Identity in the Contemporary United States. She guest edited the 50th anniversary issue of African American Review and the College Language Association Journal special issue on Blackness and Disability. Her poetry has appeared in Squaw Valley Journal, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, and Disability Studies Quarterly. Her drama has been performed at the NJ State Theater.

andré carrington is Associate Professor of English at UC Riverside. His book, Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction analyzes the role of blackness in science fiction and fantasy works across popular media. He has published in Present Tense, Sounding Out!, African & Black Diaspora, the Blackwell Companion to the Harlem Renaissance, The Blacker the Ink, and Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call. He is a past fellow of the Penn Humanities Forum (now the Wolf Humanities Center) and the Hutchins Center at Harvard, and is the recipient of a New York Council for the Humanities grant.

Dr. Courtney R. Baker is an Associate Professor in the department of English at University of California, Riverside. She was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University. She co-founded and served as the inaugural chair of the Black Studies program at Occidental College where she was also an Associate Professor of American Studies. She is author of HUMANE INSIGHT: Looking at Images of African-American Suffering and Death. She has written academic and popular essays on African-American film, the history of the image in African-American activism, and the ethics of narratives about death.

Abolition Praxis

Abolitionist Thought and Praxis: the Black Organizing Project (Oakland USD) and Black Minds Matter (Peralta Community College District) in Dialog with Cops Off Campus
Virtual event  Friday, November 19, 2021 at 4:00pm

WATCH VIDEO

Conversation with Jessica Black of the Black Organizing Project and Prof. Kimberly King (Laney Community College) of Black Minds Matter (Peralta Community College District) and the Laney Chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign to discuss Oakland’s long and eventually successful struggle to get police out of public schools and community colleges. The conversation was facilitated by cultural historian, political theorist, and Cops Off Campus member Prof. Erin Gray (Assistant Professor, English, UC Davis) and included Prof. Dylan Rodríguez, Co-Director of the Center for Ideas and Society and a founding Cops Off Campus collaborator/organizer.

Co-sponsored by the Decolonizing(?) Humanism Initiative and UCR African Student Programs

Jessica Black is a Minnesota native with a passion for social justice and cultural interpretation. A mother of two, Jessica came to California in 2013 in order to reconnect with family. For 10 years, as the Education Systems Navigator at the Cultural Wellness Center in Minnesota, Jessica worked to further enhance her skills of strategic planning, collective communication, shared authority and motivational speaking. Jessica has worked to dismantle unequal systematic approaches in housing, employment, education and criminal justice institutions for many years. Jessica embraces and is guided by the elders within her community. These relationships aid her in recruiting and organizing Black parents, to encourage their involvement in schools, and influencing policy, procedures, and paradigm shifts. Ultimately, Jessica’s passion to help Black people recognize the power and potential they possess led her to BOP. Through BOP Jessica hopes to continue her journey of achieving equitable access for Black people.

Kimberly King earned her BA in Psychology from Yale University and her MA and PhD in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a community organizer and committed advocate for social justice leading numerous workshops and teach-ins both on and off campus. Currently, she is the Chairperson of the Peralta Federation of Teachers Diversity Committee, as well as the Faculty Co-Coordinator of the Umoja-Ubaka Project. She is a Professor at Laney Community College in Psychology and Ethnic Studies, a founding member of Black Minds Matter (Peralta), and a member of the Laney Chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Erin Gray is a post-disciplinary cultural historian and political theorist focusing on the relationship between politics, aesthetics, and critical theory. Her research interests include political violence and left counter-histories of genocide; visual and performance studies; aesthetics and experimental poetics; gender studies and feminist epistemology; critical race studies; the black radical tradition and critiques of racial capitalism; historiography and history from below; affect, sentiment, sensation, and biopolitics. Erin’s research is presently focused on gendered racial formations within the photographic history of global white supremacy. Her current book project, The Moving Image of Lynching: Law-Founding Violence and Liberal Terror in the United States, engages the circulation of lynching across such media forms as the postcard, pamphlet, photography exhibition, magazine spread, newsreel, sound installation, and live and recorded reenactment to theorize an altered history of white supremacist violence in the U.S. Focusing on the co-emergence of legal lynching and racial liberalism, the manuscript theorizes the image of lynching as a dialectical object that illuminates the constitutive relationship of extra-legal terror to racial capitalism and U.S empire. Prior to her appointment at UC Davis, Erin taught in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University as a Provost postdoctoral fellow. From 2017-2018, Erin was a University of California President’s postdoctoral fellow in African American Studies at UC Irvine. She has twice been awarded fellowships from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Dylan Rodríguez is an abolitionist teacher, scholar, and collaborator. He was an inaugural Freedom Scholar awardee in 2020 and was elected by his peers to serve as the 2020-2021 President of the American Studies Association. He has worked as a Professor at the University of California, Riverside since 2001 and became Co-Director of the Center for Ideas and Society in 2021. He served two elected terms as Chair of the UCR Division of the Academic Senate (2016-2020) and chaired the Department of Ethnic Studies between 2009-2016. Dylan is the author of three books, most recently White Reconstruction: Domestic Warfare and the Logic of Racial Genocide (Fordham University Press, 2021).

