2015-16 Series: ARCHIVE

The 2015-2016 MCSI programming focused on the theme ARCHIVE.

April 15
Geert Lovink

Geert LovinkLunch Talk
11:30-1 p.m., Founders Room, McConnell Center
“Politics of Mask Design: Critical Internet Culture after Snowden”
RSVPs are required. Please mail Rachel Durkin in the Dean of Faculty’s Office at Rachel_Durkin@pitzer.edu

4-6 p.m., Honnold Library
LA hactivists/gamers at DH@CC Studio

LA-Based Activist Gamers
Adam Sulzdorf-Liszkiewicz 
– RUST LTD & USC Media Arts + Practice PhD candidate
Luke Noonan – RUST LTD
Emilia Yang Rappaccioli – USC Media Arts + Practice PhD student

San Francisco-based Activist Gamer
Cayden Mak – 18 Million Rising

Snacks and drinks provided.

Geert Lovink is a media theorist, internet critic and author of Zero Comments (2007) and Networks Without a Cause (2012). He is a researcher in the School for Communication and Media Design at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, where he is the founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures. The institute organizes conferences, publications and research networks, such as Video Vortex (the politics and aesthetics of online video), Unlike Us (alternatives in social media), Critical Point of View (Wikipedia), Society of the Query (the culture of search), MoneyLab (bitcoins, crowdfunding & internet revenue models) and digital publishing strategies. He is also a professor at the European Graduate School, where he supervises PhD students, and he serves as an advisory board member of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre at RMIT University in Australia.

Friday, March 4, 2016
#watermelonwoman: Making our histories
A queer/black archiving and activism workshop

11:30-2:30, Grove House

Workshop participants, please bring your own object(s) to add to the archive and make our histories.

If you’d like to take a Pitzer van to see the 20th anniversary of The Watermelon Woman at Outfest Fusion at the Egyptian theater on Friday, March 4 (leaving at 5 pm), you need to RSVP.

Cheryl Dunye at the Berlin Film Festival premier of The Watermelon Woman, 1996 photo by Michael Light
Cheryl Dunye at the Berlin Film Festival premier of The Watermelon Woman, 1996 photo by Michael Light

Cheryl Dunye’s film, The Watermelon Woman (1996) is about a young filmmaker who attempts to make a documentary about an unnamed black woman that appears in 1930s films.

This event focuses on the experience of black, trans, and queer people, asking us to reflect on how we create personal and public records of underrepresented peoples. The contemporary practices of searching, researching, and creating an identity have taken on a life of its own through Internet-based platforms and applications. What would the protagonist, Cheryl, find if she used hashtags and Google analytics to trace the history of the “Watermelon Woman”?

Workshop participants will have an opportunity to work with the Watermelon Woman 3.0 curatorial team on how to enliven objects and ephemera that the participants deem valuable, sentimental, or historical in nature. Participants will have a chance to engage with archival material from the film’s original development as well as new objects brought to and made at this workshop, in order to consider how histories ­– both real and imagined – come to be documented and preserved. The workshop will enable quick creative responses based on the work of Cheryl Dunye. Participants will be encouraged to use different forms of social media and photographic platforms to produce their own creative works.

Curatorial Team and Workshop Leaders

2016-spring-Erin-ChristovaleErin Christovale is a curator and film programmer based in Los Angeles focusing on film/video within the African Diaspora. Her ongoing project; Black Radical Imagination is a touring film program of visual shorts that delve into the worlds of new media, video art, and experimental narrative.

2016-spring-Vivian-CrockettVivian Crockett is a PhD candidate in art history at Columbia University. She is an independent researcher, scholar, and curator focusing largely on art of African diasporas, (Afro)Latinx diasporas, and Latin America at the varied intersections of race, gender, and queer theory.*

2016-spring-Dorothy-SantosDorothy R. Santos is a Bay Area-based writer, editor, curator, and educator. She serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism, board member for SOMArts Cultural Center, and teaches in the Digital Art and New Media department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

2016-spring-Melorra-GreenMelorra Green, M.A.Ed, Curator/Radio Show Host/Community Activist/Designer
A native of Memphis, TN, Melorra Green graduated magna cum laude from Tennessee State University in Nashville before moving to San Francisco to study Motion Pictures & Television at the Academy of Art University. She began volunteering for the San Francisco Black Film Festival in 2002 and became a Co-Executive Producer in 2005. She is currently a member of the Arts Providers Alliance of San Francisco Executive Committee and the San Francisco Graffiti Advisory Board.

