BCRW Spring 2018 Newsletter

Director’s Note

When we don’t know what’s coming, we watch. When we sense danger, we watch out. When we feel uneasy at the edges of our world, we look back. We are watched. We look for the eyes watching us. These are the themes on our minds as we move into the spring semester with hope, trepidation, and vigilance.

At our annual Scholar and Feminist Conference, we will think deeply about watching, watching out, and being watched where this year’s theme is Subverting Surveillance: Strategies to Reveal and Resist Oppression. The conference provides an important opportunity to reflect on the widening webs of surveillance that extend from prisons to parks to the devices we hold in our hands, and the methods for hacking surveillance practices and technologies for resistance and self-defense.

Later in the semester, we will be joined by current students and alumnae to look back at the flashpoint of Barnard and Columbia student activism in 1968, and its rippling political afterlives in the present. We will look for continuities, lessons, and changes within and across Black liberation movements, organizing against racial capitalism, anti-war and anti-imperial resistance, and interlocking struggles for feminist, queer, and sexual liberation. This year’s Natalie Boymel Kampen Lecturer, Clare Hemmings, will take us backward in time to the turn of the 20th century, to look closely at feminist anarchist Emma Goldman, her intimate ambivalence with the prefigurative utopian, feminist, anti-nationalist, sexual liberation movements that defined her life. And our Silver Science Lecturer, Karen Barad will give us the opportunity to look closer than many of us are able to, using quantum physics to trouble space, time, and matter to wrestle with the lived social contexts of capitalism, racism, colonialism, and militarism, and consider how to undo the conditions of the world in which we live.

These conversations are our meeting points. Together we will seed new ideas, pool our resources, adapt and adjust as the things we thought we knew come into contact with a more expansive view of the world. We look forward to continuing the conversation and exploring our evolving imaginings collectively and collaboratively.

With appreciation,

Tina Campt

Spring 2018 Events 

Subverting Surveillance: Strategies to End State Violence

surveillance cameraKeynote speaker: Simone Brown, author of Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness 

Featuring: Rabab Abdulhadi, Toby Beauchamp, Jordan Camp, Tina Campt, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Christina Heatherton, Mariame Kaba, Arun Kundnani, Shoshana Magnet, Kaitlin Noss, Marlene Ramos, Dylan Rodriguez, Rori Rohlfs, Nandita Sharma, Dean Spade, Harriet Washington

Friday, February 16, 4–8 PM
Saturday, February 17, 10 AM–6 PM
Event Oval, Diana Center

This year’s Scholar and Feminist Conference will bring together a broad community of thinkers and organizers to grapple with the ever-deepening penetration of surveillance practices into everyday life, and ways to engage in self-defense against the militarized, racist police state’s demands for constant access in the name of “security” and public order.


From Black Lives Matter to the White Power Presidency: Race and Class in the Trump Era

Keeanga-Yamahtta TaylorKeeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Thursday, March 1,  6–7:30 PM
James Room, 4th Floor Barnard Hall

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (2016), an examination of the history and politics of Black America and the development of the social movement Black Lives Matter in response to police violence in the United States. Taylor’s current research examines race and public policy including American housing policies.


1968 and Its Afterlives: Reflecting on Campus Activism Past, Present and Future

1968 mediaA panel and exhibit

Tuesday, March 6, 6–7:30 PM
Event Oval, The Diana Center

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the historic 1968 protests at Barnard and Columbia, BCRW will host a conversation reflecting on the role of Barnard students in these transformative events and the history of campus activism that converged in 1968 and continue into the present.


Undoing the Future: Troubling Time/s, and Ecologies of Nothingness: Re-turning, Re-membering, and Facing the Incalculable

Karen Barad

Monday, March 19, 6–7:30
Event Oval, The Diana Center

Karen Barad will consider the ways in which quantum physics troubles modernist conceptions of time, and asks whether quantum temporalities might offer radical political imaginaries for cohabiting this planet more justly.


Critical Caribbean Feminisms: A Dialogue

Nicole Dennis BennErna Brodber and Nicole Dennis-Benn

Thursday, March 22, 6–7:30
James Room, 4th Floor Barnard Hall

Please join us as we host a conversation between authors Erna Brodber (Nothing’s Mat; The Rainmaker’s Mistake, among others)  and Nicole Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun) as the first event in the newly-expanded series, Critical Caribbean Feminisms. These authors will discuss issues including the Caribbean and its diaspora, method, feminism, and gender in their work. The conversation with be followed by a moderated discussion.


Emma Goldman’s Struggles for Utopia: Feminism and Ambivalence

Emma GoldmanClare Hemmings

Wednesday, April 18
Lehman Auditorium

Clare Hemmings will explore 20th century anarchist Emma Goldman conflicting views on gender, sexuality, race, and the means to bring about a political revolution. Hemmings shows that these are not contradictions but offerings for means of thinking through current dilemmas and power relations, and living through uncertainties.


Center Highlights

Scholar and Feminist Online: Thinking Queer Activism Transnationally

The newest issue of the Scholar and Feminist Online, edited by Gema Pérez-Sanchez and Brenna Munro, theorizes and engages with queer activism across national boundaries and between the Global North and Global South. Read the issue online.

The Harlem Semester

This year marks the third year of the Harlem Semester, a digital public humanities initiative organized by BCRW and the Department of Africana Studies that explores the complexities of Harlem’s social, political, and intellectual histories, its leaders, its culture, its arts, and its artists. For more visit the website.

New Website

BCRW recently launched a redesigned website with new and updated information and materials. Resources for educators, students, and activists are available for free use and distribution. Please explore! Kee

The Barnard Center for Research on Women engages our communities through programming, projects, and publications that advance intersectional social justice feminist analyses and generate concrete steps toward social transformation.

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