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Sir Run Run Shaw Lecture Series
Fall 2023

Electronic Personhood and Human Futurity
in the Age of AI

Louis Chude-Sokei
Louis Chude-Sokei
Boston University

Wednesday, September 27, 2023
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Future Histories Studio | Staller Room 4222

Electronic personhood and human futurity are considered in relation to history and rapidly proliferating technological ecosystems. As it becomes increasingly clear that intelligent machines may soon outpace or at least calculate faster thanhuman intelligence, and the list of nonliving entities with personhood grows, we must consider how humans will (re)define themselves, their institutions and agreements. Writer, scholar, and AI sound artist Louis Chude-Soke will share his thoughts on the topic. He will also share his artistic endeavors and collaborations including collaborations with choreographer Bill T. Jones, and Berlin electronic artist, Mouse on Mars with whom he has produced sound installations and the celebrated album Anarchic Artificial Intelligence (Thrill Jockey Records 2021). 

Welcome remarks by Stephanie Dinkins, Kusama Professor of Art, Department of Art
5:00 pm:
A conversation moderated by Professor Crystal Fleming, Department of Sociology
5:30 pm: Performance by Louis Chude-Sokei

Louis Chude-Sokei is a writer and scholar whose books include the acclaimed memoir, Floating in A Most Peculiar Way (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021). He is the Editor in Chief of The Black Scholar, one of the oldest and leading journals of Black Studies in the United States, and his public and literary writing has appeared in various national and international venues.

Chude-Sokei has collaborated with numerous artists, performers, and programmers on projects focused on sound, music, race and technology. He is founder of the international sonic art/archiving project, Echolocution,  and is also a curator of Carnegie Hall’s 2022 Afrofuturism Festival.

Presented by the Future Histories Studio, Department of Art

Blubber and Light: Decolonial Black Feminist Breathing
Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Thursday, September 28, 2023
4:30 pm
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre 

This talk focuses on the sacred relationship between Gumbs’ Shinnecock ancestors, the Atlantic Right Whale, and the role of whales and enslaved Africans in the founding of the early US. 

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a self-described “Queer Black Troublemaker and Black Feminist Love Evangelist,” and an aspirational cousin to all sentient beings. Alexis’s most recent book Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals won the 2022 Whiting Award in Nonfiction. She is a 2023 Windham-Campbell Prize Winner in Poetry, a 2020-2021 National Humanities Center Fellow, and is a 2022 National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellow. Alexis is currently working on her next book, The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde (forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

Co-sponsored by the Center for Changing Systems of Power and the Humanities Institute

Academic Freedom at Risk:
New College of Florida
RRS Panelists
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
4:30 pm
Humanities Building
Room 1006

Featuring Panelists:
Emily Fairchild

Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Sociology, Harvard

Sonia Labrador Rodriguez
Associate Professor of Spanish, New College of Florida

Amy Reid
Professor of French, Director of the Gender Studies Program New College of Florida

Yoleidy Rosario-Hernandez
Founder and Artistic Director of Mosaic Movements; Former Chief Diversity Officer

Emily Fairchild
will draw on personal experience as a queer faculty member and on  research with gender-nonconforming students to talk about the relationships between queer student culture, normative institutional culture, and the impact of the Gender Studies Program. 

Sonia Labrador Rodriguez is a founding member of New College Faculty of Color and Underrepresented Group (FOCUG) and ex co-director of the Initiative on Diversity and Equity in Academics (IDEA).

Amy Reid will address issues of Free Speech & Censorship – how “civil discourse” is being used to shut down dialog and dissent. “Free speech” – both in terms of academic freedom in classes and more so on campus. Her goal is to give concrete examples of how free speech is being curtailed here as a harbinger of things to come. Reid was recently elected Chair of the Faculty and is a member of the  NCF Board of Trustees.

Yoleidy Rosario-Hernandez is an Afro-Dominican & Taino trans interdisciplinary artist, educator, and diversity consultant. As an interdisciplinary artist, Rosario-Hernandez delves into the exploration of indigenous and diasporic cultures, histories, narratives, healing, and the arts to address crucial social justice issues.

With a background as the former Chief Diversity Officer and Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Office of Outreach and Inclusive Excellence at New College of Florida, Rosario-Hernandez has demonstrated a deep commitment to fostering inclusivity and equity within educational environments.

Presented by the Departments of Africana Studies, History, and Women’s, Gender, and
Sexuality Studies

More Than An *Asterisk: Invisibility, Pretendians, and Reclaiming Indigenous Narratives

Nichole Prescott Dr. Nichole Prescott
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
The University Of Texas System

Thursday, November 9, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Humanities Building Poetry Center

In data sets, Native Americans are too often made invisible by consignment to the made-up status of “Other,” or are simply represented by an asterisk. The relegating of Indigenous peoples to the status of a punctuation mark reflects the fact that Indigenous people—our history, our challenges, our successes, our future—are absent in the national narrative itself. Indigenous academics, journalists, and creatives are engaging in acts of activism both big and
small to reclaim the Indigenous narrative.

In this lecture, Dr. Nichole Prescott will discuss Indigenous peoples and the importance of authenticity as a form of resistance to invisibility, stereotype and identity fraud.

Dr. Nichole Prescott holds a PhD in History and graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Stony Brook University. She has an impressive resume of advancing diversity in higher education and regularly gives lectures on supporting first-generation students and on Native American women and university leadership. Dr. Prescott currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, is a member of the Governing Council of the National Institute for Native Leadership in Higher Education, and was recently appointed to the Dripping Springs Historic Preservation Commission. She is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma (Myaamia) and actively participates in the culture and language revitalization efforts of her people. 

Co-sponsored by the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Department of History,
and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Steering Committee

Goya's Laocoon: The Disasters of War, Between History and Trauma 

Felipe peredaFelipe Pereda
Fernando Zóbel de Ayala Prof of Spanish Art 
Harvard University 

Thursday, December 7, 2023
5:00 pm 
Humanities Poetry Center

How war is or should be visualized is an urgent theme of discussion in today’s world. Goya’s series of etchings The Disasters of War is an unprecedented visual representation of the trauma generated by witnessing war. This lecture will explore the common thread that connects the ways in which, then and now, war is/was observed, digested, and represented by artists as chroniclers of massacres. Goya’s art as the universal language of trauma has a lot to teach us today because it relates to a condition of disability, dissent, and exile. 

Felipe Pereda, a world-renowned scholar of Spanish art, is working on a book on Goya’s The Disasters of War and the Caprichos. Born in Madrid, Pereda studied at the Universidad Complutense, and the Autónoma University where he received his PhD (1995) and taught until 2011. In more recent years, he has also taught at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas (Universidad Autónoma de México), and Johns Hopkins University (2011-15). He has worked on Spanish late medieval, early modern, and modern art, art theory, image theory and history of architecture. His books include La arquitectura elocuente (1999), El atlas del Rey Planeta (3rd. ed. 2003), and Images of Discord. Poetics and Politics of the Sacred Image in 15th century Spain (Spanish ed. 2007; English translation, Harvey Miller, 2018). His last book was Crime and Illusion: The Art of Truth in the Spanish Golden Age (Brepols-Harvey Miller, 2018), defends the thesis that the fundamental problem artists of the Golden Age confronted was not imitation but Truth. His newest book, Torrigiano. The Man who Broke Michelangelo's Nose, is in press with Penn State University. 

Presented by the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature