Research Colloquium Archive

The Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences department at UW Bothell is grateful to each faculty member and colleague who has participated in our Research Colloquium series.

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Spring 2018
IAS Research Colloquium

Border Formations   

The talks this quarter each explore questions emerging from different contexts of mobility and movement within and across borders. How do the classifications, categorizations, and context shifts entailed in border encounters or crossings throw processes such as state-juridical, territorial, and racial formation into into relief? How might new subjectivities, relationalities, or solidarities take form in such situations, and with what possible implications for policy, critical thought, or anti-colonial struggle? IAS faculty José Fusté, Maryam Griffin, and Lee Ann Wang will each address different aspects of these questions. 

Entangled Crossings: Afro-Latino Migrations Between Race and Empire

José Fusté
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
UW1 Room 280 (the Rose Room)

This talk explores the role that U.S. imperialism played in cementing political wedges between Latin@s and Black Americans at the turn of the 20th century and beyond. Historically, dominant notions of racial normativity in the U.S. have pressured Latin@s—particularly those seen as Black—to disidentify with their Black American counterparts. In recent decades, activists have attempted to summon an “Afro-Latin@” body politic with the hopes of reversing that pattern and generating more unity between these two groups. I argue that Afro-Latinidad has historically floundered as a political rallying banner, in part because of how U.S. imperialism pressured Black Cubans and Puerto Ricans to choose between anti-imperialist nationalisms and Latin@ pan-ethnic solidarities that eschewed Black anti-racist critiques, and pan-Africanist solidarities that failed to account for relationships of colonial/imperial power within the Black diaspora. I trace the manifestation of these entanglements in and through the works of several Black-identified Cuban and Puerto Rican male activist intellectuals who lived and travelled between the Hispanic Caribbean and the U.S. between the 1890s and the 1930s. As individuals who could not escape being racialized as Black once they entered the U.S., these figures often acknowledged their commonalities with Black Americans and expressed interest in their Black Nationalist ideas and projects, yet they also avoided aligning themselves with Black American anti-racists that either ignored U.S. (neo)colonialism in the Caribbean, or failed to make anti-imperialism a central part of their politics. As they faced the challenge of reconciling their compound racial and imperial subalternities, these men wavered between competing masculinist imaginaries that disavowed the hierarchies of gender, class, and sexual power that cut across their entangled racial, ethnic, and national identities. Thus, this talk reframes Afro-Latinidad, not as a consciousness that is there waiting to be “realized,” but as a protean and precarious identity project that has always been difficult to activate because of how it attempts to group together individuals and communities with conflicting ways of being “othered” within and beyond the United States.

Discussant: Dr. Ileana Rodriguez-Silva, Associate Professor of History, UW Seattle

The Israeli Enclosures, Diffuse Bordering, and Palestinian Mobile Commoning

Maryam S. Griffin
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
UW1 Room 280 (the Rose Room)

Palestinian mobility via public transportation in the West Bank is a productive site of social struggle through which Israel deepens its settler colonialism and Palestinian communities refuse that project in implicit and explicit ways. In this talk, I focus on Israel’s development of the conditions of Palestinian im/mobility through the lens of enclosures, borders, and the commons. More specifically, I examine Israel’s ruling strategy in the West Bank as a border-enclosure program involving the mobilization of physical, legal, and cultural formations to create a web of border encounters that induce economic dependence, crush political resistance, annex territory, and destroy indigenous social relations. In turn, the notion of mobility as a Palestinian commons emerges, and the resilience of Palestinian public transportation appears as a quotidian yet remarkable practice of an alternative decolonial order. I will use this session as an opportunity to explore the utility of the border-enclosure paradigm to interpret the current form of Israeli settler colonialism and Palestinian commoning in the West Bank.

DiscussantDr. Adam Romero, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell

Proper Victim as Proper Police: Woman, Violence, and Illusion in U.S. Immigration Law

Lee Ann S. Wang
Tuesday May 1, 2018
UW1 Room 280 (the Rose Room)

This talk examines legal protections that are designed to address gender and sexual violence by requiring immigrant women to cooperate and serve the purposes of police.  I discuss the law’s writing of immigrant woman that paradoxically produce anti-trafficking campaigns as security and protection against “modern day slavery.” Focusing on the T Visa and interpretations from legal advocates who work primarily with Asian immigrant communities, I argue that the schema requires immigrant women to be survivors not of state violence but of their own sexuality over and against racialized others - a "policing” subject that must deny its bind to a policed object.

Discussant: Dr. Chandan Reddy, Associate Professor of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, UW Seattle

Fall 2017 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.

Spring 2017 Colloquim

Borders and Bodies:  Performance and Resistance

What are the ways in which bodies – black bodies, queer bodies, diasporic bodies, Muslim bodies, exiled bodies – are redeployed to perform resistance?  These three talks, by IAS faculty Jade Power Sotomayor, Thea Quiray Tagle, and Anida Yoeu Ali, address this question.

Moving Borders and Dancing in Place: Son Jarocho’s Speaking Bodies at the Fandango Fronterizo

Jade Power Sotomayor, IAS

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

Discussant: Susan Harewood, IAS

This presentation examines the politics of movement at the Fandango Fronterizo, an annual bi-national son jarocho event that takes place on both sides of the Tijuana/San Isidro border. Dr. Power Sotomayor engages indigenous scholarship on embodied sovereignty to make sense of this embodied music making as a political gesture that challenges and defies the borders imposed by colonial powers. Furthermore, she examines the way that corporeal blackness circulates both as a contestation to the historical erasure of blackness in discourses about Mexico, as well as a valuable signifier of resistance and liberation that, sometimes troublingly so, relies on the construction of black difference and the further bordering of identities.

Mapping Leather and Brown in San Francisco’s South of Market

Thea Quiray Tagle, IAS

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
4:00-5:30 pm
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

Discussant: Minda Martin, IAS

This talk maps the palimpsestic histories of Filipino/American and LGBTQ communities that have lived and worked in San Francisco’s South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood since the early 20th century, through psychogeographic performances by queer Filipina/Colombian performance artist Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa; diasporic Filipino/American punk groups; and the leather daddies of Folsom Street.  This talk argues that varied fashionings of self—or the queer and Filipino geographies of kinship and sociality throughout the neighborhood—reveal the limits of community-led initiatives which wish to designate as either an LGBT or Filipino “Heritage District.” Embodied performances, in their insistence on one’s "being there" and as in their remappings of the South of Market, offer an alternative mode of imagining and inhabiting a neighborhood which can support both LGBTQ and Filipino/American lives.

Executive Order 99: Make More Controversial Art!

