Watch Now: Migration through the Camera Lens: Ethnography, Film, and the Migration Crisis

On October 19th the New York Academy of Sciences hosted the lecture, “Migration through the Camera Lens: Ethnography, Film, and the Migration Crisis”. Watch it now.

Building on the long tradition of anthropological research in borderlands, questions of mobility have received heightened attention by scholars in recent years as migration crises make headline news. Alongside new works exploring the political and experiential elements of migration, some anthropologists are turning to filmmaking as an ideal ethnographic method for actively engaging migrant subjects in the research process, raising public awareness about the human rights of migrants, and building on existing theories of individual, group, and national identity construction in borderlands. Distinguished panelists will discuss their experiences documenting migration through the camera lens. Prior to the event, registered guests will have the opportunity to view Border South, which focuses its lens on the border space between the United States and Mexico, and selections from The Burning, which focuses on the southernmost borders to the European Union in North Africa; an email with the links and passwords to view the films will be sent to registered attendees 48 hours before the event. These films will set the stage for an engaging event on film as an ethnographic method, the ethics of doing research with migrant populations, and the politics of mobility in critical border regions with global health and humanitarian crises on the rise. Key questions center on how border crises are created and manipulated by those in power, and how governments use natural barriers, including deserts and seas, to reinforce the violent, traumatic, and even deadly experiences of border crossing.

 

SPEAKERS

Jason De León

Professor of Anthropology and Chicana, Chicano, and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and Executive Director of the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP)

Isabella Alexander-Nathani

Founder and Executive Director of Small World Films

Raúl O. Paz-Pastrana

Independent Filmmaker and Cinematographer

MODERATOR

Naeem Mohaiemen

Filmmaker, Author and Mellon Fellow at Heyman Center, Columbia University

About the Speakers:

Jason De León is Professor of Anthropology and Chicana, Chicano, and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and Executive Director of the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP) Inc., a 501(c)(3). The UMP is a long-term anthropological study of clandestine migration between Latin America and the United States that uses a combination of ethnographic, visual, archaeological, and forensic approaches to understand this violent social process. He has published numerous academic articles and his work with the UMP has been featured in a variety of popular media outlets. He is the author of the award-winning book “The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail” (featuring photos by Michael Wells) and Head Curator of the forthcoming global exhibition Hostile Terrain 94. De León is President of the Board of Directors for The Colibrí Center for Human Rights and a 2017 MacArthur Foundation fellow.

Dr. Isabella Alexander-Nathani is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, educator, and human rights activist. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, her work is motivated by her belief that storytelling has the power to humanize complex political issues. Her latest book Burning at Europe’s Borders (Oxford University Press, 2020) and related documentary film The Burning (Small World Films, 2020) uncover the human sides of our global migrant and refugee crisis. Alexander-Nathani’s work has been featured on BBC, CNN, NPR, PRI, and Al Jazeera, and she is a regular contributor to SAPIENS, where she writes a monthly column called “Borders.” Her speaking programs have brought her to stages around the world, including the United Nations General Assembly and the Parliament of the World’s Religions, where she has delivered keynote addresses to audiences of more than 10,000. The American Anthropological Association presented her with the “Emerging Leader in Anthropology” award in 2016, and her latest project has been supported by multiple grants from The National Science Foundation. She has held faculty positions in the Departments of Anthropology and Film Studies at Emory University and the Department of Social Sciences at Morocco’s national university. She currently serves as Founder and Executive Director of Small World Films, a non-profit production studio. She uses grounded social science research and storytelling to lift the voices of marginalized populations to the global stage and fight for international policy change.

Raúl O. Paz-Pastrana is a Mexican immigrant filmmaker and cinematographer. His work intersects contemporary art, political documentary, and visual ethnography to explore themes of belonging, alienation, and the concept of “home.”  His last feature film Border South follows the migrant routes from southern Mexico to the U.S.-Mexico border. The result is a close-up, nuanced, and highly original view of the migrant experience, one fraught with risk and danger but also camaraderie, ingenuity, and humor. Border South had its world premiere at the 2019 Sheffield Doc/Fest in the U.K., its U.S. premiere at the AFI Docs Film Festival in Washington D.C. and its Latin American premiere at the 2020 Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) in Mexico. Raúl is a Princess Grace Awards Special Project Grantee, a Camargo Foundation Cassis France Artist Alumni, a Tribeca Film Institute grant recipient, a 2018 IFP Filmmaker Labs fellow, a 2018 BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, a 2018-20 Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow, a 2020 New America National Fellow, a 2018-20 Ford Foundation, JustFilms grantee, a 2020 Colorado Humanities grantee, and a 2020-21 Sundance Institute grantee.

