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Upcoming Colloquia



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Amahl Bishara

Tufts University

Crossing a Line: Laws, Violence & Roadblocks to Palestinian Political Expression

Palestinian activists who are citizens of Israel and those living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank assert that they share a single political struggle for national liberation. Yet, obstacles inhibit their ability to speak to each other and as a collective. Geopolitical boundaries fragment Palestinians into ever smaller groups. Through ethnography, Bishara enters these distinct environments for political expression and action of Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship and Palestinians subject to Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, and considers how Palestinians are differently impacted by dispossession, settler colonialism, and militarism. Bishara looks to sites of political practice—journalism, historical commemorations, street demonstrations, social media, in prison, and on the road—to analyze how Palestinians create collectivities in these varied circumstances. In considering these different environments for political expression and action, Bishara illuminates how expression is always grounded in place—and how a people can struggle together for liberation even when they cannot join together in protest. She also reflects on experiences sharing this work with Palestinian audiences and on how changes in both Palestinian political terrain and decolonizing work in anthropology frame and reframe this work.

Amahl Bishara is Associate Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department at Tufts University. She is the author of Crossing a Line: Laws, Violence, & Roadblocks to Palestinian Political Expression (Stanford 2022), about different conditions of expression for Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank. She also writes about popular refugee politics in the West Bank. Her first book, Back Stories: U.S. News and Palestinian Politics (Stanford University Press 2013), is an ethnography of the production of U.S. news during the second Palestinian Intifada. She is the president of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association.
January 22nd

Terry Deacon

UC Berkeley


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Kisha Supernant

University of Alberta

From Extraction to Restoration: Heart-centered Archaeology for Reclamation and Restorative Justice

Archaeology in North America has long been associated with colonial, extractive practices, where the materials, landscapes, and bodies of Indigenous and enslaved people were seen as specimens and objects of study. The long-standing and ongoing critique of archaeology by Indigenous and other systemically excluded voices has led to changes, but the harmful legacy of past research has not always been adequately addressed. In this talk, I explore how archaeologists are approaching their research as service to reorient their work toward reclamation and restorative justice. Drawing on case studies from my own work with Indigenous communities in Canada, I explore how taking a heart-centered approach can transform archaeology from an extractive practice to a restorative one and create a safer, more just future for the discipline and for the world.


February 26th

Anna Agbe-Davies

University of North Carolina


April 8th

Ripan Mahli

University of Illinois


April 15th

Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas

Emory University


May 13th

Miki Makihara

City University of New York


Past Colloquiua

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Maurice Magaña

University of Arizona

Multimodal Archives and Multi-sited Prescence: Cultural Production, Intergenerational Activism, and Belonging in Diasporic Communities

This paper considers the kinds of grassroots archives created by artists and activists who insist on being seen on their own terms. These artists and activists belong to diasporic, racialized communities (Central American, Mexican, Chicanx) in the US and Mexico (Los Angeles, CA and Oaxaca, Mexico). Anchored around the concept of multimodal archives, this paper puts cultural productions like murals, zines, and music (lyrics and videos) in conversation with digital and social media usage, more traditional archival material and ethnographic data to better understand how young people are theorizing radical politics, race, identity, and belonging. These theorizations refuse easy categorization and demand an embrace of the messiness and contradictions involved in collective struggle to create more just worlds where racialized, migrant communities are seen and treated as bring fully human. The archives constituted by such productions and practices link communities, events, and histories across temporal and spatial geographies and scales thus generating rich insights into how artists and activists create and strengthen community across national borders and various categories of difference. Included in this paper will be attention to how these archives link physical and digital sites, ephemerality and permanence to create what I call multi-sited presence.


October 23rd

Sherina Feliciano-santos

University of South Carolina

Regimenting Perceptions: The sensory sign and its racialized trajectories

Regimes of racialized perception and uptake rooted and emergent in and through colonial racial orders are entrenched across scales of interaction ranging from bureaucratic institutions to everyday interpersonal exchanges. These regimes and orders impact the ways that perceivable signs of embodiment ranging from smell and taste, to sight, touch, and sound are expressed, interpreted, and contested, as well as the limits of their interactional expression and interpretation. Drawing on my own work in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and recent research by scholars in anthropology, Caribbean studies, and Carceral studies that consider concepts such as racial orders and rights, saliency and visibility, multi-sensoriality, materiality, and embodiment, as well as raciolinguistic and raciosemiotic approaches to anthropology, I consider the historical emergence of multiple forms of racial-sensorial-perceptual regimentation and the impacts of these different (yet often overlapping) regimented forms of perception within social exchanges. Lastly, I contemplate how official bureaucratic and unofficial quotidian encounters contribute to their hierarchization, re-entrenchment, and contestation.