Anida Yoeu Ali, IAS

Tuesday, May 2, 2017
4:00-5:30 pm
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

Discussant: Naomi Bragin, IAS

Artist, scholar and global agitator Anida Yoeu Ali will present a hybrid performance/talk and visual experience on themes of transnationalism, otherness, and exiled bodies. Her latest work The Red Chador unapologetically steps directly into the face of Islamophobia whether it’s on the streets of Paris after the Charlie Hebdo killings or on the collegiate playgrounds of wealthy Trump voters. No stranger to controversy, Ali’s artworks have agitated the White House, been attacked by anonymous vandals, and censored by Vietnam’s culture police. Through her media lab, Studio Revolt, Ali will also discuss her works and ideas about contemporary justice and its residual effects on the Cambodian American experience. She is actively engaged in international dialogues, community activism, and artistic resistance to multiple sites of oppression. Through performance and video works, she will present a body of work that provocatively considers the diasporic past and present contours of hybrid identities. Her work upholds her lifelong belief that art is a critical tool for individual and societal transformation. 

Fall 2016 Colloquium

Community-based efforts for climate change

Recent research shows that climate change will be more pronounced in high-elevation mountain sites, with consequences that may be felt much sooner and directly affect millions of people. Effective solutions require the recognition that people conceptualize and perceive environmental changes differently, and the support of a range of regional-to-local and interdisciplinary efforts that allow a dialog between the biophysical and social sciences. Interdisciplinary climate change research, however, is often inhibited by the disciplinary structure of knowledge and epistemological differences between knowledge systems.

The Fall 2016 IAS Research Colloquium on Community-based efforts for climate change addresses these differences, drawing on recent group research by presenters in the Peruvian Andes.

A hybrid-epistemological approach to climate change research: Linking climate science and local perceptions in the Ecuadorian Andes
Santiago Lopez and Jin-Kyu Jung, IAS

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
4:00-5:30 pm
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

Discussant: Shannon Cram, IAS

In this study, Santiago Lopez and Jin-Kyu Jung follow a climate science approach to characterize climate trends between 1965-2013 at the subregional and local levels in Ecuadorian Andes. They contextualize the quantitative findings with qualitative data from three communities on smallholders’ perceptions of climate change. From a climate science perspective, their study shows important tendencies towards increased temperatures in the region. This finding is supported by local perceptions of  a warmer atmosphere. In relation to annual precipitation, Lopez and Jung find no significant decreasing or increasing trends, but a slight absolute increase and decrease along the inter-Andean valleys and towards the Amazon basin respectively. Yet local perceptions of decreased precipitation in the central inter-Andean valleys and increased precipitation along the eastern flanks contradict the scientific evidence. It is crucial for researchers to be attuned with the ways that scientific and experiential knowledges co-evolve through their interactions. Lopez and Jung present this as a response to the new call for a comprehensive understanding of climate change that requires an epistemological re-framing of climate change research.

Do payments matter? The impact of Payments for Environmental Services on Communal Lands
Felipe Murtinho, Seattle University

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
4:00-5:30 pm
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

Discussant: Martha Groom, IAS

Payments for Environmental Services (PES) programs are quickly becoming the policy tool of choice to promote carbon sequestration, watershed protection and biodiversity conservation in developing countries.  We have relatively little understanding, however, of how the PES model influences individual land-use behavior.  This is particularly true in the context of collective resource management where PES interacts with communal characteristics, specifically governance activities which may also influence individual land-use decisions. In this presentation, Felipe Murtinho reports on how a national PES program in Ecuador influences household land-use decisions in the context of collective resource management. The analysis takes advantage of the spatial roll-out of the Ecuadorian program to compare households and communities  currently participating to those that plan to participate in the future. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, Murtinho discusses the factors that influence the decision to participate, how program participation influences the governance of communal lands, the impact of participation on behavioral change, and the factors that influence the degree to which households believe that the distribution of costs and benefits from participation is fair.

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 S.Charusheela ( to enroll.

Spring 2016 Colloquium

The IAS Research Colloquium theme for spring quarter is The Art and Science of Thinking the Unthinkable.  Organized by Amy Lambert and Bruce Burgett, Thinking the Unthinkable examines concepts in the arts and natural sciences that are indefinable or elusive. Speakers discuss current research projects related to the sublime, extinction, and evolution, with each speaker focusing on the dissonance between what we know to be true and what we grapple to believe.  The goal of the series is to open a conversation about how working across the arts and sciences can help us think critically and creatively about intangible biological processes and environmental histories.

Speaker Lineup

Gary Carpenter
The Elusive Sublime
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
4:00 – 5:30 PM
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

There is a rich history of the sublime in the arts, but it’s a concept that is often misunderstood today.  The sublime is elusive (not a thing or a place), an emotional response elicited by an experience.  This presentation explores the sublime and its evolution from ancient Greece to postmodern aesthetics.  It focuses on the question of why the sublime, understood as an elicited response, is relevant today and how it shapes our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Gary Carpenter is a visual artist inspired by the sciences, poetry, personal experiences in nature, and research into the sublime in aesthetics throughout history. His process always begins with drawing, but the progression of the work is inspired by the research and intent of the piece ranging from permanent public art projects to collage and painting and ephemeral works. 

Amy Lambert
Escaping Extinction
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
4:00 – 5:30 PM
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

What happens when a butterfly species disappears for 90 years?  This presentation considers narratives created to explain the gap in the account of the island marble butterfly, Euchloe ausonides insulanus, one of the rarest butterflies in the continental United States. It examines what conservation measures are being taken to prevent this butterfly from slipping back into extinction. Lambert’s interest in extinction is informed by relational aesthetics, environmental social theory, and materialist philosophy.  In the presentation, she re-considers the object (in both the arts and sciences) as unique in its capacities to function as “vital matter” and memory.

Amy Lambert is a conservation scientist and public artist whose work crosses boundaries of scientific practice, collaborative performance, experimental investigation and public intervention. Her research focuses on species-level conservation biology (rare butterflies and pollinators), plant community restoration and the political and philosophical barriers that limit the study and preservation of imperiled species.

Rebecca Price
Magnitude in Evolution
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
4:00 – 5:30 PM
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

Evolution is a tough concept, in part because many of the processes in evolution involve numbers so large that they are difficult to understand: deep, geologic time; the number of generations through which natural selection occurs; the time it takes for random changes to spread through a population.  This presentation discusses simulations that have been developed to help students – and the general public – grapple with the magnitude of evolutionary time.  It invites audience members to think about these simulations as scientific presentations, but also considers how they could be modified to be pieces of conceptual art.

Becca Price is a biology education specialist who studies how undergraduate students learn evolution. She is also interested in how the visual arts help people learn and communicate scientific ideas. You can follow her on Twitter @ProfBeccaPrice.

Winter 2016 Colloquium

The IAS Research Colloquium theme for winter quarter is GenderVentions: Exploring New Gendered Poetics, Practices, and Politics. Organized by Rebecca Aanerud and Bruce Burgett, GenderVentions takes up a range of feminist interventions focused on creative, theoretical, and empirical-based strategies for initiating and sustaining cultural and institutional change. Speakers discuss current research projects, opening a conversation about the importance of the creative process within and across gender and sexualities studies research.