Virtual Event on Friday, January 28 at 12:00pm

WATCH VIDEO

What does it mean to center abolition in teaching, research and art rather than “mass incarceration?” Whether you’re abolition-curious or have been doing abolitionist work for a long time, join the Critical Resistance Abolitionist Educators for a conversation about the stakes of abolitionist study, the dangers of criminal justice and police reformism, and why they created the Critical Resistance Resource Guide for Teaching and Learning Abolition.

Melissa Burch is Assistant Professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan and a longtime member and former staffer of Critical Resistance. Her research and community work focuses on the experiences of people with criminal records in the United States. She is currently writing her first book on the discriminatory use of criminal records in the job market.

Writer, educator and organizer, Erica R. Meiners’ current books include a co-edited anthology The Long Term: Resisting Life Sentences, Working Towards Freedom (Haymarket Press 2018) and the co-authored Feminist and the Sex Offender: Confronting Sexual Harm, Ending State Violence (Verso 2020). At Northeastern Illinois University, Erica is a member of her labor union, University Professionals of Illinois, and she teaches classes in education, gender and sexuality studies, and justice studies. Most importantly, Erica has collaboratively started and works alongside others a range of ongoing mobilizations for liberation, particularly movements that involve access to free public education for all, including people during and after incarceration, and other queer abolitionist struggles.

Dylan Rodríguez is an abolitionist teacher, scholar, and collaborator. He was an inaugural Freedom Scholar awardee in 2020 and was elected by his peers to serve as the 2020-2021 President of the American Studies Association. He has worked as a Professor at the University of California, Riverside since 2001 and became Co-Director of the Center for Ideas and Society in 2021. He served two elected terms as Chair of the UCR Division of the Academic Senate (2016-2020) and chaired the Department of Ethnic Studies between 2009-2016. Dylan is the author of three books, most recently White Reconstruction: Domestic Warfare and the Logic of Racial Genocide (Fordham University Press, 2021).

Priya Kandaswamy is a scholar and educator who works at the intersections of Ethnic Studies, Feminist Studies, and Queer Studies. She is the author of Domestic Contradictions: Race and Gendered Citizenship from Reconstruction to Welfare (Duke University Press, 2021), and her scholarship has appeared in American Quarterly, Sexualities, Radical Teacher, and numerous other journals and anthologies. Priya is currently the Academic Program Director at Mt. Tamalpais College, a community college program that serves incarcerated students at San Quentin state prison.

Shana Agid is an artist/designer, teacher, and activist whose work focuses on relationships of power and difference in visual, social, and political cultures. She is an Associate Professor of Arts, Media, and Communication at Parsons School of Design and a co-developer of Working with People (working-with-people.org), a keyword-based curriculum and website for developing critical pedagogical frameworks for collaborative practices. His design work focuses on exploring possibilities for making self-determined services and campaigns through teaching and design research. She is also a book artist and letterpress printer, and a long-time member of Critical Resistance.

