News

Inviting you all to an online book launch and virtual gathering for EFC member Virginie Magnat's monograph 'The Performative Power of Vocality' on Thursday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PST.

Event hosted by the Centre For Mindful Engagement, University of British Columbia and Dr. Magnat will be joined by two special guests, Indigenous scholar Dr. Vicki Kelly and French scholar Dr. Nathalie Gauthard, who are members of the “Culture, Creativity, Health and Well-Being” Research Cluster co-led by Dr. Karen Raggonaden and Dr. Magnat.

Click here for more info and registration.

Dec 2020

Mary Bunch will be giving a talk entitled 'Extending Reality (XR) with Disability Worldmaking' at the Toronto Film and Media Seminar at 16:30 on October 23, 2020.

The question of who should or should not inhabit the world is a central problem in disability studies. In this paper I bring a new spin to this problem by asking how disability can extend reality through the creation of worlds in immersive storytelling. If the virtual is a force of existence, the question of who has access to platforms like virtual and augmented reality, and whose experiences, ontologies and epistemologies have currency in XR matters profoundly. In this paper I explore transformative worldmaking in “Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness,”(Middleton and Spinney 2016)  a VR work based on the audio recordings of blind scholar John Hull. I examine the capacity of VR to exceed the hype of the ‘empathy machine,’  disrupting normative reality to create new possible worlds.

This event will be held on Zoom with ASL interpretation available. Please RSVP  to torontofilmandmediaseminar@gmail.com  with your name and institutional affiliation for the link and passcode.

Oct 2020

Alize Arican will be presenting a paper entitled "Figuring It Out in Tarlabasi, Istanbul" as part of the panel, "Politics and Anti-Politics of Care in Turkey" at the Middle East Studies Asssociation conference which will be held virtually on October 6, 2020.

In 2006, Turkey’s Justice and Development Party-led government designated Istanbul’s Tarlabasi neighborhood—popularly known and stigmatized as a hub of informality, illicit activity, immigrants, and minorities—as an urban transformation zone. Expropriations of property, evictions, demolitions, and the construction of Taksim 360, a luxury business and residential complex, followed soon after. Scholars and activists have often interpreted the beginnings of Taksim 360 as marking the failure of urban resistance in Tarlabasi. Accompanying the interlocutors to on streets, in living rooms, Ottoman archives, hospitals, and informal clinics, Alize shows that residents temporalize care by “figuring it out.” Instead of caring to get by in the present, they orchestrate multiple temporalities of pasts and presents to work towards an urban future, shaping the outcomes of urban transformation. And approaching practices of care through a temporal lens, Alize contends, elucidates new understandings of care, somewhere between altruism and pragmatism, with the potential to reconfigure urban politics.

Oct 2020

Maruša Levstek, the editor of Excursions Journal, is currently promoting a call for papers for their 2020/21 issue with a theme (Re)Connect. The upcoming issue invites researchers from all disciplines to (re)connect to the complex relationships between society, nature, things, science, and being human.

To connect is an integral part of the human experience. We are social, connected, beings. The unparalleled events of 2020 have made this even more evident --- they have forced us to disconnect from life as we knew it and to (re)connect to history, nature, people, ourselves, and forgotten practices. Submissions will also be considered for presentation at the Excursions Online Symposium with a goal to communicate published research to a wider audience through the use of creative arts, which is an incredible opportunity for social engagement. Please submit your extended abstract (or full manuscript) by 1st October 2020 here.

Oct 2020

Aadita Chaudhury will be participating in UNIDEE and Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto Residency on the theme: "Embedded Arts Practice in a Post-pandemic Future" (Sept - Nov 2020).

The global Coronavirus pandemic is an event that had created new conditions for arts and culture. Those who wish to effect social change through their practice are left with questions: "What can we do from here?" and "What future can we help to build?”. The residency aims to collectively and collaboratively address key questions, challenges and themes in the area of embedded and socially engaged art practice. Through the lens of a "post pandemic" future, participants will gain practical and theoretical knowledge that they can then apply in both the postindustrial context of Biella and their own locale. Over ten weeks from September to November 2020, the residency will provide time and space for practitioners and thinkers from a range of backgrounds to collectively and collaboratively address key questions and challenges for embedded and socially engaged art practice in the unfolding context of a post-virus world.