Speaker Lineup

micha cárdenas
Trans of Color Poetics: Poetics of Life and Death


In this presentation, cárdenas considers the strategies for social change prototyped by speculative art, speculative design, and science fiction.  cárdenas reflects on examples from her own practice-based research and creative activity (including Local Autonomy Networks (Autonets), Redshift and Portalmetal (Redshift) and Unstoppable) as well as media made by other artists (including Zach Blas, Mattie Brice, Giuseppe Campuzano and Nao Bustamante), through the frame of a Trans of Color Poetics.  Drawing on Achille Mbembe’s “Necropolitics,” she elaborates Trans of Color Poetics as a materialist approach grounded in women of color feminism, and performance, media, and transgender studies, fields that have variously excluded transgender women of color.

micha cárdenas is an artist/theorist who creates and studies trans of color movement in digital media, where movement includes migration, performance, and mobility. cárdenas earned her Ph.D. in Media Arts + Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. Her solo and collaborative artworks have been presented in museums, galleries and biennials including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centro Cultural del Bosque in Mexico City, and the Zero1 Biennial.

S. Charusheela
Sexing Economy
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
4:00 – 5:30 PM
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

Intersectional and transnational feminists have foregrounded the question of difference in their analyses.  Despite these valuable contributions, much of this scholarship takes capitalism as the self-evident ground on which to analyze economy.  This talk argues that this approach limits feminist efforts to theorize the relationship between gender and economy.  In particular, “capital-centrism” forces us to split economic subjectivity between the “utero-centric” reproductive-laboring female body and the “cliterocentric” desiring-consuming/consumed female body.  As a result, work and pleasure/desire cannot be brought into the same frame.

S. Charusheela is past editor and current editorial board member of Rethinking Marxism.  Her co-edited volume (with Eiman Zein-Elabdin), Postcolonialism meets Economics, was published by Routledge in 2004.  Selected other publications include “Engendering Feudalism:  Modes of Production Debates Revisited,” (Rethinking Marxism) and “Gender and the Stability of Consumption:  A Feminist Contribution to Post Keynesian Economics” (Cambridge Journal of Economics).

Kari Lerum
Why the U.S. still needs Sex Slaves: Homeland Security, Amnesty International, & the Battle over Sex Work Decriminalization
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
4:00 – 5:30 PM
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

Since 2000, sex workers have been subject to increasingly aggressive police arrests and faith-based “rescue” and “restoration” programs. In contrast to previous state discourses about sex workers as immoral or “sick,” contemporary discourse asserts that sex workers (especially cisgender women) are trafficked or coerced. This assertion has provided generous funding and righteous cause for international, federal, and local policing of sex workers, as well as the managers, pimps, and clients of sex workers. This presentation describes political struggles between current anti-trafficking mobilizations, and activism by sex workers, global health researchers, and human rights advocates which prioritize the health and human rights of all individuals in the sex industry, regardless of choice, coercion, or circumstance. 

Kari Lerum’s research centers on critical studies of inequality, focusing on intersections of sexuality, power, and cultural/institutional/political context. Her recent work critically evaluates popular discourses about the "sexualization of girls," and discourses and policies about sex work and human trafficking. She has published in journals such as Journal of Sex Research, Sex Roles, and Sociological Perspectives, and edited volumes such as Presumed Incompetent. Her public scholarship can be found at Ms. BlogSexuality & Society, The Feminist Wire, and The Conversation.

Fall 2015 Colloquium

The IAS Research Colloquium theme for Fall 2015 is Revisiting Social Science Research.  Organized by Dan Jacoby and Bruce Burgett, Revisiting Social Science Research addresses the question of how social science research methods do and can respond to a changing world.  Speakers discuss current and ongoing research projects, opening onto a conversation about how we conduct and should conduct research on and about society today.  

Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Ethnography in a National Security Landscape
Shannon Cram

This presentation addresses the ethnographic approaches and feminist methodologies that have been central to Shannon Cram's research within the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.  Drawing upon her experiences at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Cram discusses the challenges of doing ethnographic research in highly classified and contaminated spaces.  From practical considerations like safety, security, and access to conversations and relationships that have transformed her approach, Cram reflects on the methodological and analytical choices she has made throughout the course of her research.  As a scholar and activist who participates directly in policy discussions at Hanford, Cram also speaks to the ethical questions and representational politics that exist within the entangled spaces of academic scholarship and public involvement.  This discussion raises a broader set of methodological questions about how to engage productively in both critique and action.

Shannon Cram’s research examines the complex relationships between nature, culture, and power.  These interests are rooted in a deep commitment to interdisciplinary study and engaged scholarship, as well as extensive fieldwork within environmental and health justice communities.  As both teacher and scholar, Shannon’s work depends upon thoughtful integration of the social and natural sciences—drawing from fields as diverse as hydrology, cultural studies, and environmental policy.  In addition to her academic engagements, Shannon currently represents the community group Citizens for a Clean Eastern Washington on the Hanford Advisory Board—a multi-stakeholder body that develops policy advice and recommendations for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Extending the Conversation on Socially Engaged Geographic Visualization: Representing Spatial Inequality in Buffalo, New York
Christian Anderson
Jin-Kyu Jung

This presentation is based on a collaborative research project between two kinds of spatial research that do not talk to each other as often or as deeply as they could. GIS and geovisualization techniques are combined with critical socio-spatial theory to analyze housing segregation and unequal food and transportation access in Buffalo, New York. Anderson and Jung address the challenges and limitations, as well as the intriguing analytical possibilities where these approaches are combined, even and especially where they don’t sit easily with each other. Ultimately, this difficult conversation can push discussions of complex issues such as urban inequality away from narrow behaviorist and/or individualist explanations towards more socially engaged analyses of broader collective processes.

Christian Anderson’s research focuses on the ways that everyday practices intersect with broader political-economic and cultural processes in and across space, particularly in cities. He approaches these questions using ethnography to empirically examine everyday life. Christian’s work also grapples with disquieting questions of inequality, structural violence, and human struggle as they are lived within these contexts.

Jin-Kyu Jung is an urban geographer/planner who has a theoretical and practical expertise in Geographic Information Sciences (GISci) and a mixed-methods approach. Jin-Kyu’s research explores the importance of politics and power as well as the complexities of race, class, and gender in cities, and asks how the shaping of these categories effectively complicates urban geographical knowledge. In the process, Jin-Kyu works to develop new ways to expand the qualitative capabilities of GIS and geographic visualization. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Causal Inference Methods
Tate Twinam

This talk presents a number of methods for discerning causal effects using non-experimental, observational data, and demonstrates their application using examples from Twinam’s past and current research. He discusses how a wealth of underutilized historical data that can be digitized and used to answer questions of current interest, and illustrates this through a study of racial discrimination in zoning in the early twentieth century. Twinam shows how the method of instrumental variables can be used to understand the causal effects of neighborhood development patterns on street crime; applies the popular method of differences-in-differences to examine the impact of a low-cost health intervention (salt iodization) on urban crime rates; and addresses regression discontinuity in the context of a study on the political economy of urban redevelopment programs.