2016-spring-Melonie-GreenMelonie J. Green, Curator/Artist/Radio Show Host/Community Activist
Melonie began volunteering for the San Francisco Black Film Festival in 2002 and became Co-Executive Producer with her twin sister, Melorra Green in 2005. The film festival experience paved the way for Melonie and Melorra’s previous business venture, Infin8 Sync, LLC, a creative events and production company that uses “out of the box” techniques to promote student and independent artists, as well as create platforms for networking.

2016-spring-Natasha-JohnsonNatasha R. Johnson, J.D. is an academic, activist, artist and attorney. As an Assistant Professor she teaches under a social justice framework and as an attorney she founded Globalizing Gender, a non-profit organization committed to creating a gender-just world. Both her curatorial and artworks sit at the intersection of educating and advocating for gender justice.


MCSI: ARCHIVE, Fall 2015

All events are in Broad Center Performance Space at 4:15 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

(Schedule subject to change)

Laura WexlerSeptember 15 – Atherton Lecture and Dinner
Laura Wexler
and Lauren Tilton
“Image, Archive and Event:  Tracking the Archive’s Odyssey”

Memory shapes our lives.  Photography shapes our memory. And the Archive shapes our photographs. This lecture will consider the changing relationship of the photograph to the archive as in itself a performative event.

Laura Wexler is Professor of American Studies and Professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Yale University, where she is also Principal Investigator of the Photogrammar Project, Director of The Photographic Memory Workshop and Acting Co-director of the Public Humanities Program. A historian of race, gender and photography, she is a scholar and theorist of visual culture.  Wexler has written many articles and books on these subjects, for example, the prize-winning book Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of US Imperialism and, with co-author Sandra Matthews, Pregnant Pictures.  Currently she is working on a history of white supremacy in the United States for a book entitled “The Awakening of Cultural Memory,” and on the intergenerational transfer of historical memory in family photograph albums.  She holds an MA, MPhil, and PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

lauren-tiltonLauren Tilton is co-director of Photogrammar at Yale University, a web-based platform for organizing, searching, and visualizing the 170,000 photographs from 1935 to 1945 created by the United States Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information. She is a doctoral candidate in American Studies with an M.A. concentration in Public Humanities. She also co-directs the Digital Humanities Working Group and Public Humanites Working Group at Yale University. Her interests include documentary, 20th century history and visual culture.

Rebecca ComaySeptember 22
Broad Performance Space, Broad Center
Rebecca Comay

Professor, Philosophy and the Centre of Comparative Literature, the University of Toronto
“Archive, Inventory, Testament:  Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project”

This lecture will be about Benjamin’s unfinished Arcades Project, and will focus on the relationship between collecting, memory, and historical transmission in relation to the nascent consumer culture of capitalism in late 19th century Paris.

Rebecca Comay teaches in the Department of Philosophy and the Centre of Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, where she also directs the Program in Literature and Critical Theory.  She has published widely on various aspects of European philosophy, psychoanalysis, and contemporary art, and is the author of Mourning Sickness: Hegel and the French Revolution (Stanford University Press, 2011).   She is currently involved in several research projects, including a book entitled Deadlines (on testamentary issues from Kant to Proust) and a collection of essays on Walter Benjamin.

Jennifer MorganSeptember 29
Jennifer Morgan

Professor of History, New York University
“Accounting for ‘The Most Excruciating Torment:’ Trans-Atlantic Passages”

In this talk, Morgan explores the problems and possibilities of researching the Middle Passage. She is particularly concerned with the role that literature or fictive imagination plays for the historian and works here to identify a methodological approach to the study of an experience that left few archival traces in its wake.

Jennifer L. Morgan is the author of Laboring Women: Gender and Reproduction in the Making of New World Slavery (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004). Her research examines the intersections of gender and race in colonial America. She is currently a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton where she is at work on a project that considers colonial numeracy, racism, and the rise of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the seventeenth-century English Atlantic, tentatively titled Accounting for the Women in Slavery. She is Professor of History in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Department of History at New York University and lives in New York City.

