Women and Migrations

Principal Investigator: Deborah Willis (Chair, Department of Photography & Imaging, NYU)

UPDATE: Women and Migration: Responses in Art and Historyedited by Deborah Willis, Ellyn Toscano and Kalia Brooks Nelson, is now available on Open Book Publishers to read or download here.

The “Women and Migration” working group is an interdisciplinary project that examines motives for migration, issues of cultural identity relative to women and global political and cultural movements, with global travel defined in its various forms by participating scholars, journalists, artists and activists.  During the three-day meeting, we explore a diverse range of topics. We consider comparative perspectives the role photography, art, film, and writing played in identifying and re-membering the migratory activities of women.  Paper topics include: The Impermanence of Place: Migration, Memory and Method; Globalization and the Profitable Vagueness of LatinX & Latin American Art; Sparkle and Flow: Women, Photography, and the Mobility of Vision on the Swahili Coast; We Travel and we Care About Home: The Global Travels and Activism of Black Millennial Women; Sing A Black Girl’s Song: Black Femme Insurgency in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter; Diasporic Bronxness: Cardi B and New Embodiments of Black Feminist Futures; Migrant Kitchens/Migrant Women; Refugees and Remittances: Women, the Caribbean Diaspora, and the Long Cold War; Small Acts: Mobilizing Memory Across Borders; ‘So the Sexes May Be Equal’: Gender and Slave Sale as Ending and Beginning in the Forced Migration of the Middle Passage; Displaced Bodies: Perceptions of Migrant Women; Migrations of the Spirit and the Heart: the Religious Roots and Nationalistic Foundations of Black American Women’s Internationalism; Global Travelers: Reframing Black Women’s Political and Cultural Engagement; Migration as a Woman’s Right: Views from History; Diaspora, Indigeneity, Queer Critique: Tracey Moffatt’s Aesthetics of Dwelling in Displacement among many others.

Each International and U.S.-based participant will engage in exchanges related to the interpretations, conceptualizations and theories presented in the individual papers, and will discuss ideas to be integrated into a forthcoming conference and publication.  Further, each will present her individual research paper or artist’s project and address questions and concerns raised by other workshop participants.  We believe that all participants will benefit from this collaboration as we build on the current scholarship and theoretical debates focusing on migration and citizenship. Additionally, we hope to expand perceptions of migrations, identity, race, gender, and work by exploring the global movements of women.

The initial workshop will take place at Villa La Pietra, an ideal place to initiate this discussion, as this site has been instrumental in engaging in discussions about migration. About forty academics, artists, museum specialists, writers, and activists who individually and collectively examine contemporary scholarship, creative expressions, historical trajectories, and pedagogies on gender, race, ethnicity, and migration have been invited with the aim of sharing, comparing, and building paradigms. We envision this working seminar to be a collaborative project that will broaden the current writings and artwork that focus on women and migration.

Project on Art, Archaeology, and the First Emperor

Principal Investigator: Lillian Tseng (Associate Professor, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU)

This workshop is part of a multi-year project that invites scholars in Chinese, Central Asian, and Greco-Roman studies to examine together the archaeological sites and finds near the mausoleum of the First Emperor in China and to exchange ideas and research results at NYU’s campuses in Shanghai and in New York. A core group of NYU faculty, from New York, Shanghai, and Abu Dhabi, will provide continuity through the series. International scholars from other institutions will participate in different workshops. The goal is to develop a global approach to the study of the ancient world.

Why is America so Punitive? US Criminal Punishment in a Comparative and Historical Perspective

Principal Investigator: David Garland (Arthur T. Vanderbilt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology at NY)

The aim of this international, interdisciplinary workshop is to examine the claim that criminal punishment in the US is harsher and more extensive than in other nations and to explore the causes and consequences of that heavy reliance on penal power.

Global Studies and the Humanities

Principal Investigators: Uli Baer (German, Comparative Literature, NYU); Bob Squillace (Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Liberal Studies, NYU)

While sociological and historical studies of globalization and world systems have proliferated over the last twenty years, and while the field of History has globalized itself to some degree, critical theory in the arts has remained largely aloof from the Global Studies conversation. The purpose of this workshop is to examine what the Global Humanities would look like in analogy with Global Geography, World History, Global Social Studies, and similar developments in other fields. Conversely, Global Studies approaches have rarely paid extended attention to the arts; the workshop will also explore the role of the arts and humanities in shaping values and desires, particularly in the newly world-conscious individuals and reoriented communities of the present age, and on literature and art as distinct forms of knowing separate from other fields.

Political Concepts

Principal Investigators: Emily Apter (French and Comparative Literature, NYU) and collaborators from area institutions: Ann Stoler (The New School); Jay Bernstein (The New School); Adi Ophir (Brown University); Bonnie Honig (Brown University); Stathis Gourgouris (Columbia University); Susan Buck-Morss (CUNY).

The “Political Concepts” Workshop will concentrate on revising, inventing, and experimenting with concepts drawn from political philosophy and political theory. Emphasis will be placed on the political dimension of keywords and the effects of their dissemination. The aim is to experiment with modes of concept analysis that prompt a rethinking of what qualifies as political in the broad framework of the global humanities and to extend conventional political lexicons through translation and new forms of political philology.

Assistive Technology used by People with Disabilities

A collaboration of New York University and NYU Shanghai
Principal Investigators: Anita Perr (Steinhardt Occupational Therapy); Marianne Petit (Tisch ITP and Shanghai Interactive Media Arts); Luke DuBois (Tisch ITP; Steinhardt Music Technology; and Poly Integrated Digital Media)

This two-day workshop aims to bring together an international cohort of assistive technology and disability-related professionals to discuss practices for how technologies can be developed and provided to individuals who need them. An interdisciplinary approach is modeled through a series of lectures, case- based discussions, and hands-on activities so participants can learn about new technologies and work together to solve problems faced by people with disabilities.

Democratizing the Green City – Global Perspectives

Principal Investigator: Gianpaolo Baiocchi
Co-Organizer: Daniel Aldana Cohen, PhD candidate in Sociology

This two-day international workshop explores the often-unintended social consequences of environmental improvements in cities: gentrification and displacement. Drawing on a dialogue between scholars, activists, and practitioners, this workshop explores both the link between improvement and displacement as well as emergent strategies to challenge that connection.