Setsu Shigematsu is an Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies. Xe is the Director of Re-Visions of Abolition: From Critical Resistance to a New Way of Life (2011/ 2021) and is co-producing a new documentary #Abolish ICE: Abolish Adelanto and All Border-Prisons. Xe authors eco-feminist childrens books, co-creates political art, and a co-founder of the Decolonial Feminist Art and Research Collective. Setsu is also the author of Scream from the Shadows: The Women’s Liberation Movement in Japan.

Collaborations and Community Engagement Beyond UCR

Genocide Management: Carceral Reformism, Policing, Sexual Violence and the Role of Law
Virtual Event on  Friday, December 3, 2021 at 1:00pm

WATCH VIDEO

5th Annual Racial Violence Hub Workshop: Feminist Approaches to Theorizing Genocidal Violence, Wars and Occupations, a series of The Racial Violence Hub and Penny Kanner Endowed Chair in Gender Studies.

Dr. Dylan Rodríguez is an abolitionist teacher,scholar, collaborator, Professor at UC Riverside,and the Co-Director of the Center for Ideas and Society. His most recent book is White Reconstruction: Domestic Warfare and the Logic of Racial Genocide (Fordham University Press,2021).

Dr. Sherene H. Razack is a Distinguished Professor and the Penny Kanner Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies in the Department of Gender Studies,UCLA. She is the founder of the virtual research and teaching network the Racial Violence Hub.

Commentators:

Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva is a Professor at the University of British Columbia and a practicing artist. She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (2007), A Dívida Impagavel (2019), and Unpayable Debt (forthcoming).

Dr. Leslie Thielen-Wilson is an Assistant Professor and Faculty of Arts and Science in the Gender Equality and Social Justice at Nipissing University.

“Genocide, Antiblackness, + the Pornographic: The Urgency of Black Autonomy and Abolitionist Activism”
Virtual Event on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 @ 1:00 pm

The Decolonizing Humanism(?) Stream at the Center for Ideas and Society (CIS, UC Riverside) and The Black Studies Collaboratory (BSC, UC Berkeley) invite you to join us to discuss black communities’ experiences across public schools, professional pornography, and everyday spaces. These sites will be placed within the context of U.S. antiblack policing, captivity, and ultimate genocide to prompt an apt discussion about the libidinal, political, and pornographic economies of these disciplinary structures in slavery’s afterlife. This critical meditation will also explore the urgency of black autonomy and abolitionist activism as strategies aimed to rattle and raze these economies, structures, and settler/slaver/colonial/civil society in its totality. Tending to black pleasure, joy, and life as well as black pain, suffering, and death, this dynamic conversation sketches the im/possibilities of a post-apocalyptic social world revolving around the affirmation of blackness.

This event is co-sponsored by UC Riverside’s Decolonizing(?) Humanism Initiative and part of UC Berkeley’s BSC Abolition Democracy Spring Speaker Series. Joining us for conversation will be: Savannah Shange, author of Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, and Schooling in San Francisco (2019); Connie Wun, author of “Against Captivity: Black Girls and School Discipline Policies in the Afterlife of Slavery” (2015); Damien M. Sojoyner, author of First Strike: Educational Enclosures of Black Los Angeles (2016); Dylan Rodríguez, author of most recently published book, White Reconstruction: Domestic Warfare and the Logics of Genocide (2020); and BSC Abolition Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow, Peace And Love El Henson, author of dissertation, “Race, Power, and the Pornographic: Naughty Black Femme Schoolgirls in Interracial Pornography, Publics Schools, and Policing Encounters” (2021).

Savannah Shange is assistant professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz and also serves as principal faculty in Critical Race & Ethnic Studies. Her research interests include gentrification, multiracial coalition, ethnographic ethics, Black femme gender, and abolition. She earned a PhD in Africana Studies and Education from the University of Pennsylvania, a MAT from Tufts University, and a BFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Her first book, Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Anti-Blackness and Schooling in San Francisco (Duke 2019) is an ethnography of the afterlife of slavery as lived in the Bay Area.