Sep 2020

Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston has recently published a chapter Pedagogies of the Imagination: Toward a New Performative Politics in the volume Experiential and Performative Anthropology in the Classroom: Engaging the Legacy of Edith and Victor Turner edited by Pamela R. Frese and Susan Brownell.

The chapter examines performance ethnography as an approach to a critical pedagogy concerned with social justice, and one that meshes well with a reliance on embodied improvisation. This is a research practice that uses performance not only to represent and communicate research findings but also to conduct research, by approaching performance itself as an ethnographic process.

Aug 2020

Celeste Pang took up a collaborative project Speculating Pandemic, with 14 people from across academic disciplines to explore ways in which speculative fiction might become not only a resource for imagining alternative worlds, but also a medium for remaking our presence in this world.

The collaborative project, an international media monitoring of COVID-19 events and responses through May-July 2020, took up this orientation of speculation to think critically about the intersections of pandemic and radical social transformations occurring now, and what future(s) we may hold and imagine. Each group member monitored a distinct media source to capture together COVID-19 related events and responses, and to enable us to think through how the pandemic resonates with the particular geo-histories we explore in our regular academic work.

Aug 2020

Debashis Sinha will be participating in the upcoming European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) Biennial Conference and will present at the Lab10 "Rubbish, noise, experimentations: new afterlives of field recordings". The lab proposes to work on and think about new afterlives for anthropologists' sound recordings. By focussing on the figural excesses, technological deficiencies, or analytical uselessness of these objects, the lab participants collaboratively envision and bring about novel purposes for them. In an approach that is sensitive to the media-technical material conditions of our recordings, this lab proposes to listen to and tinker with field recordings, paying particular attention to the kind of "figural excess" (Pinney 2005) contained in fieldwork recordings.

Register for the conference here: easaonline.org/conferences/easa2020/

Jul 2020

Johannes Sjöberg will be convening the panel (121) 'Filming Futures: ethnographic film and future-making in critical contexts' [FAN and VANEASA] at the upcoming 16th European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) biennial conference on Friday 24 July, 11:00-12:45, 14:00-15:45.

This joint FAN and VANEASA panel will bring together scholars interested in ethnographic film methods engaging with research on futures and future-making. We invite participants to show ethnographic film clips of their own and others' as part of their papers, to spark critical discussion.

Register for the conference here: easaonline.org/conferences/easa2020/

Jul 2020

Alize Arican will be presenting her research paper “Behind the Scaffolding in Tarlabaşı, Istanbul: Manipulations of Time, Delays, and Power” in the roundtable “Contested times of urban expertise” at the upcoming 16th European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) biennial conference on Friday 24 July, 14:00-15:45.

In Taksim 360, Istanbul's first and imminently ongoing urban transformation project, delays are the crucial means through which power works among construction experts and politicians. Alize argues that delays are the modus operandi of urban expertise rather than signs of its failures.

Register for the conference here: easaonline.org/conferences/easa2020/

Jul 2020

Savyasachi Anju Prabir will be presenting his research “Breaking the Reflexive Glass to Shards of Knowledge and Truth” in the panel 082 “New Horizons for Anthropological Authorship: Co-creation and the Production of Knowledge in Times of Global Change” at the upcoming 16th European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) biennial conference on Tuesday 21 July, 11:00-12:45, 14:00-15:45. This panel will consider co-creation as a possible ethical framework for producing knowledge capable of reckoning the politics of visual representation and historical narration in times of global crisis.

Savyasachi's work-in-progress film will also be screened in the "Field/Works. Kaleidoscopic activities between anthropology and art" - AntArt Exhibition Project on Monday  20 July, 19:00 onwards.

Register for the conference here: easaonline.org/conferences/easa2020/

Jul 2020

Shannon Hughes will be facilitating a virtual puppet camp for youth July 13th to 18th, 2020 as an artistically motivated social intervention. For the Love of Georgian Bay is a drama camp for the environmentally concerned. It uses puppet making and storytelling to both educate and protest the proposed construction of an enormous Hydro-electric plant on the shores of Georgian Bay.

Through storytelling, puppet making, and theatre training, the camp brings together theatre and environmental activism to say NO to TCE. Following a week of Puppet making, puppets will be led around town in a celebration of the Bay and as a theatrical protest against the proposed plant. The ‘sidewalk’ parade will adhere to all COVID19 related social distancing protocols and the route/logistics will be determined with health and safety as the primary concern. This parade will take place on Saturday July 18th, 2020 (tentative 11 am – 12 pm) in Meaford, Ontario (the planned location of the plant).