MODERATOR
Naeem Mohaiemen makes films and writes essays about rhizomatic families, malleable borders, and socialist utopias – beginning from Bangladesh’s two postcolonial markers (1947, 1971) and then radiating outward to transnational linkages. He is author of Midnight’s Third Child (Nokta, forthcoming) and Prisoners of Shothik Itihash (Kunsthalle Basel, 2014); editor of Chittagong Hill Tracts in the Blind Spot of Bangladesh Nationalism (Drishtipat, 2010); and co-editor with Eszter Szakacs of Solidarity Must be Defended (Tranzit, forthcoming) and with Lorenzo Fusi of System Error: War is a Force that Gives us Meaning (Sylvana, 2007). Naeem is Mellon Fellow at Heyman Center, Columbia University, New York, and Senior Fellow (non-residential) at Lunder Institute of American Art, Colby College, Maine. He is on the board of the Vera List Center for Art & Politics, New School, New York, and the film council of ICA, London.

 

Webinar Series: Criticism Inside, Alternatives Alongside: Organizing Otherwise to Intervene in Anthropology’s Future

The Wenner-Gren Foundation in partnership with the UC Irvine School of Social Sciences are excited to announce a new webinar series, “Criticism Inside, Alternatives Alongside: Organizing Otherwise to Intervene in Anthropology’s Future“.

Organized by Bill Maurer (Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion, UC Irvine) and Taylor C. Nelms (Senior Director of Research, Filene Research Institute)

 With Kim Fernandes (University of Pennsylvania), Nina Medvedeva (University of Minnesota), Nima Yolmo (UC Irvine), and Chris Chan (University of Washington)

That the future of anthropology is up for grabs is not new. Anthropology has always been the outcome of struggle, and anthropologists and their allies have long sought to speak truth to power and to convey their own and others’ stories to address inequality, domination, and violence in all its forms. Our record is mixed, to say the least.

Yet the opportunity for intervention arrives anew, and seizing it requires confronting the methods of knowledge production/dissemination and professional reproduction together. What are the possibilities and limitations of working inside, outside, alongside, against, at the edges, or in the hybrid in-between spaces of anthropology’s multiple and heterogeneous publics? And how ought we imagine and describe the position of “public,” “applied,” or “practicing” anthropologists (all inadequate idioms) vis-a-vis academic anthropology and the organizations with whom they work?

This interview series, supported by a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, will look to new spaces of inquiry and intervention outside the academy—in tech, finance, and nonprofit worlds, specifically—to explore new forms of knowledge production and dissemination and new kinds of organization and communication. The webinar series will feature anthropologists and other social scientists working across institutional boundaries and with partners outside the academy to put into practice alternative financial and economic arrangements. Speakers will take up what it means to make anthropology—and anthropologists—accountable to its history and to the political economic demands of the moment. And they will investigate what forms critique takes, and what other kinds of intervention are possible, in industries, from finance to tech to philanthropy, that hold concentrated power over the material lives of so many around the world.

SCHEDULE: All webinars will take place Fridays, 12-1pm U.S. Eastern Standard Time/9-10am Pacific.

October 23, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#1 – Introducing the Series: Theory and Practice at the Edges of Academia

With Bill Maurer and Taylor C. Nelms

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_1_Maurer_Nelms

 

November 6, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#2 – Civil and Civic Manipulations: Activism, Media, and Public Policy

With Joan Donovan, Research Director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard University Kennedy School

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_3_Donovan

 

December 4, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#3 – Communicating and Community-Building: Working in, with, and against Big Tech

With Mary L. Gray, Senior Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research and Associate Professor, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, & Engineering, Anthropology, and Gender Studies, Indiana University

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_4_Gray

 

December 18, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#4 – Building Race as an Analytic into Anthropology, Within and Outside the Academy

With Sareeta Amrute, Director of Research, Data & Society

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_5_Amrute

 