Tate Twinam’s research lies in the fields of urban, public, and environmental economics. He is particularly interested in urban crime, environmental justice, and the role of local government policy in shaping the evolution of cities. Tate also has a strong interest in econometric theory, with an emphasis on causal inference using observational data. His research is highly interdisciplinary, drawing from economics, urban planning, criminology, sociology, environmental studies, and statistics.

Spring 2015 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Penguins in Patagonia: Ecology and Conservation at Scales from Very Small to Very Large
Dave Stokes

Beloved by humans and living far from most human populations, many penguin populations are nonetheless declining due to diverse interactions with people. To effectively protect penguins, conservation measures must respond to the ecologies of both humans and penguins at the multiple spatial scales at which they interact. In this talk, Stokes presents current research on Magellanic penguins in coastal Argentina.  Examining small-scale behavioral ecology processes (e.g., penguin nest site selection and mate choice) and larger-scale processes (eg. penguin foraging and geographic-scale seasonal migration), he relates these processes to human interactions, from colony site management and penguin nesting habitat use, to commercial activities such as fishing, marine transport, and petroleum development. 

Dave Stokes investigates the ecology and conservation implications of migration and movement of diverse organisms: penguins, salamanders, and invasive plants. He also has research interests in various topics in behavioral ecology such as habitat selection and mate choice in penguins, effectiveness of GIS-based conservation planning, and human biodiversity preferences.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
4:00 - 5:30 pm
A People's History of Mass Incarceration: Black Power and the Carceral State
Dan Berger

Why did the rise of mass incarceration coincide with the rise of a grassroots movement against imprisonment? Throughout the civil rights era, black activists turned prisoners into symbols of racial oppression while arguing that confinement was an inescapable part of black life in the United States. This talk, based on his new book Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era, explores the history of grassroots opposition to imprisonment and what that activism means for the contemporary carceral state.

Dan Berger’s research emphasizes critical race theory, social movements, and American history, with a special emphasis on where these forces align through the carceral state. His theoretical framework looks at bottoms-up explorations of identity, politics, activism, and the state.


Winter 2015 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Modeling Agricultural Change Through Logistic Regression and Cellular Automata: A case study on shifting cultivation
Santiago Lopez

Agricultural expansion is one of the prime driving forces of global land cover change. The patterns and processes associated with agricultural expansion from indigenous cultivation systems are not well understood, despite an increasing focus on the causes of that expansion. The study presented here analyzes agricultural change associated with subsistence-based indigenous production systems in the lower Pastaza River Basin in the Ecuadorian Amazon in an effort to understand local landscape dynamics associated with shifting cultivation systems and their implications for land management.

Santiago Lopez’s work has its theoretical and empirical base in geographic information science (GISc) (i.e. the science behind geotechnologies such as geographic information systems, global positioning systems, remote sensing, and spatial statistics).  His research addresses questions of how spatial and social theories can be merged and what role new spatial technologies have in answering the questions of each.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Feminist Archives and Activism in the Americas
Julie Shayne and Kristy Leissle

This presentation looks at how one transforms essays into a feminist archive using Julie Shayne’s anthology Taking Risks: Feminist Activism and Research in the Americas as the starting point. Taking Risks in an interdisciplinary collection of scholars/activists/artists who write about and participate in social justice movements in the Americas. In the text, and thus the “archive,” we look at the activists in the chapters as storytellers and “organic intellectuals,” and the risks that academia assigns to those of us who pursue those stories in our scholarly endeavors.

Julie Shayne’s research focuses on gender, revolution/resistance, and feminism in Latin America and the diaspora. She is interested in how, why, and when women participate in revolutionary struggles, how, why, and when they organize as feminists, and how these two types of movements are related to one another. Taking Risks is her third book and was published in 2014.

Kristy Leissle specializes in feminist international political economy, development, global trade, and sub-Saharan Africa, especially that continent’s political-agricultural and colonial histories. She co-authored the introduction and conclusion to Taking Risks with Julie Shayne.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Revolutionary Subjects:  The Mexican Revolution and the Transnational Emergence of Mexican American Literature and Culture, 1910-1959
Yolanda Padilla

This presentation considers critical developments in American studies through a literary-historical study of Mexican American engagements with the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). It reveals Mexicans on the U.S.-Mexico border to have been transnational actors who critiqued and re-imagined the Revolution from their vantage point to the north. Mexican Americans actively responded to the Revolution, attempting to shape many of its most important political and social currents in ways that subsequently informed their struggles for social justice in the United States. Padilla traces how the Revolution's literary, political, and social legacies unfolded in Mexican American culture, foregrounding Mexico's role in the story of Mexican Americans, indexing the active presence of Mexican politics and culture north of the border, and elucidating the place of Mexican Americans at the center of issues encompassing ethnic, national, and transnational concerns. 

Yolanda Padilla works at the intersection of American, Latin American, and Latina/o studies, with an emphasis on transnational approaches to these fields. Her research is animated by an interest in the ways that minority communities in the United States have understood the local specificities of their experiences in relation to global designs and world-historical events.

Autumn 2014 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Conservation across large landscapes: Reflections on efforts across three continents
Martha Groom 

Wild nature is taking a beating around the world.  As human demands grow exponentially, the spaces used by wild species shrink, morph, and disappear altogether.  Increasingly, conservationists work in more interdisciplinary teams to reform policies that influence land use.  This talk draws on observed efforts to improve interdisciplinary conservation planning in Australia, Denmark, and the Pacific Northwest, to evaluate how these efforts effect on-the-ground outcomes for biodiversity.

Martha Groom is a conservation biologist specializing in plant-animal interactions and conservation of imperiled species. Her work emphasizes the careful application of ecological and evolutionary theory and empirical knowledge to conservation concerns.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Archiving First Drafts of History: Ethnic Media, Community Newspapers
Kristin Gustafson

This presentation examines an interdisciplinary and community-based project that is collaboration with a library, community foundation, and a Japanese-language newspaper publishing since 1902.  Three critical issues emerge in the case of this ongoing preservation project: (1) design decisions shaping digital newspaper archives, (2) methods influencing archive use and interpretation, and (3) selection determining which newspapers.

Kristin Gustafson is an historian and journalist who brings these areas of experience into her research and teaching at IAS.  She is involved in a number of collaborative projects to develop best practices for the digital archiving of news content. Kristin’s current book project examines the formative and activist history of a Seattle-based Asian American newspaper (The International Examiner).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
How I got over: Sameness and difference in “disability community”
Eric Stewart

“Getting over” is a recurrent imperative (or failure) in living with brain injury and other acquired disabilities.  From loss of functionality and awareness to “loss of self,” from disdain of disabled self and others to succumbing to disability identity, there is always something to be got over. In this talk, Stewart will draw on the accounts of several women from his book Living with Brain Injury to consider the ways that getting over operates as a complex, reversible problematic of change and of difference and splitting.

