AHCS Speaker Series 2022-2023

Winter 2023

March 23, 2023

sex in theory event poster, black and white image of a slightly opened mouth with tongue showing, black hair on tongue, "DESIRE" talk title in orange block letters across the posterSex in Theory Annual Lecture with Alenka Zupančič: "Desire"

March 23, 5-7 p.m.
ARTS W-215

Abstract: Over the last decade or two, the question of desire seems to have all but disappeared from theoretical approaches to sexuality and its vicissitudes, in favor of a focus on enjoyment and drive, or on deconstructing the power of the norms that guide our thinking about sexuality. Although desire cannot simply be divorced from these concerns, it has its own autonomous conceptual core. It is linked to the violent emergence of subjectivity and raises questions that go beyond and are more fundamental than those of individuality and its forms of enjoyment or identity. Subjectivity is not the same as individuality, and desire in particular tends to break down the usual moorings and supports of identity. The relationship between desire and fantasy also deserves closer consideration. The talk will focus on the disruptive, destabilizing, and even destructive nature of desire, without viewing these traits as simply and inherently “bad” or as something best avoided and suppressed.

Bio: Professor Alenka Zupančič ((Institute of Philosophy, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts; European Graduate School) is the author of Let Them Rot: Antigone's Parallax (2023), What IS Sex? (2017), Ethics of the Real: Kant and Lacan (2012),The Odd One In: On Comedy (2008), and The Shortest Shadow: Nietzsche's Philosophy of the Two (2003).

This event is hosted by the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF), with the support of the Department of Art History and Communication Studies.


Fall 2022

December 8, 2022

An abandoned detached house in a Chicago neighborhood, with shuttered windows and completely repainted blueProf. Rebecca Zorach: “To come home sooner or later": Abstraction and Estrangement on the South Side of Chicago

December 8, 4-5:30 p.m.
Arts W-215

Abstract: In Amanda Williams’s Color(ed) Theory project (2014-2016), the artist and architect painted abandoned houses in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago in bright monochromes using a palette she imbued with community meaning. This talk takes Williams’s project and its ambiguities as a starting point to trace moments in the history of the intertwining of abstraction, politics, and the idea of house and home. On the South Side of Chicago, in the mid-twentieth century, questions about aesthetics and politics often turned around a notion of “home”—should home be seen as a space of complacent comfort to be jarred with challenging aesthetic acts, or one required for sheer survival?

Bio: Rebecca Zorach, Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History, Department of Art History, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences. Rebecca Zorach teaches and writes on early modern European art (15th-17th century), contemporary activist art, and art of the 1960s and 1970s. Particular interests include print media, feminist and queer theory, theory of representation, African American artists, and the multiple intersections of art and politics. Her books include Blood, Milk, Ink, Gold: Abundance and Excess in the French Renaissance (University of Chicago Press, 2005); The Passionate Triangle (University of Chicago Press, 2011); Gold: Nature and Culture with Michael W. Phillips, Jr. (Reaktion Books, 2016); the edited volumes Embodied Utopias: Gender, Social Change, and The Modern Metropolis (with Amy Bingaman and Lisa Shapiro Sanders, Routledge, 2002), The Idol in the Age of Art (with Michael Cole, Routledge, 2009), Art Against the Law (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2014), The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago (with Abdul Alkalimat and Romi Crawford, Northwestern University Press, 2017), Ecologies, Agents, Terrains (with Christopher Heuer, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and Yale University Press, 2018), and Art for People’s Sake: Artists and Community in Black Chicago, 1965–1975 (Duke University Press, 2019).

Image caption: Amanda Williams, Color(ed) Theory: Crown Royal Bag. Inkjet print, 2016.


October 13, 2022

AHCS McGill Annual Lecture poster: Prof. Katherine McKittrickAHCS McGill Annual Lecture
Prof. Katherine McKittrick: Living Just Enough for the City/Volume IX/Black Methodologies

October 13, 4-5:30 p.m.
Arts W-215

Bio: Katherine McKittrick is Professor of Gender Studies and Canada Research Chair in Black Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. She authored Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle (UMP, 2006) and edited and contributed to Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis (DUP, 2015). Her most recent monograph, Dear Science and Other Stories (DUP, 2021) is an exploration of black methodologies.

No registration required. The event is open to the public.


September 21, 2022

Solarities: Thinking with the Sun, yellow eveny posterSolarities: Thinking with the Sun

September 21, 5-7 p.m.
Milieux Institute, terrace on the 11th floor of Concordia’s EV building, 1515 Saint-Catherine St W
Register here

What might a world look like if our societies, communications technologies, and economies were organized around energy from the sun rather than from fossil fuels?

Join us on September 21, 2022 for a critical engagement with the possibilities and potentials of solar energy. What might a world look like if our societies, communications technologies, and economies were organized around energy from the sun rather than from fossil fuels? What new infrastructures, institutions, and power structures would such a transition require? What forms of creativity, collectivity, and social organizing might we need?

Our conversation will be anchored in the work of two collectives who have been grappling with these questions:

  • The Solar Media Collective is a group of researchers and makers interested in the question of how to reimagine energy and communications infrastructure for a low-carbon world. Among other things, they have been building a solar-powered server which will be used to host collaboratively developed art, games, and other material. The server will be on display at the event for participants to learn more and interact with.
     
  • The After Oil Collective is an interdisciplinary group of international scholars, students, artists, activists, and practitioners who came together in 2019 for a summer school focused on imagining a world powered by solar energy. The collective recently published a short book, entitled Solarities: Seeking Energy Justice (read it free online at https://manifold.umn.edu/projects/solarities).

The event is co-sponsered by the AHCS speaker series and will involve a roundtable discussion with members of the Solar Media Collective about solar energy and its promises, possibilities, and potential problems. Afterwards, participants, contributors, and audience members are invited to join an open discussion relating to the themes raised by the roundtable.

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