January 8, 2021: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#5 – Expanding the Anthropological Imagination: Working in, with, and against Wall Street

With Hannah Appel, Associate Professor of Anthropology, UCLA

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_6_Appel

 

January 22, 2021: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#6 – Precarious Professions, Organizing for the Future

With Eli Thorkelson

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_7_Thorkelson

 

February 5th, 2021: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#7 – Public, Open/Libre, Commons: Cultures of Liberation and the Liberation of Culture in Anthropology

With Alberto Corsín Jiménez, Reader, Department of Social Anthropology, Spanish National Research Council, Madrid

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_8_Jiménez

 

February 12, 2021: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#8 – What Does Social Change Look Like?

Angela Russell, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, CUNA Mutual Group

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_9_Russell

 

February 26, 2021: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#9 – On Emergencies: Socializing and Institutionalizing in Crisis

Federico Neiburg, Professor of Social Anthropology, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_10_Neiburg

 

March 12, 2020: 12-1pm EST/9-10am PST

#10 – Pedagogical and Political Commitments: The Opportunities and Limitations of Anthropology outside the Academy

With Noelle Stout, Research Faculty, Apple University

http://bit.ly/InterveneAnthroFuture_2_Stout

Webinar Series: From the Margins to the Mainstream: Black and Indigenous Futures in Archaeology

Credit: Backbone Campaign/Flickr

If you haven’t already please be sure to check out the ongoing monthly webinar series, “From the Margins to the Mainstream: Black and Indigenous Futures in Archaeology“.

Widespread protests against police violence and anti-Black racism have recently swept the globe. In the wake of protests in May and June, specifically, many citizens and communities looked to build new momentum in the fight for civil rights and social justice.

The field of archaeology has its own history to confront. Racism, elitism, and colonialism suffuse the discipline and its practices. Although some scholars have been working to unearth these stories and envision a new future for the field, much work remains to be done.

To advance critical conversations about archaeology, a coalition of organizations created a new webinar series. These public dialogues—intended for both scholars and the larger public—are among academics, artists, and community members.

The next installment in the series, “An Archaeology of Redress and Restorative Justice” will be on Wednesday, October 7th from 4-6 PM (Eastern). To register for this event click here.

Head on over to SAPIENS for the full list of events.

Organized by the Society of Black Archaeologists, the Indigenous Archaeology Collective, the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and SAPIENS.

 

Webinar 10/7: An Archaeology of Redress and Restorative Justice

On Wednesday, October 7th the Wenner-Gren Foundation co-sponsored, “An Archaeology of Redress and Restorative Justice”.

Archaeologists and heritage professionals whose work overlays histories of colonialism, exploitation, collective violence, and genocide are increasingly aware that they cannot simply take refuge in prehistory to avoid troubling pasts; nor is it sufficient to merely acknowledge historical wrongs. And yet scholars often struggle to identify ways that archaeological and heritage work can make a meaningful impact. In this webinar, we explore how archaeology can not only identify the legacies of inequity, injustice, and violence that have shaped historical and contemporary communities, but also to open the possibility of redress for the continuing systemic inequities these legacies reveal (i.e. environmental racism, racialized disenfranchisement, heritage erasure). Panelists will discuss how they blend archaeology and heritage work with principles of redress and restorative justice.

Panelists:

Mary Elliott, Curator of Slavery, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)

Sada Mire, PhD, Director, Horn Heritage Organisation

Kisha Supernant, (Métis Nation of Alberta), PhD, Director, Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology, University of Alberta

Michael Wilcox (Yuman/Quechan descent), PhD, Senior Lecturer in Native American Studies, Stanford University

Moderated by Margaret Bruchac, (Abenaki), PhD, Coordinator, Native American & Indigenous Studies, University of Pennsylvania

CART captioning will be provided by Lori Stavropoulos.

Sponsored by the Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective, Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and SAPIENS

 

Watch Now: Wenner-Gren Proposal Writing Webinar: Funding Anthropological Research in the Age of Covid-19

On September 23rd Danilyn Rutherford, the President of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, held a discussion of how to seek funding for your research in these tumultuous times. Danilyn discussed everything from changes to the application questions to the meaning and ethics of research at a moment when anthropologists and those affected by their work are facing enormous challenges. She also described some of the new programs Wenner-Gren is launching to advance anthropological knowledge, amplify the impact of anthropology, address the precarity of anthropology and anthropologists, and promote an inclusive vision of the field.