Connie Wun, PhD is a co-founder of AAPI Women Lead. She also leads national research projects on race, gender and violence. Connie is a 2020 Soros Justice Fellow and has received numerous awards including National Science Foundation fellowship. Her research has been published in academic journals, anthologies and online platforms. She is also a former high school teacher, college educator, and sexual assault counselor.

Damien M. Sojoyner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. He researches the relationship among the public education system, prisons, and the construction of Black masculinity in Southern California. He teaches several courses including Black Political Theory in the United States, Prisons and Public Education, and Black Public Culture. His upcoming book, Joy and Pain: A Story of Black Life and Liberation in Five Albums will be published by the University of California Press in the Fall of 2022.

Dylan Rodríguez is an abolitionist teacher, scholar, and collaborator. He was named a Freedom Scholar in 2020 and recently served as President of the American Studies Association (2020-2021). He has worked as a Professor at the University of California, Riverside since 2001. Prior to being elected by the faculty to two terms as Chair of the UCR Academic Senate (2016-2020), Dylan served as Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies (2009-2016). Dylan is the author of three books, most recently White Reconstruction: Domestic Warfare and the Logic of Racial Genocide (Fordham University Press, 2021).

Peace And Love El Henson, Ph.D. is a black feminist urban ethnographer and critical porn studies analyst. She does research and teaching as a Black Studies Collaboratory Abolition Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow in the African American Studies Department at UC Berkeley. Broadly, Peace And Love primarily focuses on black queer femmes, genocide, abolition, autonomy, urban/ethnography, and pornography. Her in-progress book manuscript is tentatively titled, On Erotic Mastery: Black Femmes, Pornography, and U.S. State Encounters. Fun fact: Amidst all fray, Peace And Love finds joy in mastering herself as an intergalactic thinker, writer, and creative.

Learn more

April 11 @ 12pm PST
Virtual Event

WATCH VIDEO

Interested in convivial research methods? Or how (un)disciplining study shapes the potential for knowledge-making and learning within the neoliberal university? Come join us for this event as panelists draw on decolonial thinking, black feminisms, and abolition scholarship to underscore the irony in conviviality and its abuse as a colonizing tool. The panelists will share their ideas about conviviality in doing inquiry and interventions in critical anti-violence research. They will also offer examples of insurgent opportunities against coded formations of diversity and intersections of violence at the university and beyond. In pushing possibilities for method-making and counter-expressions are ways toward an otherwise praxis

Host/Co-Facilitator:
Dylan Rodríguez (Center for Ideas & Society, UCR) is an abolitionist teacher, scholar, and collaborator. He was named a Freedom Scholar in 2020 and recently served as President of the American Studies Association (2020-2021). He has worked as a Professor at the University of California, Riverside since 2001. Prior to being elected by the faculty to two terms as Chair of the UCR Academic Senate (2016-2020), Dylan served as Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies (2009-2016). Dylan is the author of three books, most recently White Reconstruction: Domestic Warfare and the Logic of Racial Genocide (Fordham University Press, 2021).

Facilitator/Co-Panelist:
Korina Jocson (Education, UMass Amherst) is an associate professor of education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she teaches courses on critical methodologies, youth studies, and pedagogy. Her scholarship draws on the humanistic social sciences to illuminate youth’s cultural practices and how global flows of information, people, and ideas have the potential to shape pedagogical possibilities. Korina is the author of two monographs, including Youth Media Matters: Participatory Cultures and Literacies in Education, and a forthcoming book on race, gender, and technology at the school-work nexus.

Panelists:

Collaborative for Global Studies and Transformative Education UnderCommons Constellation (UC2)
Cee Carter (Education, UMass Amherst) is a newly minted PhD in education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Applying the theoretical lessons of Black Feminist Thought, Cee rethinks the limits of educational mandates. Cee’s scholarship reconceptualizes approaches to educational equity to guide shifts in teaching and research practices. Most recently, Cee’s work traces how educational justice for youth of color is regulated through raciality, economy, and policy.

