A headshot of Professor Massimiliano Tomba wearing a scarf and glasses, standing in front of a building.

January 23, 2019 — Massimiliano Tomba: “Insurgent Universality. An Alternative Legacy of Modernity”

Insurgent Universality offers a new way of thinking political universality that radically differs from the legal universalism of human rights and cosmopolitanism. Assuming a conception of history that is not linear but articulated in a multiverse of historical temporalities, Insurgent Universality excavates an alternative trajectory of modernity, which originally bridges European and non-European political experiments.

Massimiliano Tomba is Professor of the History of Consciousness Department at University of California, Santa Cruz. His work aims at reconsidering predominant schemes of interpretation in political theory and universal history in order to open up political trajectories of modernity which constitute the terrain for an alternative canon. His publications include Krise und Kritik bei Bruno Bauer. Kategorien des Politischen im nachhegelschen Denken, trans. L. Schröder, Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang, 2005; La vera politica. Kant e Benjamin: la possibilità della giustizia, Macerata, Quodlibet, 2006; Marx’s Temporalities, trans. Sara Farris and Peter Thomas, Leiden, Brill, 2013; Attraverso la piccola porta. Quattro studi su Walter Benjamin. Milano, Mimesis, 2017.


Date/Time

January 23, 2019 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Venue/Location

Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

The cover of Leta Hong Fincher's book called Betraying Big Brother. The cover photo depicts three Chinese women protesting.

January 30, 2019 — Leta Hong Fincher: “The Feminist Awakening in China”

On the eve of International Women’s Day in 2015, the Chinese government arrested five feminist activists and jailed them for thirty-seven days. The Feminist Five became a global cause célèbre, with Hillary Clinton speaking out on their behalf and activists inundating social media with #FreetheFive messages. But the Five are only symbols of a much larger feminist movement of university students, labor activists, civil rights lawyers, performance artists, and online warriors prompting an unprecedented awakening among young Chinese women. In Betraying Big Brother, journalist and scholar Leta Hong Fincher argues that the popular, broad-based movement poses the greatest challenge to China’s authoritarian state today.

Through interviews with the Feminist Five and other leading Chinese activists, Hong Fincher illuminates both the difficulties they face and their “joy of betraying Big Brother,” as one of the Feminist Five wrote of the defiance she felt during her detention. Tracing the rise of a new feminist consciousness now finding expression through the #MeToo movement, and describing how the Communist Party has suppressed the history of its own feminist struggles, Betraying Big Brother is a story of how the movement against patriarchy could reconfigure China and the world.

Leta Hong Fincher is a journalist, scholar and author of Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China (Verso 2018), which was named one of Vanity Fair‘s top eight political books of fall 2018. Dr. Hong Fincher has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Dissent Magazine, Ms. Magazine and others. She won the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award for her China reporting and is the first American to receive a Ph.D. from Tsinghua University’s Department of Sociology in Beijing. She also has a master’s degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree with high honors from Harvard University. Her first book was the critically acclaimed Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China (Zed 2014). Hong Fincher was a Mellon Visiting Assistant Professor at Columbia University and recently moved to New York.


Date/Time

January 30, 2019 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Venue/Location

Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

 

A photo of Prof Desmond Jagmohan

February 6, 2019 — Desmond Jagmohan: “Candor and Courage: Ida B. Wells and Fearless Speech”

This paper explicates Ida B. Wells’s argument that journalists and leaders have a moral obligation to speak fearlessly. To do so, Jagmohan unearths the normative relationship between candor, courage, and duty underlying Wells’ anti-lynching editorials and reporting during the Progressive Era. First, he recounts Wells’ argument that “yellow” and impartial journalism are, in different ways, responsible for the precipitous rise in the lynching of African Americans at the turn of the century. Yellow journalism uses sensationalism to fuel whites’ fear and anxiety and, at times, goes so far as to coordinate lynchings. The more fact-driven and impartial journalism of the New York Times does no such thing. But it substitutes cold facts for moral courage and thus shirks an important social responsibility. Second, and drawing on work by Michel Foucault, Jagmohan contends that her willingness to risk death to expose the true causes of lynching to help others see their way toward justice and away from injustice exemplifies fearless speech, or what the ancients called parrhesia. Third, he questions whether intrepid speech can be a moral obligation for journalists and leaders living under extreme persecution.

