Fisher Center

Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice

Fisher Center 2021-2022 Speaker Series: Beyond

What does it mean to be, or to go beyond? “Beyond” names a crossing over, a surpassing of constraints. Beyond can signal hope (as in beyond racism) or despair (beyond survival). Beyond can index a change in pace (an acceleration) or a movement in space (moving out, moving towards). Beyond is about possibility and change, but what kind of possibility/change?

Beyond can query ethical principles: moving beyond the binaries/divide of relativism and universalism, communitarianism and individualism. Beyond ignites debates over human enhancement and transhumanism. Beyond foregrounds the possibilities and perils of geo-engineering as we address global climate change. Beyond illuminates scientific horizons and gulfs in our understanding as we race for a Covid vaccine/cure or struggle to imagine life beyond Earth or beyond carbon.

Does the beyond simply name a condition after something, such as “post-” in post-capitalist, post-historical, post-secular, posthuman? In its surpassing of limits, “beyond” shares conceptual territory with transgression. Is an overcoming of a limit, simultaneously, its affirmation? Beyond the human still names the human as the point of reference and comparison. And is the phrase “beyond racism” a prospect for a reconciliation or does it deny its painful and ongoing reality? Should we conceive the beyond in a more radical sense, as moving beyond the given coordinate space entirely, taking off in a yet unknown direction-the radical outside of imagination and thought?


FALL 2021

Anindita Banerjee

September 22

Anindita Banerjee

ALIEN JUSTICE

7 p.m., Zoom

Anindita Banerjee is an associate professor of Comparative Literature and the chair of the humanities concentration in the Environment and Sustainability Program at Cornell University. Her latest book is South of the Future: Marketing Care and Speculating Life in South Asia and the Americas, co-edited with Debra Castillo and published by SUNY Press in December 2020.

Rahman Ahmad Austin

October 6

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

Summer 2021 Woodworth Fellows

7 p.m., Zoom (Meeting ID: 965 7673 8276 Passcode: 297605)

Sadia Rahman '22: "Hashtags and Social Media in the Farmers' Protest"

Aroob Ahmad '22: "Immigration, Identification and Capitalism"

Caleb Austin '22: "Antidemocracy in America"

Brown

November 3

Jayna Brown, Professor at Pratt Institute

SPECULATIVE GEOGRAPHIES: THE ETHICS OF TERRAFORMATION

7 p.m., Zoom (Meeting ID: 935 0231 9968 Passcode: 270454)

Jayna Brown is professor in the Graduate Program in Media Studies at Pratt Institute. As well as numerous essays, Brown is the author of Babylon Girls: Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern (Duke University Press, 2008) and Black Utopias: Speculative Life and the Music of Other Worlds (Duke University Press, 2021). Her areas of research and specialization include performance studies, black expressive cultures, black feminism, speculative fictions, music, and our changing media landscape. Her current work is located at the intersections of science and performance.

Farman

November 10

NO SILENCE IN THE AFTERLIFE

7 p.m., Zoom (Meeting ID: 925 7338 2797 Passcode: 738502)

Sound, illuminations, words, wailings, mourning by Julie Patton, Abou Farman, Sholeh Asgary, Leonor Caraballo (part of a series by the Ad Hoc Collective for Improvising Mourning Technologies for Future Grief). Visuals by Shelby Coley and Cori Spenser.

Julie Ezelle Patton, is a sculptor of sound, image and text. She is the founder of Let It Be ArkHives, a time-based living sculpture. Her visual poetics take the form of found object assemblage, scrolls, extended texts, limited edition work, performances, ephemeral libraries and site-specific installations. Patton's sound and performance work emphasize collaborative “in-the-moment” composition, otherworldly choreographs, and bridge musical and literary improvisation. A Foundation for Contemporary Art awardee, Julie's Womb Room Tomb Installation, inspired by her mother, artist Virgie Ezelle Patton, was featured in The Front International Triennial, 2018.

Sholeh Asgary is an interdisciplinary sound artist whose immersive works, performances, and audience participatory scores implicate the viewer-participant into future mythological excavations, bridging large swathes of time and history, through water, water clocks, crude oil, movement, light, imaging, voice, and sound. Her work has received support through numerous residencies and awards, including UCLA Art Sci (2021), Mass MoCA (2021), and Headlands Center for the Arts (2021). Asgary is a Lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice. Born in Tehran, Iran, she holds degrees from Mills College (MFA) and San Francisco State University (BA).

Abou Farman is an anthropologist, writer and artist. He is the author of On Not Dying: Secular Immortality in the Age of Technoscience (2020, University of Minnesota Press) and Clerks of the Passage (2012, Linda Leith Press). He is Associate Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research and founder of Art Space Sanctuary as well as the Shipibo Conibo Center of New York.

Leonor Caraballo worked as a photographer and video artist between Buenos Aires and New York. She is the co-director of the feature film Icaros: a vision. She has won a number of fellowships and grants, including the Latin American Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, and an Eyebeam Art and Technology Center residency. Leonor left her body on Saturday January 24th, 2015.

Leo and Abou conspire together as artists.

MISSION

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?


APPLICATION

The Fisher Center Predoctoral Fellow application is available on the HR website.

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.