Mariam Rashid (Education, UMass Amherst) is a PhD Candidate in education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research interests are in refugee resettlement policies and practices in the United States. In her current work, she explores how colonial, gendered, and racialized resettlement policies facilitate the dispossession of African refugees resettled in the U.S. from East and Central Africa. Her inquiry draws on Black Studies, feminist thought and diasporic feminisms.

Benjamin Scherrer (Education, UMass Amherst) is a PhD Candidate in education and W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His work draws from Black Studies, river and wetland ecology, and critical cartographic practices. Through archival study, his current project disrupts disciplined climate change education by retelling flooding and catastrophe in the American South.

Critical Anti-Violence Research and Action Working Group (CARA)
Sneha George (Ethnic Studies, UCR) is a PhD Candidate in ethnic studies at the University of California Riverside. She received an M.A. in international relations at The New School, New York, and a B.A. in women’s studies and world history at the State University of New York in Albany. Sneha is currently a feminist and queer of color theorist whose dissertation work is on South Asian Studies critique, and other worldly possibilities through communal and relational self-reflexivity as praxis and being.

Romina Garcia (Ethnic Studies, UCR) is a PhD candidate in the department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. As a doctoral student, Romina’s research focuses on examining the structural and administrative antiblack violence that encompasses women of color, in particular, Black women within anti-violence work. She is a founding member of CARA – Critical Anti-Violence Research and Action which is a UC based collective that converges thought and action to end racialized gendered violence through an abolitionist and decolonial feminist approach. She is the author of All Canned Foods are Expired but Still Edible: A Critique of Anti-Violence Advocacy and the Perpetuation of AntiBlackness which unpacks the carceral treatment experienced by Black women victim/survivors navigating domestic violence non-profit advocacy services in her hometown of Chicago

Cinthya Martinez (Ethnic Studies, UCR) is a first-generation PhD candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Her dissertation titled, “Freedom is a Place: Abolitionist Possibilities in Migrant Women’s Refusals,” draws from border/immigration studies, critical carceral studies, and feminist theory to examine how migrant women refuse and resist the historical, discursive, and epistemic erasure of gendered violence in ICE immigrant detention centers. Her dissertation is focused on Adelanto ICE Detention Center, where she also organizes and volunteers to support migrants fighting their asylum cases. Cinthya employs an archival and ethnographic analysis to resituate detained migrant women’s writings as anti-carceral and feminist abolitionist praxes that counter the state’s diligent efforts to conceal gendered violence from the historical record. Through a critical reading of migrant women’s hunger strike demands and personal correspondences, she locates migrant women as authors of abolitionist praxis.

Sponsored by Decolonizing Humanism(?), Center for Ideas and Society, CARA Working Group and the Department of Media and Cultural Studies

Invited focus group of CIS Faculty Commons participants in conversation with Prof. Erica Kohl-Arenas, Director of Imagining America.

Virtual event on April 14 at 6:00pm

WATCH VIDEO

This panel examines the role of the American Empire in the Philippines including the Philippine American War, the role of education in colonization, the institutionalization of white supremacy, and how American imperialism continues to shape the lived experiences of Filipinos in the Philippines and the United States today. Panelists will engage these issues through an intersectional perspective and with various disciplinary approaches.

Speakers:

Neferti X. M. Tadiar is Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of the books, Things Fall Away: Philippine Historical Experience and the Makings of Globalization (2009) and Fantasy-Production: Sexual Economies and Other Philippine Consequences for the New World Order (2004). Her new book, Remaindered Life (Duke University Press, 2022), is an extended meditation on the disposability and surplus of life-making under contemporary conditions of global empire. Professor Tadiar is the Director of the Alfredo F. Tadiar Library in San Fernando, La Union, Philippines.

Ricky Punzalan is an associate professor in the University of Michigan School of Information. His research and teaching focus on archives and digital curation. He conducts community-based, participatory research to understand access to digitized anthropological archives and ethnographic legacy data by academic and community users. He currently co-directs ReConnect/ReCollect: Reparative Connections to Philippine Collections at the University of Michigan, a project that develops the framework for, and the practice of, reparative work for Philippine collections acquired by the University during the U.S. colonial period. His work has been published in American Archivist, Archival Science, Archivaria, International Journal of Digital Curation, and Library Quarterly.