Eric Stewart teaches and researches in the areas of community psychology.  He has a particular focus on how people who have been variously configured on the basis of mental or social health/risk status find ways to resist, transform, or subvert the discourses that constitute their identities and relationships. His most recent monograph is Living with Brain Injury: Narrative, Community and Women’s Renegotiation of Identity (2013).

Spring 2014 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
The Astounding Social Geographies of Everyday Life on a Single New York City Street
Christian Anderson

What can the close study of a few New York City street blocks tell us about political-economic and social processes, nationally and globally? Anderson, a cultural geographer and urban studies scholar, uses ethnography to document people's everyday lives and circumstances, showing how 'macro' processes like gentrification and urban capital accumulation are deeply contingent on the often contradictory ‘micro’ ways that people conduct life locally.

Christian Anderson has a background in geography and interdisciplinary urban studies. His research uses ethnography to understand how everyday life intersects with broader political-economic and cultural processes in and across space, particularly in cities. His current research attempts to understand the cultural and structural production of gentrification from the vantage point of everyday life on a few blocks of a single street in the Hell's Kitchen/Clinton neighborhood of New York City. Additionally, Anderson is working on a project examining the relationships among gentrification, urban development, and social reproduction in Seattle alongside initiatives exploring new models for public scholarship and university-community organizing. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
What Do You Know about Evolution?: Assessing Undergraduate Students' Conceptions
Becca Price

Teaching evolution effectively continues to be a challenge. Until recently, researchers have concentrated on improving students' conceptions of natural selection, but natural selection is only one part of evolution, a complex phenomenon with multiple causes. The many misconceptions that students hold about natural selection consequently become barriers to understanding other evolutionary processes. My colleagues and I hypothesize that understanding of evolution can be drastically improved by teaching more than natural selection. Under this model, students can use additional evolutionary contexts to understand why and when natural selection works, but also when other evolutionary mechanisms provide better explanations.

Rebecca M. Price is an evolutionary biologist who studies how evolution is understood. She was trained as a paleontologist, researching the ecological and phylogenetic influences on anatomical characteristics; her research now emphasizes biology education, and she is particularly concerned with how students overcome the conceptual difficulties surrounding evolution. She is co-Principal Investigator (with Dr. Kathryn E. Perez, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse) of a grant from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent).

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Animality and Poetic Voice: from Virginia Woolf's "Flush" to Bhanu Kapil's "Humanimal"
Sarah Dowling

Sarah Dowling is the author of Security Posture, winner of the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Selections from her most recent work, Hinterland B, appear in ‘I’ll Drown My Book’: Conceptual Writing by Women and other journals. Her critical essay, “How lucky I was to be free and safe and at home” is forthcoming in Signs. She is currently completing scholarly monograph, Remote Intimacies: Multilingualism in Contemporary Poetry.

Winter 2014 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Contesting and Containing 'Domestic Violence': Feminist Encounters with the U.S. Carceral State
Emily Thuma

This talk will examine the complex relations between U.S.-based
anti-violence against women activism and the expansion of the carceral state in the early neoliberal era. Activists who challenged gendered violence in the 1970s and 1980s did so in the context of highly racialized moral panics about "crime in the streets," social disorder, urban poverty, and family decline that helped legitimate law and order policing and galvanize a crime victims' rights movement. Building on recent scholarly and activist critiques of "tough on crime" approaches to sexual and domestic violence, this talk will focus on women radicals of the era who made state violence--rather than state protection from violence--the target of their organizing efforts. At the interfaces of multiple social movements, women of color and antiracist white feminists, lesbian feminists, and criminalized women engaged in collective actions and grassroots theorizing that emphasized the race, class, and sexual dimensions of the politics of violence and safety. The presentation will map these anti-statist activisms and ask how the broader questions and alternative conceptions of justice they posed are relevant for the current conjuncture of gender, race, and U.S. mass incarceration.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Re-Mapping Imaginary and Imagined Communities
Ted Hiebert and Jin-Kyu Jung

This project introduces an interdisciplinary collaboration that brings together sympathetic trends in qualitative geographic visualization and contemporary visual arts-attempting to map and re-map creative communities through generative and participatory digital methods. By merging qualitative geovisualization - visualization that preserve and re-present the contextual meanings and qualitative forms of data with spatial information - with creative artistic approaches, including participatory media, curatorial presentation and digital media criticism, we demonstrate how this new convergence can be potentially applied for the production of meanings, conceptualization and imagination of communities people experience in digital age.

There are two main goals in this project. One is to construct a digital archive of participatory data that can be qualitatively, spatially, and creatively mapped through collaborative and participatory mapping and artistic strategies. This will provide a greater degree of analytical and representational power of correlated data such as geospatial, temporal, audio, video, as well as E.E.G. (Electroencephalography) readings from brainwave monitors the participants will be wearing. On the other hand, creative data will feature digital and media artifacts from the artistic process - autonomous responses to the idea of mapping the imaginary or imagined. These outputs will be further correlated and presented as "digital portraits" of artistic process. This presentation shares preliminary trials and theorizations of the project, meditating on the dangers and seductions of mapping the imagination and imagined geographies and its potential possibility to carry out different forms of analysis and representation.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Another History of the Voice: calypso, soca and background noises
Susan Harewood

Calypso music has been at the center of the modern Anglo-Caribbean nation state. The calypsonian played a key role in resisting imperialism in the pre-independence period, and, in the post-independence period, calypsonians have been hailed for their ability to keep a check on the power of political elites. Thus calypso has become an important part of nationalist narratives within the Anglo-Caribbean. However, the standard telling of this narrative has tended to drown out a range of Caribbean voices. This presentation examines what is lost when these voices remain indistinctly heard. I argue that finding ways to pay close attention to the background choruses can lead the region to confront persistent problems of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Autumn 2013 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Mindful Games: Games and Consciousness
Wanda Gregory

Are games the modern form of meditation? Games are often seen as encouraging violent behavior or addiction amongst their players. Perhaps games should be viewed another way—as a form of meditation and as a therapeutic aid. Games are being used to help patients dealing with the adverse effects of chemotherapy, brain injuries, PTSD, stress and depression. This talk will also look at how games are being used today to enhance cognitive functions through discuss some of the trends in neurogaming. From board games to puzzle games to video games such as Journey, and Elude, this talk will look at the use of games to help transform players and look at the development of a new style of games allowing us to expand our understanding of the possibilities games can offer.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Reappraisal of the Urban Sprawl in the Metropolis and Detecting its Methodologies: The Case of Seoul Metropolitan Region, Korea
Jungyeop Shin

During the past fifty years, we have seen many changes in the metropolis, especially in urban internal structures. From the perspective of urban geography, with the rapid urbanization and suburbanization, we experienced urban sprawl in the major cities both of the U.S. and other countries. Although there are diverse kinds of urban sprawl, it can be described as “the urban phenomena, which is spatially sprawled from the central city to the periphery in the discontinued, irregular, leap-frog pattern.”

