Friday, January 15, 2021

Meet the Mellon Seminar Cohort: Chloë Bass

In this interview, Mellon Seminar Faculty Lead Chloë Bass discusses her project "Here and Not There" with Queenie Sukhadia, as well as the responsibilities of the public university, how to make research accessible to non-academic audiences, and how the resources of the university can be used "towards a larger good rather than controlled through scarcity mentalities and ongoing austerity."

Monday, January 11, 2021

My journey with Lost & Found, 2014-2020 (and onward)

In this essay, Iris Cushing recounts her evolving relationships with the constellation of poets, relationships and writing surrounding and published in Lost & Found, including Diane di Prima, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Mary Norbert Korte, Judy Grahn, and David Henderson, following the "glowing breadcumbs" that illuminated her path between them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Brewing memories, sustaining life in common

In this essay, Mellon Seminar Faculty Lead Ángeles Donoso Macaya writes about the workshop series Brewing Memories, led by Carolina Saavedra. In her reflections on these workshops, Donoso Macaya considers how the transmission of memory and indigenous knowledges through plants, herbs, and food might also create an archive in common––one that "is not based on, and which does not reproduce, extractive methodologies, but rather that emerges, and keeps developing further, from the same collaborative process of creating and learning together."

Monday, November 16, 2020

Academia for All: A Public Humanities Project

In this short essay, Distributaries Writer-in-Residence Queenie Sukhadia reflects on her Instagram-based public humanities project, Academia for All, a platform where she breaks down key theoretical and academic texts for audiences with limited attention spans and/or who might be disinclined to read academic writing. Here, she gives insight into her motivations to make this project, considers how the project has functioned and who it has reached thus far, and poses questions of what future directions the project might lead.

On a hand-painted poster, a painted black fist is raised amid a row of rainbow-colored lines. On top of the poster are two cloth masks with ACT UP logos printed on them, next to a rainbow-colored ribbon.
Friday, October 30, 2020

Prefigurative Activism as an Inspiration for Expanding Pedagogical Possibilities

In this essay, André Luis Leite de Figueirêdo Sales reflects on how models of prefigurative activism from Brazilian high school student ativistas making their own schools to ACT UP's imperative to "act as if you had the power to produce reality" might inspire educators to reimagine their roles as activists in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Public Humanities: An Annotated Bibliography

Distributaries Writer-in-Residence Queenie Sukhadia offers a series of short reflections on a selection of texts that exemplify the potentials of the public humanities. As she writes, "The public humanities are less a noun and more a verb: questioning, reflecting, deconstructing, reconstructing, retreating, ceding, and most of all, becoming (a necessarily incomplete process)."

Monday, September 21, 2020

Communities and Emotions in the Digital Classroom

In this blog post, Mellon Seminar Digital Publics Fellow Nga Than discusses the effects of switching to virtual instruction mid-semester during the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, particularly considering its impacts on the formation of community among students and the exchange of emotions between students and teachers.

Monday, August 24, 2020

#SaySomething - The Importance of Black Women Teachers for Black Girls

In this interview, Dr. Terri N. Watson and Dr. Gina Charles discuss the vital role that Black women teachers play for Black girls, including the formative influence of their early relationship as junior high school teacher and student as well as a wider conversation about how Black women teachers provide "mirrors and windows," through which Black girls can see themselves in leadership roles and flourish in their educations, career paths, and lives.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Practicing Distance (Part 4): Public

In the final short essay in the series "Practicing Distance," artist Jeff Kasper offers resources for developing support networks during the pandemic and beyond. Pointing toward the Bay Area Transformative Justice Coalition (BATJC)'s model of pod mapping, Kasper reflects on how knowing who is in our pods––a term the BATJC developed to define who we might turn to for care, in the wake of harm––might be a useful starting point, as we navigate limited access to public space, particularly those who depend on it for their safety.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Practicing Distance (Part 3): Social

In this reflection by artist Jeff Kasper on the proxemics of social distance, he offers an exercise for transforming conflict through collaboration and cooperation rather than compromise. This exercise proposes collectively devising social stories to "articulat[e] one's personal boundaries and approach the context of physical distance and giving and receiving care" amid the ongoing reality of conflict in social situations.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Practicing Distance (Part 2): Personal