Nerissa S. Balce is a cultural studies scholar. She is an Associate professor of Asian American studies at SUNY Stony Brook. Balce is the author of the book, Body Parts of Empire: Visual Abjection, Filipino Images and the American Archive (University of Michigan Press 2016 and Ateneo de Manila University Press 2017). Her current research focuses on visual culture, fiction, and the afterlives of empire and authoritarianism.

Dylan Rodríguez is a teacher, scholar, and collaborator who works with and within abolitionist and other radical communities and movements. Since 2001, he has maintained a day job as a Professor at the University of California, Riverside, where he also serves as Co-Director of the Center for Ideas and Society. His peers elected him President of the American Studies Association for 2020-2021, and in 2020 he was named to the inaugural class of Freedom Scholars. Dylan is the author of three books, including White Reconstruction: Domestic Warfare and the Logic of Racial Genocide (Fordham University Press, 2021) and Suspended Apocalypse: White Supremacy, Genocide, and the Filipino Condition (University of Minnesota Press, 2009).

Sponsored by UC Berkeley APASD, AARC, E&I, Cal Alumni Association, Pilipinx American Alumni Chapter; UC Riverside Center for Ideas and Society’s Decolonizing Humanism(?) Stream

May 6 at 3:00pm
Hybrid Event

CHASS Interdisciplinary South 1113 or Zoom

Register: https://bit.ly/SPJ_Zionism

A Panel on Zionism and Higher Education: Academic Freedom and Dissent

What is Zionism and what are its implications for university education and academic freedom? How does Zionism impact university policies, administrators and curriculum? How does Zionism as a modern ideology relate to racism, religion, Judaism and anti-Semitism? How do Palestinians experience Zionism on campuses and beyond? This panel brings together Jewish and Palestinian scholars and activists to address these questions to advance dialog and understanding.

Speakers:

Tallie Ben-Daniel, Jewish Voice for Peace, Managing Director
Taher Herzallah (American Muslims for Palestine)
Jennifer Mogganam (UC Davis)
Jeff Sacks (UC Riverside), Comparative Literature
Keith Camacho (UCLA)
Moderated by Setsu Shigematsu

Co-sponsors:

UCR Center for Ideas and Society, Decolonizing Humanism(?) Stream
UCLA Asian American Studies
UCR Comparative Literature
UCR Media & Cultural Studies
UCR English Department

Virtual Event on March 9 at 12:00pm 

WATCH VIDEO

How do Russia’s current and ongoing attacks on Ukrainian sovereignty create/exacerbate disparate and even incomparable suffering for different communities and people in the region and beyond? What does the contemporary global history of border militarism, criminalization, xenophobia, sanctions and policing teach us about the complex, differential casualties created by this metastasizing crisis? How can we attend to the experiences of Black/African, Roma, nonwhite European, migrant/refugee and other populations experiencing conditions of war, displacement and gendered state violence within and beyond the Ukraine-Russia border and Eastern Europe writ large?

This event will speak to Eastern Europe’s role in the formation of global ethnoracial regimes and discuss how this compels an analysis of the complex, pervasive impact of gendered white supremacy in Europe and globally in relation to the current moment of crisis in Ukraine.

Roundtable conversation with

Chelsi West Ohueri (Slavic and Eurasian Studies, Univ. of Texas-Austin)

Sunnie Rucker-Chang (Slavic and East European Studies Program Director, University of Cincinnati)

SA Smythe (African American Studies, UCLA)

Suzy Kim (Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Rutgers University)

Harsha Walia (Activist, Organizer, author of Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism)

Vanessa E. Thompson (Gender Studies, Queen’s University)

Kenan Emini (Roma Antidiscrimination Network)

Moderated by Crystal Baik (Gender & Sexuality Studies, UCR) and Dylan Rodríguez (Media & Cultural Studies, UCR).

