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About this symposium

Fascist and anti-fascist positions are rapidly coming to a head in a face-off over the politics of blood and soil, intimately linked by oppositional claims to (the) E/earth. As identification with soil, land, and place imbricates those who both espouse and resist hateful nationalisms, such ideologies are used to define borders, control the movement of bodies, and reconceive the regime of the visible. This symposium, held to celebrate the launch of Issue 11 of Shift: Graduate Journal of Visual and Material Culture, “BLOOD AND EARTH AND SOIL,” convenes the journal’s graduate student contributors, scholars, and artists with global practices related to the issue’s theme. “The very notion of soil is changing,” Bruno Latour recently wrote in Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime. This symposium seeks to explore how these shifting conceptualizations of and claims to land, heritage, and state have been expressed in visual and material culture across time.


2:00pm Opening Remarks

2:00-3:30pm Contributor Presentations, followed by panel discussion and Q+A

Alyssa Bralower (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), "Land Grant: Complicating Institutional Legacies"

Teresa Retzer (independent scholar, Amsterdam and Berlin), "The resurgence of Blood and Soil: symbols and artefacts of Völkische Siedlungen and Neo-Nazi Villages in Germany"

Respondent: Alison Boyd (Post-doctoral Fellow, Smithsonian American Art Museum)

3:30-4:00pm Break

4:00-5:30pm Artist Panel

Seung-Min Lee

Jackson Polys

Banu Cennetoğlu

Respondent: Siona Wilson (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

6:00-7:30pm Keynote Presentation

Elizabeth Povinelli (Columbia University), "The Inheritance"

Respondent: David Joselit (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Conference Organizers: Christopher Green and Dana Liljegren

Co-sponsored by the Ph.D. Program in Art History at the Graduate Center, CUNY, the James Gallery, the Center for the Humanities, and the Doctoral Student Council at the Graduate Center, CUNY.