Desmond Jagmohan is an Assistant Professor in the Politics Department at Princeton University. He researches and teaches history of political theory, and he works primarily in the areas of American and African American political thought. He also has interests in slavery and modern political thought and historical methods. At the moment, he is completing his first book, which is titled Dark Virtues: Booker T. Washington’s Tragic Realism. Based on several years of archival research, the book recovers an unseen Booker T. Washington. It reconstructs his political ethics, including his moral defense of equivocation, concealment, and deception as political virtues under conditions of extremity. His second project takes up Harriet Jacobs’ slave narrative to look at the broader philosophical relationship between property, personhood, and moral agency in the context of nineteenth-century American slavery. His work has been published in Perspectives on Politics; Politics, Groups, and Identities; and Contemporary Political Theory.


Date/Time

February 6, 2019 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Venue/Location

Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

A headshot of Professor Laurie Palmer

February 13, 2019 — A. Laurie Palmer: “Public Sun”

This talk traces connections between oil, sun, and distributed forms of power by discussing three in-process projects: a large-scale model of California, a book on lichen, and a public tribunal charging private property for crimes against the common.

A. Laurie Palmer ’s place-based work takes form as sculpture, public projects, and writing, and she collaborates on strategic actions in the contexts of social and environmental justice. Her book In the Aura of a Hole: Exploring Sites of Material Extraction (2014) investigates what happens to places where materials are removed from the ground, and how these materials, once liberated, move between the earth and our bodies. She is currently researching the shapes and structures of underground oil shale formations and continuing to develop work on The Lichen Museum, a massively distributed, inside-out institution that considers this slow, resistant, adaptive and collective organism as an anti-capitalist companion and climate change survivor.

Date/Time

February 13, 2019 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Venue/Location

Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

A photo of sand dunes in the desert

February 20, 2019 — Jerry Zee: “Continent in Dust: China in Aerosol Phases”

This talk offers a political anthropology of strange weather. As Chinese deserts increasingly appear as latent dust storms, it tracks geo-meteorological phase shifts as they rework contemporary land and air into a substantial continuum. It tracks territorial governance as it shifts into experimental formations that draw into the choreographies of sand, wind, and dust that they seek to re-engineer.

Jerry Zee is an assistant professor at UCSC’s Anthropology Department. His work considers experiments in politics and environments in China’s meteorological contemporary.


Date/Time

February 20, 2019 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Venue/Location

Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

Photo by Boris Ulzibat

A still from Dr. Dee Hibbert-Jones' animated film, "Last Day of Freedom," depicting a line drawing of a man speaking and a helicopter in the background

February 27, 2019 — Dee Hibbert-Jones: Last Day of Freedom & Run With It

Professor Hibbert-Jones will be screening her Academy Award®-nominated short film Last Day of Freedom. When Bill Babbitt realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime he agonizes over his decision- should he call the police? Last Day of Freedom is a richly animated personal narrative that tells the story of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother, a veteran returning from war, as he faces criminal charges, racism, and ultimately the death penalty. This film is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day – veterans’ care, mental health access, and criminal justice. She will discuss Last Day of Freedom as well as her upcoming animated documentary Run With It about Troy Davis, a black man accused of killing a white police officer in Savannah Georgia, USA.

Dee Hibbert-Jones is an Academy Award®-nominated, Emmy®-award winning documentary filmmaker, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a MacDowell Fellow. Working in collaboration with Nomi Talisman, she produces animated documentary films that explore the crisis in the criminal justice system and the US racial divide, challenging entrenched attitudes, immersing viewers in a complex world of feelings and experiences, engendering empathy and critical reflection. In 2015 they received the Filmmaker Award from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke, created to honor and support documentary artists whose works are potential catalysts for education and change. Hibbert-Jones was recently awarded a United States Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust Award in recognition for her “outstanding national commitment to civil rights, and social justice” and a Gideon award for “support to indigent minorities” for her film work. She a Professor of Art, Film, and Digital Art New Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


Date/Time

February 27, 2019 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Venue/Location

Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

 

Photo: Still from Last Day of Freedom (Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman)

A photo of Professor Camilla Hawthorne

March 6, 2019 — Camilla Hawthorne: “On Diasporic Ethics: Locating the Black Mediterranean in Italian Citizenship Struggles”

This talk examines the possibilities and limitations of the “Black Mediterranean” (which emphasizes the power-laden relations of cultural exchange and racial violence linking Europe and Africa) as an analytical framework for understanding the historical and contemporary forms of racial criminalization and racialized citizenship in Italy. The emergent “Black Italian” movement in Italy has been increasingly confronted with the limits of national citizenship as a means for addressing racial inequality. In response, activists have begun to turn toward alternative political imaginaries and practices of community that extend far beyond the Italian nation-state. In this context, what can the Black Mediterranean open up in terms of new political praxes and transgressive alliance? Specifically, how might this framework help to bridge Black liberation politics in Italy with refugee rights mobilizations?

