How do gendered relations produce the common and the commons? How might gender exceed and enliven previous approaches to collectivity, constrain thinking to and about questions of governance and property? How might listening and looking for gender in the performing and visual arts enable the tracing of movements and practices that flow through, rupture, recreate, or take the common? How does gender let us imagine new and active commonings?
7 p.m., Stern 203: Speaking the Commons
Professor Hannah Dickinson
“Shared Violence: Complicating the Personal in Personal Writing”
This presentation draws on interviews with undergraduates to explore the social relations and affects that shape student writing about violence. While the genre of the personal narrative compels students to depict their experiences with violence as individually and uniquely injurious, study participants' talk constructs violence as structural, socially constituted, and held in common.
“Untimely Demands: or, the Recitations of Sharon Hayes”
As it rotates around works by the artist Sharon Hayes, this presentation explores how untimeliness (or that which does not coincide with the present) impacts the sense of the social in feminist and political theories. It asks how Hayes’s performances of recitation -- performances that condense scenes of collective instruction with acts of disruptive historical quotation -- variously organize and disorganize political imaginaries of commonality in this contemporary moment.
Professor Bonnie McCay
"Whither thou goest? How fishermen and fish are coping with climate change"
7 p.m., Geneva Room
Climate change has warmed the waters of the Atlantic ocean along the northeast coast of the United States, and fish and shellfish are directly affected. Their distributions and ranges have changed markedly over the past two decades. I have been part of interdisciplinary teams studying this within the framework of "coupled human and natural systems" (CHANS) as well as human adaptation to environmental change. In theory, fish and shellfish should move in response to shifts in their optimal temperatures, and fishermen might move as well, because they are not tied to land, as a farmer would be; they can just get in their boats and follow the fish. However, the stories emerging from our research show more complex outcomes, especially for the Atlantic surfclam fishery. Important human factors include the economics and marketimplications of following the fish, but also the effects of conservation-oriented regulations, the organization of the industries involved, and the nature of the fishing ports and peer group communities of fishing people.
Bio: Bonnie McCay is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, in the Department of Human Ecology of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Her graduate training was in environmental anthropology at Columbia University (PhD 1976), and her research and teaching have focused on challenges and policies for managing common pool resources such as fish and shellfish, with particular attention to intersections of ecology, community, and social institutions of science, law and property. She has done field research in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, Canada, in the Middle Atlantic region of the U.S., and in Baja California, Mexico, with funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Sea Grant College Program, the National Park Service, and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.
Professor McCay's books include "The Question of the Commons," "Oyster Wars and the Public Trust," and "Enclosing the Commons."
Open Studio: New Work by Christine Chin
7 p.m., Carriage House, 2nd Floor
Professor Christine Chin invites the campus community and the public to see new in-progress works that she developed in relation to the Fisher Center research themes. In an informal studio setting, audiences are welcome to talk with the artist, learn about her process, and give impressions and feedback on her visual interpretation of biotechnology and the commons.
Fisher Center Fellows
Closing Roundtable with the 2012-2013 Fisher Center Fellows
4:30-6:30 p.m., Fisher Center
As the semester ends, the Fisher Center will host a roundtable discussion with all of the 2012-2013 Fellows. Each of the Fellows will reflect on the impact that the research themes and the interdisciplinary group itself has had on their research and instruction. A brief Q&A will follow. Some of the questions addressed at this roundtable will include: If you were to provide a brief, one or two sentence definition of the common(s), how would you do it? What questions and ways of thinking about gender, collectivity, and the common are important to your discipline? How has participating in an interdisciplinary group expanded, complicated, or confirmed your understanding of one or all of these terms? What sorts of of questions or problems are you still trying to work through as this research group disperses?
The Fisher Center brings together faculty, students, and experts in gender-related fields in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary society.
Building upon their long-held commitment to interdisciplinary liberal arts education for men and women, both separately and together, Hobart and William Smith Colleges established (in 1998) the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men to support curricular, programmatic, and scholarly projects which address the question:
How do we more nearly realize, through our educational program, scholarship, and presence in the larger community, our democratic ideals of equity, mutual respect, and common interest in relations between men and women?