2021-2022 Department of Creative Writing Closing Event
Virtual Event on June 2 10:30am 

In celebration of the new UCR Department of Black Study

Register FREE: https://bit.ly/Duende_Jun2

Award-winning poet Quincy Troupe wrote the definitive biography of Miles Davis, Miles: the Autobiography; The Pursuit of Happyness, and a memoir, miles & me, soon to be a major motion picture. Author of 20 books, he also conducted the last interview with James Baldwin republished most recently in English as James Baldwin: The Last Interview & Other Conversations (Melville House, 2014). Troupe’s work has been translated into 30 languages. His most recent book of poetry is Duende: Poems, 1966 – Now (Seven Stories Press, January 2022).

Margaret Porter Troupe is a writer and editor. She is the founding director of the Harlem Arts Salon and The Gloster Arts Project, bringing the arts to children in rural Mississippi or wherever they may be. theglosterartsproject.org

Will Calhoun is a two time Grammy winner with the genre bending iconic Rock band LIVING COLOUR. He’s Produced Herb Alpert (Colors CD), Mos Def (Black Jack Johnson Project). Toured and recorded with Harry Belafonte, Caiphus Semenya, Letta M’bulu,

Mick Jagger, B.B. King, McCoy Tyner, Mahmoud Ginea, Marcus Miller, Pharoah Sanders, Wayne Shorter (Highlife CD), Oumou Sangare, Ron Carter, Phillip Glass, Lauryn Hill, Stanley Jordan, Ritchie Sambora, Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def, Public Enemy, Mike Stern, Mustapha Bakbou, Jaco Pastorius, Steve Via, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, and many others.

Tyehimba Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, is the author of two books of poetry

Leadbelly and Olio. Olio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Jean Stein Book Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.”

Keith Gilyard has written and lectured extensively on language and literacy for over 30 years. Two-time recipient of an American Book Award, Keith Gilyard has passionately embraced African American expressive culture over the course of his career as a poet, scholar, and educator.

Gilyard has authored, edited, or co-edited twenty books, including the education memoir Voices of the Self: A Study of Language Competence (1991), the poetry collections American Forty (1993) and Poemographies (2001), as well as the novella The Next Great Old-School Conspiracy (2016).

Sponsored by the UCR Department of Creative Writing. Co-sponsored by the Decolonizing Humanism(?) stream at the Center for Ideas and Society.

Director’s Blog

A year of collective work

Colleagues, it has been a privilege to serve as Co-Director of the Center this year. I have taken special joy in the numerous collaborations reflected in the collective work of the Decolonizing Humanism(?) programming stream, which I proudly initiated in Fall 2021. As the nationwide attacks against Critical Race Theory continue to saturate the politics and institutional culture of K-12 schooling, it has also been distressing to observe how overlapping and related forms of intellectual reaction and academic repression have crept into public university settings. Of course, such attacks, reactions, and repressive responses are neither new or surprising: in fact, their apparent spread and intensification is an indication that the creative, world-making labors of multiple communities of scholars and artists are indelibly reshaping humanities (and related) paradigms, archives, and epistemologies. I could go on, but would rather encourage you to click this link to check out some of the recorded events that I’ve had the pleasure of curating and facilitating during this past [...]

June 7, 2022|Categories: Director's Corner, News|Tags: |

A year of changes and opportunities

Dear colleagues and friends, At last, summer is around the corner – after what felt like an unusually long and demanding academic year. We did get a lot done at the Center for Ideas and Society, with the revamping of our internal structure, two new event streams designed by Dylan and me with Katharine’s input, and a variety of activities on zoom and in person, most notably perhaps our two impromptu zoom events at the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, attended by a lot of you. We were also dealing with an unexpected event at the beginning of spring quarter: the abrupt loss of our home in College Building South, which gave us a big headache Luckily, we now have a new temporary home on the top floor of College Building North, right next door. Please come and join us there for in-person events, starting in the fall (fingers crossed)! That said, I will be on leave for the entire year of [...]

June 7, 2022|Categories: Director's Corner, News|Tags: |

For more information or to propose a project/event/collaboration, contact Dylan Rodríguez.

Go to Top