Unsettling the Present: FemiQueer Futures

In this three-part series, we invite artists, scholars, educators, and activists, working across transnational contexts to join us for a conversation about Traditional Ecological Knowledge, indigenous cosmopolitics, public education, and femiqueer futurities. What can we learn from our pasts, as scholar-activists in this moment of crisis, where new directions seem possible? How do we understand collectivity, community, and the publics in these divisive times? How do we recognize and recenter the spirit in our political work today? What is the role of education in political transformation? How do extend and transform feminist, queer, trans genealogies for the present? To engage these questions and more, Dr. Fawzia Afzal-Khan’s (Montclair State University) Feminist Theory classroom will be open to the public over three Fridays (8:15​-9:30 am PST/11:15am-12:30​pmEST).

session #1 on Oct 9: Autonomous Futures and the Pedagogy of the Seed, with Special Guests: Targol Mesbah teaches critical theory and media studies in the Anthropology & Social Change department at CIIS. She researches systems of harm that link the nuclear chain of production, from uranium mining to the deployment of uranium weaponry, across multiple geographies. She connects the work of scientists, artists and activists in documenting the subjugated experiences of communities in resistance to the global entanglement of capitalist extractivism, militarism and colonialism. Her experiences with Zapatista political theory and practice accompany her approach to living, learning, and teaching in times of intensifying environmental destruction, political violence and displacement of populations. Charlotte Maria Sáenz seeks to dislodge dominant narratives, expand perspectives, and grow common sense with her human and non-human communities. Towards these ends she tends an urban milpa, harvests medicine, and researches Zapatista pedagogies of seed as a doctoral researcher at ECOSUR in Chiapas, Mexico. She also teaches Interdisciplinary studies in an alternative Bachelor’s Completion Program at CIIS in San Francisco. Over the past 25 years she’s worked in diverse media arts and political education programs in refugee camps, schools, streets, and traveling programs. You can listen to her in conversation about “Each Others” in The Secret Ingredient podcast.

Session #2 on Oct 31: Activist Futures and the Pedagogy of Water: Kim Solga is Professor of Theatre Studies in the Department of English and Writing Studies at Western University, which is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples and governed by the Dish With One Spoon Covenant Wampum. Kim (she/her) works on feminist performance theory and practice, on urban performance studies, and has most recently begun a project investigating how women-identified directors are challenging traditional methods of staging Shakespeare and his contemporaries, from conception/design through rehearsal and beyond. Kim writes about performance, teaching and activism on the blog she founded in 2013, The Activist Classroom. Alex Wilson, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, is a professor with the Department of Educational Foundations and the Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Wilson’s scholarship has greatly contributed to building and sharing knowledge about two spirit people, Indigenous research methodologies, Indigenous land-based education and the prevention of violence in the lives of Indigenous peoples. Dr. Wilson is one of many organizers with the Idle No More and One House Many Nations movements, integrating radical education movement work with grassroots interventions that prevent the destruction of land and water.

Session #3 on Nov 9: Larval Futures and the Pedagogy of the Pluriverse: Larval Rock Stars is an ongoing multi-modal project (website, writing, performance/sound/video experiments, couplings, twinning, etc) of the distributed intelligence of the orbifold twins who hold the larvae between them – Pilarva (Praba Pilar) and Larvaidya (Anuj Vaidya), also known as Pilarvaidya. We intersect the bio-techno-critical and the absurd as the segmented paramythology of larvae of the post-human future. “Behold the larva we hold between us – the formless, shapeless, and unknowable potential for new life on earth.” Born of prophesy, and precipitated by the hubris of man, LRS brings tidings of a new future – a post-human future, and offers movement from necrotic egocentrism to biotic ecocentrism.

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