Much of the research on urban sprawl has focused on U.S. metropolitan regions, and not on cities in other countries, however, it would be useful to compare these. Furthermore, we need more comprehensive perspectives to explore the urban sprawl of the metropolis in the empirical spatial analysis. In order to understand various kinds of the urban sprawl, several aspects such as land use, population, land value, spatial geometry will be useful. Based on this background, the purpose of this presentation is to reappraise the issues and theories of urban sprawl that appeared during the suburbanization process, and to measure the urban sprawl of the Seoul Metropolitan Region(SMR) quantitatively with spatial analysis methodology.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
What Caused the Arab Revolts?: Exploring State-Society Relations in the Arab World
Karam Dana

Visit this page again soon for more information on these and future presentations. If you have questions regarding the research colloquium series, please contact

Spring 2013 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Buying and Selling the Serengeti: Safari Tourism and the Cultural Politics of Global Land Grabbing in Tanzania
Ben Gardner

Buying and Selling the Serengeti: Safari Tourism and the Cultural Politics of the Global Land Grab is an ethnographic study of tourism, development, and land struggles in Tanzania. This book examines how tourism investment in northern Tanzania is a critical site of struggle over the meaning of markets, land rights, and culture. Ben Gardner focuses on three tourism arrangements in Loliondo, an area in northern Tanzania bordering Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area: joint ventures between expatriate owned ecotourism companies and predominately Maasai villages; a private nature refuge established by a US owned safari company on a former state owned barley farm; and the leasing of a hunting concession on village lands by the central government to a powerful foreign investor from the United Arab Emirates.

One way to understand these projects is as part of free market or neoliberal development policies and ideologies. Conservation organizations, development experts and many academics have argued that these policies create new opportunities for communities to participate in tourism and benefit from global trends in conservation. Alternatively, a group of scholars and activists have criticized the accumulation of land and resources through market mechanisms in the name of global development.  They have described a number of activities including tourism as perpetuating ‘a global land grab’. Gardner argues that Maasai people in Loliondo see contemporary land grabbing as firmly located in state claims to property and territory, despite the fundamental role of foreign investors in appropriating resources and surplus value in all of these cases. Maasai in Loliondo have come to think of the market, expressed through their direct relationships with ecotourism investors as the most promising space to legitimize and secure access to resources and citizenship rights. This book situates current land struggles within the political economy of tourism in Loliondo and shows how different articulations of market-state-community relationships become both materially and symbolically meaningful.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Being in Love and Writing Poetry
Jeanne Heuving

Jeanne Heuving discusses the theory chapter from her forthcoming book Transmutation of Love, which regards the relationship between being in love and writing poetry. For epochs, poets have celebrated how being in love enables them to write poetry, and how writing poetry intensifies their love. Heuving explores how these relationships are important to the avant garde inventions of Ezra Pound, H.D., Robert Duncan, Kathleen Fraser, and Nathaniel Mackey. These poets change love writing from a poetic speaker writing as lover to or about a beloved to a libidinized field of scintillating word art. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Contextualizing Technology Use: Communication Practices in a Local Homeless Movement
Amoshaun Toft

In this talk Amoshaun Toft presents his ethnographic work on Internet-enabled technology use in the local homeless movement. He focuses on four themes that characterize the strategies organizers used in communicating within and between constituents: how organizers emphasized ‘relational’ face-to-face communication, used ICTs to connect with housed allies, encouraged participants to move from the computer screen to street, and relied upon existing organizationally sponsored communications infrastructure in facilitating communication tasks. Most studies of technology use in organizing practices are focused on understanding how a narrow technological elite think, feel, and act in relation to ICTs, systematically excluded those with meager means, and those contexts in which technology is not central. Toft proposes that an analysis of communication practices broadly defined is important in understanding the role of technologies of communication more specifically, and highlights the classed dynamics that technology use reflects in organizing processes.

Winter 2013 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Why I Also Hate New Media: The Synthetic Rhetorics of Web 2.0
Crispin Thurlow

It certainly seems that everyone and everything is nowadays positioned in relation to so called social media. We are everywhere incited to use them, to discuss them, and to reconceive our lives around them. In North Africa and the Middle East, the grassroots, blood-sweat-and-tears uprisings of the “Arab Spring” were excitedly recast by (Western) newsmakers and commentators as The Facebook Revolution, Revolution 2.0 and Tanks Versus Twitter.  Meanwhile, and closer to home, we find another kind of rebellion being touted by UW Seattle’s “self-sustaining” Masters of Communication in Digital Media, whose publicity has hinged on the following  bold challenge (or threat): The digital media revolution is here. Are you? Oh, and then there’s the Queen of England—the revolution that never happened. You know something is afoot when one of the most detached, removed figureheads on the planet takes up social networking.

In this presentation, I follow the lead of linguistically-oriented discourse analysts like Norman Fairclough and Deborah Cameron as well as the broader sociological perspective of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault  in presenting a critical reading of the “rhetorics of Web 2.0”. I consider how these often hyperbolic, always invested claims manifest in discourse domains like commerce, politics, education, the news media, celebrity, and academia. I will then show how a pointedly synthetic media is produced through stylized, commoditized notions of language and communication. It seems that the rhetorics of Web 2.0 usually have little to do with the everyday social uses of new/social media and everything to do with the kind of pseudo-sociality favoured by advertisers and other agents or beneficiaries of neoliberal capital.

To be clear, I am actually still very enthusiastic about “new” communication technologies and remain frustrated with knee-jerk, end-of-the-world reactions to them. I don’t really hate new media (much). As a critical discourse analyst, however, I am leery and weary of the rhetorical uses to which social media are often put. While questions of language change and language contact vis-à-vis new/social media are clearly important for language scholars, we need always to be keeping a watchful eye on the metalanguage and language ideologies of digital discourse, too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Community, Knowledge, Economy
Colin Danby

This paper distinguishes two accounts of community, and the knowledge community supports: the large, holist, from-above concept of “culture,” and the ground-level intersubjectivity that rests on extended living and work with particular other people. These accounts are commonly combined, so that “intersubjective” is generalized from particular relationships to a larger intersubjective space in which many people participate, bringing it into line with the holist concept of culture. This conflation is unwarranted.

After distinguishing a robust ground-level intersubjectivity that is not reliant on a holist doctrine of culture, I show that it provides a social-ontological base for drawing together insights from feminist, Austrian, and Post Keynesian economics about the nature and limitations of people’s knowledge.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Comedies of Surplus: Representing the Garden in Recent American Literature
Jennifer Atkinson

This talk explores the function of the garden in American literature and culture as an instrument for reimagining problems of waste, surplus and value. Drawing on literary fiction, popular gardening publications and community or “guerilla gardening” movements, I discuss how garden-based economies of production and exchange are represented as a counter-figure to the commodity logic otherwise structuring everyday experience.

