Culinary Habitats and Feral Cakes
Monday, 23 October, 9:30–10:30, Amphitheâtre
Dana Sherwood is a New York–based artist whose work lies on the border of the domestic and the wild. Exposing the fact that nature exists everywhere, and highlighting multispecies interaction while forging new pathways of communication, Sherwood’s work underscores the blurring of boundaries between human and animal and the spaces we collectively inhabit.
With Lévi-Strauss as a muse, Sherwood’s interest in domestication and the design of nature through human interference and consumption is brought to the fore. The theme of “the manipulation of nature” is intrinsic to her work and food is a central metaphor as she examines and tames through elaborate creations of flour, sugar and eggs—sculptural displays modeled on 19th century though 1960s traditions, from Vanitas painting to Betty Crocker. The complexity of interpretation lies in the use of non-traditional materials and unconventional methodologies, which usually involve baroque confectionery and interventions by animals.
Learn more about Dana Sherwood: danasherwoodstudio.com
Consumer Culture and Political Resistance: How Gay Entrepreneurs Sparked A Movement
Monday, 23 October, 3:45–4:45, Amphitheâtre
David Johnson is a historian at the University of South Florida and an award-winning author whose research focuses on the crucial role that notions of gender and sexuality have played in American politics and consumer culture in the late 20th century. His first book, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government, which has been made into a critically acclaimed documentary, explores Cold War hysteria over national security and the introduction of “family values” into American politics. He is also co-editor of The United States since 1945, an anthology of key speeches, articles, and government documents from modern American politics and culture.
David’s new book project brings together the fields of the history of sexuality and business history, chronicling the rise of a gay commercial network in the 1950s and 1960s. Contesting the notion that a gay market developed only recently in the wake of gay activism, Johnson challenges conventional understandings of the relationship between consumer culture and political resistance.
David has also worked as a consultant, providing historical and archival research services to corporations and government agencies and advising the Human Rights Campaign and the Jewish Women’s Archives. He has held fellowships at the National Humanities Center, the Smithsonian Institution, the Social Science Research Council, CUNY’s Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies, and the Leather Archives and Museum, and in addition to several book awards has been recognized for his teaching and research.
Racist by Design: Why We Need a New Economic System for the 21st Century
Tuesday, 24 October, 4:15–5:15, Amphitheâtre
Carolyn Rouse is a professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology and the Director of the Program in African Studies at Princeton University. Her work explores the use of evidence to make particular claims about race and social inequality. She is the author of Engaged Surrender: African American Women and Islam, Uncertain Suffering: Racial Healthcare Disparities and Sickle Cell Disease and Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment. Her manuscript Development Hubris: Adventures Trying to Save the World examines discourses of charity and development and is tied to her own project building a high school in a fishing village in Ghana. In the summer of 2016 she began studying declining white life expectancies in rural California as a follow-up to her research on racial health disparities.
Carolyn is also a filmmaker: she has produced, directed, and/or edited a number of documentaries including Chicks in White Satin (1994), Purification to Prozac: Treating Mental Illness in Bali (1998), and Listening as a Radical Act: World Anthropologies and the Decentering of Western Thought (2015).
As an extension of her commitment and training in visual anthropology, in the summer of 2016 she created the Ethnographic Data Visualization Lab (VizE Lab) to work with students and colleagues on ways to visualize complex ethnographic data. One project she is currently working on through the lab brings together 60 years of biological data with 60 years of social scientific data to study epigenetic effects on physical development. In her work, Carolyn considers the role of design in producing racism without racists.
Wednesday, 25 October, 11:00–12:00, Amphitheâtre
An anthropologist with a long career at the intersection of social research and business and technology, Melissa Cefkin began working on autonomous vehicles in 2015, fulfilling a life-long love of transportation matters. (Her preferred activity in a new place? Public bus rides.) She works at Nissan Research, where she is a Principal Scientist and Senior Manager. Her work has focused on people’s lives and experiences with automated technology of all kinds, especially those related to mobility, collaboration, work, and lives in organizations.
A long-time observer and participant in the growth of anthropological research in and with business, Melissa is the author of numerous publications including the edited volume Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter. She has served as president and conference co-chair for EPIC and recently on the US National Academies of Science committee on Information Technology, Automation and the Workforce. A frequent public and academic speaker, the work she and her colleagues are doing has been cited broadly, including in PBS, Wired, the Financial Times, the Estonian national press, CNN Chile, Canadian Broadcasting, and beyond. Melissa holds a PhD from Rice University and has been a Fulbright scholar; she worked previously at IBM Research, Sapient and the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL).
Read more about Melissa Cefkin:
Melissa Cefkin, A Profile, Molly Shade
Developing Socially Acceptable Autonomous Vehicles, Erik Vinkhuyzen & Melissa Cefkin
An Anthropologist Will Help Nissan Design Self-Driving Cars, Digital Trends