In his latest entry in his series "Practicing Distance," artist Jeff Kasper continues his consideration of proxemics in our time of physical distance. In this short essay, Kasper proposes instructional scores and prompts, which might be used to "choreograph care" to navigate the intimacies and risks of sharing personal space. He also considers how we might prioritize dependency in our understandings of intimate relationships.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Why the Humanities Need to Go Public, and the Ways in Which They Already Are

Writer in Residence Queenie Sukhadia makes a case for how the public humanities might allow those working in the academy to rethink the false binary between public and academic knowledge. In this piece, she insists on the responsibility of scholarship to promote social good, by sharing out knowledge and expertise beyond the academy and elaborating the ways in which public knowledge shapes academic work.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Audre Lorde Now: Emotional sustainability in the time of COVID-19

Diarenis Calderón Tartabull turns to the work of Audre Lorde to think through questions of how to preserve and nourish communities and our selves––physically, spiritually and emotionally––in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This English/Spanish work is part of the 'Audre Lorde Now' series, commissioned for the project Radiating Black~Puerto Rican~Women’s Teaching Archives from CUNY to the Americas and the Caribbean (and Back Again).

Friday, July 10, 2020

Audre Lorde Now: Letter to Audre Lorde from the Future

Tito Mitjans Alayón's letter to Audre Lorde connects the intimately personal impacts of Lorde's reflections on "the political value of survival, eroticism and spirituality" to conditions of contemporary life. This English/Spanish work is part of the 'Audre Lorde Now' series, commissioned for the project Radiating Black~Puerto Rican~Women’s Teaching Archives from CUNY to the Americas and the Caribbean (and Back Again).

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Practicing Distance (Part 1): Intimate

In this second entry in artist Jeff Kasper's multi-part guide for preparing for our futures together post-quarantine, he facilitates a series of guided on exercises to engage with solo or with a partner to practice imagined intimate distance. From imagining physical contact to thinking about your partner's vulnerabilities, these exercises focus on how to "expand our capacities for collective care."

Monday, May 18, 2020

Practicing Distance with Jeff Kasper

This is the first in artist Jeff Kasper's multi-part guide for preparing for our futures together post-quarantine, Practicing Distance. In each part, Kasper offers a series of short practices in blog-format, beginning with an introduction on four proxemic distances—intimate, personal, social, public—then facilitating guided creative exercises to engage with solo or with a partner in imagined physical proximity during the time of the pandemic and beyond. In this first post, Kasper lays out a context for thinking about these questions in relation to COVID-19, disability justice, and Edward Hall's notion of proxemics.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Surviving and Speaking Out: Reading Audre Lorde in Community

Spencer Garcia writes about the formation of community and their own process of self-reflection in sharing and discussing Audre Lorde's work among Black women and queer, trans, and non-binary Black people and people of color in the reading group,"Your Silence Will Not Protect You!"

Friday, August 16, 2019

"Our shelf is a table with shared stuff": From VHS to Analog Archives

VHS Archives working group founder Alexandra Juhasz looks back on the second year of activities of the VHS Archives working group and discusses their steps toward creating a communal means for preserving and activating analog archives on digital platforms and the ethical use of the traces we leave behind.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Hard Copies: Homecoming Queens

In this post, VHS Archives working group member and artist Tara Mateik shares his thoughts about the importance of tangible media as a form of leaving evidence of queer lives and revisits the collaborative video Homecoming Queens with some of his collaborators and the working group.

Friday, June 21, 2019

“What are we asking from Lucretia? What work do we need this tape to do?”

VHS Archives working group member Kyle Croft unpacks questions about historicizing and activating analog archives. Centered around work from the Visual AIDS' Artist+ Registry and the artist Lucretia Critchlow, Croft opens up a discussion around avoiding over-determinations of an artist's career and their relationship to other artists, reckoning with privacy concerns in terms of how media distribution has dramatically changed over time, and complicating the notion of primary sources.