For more information or to volunteer to help with puppet designs or musical additions please email shaneh79@yorku.ca or click here.

Jul 2020

Rajat Nayyar will be presenting his research paper entitled “Women’s Vocality, Radical Sociality & Audiovisual Ethnography in Rural India” at the upcoming 16th European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) Biennial Conference online from July 21-24, 2020. The presentation will be part of the Futures Anthropology Network (FAN) panel “Futures Anthropology as Interventional Theory and Practice.” 

Rajat will analyze the theory and practice of an audio-visual ethnography that constituted new futures through women’s radically imagined vocalities and socialities. Such possibilities for interaction, place-making, filmmaking/digital archiving, and future-making directly complicate the restrictions that colonial, patriarchal, social reform, and Hindu nationalist movements have placed on the public performances of women and lower-caste people in India.

Register for the conference here: easaonline.org/conferences/easa2020/


Jul 2020

Justine Conte will be presenting her research paper entitled “Performing Collective Imagination through Confessional Storytelling” at the upcoming 16th European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) Biennial Conference online from July 21-24, 2020. The presentation will be part of the PechaKucha panel “Collaborative Futures in Practice: Methods and Pedagogies for Imagining and Doing Anthropology Together.”

This paper examines the act of sharing personal histories through a lens of felt experience. It considers how memories of the past can shape futures, and how making this a collective practice facilitates an empathetic consideration of others and the possibility of imagining collective futures.

Register for the conference here: easaonline.org/conferences/easa2020/


Jul 2020

Sanita Fejzić recently published a children’s story called “(M)other.”

The Embassy of France in Canada hosted an online reading of the French translation, “Mère(s) et monde,” over Facebook Live at 1 pm E.S.T. on June 18, 2020. The French translation was done by twice Governor General nominated poet and translator, Sylvie Nicolas.

From the delivery room to the classroom, a woman whose motherhood is questioned explains: her son doesn’t have a father, but he’s got two moms. She is the other mother. A (m)other, but there was only room for one on the birth certificate. In the minds of some adults and kids, however, a father figure must be found. Adapted from a 2018 CBC Poetry Prize shortlisted poem, this book tells, with tenderness and accuracy, the difficulties that homoparental families face in being accepted for who they are: loving families.

Jun 2020

Debashis Sinha is offering an online masterclass in sound design called  “The Hidden Considerations of Sound in Theatre” through the National Theatre School of Canada. All 13 videos in this online series are available here for free until June 30, 2020.

"As sound designers, we listen. We parse and understand our environment with an attention that is hidden but fierce. We take apart the layers of sound present in the most mundane of moments, find in them small quietudes that tell a larger story. We can take the space of the story, take the smallest quiet rustle and make it a roar, or place it forward, or back, or behind a wall. We can take it and slow it down, speed it up, raise or lower it in pitch, and make the story something else, something more."

This masterclass looks at the totality of the sound designer’s world, the ephemeral elements of the design process that often are overlooked or elided in the visceral rush of executing a sound design for a stage production.

https://ent-nts.ca/en/art-apart-class-periphery-of-the-sound-designer-world

Jun 2020

Rana El Kadi has published a chapter entitled “Free Improvised Music in Postwar Beirut: Differential Sounds, Intersectarian Collaborations, and Critical Collective Memory” in an edited volume called “Playing for Keeps: Improvisation in the Aftermath of Crisis.”

Based on an ethnographic study of free improvised music in Beirut, Lebanon, this chapter discusses the emergence of a differential improvisatory practice that is deeply rooted in a struggle with three layers of “crisis”: colonialism, sectarianism, and civil war. The chapter argues that free improvised music allows three key Lebanese musicians to transcend the violence of sectarian identity by providing a neutral ground for the sonic encounter of difference. The co-creative and generative nature of free improvisation further enables these musicians to interrogate local histories of inter-sectarian violence, deconstruct collective memory of civil war, and critically engage with contemporary socio-political realities. The chapter concludes that improvisation in this context emerges as a powerful tool for surviving crisis and imagining a functional post-sectarian society.


Apr 2020