CART captioning was provided by Gay Cordova.

Webinar: Reclaiming the Ancestors: Indigenous and Black Perspectives on Repatriation, Human Rights, and Justice

On Wednesday, September 2nd the Wenner-Gren Foundation co-sponsored the webinar, “Reclaiming the Ancestors: Indigenous and Black Perspectives on Repatriation, Human Rights, and Justice”.

Over the last several centuries, Indigenous, Black, and other colonized peoples’ remains have been turned into objects of study for archaeologists, anthropologists, and other scientists. This can be seen most clearly in the collection of their ancestors, often excavated from cemeteries and burial grounds and taken to museums around the world. Today, more than 100,000 Native American ancestral remains are still held in U.S. public museums alone, while an unknown number of remains of people of African descent are stored in museum collections.

What does it mean to turn human beings into artifacts? What happens to the living communities who lose control and ownership over their own ancestors and heritage? In exploring these questions, this panel will discuss how repatriation–the process of reclaiming and returning ancestral and human remains–can address inequality. The discussion will further ask how repatriation might encourage a reckoning with the colonial violence experienced by Native and Black Americans in the past, which still reverberates in the injustice their descendants face today. Bringing together Indigenous and Black voices, this panel discussion finds common ground in the struggle for repatriation and assertion of sovereignty and human rights.

Panelists:

Michael Blakey, PhD, NEH Professor, College of William and Mary

Dorothy Lippert (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), PhD, Tribal Liaison, National Museum of Natural History

Shannon Martin (Gun Lake Pottawatomi/Ojibwe), Director, Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways

Rachel Watkins, PhD, Associate Professor, American University

Moderated by Sonya Atalay (Anishinabe-Ojibwe), PhD, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst

CART captioning by Lori Yeager Stavropoulos

Sponsored by the Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective, Peabody Institute of Archaeology, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and SAPIENS

Watch Now: The Case for Letting Anthropology Burn? Race, Racism, and Its Reckoning in American Anthropology

On September 23rd the Wenner-Gren Foundation along with the UCLA Department of Anthropology Race, Racism, Policing and State Violence Committee co-sponsored, “The Case for Letting Anthropology Burn? Race, Racism, and Its Reckoning in American Anthropology”. Watch it now!

Moderators: Kamari M. Clarke & Deborah Thomas

Introduction by Danilyn Rutherford, President, Wenner-Gren Foundation

Respondents:

Lucia Cantero, Assistant Professor of International Studies, University of San Francisco

Ryan Jobson, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago

Chris Loperena, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center

Jonathan Rosa, Associate Professor of Education, Stanford University

Savannah Shange, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Zoe Todd, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Carleton University

Watch Now: New Webinar Series: Indigenous Peoples, Heritage and Landscape in the Asia Pacific: Knowledge Co-Production, Policy Change, and Empowerment

From September to November the Wenner-Gren Foundation sponsored a new webinar series entitled, “Indigenous Peoples, Heritage and Landscape in the Asia Pacific: Knowledge Co-Production, Policy Change, and Empowerment“, co-sponsored by UCLA Asia Pacific Center, the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, The University of New England through the First Peoples Rights and Law Centre, and the National Cheng-chi University through the Center for Taiwan-Philippines Indigenous Knowledge, Local Knowledge, and Sustainable Studies (CTPILS).

Watch the entire series here.

About the Series:

How do scholars approach community-engaged research? Why is there a need to involve community stakeholders in research? What happens when communities engage the scholars and invest in the research process? An increasing number of scholars have actively strived for the involvement of communities, not just as mere contributors, but as active and involved participants in the research process. This recent shift in research practice is a product of the realization that collaboration among local, indigenous, and other stakeholders provides a venue for inclusive co-production of knowledge. In this webinar series, we showcase examples of successful scholarship in the Asia Pacific where local stakeholders and local communities are actively involved.  Panel members are researchers who actively engage with the communities that they work with.  The webinar series emphasizes that collaborative methodology is a venue where indigenous/local knowledge systems and Western science intersects. The goal is to utilize the knowledge co-production to argue for policy recommendations that has space for co-administration. More importantly, we highlight the importance of collaboration to empowering communities.

