Public Acts, Public Arts: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Ethnic Studies [UPDATE]

full name / name of organization: 
Committee on Ethnic Studies, Harvard University

Public Acts, Public Arts: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Ethnic Studies

Harvard University
Committee on Ethnic Studies

Friday, April 9, 2010
Proposals due: March 8, 2010

Hosted by the Committee on Ethnic Studies, Harvard University

The founding assumption of ethnic studies was that there was a disconnection between the interests of the academy and the concerns of the public. In recent years, in anniversary celebrations for pioneering ethnic studies programs and books like Mark Chiang's "Cultural Capital of Asian American Studies," there has been a call to reengage and reexamine this unfortunate distance. To whom is our scholarship addressed? What are the "practices" that comprise ethnic studies in a global age? What histories remain unwritten? How do art and ideas find their publics? How might our inherited notions of ethnic studies be expanded to accommodate the sphere of human rights? How have approaches to mobility, diaspora, migration, or indigeneity adapted to new configurations of interests and identities?

The Committee on Ethnic Studies invites papers for its annual spring conference that consider and/or embody, celebrate and/or critique the varied "practices" and "publics" that comprise ethnic studies. Our keynote address will be delivered by Professor Robert Warrior, director of the American Indian Studies program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and president of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. For his address, "Curating 'Beyond the Chief': Hating Art in Public," Professor Warrior will discuss "public art" and his recent experiences curating the "Beyond the Chief" installation in Illinois.

We seek presentations from graduate students, community activists, artists, and scholars of approximately 20 minutes. We encourage a broad, expansive interpretation of our conference theme, "Public Acts, Public Arts." Possible presentation topics include (but are not limited to): new approaches to identity and community; migration, displacement and diaspora; globalization studies and ethnic studies; the "post-racial" and Obama; popular culture and performance studies; museum and material culture studies; and studies on "practice" and public culture.

Please submit a proposal of no more than 300 words to by March 8, 2010. Please include your name and affiliation.