Camilla Hawthorne is Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Inequality in the Department of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz. She is a principal faculty member in the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program, and a faculty affiliate of the Science & Justice Research Center at UCSC. Camilla received her PhD in Geography with a designated emphasis in Science and Technology Studies from UC Berkeley in 2018. She also holds an MPA from Brown University. Camilla’s work addresses the politics of migration and citizenship, racism and inequality, and social movements. Her book project, tentatively titled Different Waters, Same Sea: Contesting Racialized Citizenship in the Black Mediterranean, explores the politics of race and citizenship in contemporary Italy. She is also co-editing a volume about Black Geographies with Dr. Jovan Scott Lewis of UC Berkeley, as well as a volume on racial subordination and resistance in the Mediterranean. Camilla serves as faculty member and project manager of the Summer School on Black Europe in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Date/Time

March 6, 2019 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Venue/Location

Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

A photo of a crosswalk in New York City taken from a street corner. Vendors, pedestrians, and taxis line the street and sidewalk.

October 10, 2018 – Chris Benner: “A Universal Technology Dividend? Rethinking Price, Value, Work, and the Commons”

Benner’s current work considers the idea of a Universal Technology Dividend. This talk will explore questions related to the common-property characteristics of technology and innovation, the monopolistic characteristics of information markets, and the need to rethink how we define work in contemporary labor markets.

Dr. Chris Benner is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, and a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He currently directs the Everett Program for Technology and Social Change and the Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation. His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment. He has authored or co-authored six books (most recently Equity, Growth and Community, 2015, UC Press) and more that 70 journal articles, chapters and research reports. He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

Date/Time

October 10, 2018 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Venue/Location

Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

Black and white photo of five people playing soccer. In the background, the soccer field is bordered by a fence; beyond the fence are multiple industrial smokestacks.

October 17, 2018 – Sharad Chari: “Apartheid Remains”

“Apartheid Remains” explores how people subjected to life in a patchwork landscape of industry and residence in the Indian Ocean City of Durban, South Africa, have sought to contest their social and spatial subjection across the 20th century, particularly in the revolutionary 1970s and 1980s, and in today’s racial capitalism.

Sharad Chari is a geographer working at the interface of political economy, historical ethnography, Marxist geography, agrarian studies, Black and subaltern radical traditions and oceanic studies. He has spent time at the Michigan Society of Fellows and the ‘Anthrohistory’ program at Michigan, Geography at the LSE, and Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand, before returning to Berkeley Geography. Sharad is a scholar of agrarian transition and industrialization in South India (his first book, Fraternal Capital, 2004) and has been working on South Africa since 2002 (on the book project Apartheid Remains which he is speaking from.) He has also begun new work on an oceanic conception of capitalism, in relation to the fetishism of ‘the Ocean Economy’ in the Southern African Indian Ocean region, focusing on the South African and Mozambican Indian Ocean littorals, Réunion and Mauritius. At Berkeley, he is also part of Berkeley Black Geographies and the Submergent Archive, both collective projects in Geography Department, and at WiSER he is part of the project on the Oceanic Humanities in the Global South.

Date/Time

October 17, 2018 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Venue/Location

Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

Photo by Cedric Nunn

A photo of the Geneva UN building

October 24, 2018 – CANCELLED – Ashwini Tambe: “Tropical Exceptions: Racial Logics in Twentieth Century Intergovernmental Age of Consent Debates”

–CANCELLED–

–Dr. Tambe’s visit will be rescheduled for another date during the 2017-18 academic year–

This talk traces how intergovernmental efforts at setting common age standards for sexual consent and marriage occasioned elaborate posturing and coding of racial difference. In discussing the proceedings of two UN cases, Tambe demonstrates how seemingly neutral age categories became a means to express geopolitical hierarchies and undercut formal liberal relationships of equivalence.

Ashwini Tambe studies how societies regulate sexual practices, and why sexual practices are freighted with political meaning. Her previous work has engaged the history of sex trade regulation in Bombay. Her forthcoming book focuses on age standards for sexual consent and the legal paradoxes in defining girlhood in India. She is also writing a book on academic feminism and the #MeToo movement, and co-editing a volume on the history and future of transnational feminist theory. She is the editorial director of Feminist Studies, the oldest US journal of feminist interdisciplinary scholarship.

Date/Time

October 24, 2018 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public

Venue/Location

Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Emerging Worlds & the Department of Feminist Studies