The webinar is co-hosted by UCLA Department of Anthropology, UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawaii-Manoa Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo), Ifugao State University, and the Partido State University.

September Events

Panel 1: Defining the terms: Heritage, Landscapes, Indigenous Empowerment

Wednesday September 16, 8:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs September 17, 11:00 AM (TWN)

Panel 2: Wisdom of the Landscapes 1.0

Wednesday September 23, 8:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs September 24, 11:00 AM (TWN)

Panel 3: Wisdom of the Landscapes 2.0

Wednesday September 30, 8:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs September 31, 11:00 AM (TWN)

October Events

Panel 4: Weaving and Empowerment

Wednesday October 7, 8:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs October 8, 11:00 AM (TWN)

Panel 5: History and Heritage

Wednesday October 14, 8:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs October 15, 11:00 AM (TWN)

Panel 6: Pacific Histories

Wednesday October 21, 8:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs October 22, 11:00 AM (TWN)

Panel 7: Indigeneity, Identity, and Empowerment

Wednesday October 28, 8:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs October 29, 11:00 AM (TWN)

November Events

Panel 8. Indigenous Rights and Heritage Laws

November 4, 2020, 6:00 PM (PDT) / November 5, 2020, 10:00 AM (TWN)

Panel 9. Preserving Textiles: Indigenous Knowledge and Methods

November 11, 2020, 6:00 PM (PST) / November 12, 2020, 10:00 AM (TWN)

Panel 10. Tying Ends Together: Translating Engagement and Empowerment

November 18, 2020, 6:00 PM (PST) / November 19, 2020, 10:00 AM (TWN)

Watch Now: As the Statues Fall: A Conversation about Monuments and the Power of Memory

Photo by Keir Gravil

On Thursday, July 23rd, the Wenner-Gren Foundation and SAPIENS in collaboration with the Society of Black Archaeologists and the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, hosted “As the Statues Fall: A Conversation about Monuments and the Power of Memory”.

In the wake of global civil unrest following the brutal killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Elijah McClain, and countless others at the hands of police in the United States, Black Lives Matter protestors and their allies have critiqued the anti-Black racism imbued in the erection and maintenance of Confederate historical monuments.  The legacy of social movements seeking to remove Confederate statues is longstanding. However, unlike in previous moments, what began as the forced removal of Confederate statues during protests has rippled to the removal of colonialist, imperialist, and enslaver monuments all over the world.  In this webinar, scholars and artists share their insights on the power of monumentality and the work they are doing to reconfigure historical markers.

Featuring:

LaVaughn Belle, Visual Artist
Nicholas Galanin, Tlingit/Unangax Multi-Disciplinary Artist
Dell Upton, PhD, Professor and Chair of Art History, UCLA
Tsione Wolde-Michael, Curator, Smithsonian-NMAH
Moderated by Tiffany Cain, PhD, Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows
CART captioning by Joshua Edwards

As the Statues Fall: A Conversation about Monuments and the Power of Memory

Join us for “As the Statues Fall: A Conversation about Monuments and the Power of Memory,” a webinar hosted by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and SAPIENS in collaboration with the Society of Black Archaeologists and the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies.

In the wake of global civil unrest following the brutal killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Elijah McClain, and countless others at the hands of police in the United States, Black Lives Matter protestors and their allies have critiqued the anti-Black racism imbued in the erection and maintenance of Confederate historical monuments.  The legacy of social movements seeking to remove Confederate statues is longstanding. However, unlike in previous moments, what began as the forced removal of Confederate statues during protests has rippled to the removal of colonialist, imperialist, and enslaver monuments all over the world.  In this webinar, scholars and artists share their insights on the power of monumentality and the work they are doing to reconfigure historical markers.

Featuring:

LaVaughn Belle, Visual Artist
Nicholas Galanin, Tlingit/Unangax Multi-Disciplinary Artist
Dell Upton, PhD, Professor and Chair of Art History, UCLA
Tsione Wolde-Michael, Curator, Smithsonian-NMAH
Moderated by Tiffany Cain, PhD, Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows
CART captioning by Joshua Edwards

Register Now!

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6OhfWig6SwWZTZsY4U1Y-Q

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.