In particular, I focus on ways that growers, writers and activists from the past thirty years have used the garden to challenge assumptions that some form of subtraction must accompany a parallel act of increase.  For example, when positioned against anxieties about environmental crisis, these images of the garden present a figurative alternative to our growing sense of living in an “unreplenishable” world (where every uptick in consumption exacts some corresponding environmental price); other representations of the garden invert the parasitic logic of systems that secure wealth and privilege for one group through the reciprocal impoverishment of another.  In short, against the “zero-sum” relations structuring our social and economic practices, gardening stands out as a unique instance of the “net gain”—a form of non-parasitic increase that disrupts the seeming inevitability of capitalism’s subtraction-based accounting.

Across the genre of gardening literature, this dynamic has its clearest expression in scenes that repeatedly depict growers who struggle to manage an outrageous surplus, and must distribute their excess among friends, neighbors and strangers. This convention effectively reinvents the “crisis of overproduction” we often see in representations of industrial farming (where, most famously, landowners in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath maintain a desired market price by destroying surplus crops with kerosene).  In the process, these accounts transform agribusiness’s “tragedy of waste” into the gardener’s “comedy of surplus.”  My talk expands on these conventions to examine why the garden has increasingly come to magnetize a broader set of social desires for less alienated forms of work, less instrumental modes of calculating value, and less exploitative relations to nature and each other.

Autumn 2012 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Role of Civil Society in Environmental Policy
Nives Dolsak

This article examines ratification of the Kyoto Protocol across 26 transitional economies of Europe and Eurasia for the period of 1998–2009; the period between the Kyoto Protocol and the 2009 Copenhagen meeting. The dependent variable measures whether or not the country has ratified the Kyoto Protocol in a given year. The key variable of interest is the strength of domestic nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). To account for the nascent stage of the NGO sector, I measure NGO strength as a ‘‘stock’’ and as a ‘‘flow’’ variable. Using an event-history model, I examine the impact of the NGO strength while controlling for other domestic-based and international drivers of treaty ratification. All time variant independent variables are lagged by a year. My analysis suggests that the stock of domestic NGO strength is a significant predictor of the timing of ratification. Further, EU accession pressures, ratification levels in contiguous countries, and domestic economic cycle impact the timing of ratification of the treaty.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Black Book of Nazi Terror in Europe: An International Collaboration between Artists and Writers, Mexico City, 1943
Deborah Caplow

I will be discussing my research on the ways that knowledge about World War II, and especially about the Holocaust, was relayed to Mexico, where it was transformed into a book and illustrated with images by politically concerned Mexican artists.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fire, Water, Earth, Sky: Global Systems History and the Human Prospect
Alan Wood

I propose a new approach to world history that anticipates a global civil society and a sustainable human civilization.  My approach integrates systems thinking, which focuses on the cooperative interdependence of natural phenomena, with Asian philosophy, which focuses on the paradoxical and complementary balance of opposites.   

Spring 2012 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Donation, Compensation, and Data: The Politics of Transnational HIV Research in Uganda
Johanna Crane

What happens when humanitarian aspirations to “do good” are wedded to the scientific imperative to produce knowledge? This paper uses tools from medical anthropology and science studies to examine the intermeshing of humanitarian and scientific motivations as they played out within a U.S.-sponsored HIV research project in rural Uganda. In this project, the humanitarian act of “donating” information technology to a Ugandan HIV clinic led to tensions and complications over the status of the data that this technology supported, forcing U.S. scientists to choose between their motivation to “give” to the clinic and their desire to assert ownership over valuable scientific data. Moreover, the growing prominence of global health research as a source of supplemental income for underpaid local health professionals at the clinic produced an uncomfortable politics around compensation from which my own anthropological research was not exempt. I use these examples to argue that the humanitarian ethos underlying global health risks positioning researchers in low-income countries as recipients of charitable donation rather than as scientific peers.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Landscape Change in Western Amazonia: From Dispersed to Nucleated Production Systems
Santiago Lopez

This presentation describes the implications of changes in settlement patterns on food production systems and territorial organization in Western Amazonia and highlights the effects of landing strips on current land-use patterns in indigenous territories in the region. The study characterizes riverine and inter-fluvial production systems in the lower Pastaza River basin in Ecuador based on ethnographic records, remotely sensed data, surveyed information, and statistical descriptions. Results show that nucleation of local populations around landing strips increased control of indigenous populations over their ancestral territories and changed the political and geographic landscape. At the same time, nucleation is slowly transforming indigenous livelihoods from mobile cultivators and foragers to sedentary stock-farmers. We conclude that even though indigenous communities will eventually integrate into the national economy, the main elements of the traditional food production system will likely remain the same. This suggests the creation of adequate development programs that respond to local land use management strategies and guarantee the long-term sustainability of local socio-ecological systems.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Does a Corpse Have Human Rights?
Bruce Kochis

This research explores the complexity of the concept human rights, specifically what is a “human” and how far can rights be extended outside of the political consensus that recognizes them. Triggered by the aftermath of Katrina when bodies were left to rot in the sun without being attended to, the research uncovers the issue of extending the notion of human dignity beyond biological life. Historical and cultural practices suggest that there might be a universal claim for an extension of the idea of human life beyond the biological to the metaphorical or memorial realms. At the same time, “rights” are being extended in law to animals to unborn fetuses to stem cells to clones, which suggests that rights are not solely a political claim by political actors on their own behalf. 

Winter 2012 Speaker Lineup

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Politics of Hindutva South Asian Cinema
Alka Kurian

This paper explores cinematic representation of the 2002 state-led genocidal violence perpetrated against the Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat. While the films under investigation offer a scathing critique of the rise of right wing Hindu fundamentalism in India and within its diaspora, they overlook some of the key pieces of the context such as: the expression of solidarity and compassion by moderate, non-fundamentalist Hindus towards minority communities; the question of class and economy that get buried underneath cultural explanations for the anti-Muslim violence; the Hindutva-led politics of divide and rule whereby one minority community was pitted against the other with the view to gaining majority sympathy and electoral gain. And where the films do represent moderation of communal attitude and behavior they locate this humanity in the context of working / lower-middle class femininities, whose classed and gendered subjectivity renders them not entirely effective, or within the narrow parameters of upper-middle class secularity whose adherents are shown to be far above communal matters to be affected by them.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Playing in the Noxious Sector: Extended Practices and Artistic Interventions
Ted Hiebert