Sponsored by the Compton Foundation Visiting Fellows Endowed Fund

Maria CoteraOctober 27
Maria Cotera
Professor of Women’s Studies and American Culture, University of Michigan
“Chicana Technologies of Memory Before and After the Digital Turn”

Through an examination of her digital memory project, Chicana por mi Raza (a digital archive of oral histories with Chicanas active in the 1970s that includes materials from their personal collections), Cotera theorizes the “will to collect” that connects her current project with the work of the Chicanas she documents. Postulating a “Chicana memory praxis” in which “doing” and “interpreting/theorizing” are co-constituted in and through a mode of genealogical excavation. Cotera theorizes a broad array of practices in early Chicana feminist thought, moving “beyond the book” to recuperate Chicana feminism’s “paraliterary” dimensions — from actual collecting practices (can we “read” a collection like a text?) to the workshops, speeches, essays, and media works that were so central to the interventionist educational goals of Chicana feminism in the 1970s.

Maria Cotera is a professor in the Women’s Studies Department and American Culture Department at the University of Michigan. Her book Native Speakers: Zora Neale Hurston, Ella Cara Deloria, Jovita Gonzalez, and the Poetics of Culture (2008) was awarded the 2009 Gloria Anzaldúa Book Prize by the National Women’s Studies Association. She is currently working on Chicana por mi Raza, a digital memory project that documents the development of Chicana feminist praxis from 1965 to 1985 through the collection of oral histories and archival documents in private collections.

Brewster KahleNovember 3
Brewster Kahle

Co-founder of the Internet Archive
“Universal Access to all Knowledge”

Brewster Kahle, digital librarian and co-founder of the Internet Archive, has been working to provide universal access to all human knowledge for more than twenty years.  Mr. Kahle is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and serves on the boards of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the European Archive, the Television Archive, and the Internet Archive. Mr. Kahle is an advisory board member of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program of the Library of Congress’s, and is a member of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure. Mr. Kahle is the recipient of the 2004 IP3 Award from Public Knowledge , 2009 Free Software Foundation Award and the Paul Evan Peters Award, which is offered jointly from the Coalition of Networked Information, the Association of Research Libraries, and EDUCAUSE. In 2009, Mr. Kahle was named by Utne Reader as one of the “50 Visionaries Changing Your World.”

David ShorterNovember 10
David Shorter

Professor of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA
“Archiving Intersubjectivity”

Shorter seeks to conceptualize the application of Martin Buber’s theory of “intersubjectivity” to the creation of an archive. Can an archive by fully present, rather than existing functionally for the past and future? Bringing a workshop approach to the class, Shorter asks us all to come prepared with a design for archives based on Buberian theory, particularly an archive that exists outside a world of objects.

David Shorter is Professor of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA, with joint appointments in Anthropology and Gender Studies. He is a national book award winner and a recipient of the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. His ethnographic film, “Cutting the Cord,” was a jury selection at the international Ethnografilm Festival in Spring 2015. He is the creator and project manager of the Wiki for Indigenous Languages, which is the first wiki-based indigenous language learning website.

Laurie TaylorNovember 17
Laurie Taylor

Digital Scholarship Librarian at the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida
“Why There’s No Such Thing as a Dead Archive”

Notions of the archive and archival science lend themselves to misreadings on objectivity and stasis. The humanities in the digital age often builds and builds upon archives, bringing together collaborators from many fields and backgrounds. Misreadings of the archive as static represent a risk to the engagement and workings of these dynamic teams. Taylor will discuss the history, context, and experience of the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC, www.dloc.com), which was born and raised by the community of partners, and other archives and their relations to shed light on the aliveness, designated communities, and connected lives of archives.

Laurie N. Taylor is the Digital Scholarship Librarian at the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida. Her work focuses on digital curation, digital scholarship, and developing socio-technical supports (people, policies, technologies, communities) for scholarly cyberinfrastructure. She is the Technical Director for the international collaborative Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC, www.dloc.com).  She is interested in building communities of practice around digital archives and public scholarship for enabling radical collaboration and broader impacts.