There are times when it’s not enough to be rational – moments when one must exaggerate or over-emphasize or simply lie in order to more accurately represent the nuances of a question. These are moments where probability as a scientific endeavor fails to represent the poetic actuality of the moment – moments that can challenge, and sometimes defy, the parameters of certainty and verifiability because the imagination has never been limited by possibility or truth. There are also times when one must put the imaginary first, creatively engaging the irrational possibilities of the world, whether seductive, absurd or entirely nonsensical. Part theoretical reflection, part artist talk, this presentation shares work from recent projects of the Noxious Sector Arts Collective. Dedicated to the exploration of the imaginative, the implausible and the absurd, Noxious Sector projects provide creative forums from which to rethink questions of artistic possibility and integrated practice.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Who’s Speaking Now? Sorting Out Voices in Polyvocal Texts
Bill Seaburg

In a broad sense, this report on current research looks at the question: what happens (obligatorily) between the “voice” of the storyteller as it leaves her mouth and ends up as ink on a printed page? And, what kinds of transformations (or worse, transmogrifications) can (optionally) happen when “voice” is written down? I will illustrate with excerpts from the “same” text first recorded in 1897, first published in 1902, and “republished” in 1953. Excerpts from several texts recorded in 1935 and as yet unpublished will look at the question from my title: who’s speaking now—the consultant or the anthropologist? Finally, we’ll consider the question: why should we care? 

Autumn 2011 Speaker Lineup  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Introducing Human Rights to the Anti-Sex-Trafficking Agenda 
Kari Lerum

Since the passing of the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act, anti-trafficking efforts have grown in funding, political strength, and popular-culture appeal in the United States and globally. Particularly influential in shaping anti-trafficking policy in the United States are the "new abolitionists" whom are primarily concerned with "saving" sex workers and eradicating sexual commerce. Simultaneous to the development of abolitionist anti-trafficking and anti-prostitution efforts in the US, movements for sex worker rights have also grown in strength and visibility, impacting a variety of cultural, academic, and public health arenas. While these sex worker activists have widened the dialogue around sex workers' rights, their perspectives have not until recently been acknowledged by US policy makers. This talk will describe the unprecedented collaborative activist process by which a human rights agenda for US-based sex workers was introduced and approved at the United Nations Human Rights council through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. The talk will conclude with policy recommendations for the federal, state, and local levels of the United States.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Portfolios and Recovery Districts: the Future of Public Education?
Paul Hill

States and localities, looking for ways to increase school performance even during a time of fiscal stringency, are experimenting with new methods of performance-based management. These involve assessment of all schools based on student achievement gains, which can lead to dramatic actions, including closing schools and replacing them with new independently-managed schools.  The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) is studying these local and state initiatives. Paul Hill will describe CRPE's research and summarize current findings about consequences for teaching, student learning, equality of opportunity, and interest group politics.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What is Class?
S. Charusheela

What happens when a concept travels across disciplinary boundaries?  The implications and meanings of terms and ideas shift as they take their place within a different conceptual order, and the work a concept does begins to change as it enters a new terrain.  One such concept is class.  This paper draws on and refines the work of Julie Graham, and argues that the work the concept of class can provide for Cultural Studies differs dramatically depending on whether class is translated as social position, subject position, or process.

Spring 2011 Speaker Lineup  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Managing the Teacher Workforce in Austere Times: The Implications of Teacher Layoffs
Dan Goldhaber

This research presentation estimates the factors that predict the likelihood of a teacher receiving a reduction-in-force (RIF) notice. Results suggest that a teacher’s seniority is the greatest predictor of receiving a layoff notice, and that teacher effectiveness is not considered in the layoff decision.

Listen to the podcast (may take up to one minute to load): 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Biopolitics of the Fenceline
Gwen Ottinger

In communities located on the fencelines of the nation’s oil refineries, residents worried that pollution is making them ill have a tense relationship with refinery scientists and engineers, who assure them that it is not. Drawing on ethnographic research in a Louisiana fenceline community, this talk looks at the ways that contemporary cultural values of individual responsibility and self-care shape the resident-expert relationship--and, in particular, how these values make the costs of challenging expert knowledge prohibitively high for poor and working-class residents.

Watch the video (may take up to one minute to load): 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Qualitative Geovisualization for Community Planning: Masten District Neighborhood Plan in Buffalo, NY
Jin-Kyu Jung

This talk will discuss what qualitative geovisualization is, and particularly, what it can offer to the community-based planning process. By showcasing the Masten District Neighborhood Plan in Buffalo, NY, it will show how qualitative geovisualization draws similarly or differently on other related practices such as Public Participatory GIS (PPGIS), qualitative GIS (QGIS), and traditional community-based planning.

Watch the video (may take up to one minute to load): 

Winter 2011 Speaker Lineup  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Arts-Based Research
Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren

This talk will examine the basic tenets of arts-based research, its history, and its current status in a variety of research, arts practice, and applied settings. Particular consideration will be given to the role of performance based approaches and the place of the moving body in Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren’s work on disability (hearing theaters) and the environment (the dramaturgy of natural disasters).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

4:00 – 5:30pm
The Impact Of Maternal Religion On African-American Girls’ HIV Risk
Wadiya Udell

Dr. Udell will review her study examining the relationship between religion, mental health problems, and sexual risk behaviors among African American girls. She will discuss the importance of an ecological framework in understanding how aspects of psychopathology and religiosity relate to sexual risk behavior among African American girls in psychiatric care.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How can we conserve biodiversity where we live?: Land use planner perspectives on barriers and opportunities for conservation
Martha Groom and David Stokes

The ways in which we develop land have far reaching consequences for the degree to which we conserve species, maintain ecosystem services, and functional natural habitats.  Working with collaborators at UW Bothell and at two other universities, Dr. Groom and Dr. Stokes tried to understand the degree to which biodiversity considerations are included in local land use planning and what factors create barriers or promote opportunities to achieve conservation goals.  They will discuss key results of their studies and new ideas for collaborations with local planners to better conserve biodiversity in our region. 

Autumn 2010 Speaker Lineup  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Human Rights from the Bottom Up: How Culture Matters
Diane Gillespie

Dr. Gillespie will describe her current research project focused on the nonformal human rights education program of Tostan, a nonprofit working in remote rural areas across North Africa. Tostan’s approach has led to widespread abandonment of female genital cutting and early child marriage. Gillespie’s research project is qualitative, exploring how Tostan’s participatory human rights education, as it was implemented in three rural villages in Senegal, West Africa, position participants to become involved in social transformation.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teachers Unions and the Current Challenges of Educational Reform
Dan Jacoby, Keith Nitta, and Mari Taylor (Policy Studies, '10)

This talk discusses K-12 schools at the national level and examines two local district strikes. The speakers ask how teacher unions can and have addressed the larger issues of educational standards and accountability.

Listen to the podcast (may take up to one minute to load): 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My World Cup
Ron Krabill, Angelica Macklin, and Georgia Roberts

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, UW partnered with Cape Town Community Television to produce a series of short films looking at the impacts of the World Cup on multiple communities in Cape Town. The UW leaders of this program will be sharing their research.

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