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2021 Visiting Lecture Series – Decolonization, Anti-racism, Abolition

Welcome to the 47th Annual Visiting Lecture Series in the Department of Anthropology.

Below is the list of all local and externally invited speakers. To see a list of visiting speakers, click here. To see/download posters for visiting lectures, scroll past the schedule below.

This year’s theme is Decolonization, Anti-racism, Abolition. These three conceptual frameworks for thought, movement, and action are embedded in politics of refusal and demands for reorganization. Each requires its own forms of theory, practice, and action, and each brings forth questions in its own right. While these frameworks differ from one another – identify problems, solutions, and imaginaries in varying ways – together they work toward the dismantling of structures and systems – colonialism, racism, and the carceral state – that have historically worked in collaboration, bolstering and supporting one another. Dismantling these structures and systems of oppression, thus, also require thinking through these frameworks of resistance and refusal together.

Decolonization asks us to take seriously the ways in which modern worlds emerged through the violent histories of colonialism, settler colonialism, and enslavement. The myriad global and local inequalities, disparities, and injustices of today will not come to an end until these structures on which our worlds are built are dismantled. Anti-racism requires combatting the very forms in which modern ideas about human difference have been institutionalized and weaponized, producing not only injustice but premature death for some. Abolitionism asks us to deeply interrogate why and how our current structures of rights (freedoms) and punishments (unfreedoms) exist and operate, including but not limited to policing, legal structures (Constitutions, modes of policy making), social relationships, forms of accountability, as well as educational systems and the very goals of pedagogy. The aims of decolonization, anti-racism, and abolition are not easy, but they are possible.

The discipline of Anthropology was born of the impulse to validate structures of oppression through empiricism, whether coming from sciences (social or biological) or humanities (though ethnographic work). Today’s Anthropology, however, has taken a turn, willing to reflect on its past and present complicities in oppression to catalyze structural change. This current impetus toward change also finds its roots within the very foundations of the discipline and its attention to difference as a critical site of knowledge. Differences across peoples, nations, cultures, languages, ways of subsistence, and social organizations have always signposted for anthropologists the possibilities that things can be otherwise, different than they are. A decolonizing, anti-racist, and abolitionist anthropology, thus, is oriented towards change, aware of the dangers with which this might be fraught: what will the worlds brought about by dismantling, reimagining, and restructuring look like? What are the potentials and possibilities of the affirmation of the elsewhere and the otherwise? These frameworks open up to unknown futures with faith and hope, challenging and questioning a positivist and empiricist past to make way for new paths of knowing and feeling.

Because these topics cut across scholarly disciplines and activities, we welcome and include speakers outside of Anthropology. Speakers will discuss decolonization, anti-racism, and abolition from their personal and professional perspectives. As much as possible, we hope to home in on the politics of resistance and refusal in Appalachia.

SCHEDULE

Note: all lectures take place from 4:30-5:45pm,

though the location will vary between

Strong Hall B1 and Stokely Management Center G2

Thursday, September 2 – Dr. Andrea Joseph (UTK Social Work)

  • Lecture Title: “Decolonization in the Context of Disproportional School Suspensions for Black Girls: Race, Gender and Childhood Adversities”
  • Location: Fully remote. Please email gcabana@utk.edu for Zoom information.

Tuesday, September 7 – Dr. Chip Colwell (Sapiens) & Stewart Koyiyumptewa (Hopi Cultural Preservation Office)

  • Lecture Title: “Traditional Cultural Places and the Hopi Model of Cultural Preservation”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Wednesday, September 8 – Dr. Chip Colwell Sapiens) & Stewart Koyiyumptewa (Hopi Cultural Preservation Office)

  • Lecture Title: “Twisting Strings: Hopi Ancestors and Ancient DNA”
  • Location: Strong Hall B1

Thursday, September 9 – Dr. Michelle Brown (UTK Sociology)

  • Lecture Title: “Dismantling the Carceral State: Law and the Infrastructure of Abolition”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Tuesday, September 14 – Dr. Rick Smith (George Mason University)

  • Lecture Title: “In Cold Blood: Unsettling the Invention of Indigenous DNA”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Wednesday, September 15 – Dr. Rick Smith (George Mason U)

  • Lecture Title: “Aftercare: Up/ending Sex, Nature, and Science”
  • Location: Strong Hall B1

Thursday, September 16 – Dr. Lisa King (UTK English)

  • Lecture Title: “A Sense of Indigenous Place: The Mound at UTK and Indigenous Self-Representation at McClung Museum.”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Thursday, September 23 – Dr. Derek Alderman (UTK Geography)

  • Lecture Title: “Black Mapping Matters: On Decolonizing Cartography.”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Tuesday, September 28 – Dr. Michael Blakey (College of William & Mary)

  • Lecture Title: “Racist Anthropology and its Alternatives”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Wednesday, September 29 –Dr. Michael Blakey (College of Willam & Mary)

  • Lecture Title:“Public Engagement with Descendant Communities and the Democratization of Knowledge”
  • Location: Strong Hall B1

Tuesday, October 5 – Dr. Elisabeth Schussler (UTK EEB)

  • Lecture title: “Considering biology instructor practices and student emotion in terms of abolitionism”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Thursday, October 7 – Dr. Dorian L. McCoy (UTK Education)

  • Lecture Title: “Critical Race Theory: What’s the Big Deal? What it is. What it is not.”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Tuesday, October 12 – Luís Rogelio Mata (Students for Migrant Justice)

  • Lecture Title: “Abolition: The Good/Bad Immigrant Binary”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Wednesday, October 13 – Dr. Eshe Lewis (Sapiens)

  • Lecture Title:“Unthinkable Abuse: Understanding the Silences around Afro-Peruvian Women’s Experiences with Intimate Partner Violence”
  • Location: Strong Hall B1

Thursday, October 14 – Dr. Eshe Lewis (Sapiens)

  • Lecture Title: “Storytelling as activism: Bearing Witness, Creating Records”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Tuesday, October 19 – Dr. Deborah Boehm (U Nevada, Reno)

  • Lecture Title: “#FreeThemAll: U.S. Immigration Detention and the Movement to End It”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Wednesday, October 20 – Dr. Deborah Boehm (U Nevada, Reno)

  • Lecture Title: “A Study of Unseen Spaces: Anthropology, Activism, and Abolition”
  • Location: Strong Hall B1

Thursday, October 21 – Dr. Ellen Lofaro (UTK Anthropology)

  • Lecture Title: “NAGPRA & Decolonizing Museums”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Tuesday, October 26 – Dr. Alex Moulton (UTK Sociology)

  • Lecture Title: “The Plantationocene, the Plot, and Critical Understandings of our Socio-ecological Crisis”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Wednesday, October 27 – Dr. Ajantha Subramanian (Harvard U)

  • Lecture Title: “Meritocracy & Democracy: The social Life of Caste in India”
  • Location: Strong Hall B1

Thursday, October 28 – Dr. Ajantha Subramanian (Harvard U)

  • Lecture Title: “Merit & Privilege”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Tuesday, November 2- Dr. Ora Marek-Martínez (Northern Arizona U)

  • Lecture Title: “Decolonizing Archaeology the Navajo Way: Lessons from the Navajo Nation”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Wednesday, November 3 – Dr. Ora Marek-Martínez (Northern Arizona U)

  • Lecture Title: “Indigenous Archaeology and the Refusal of Colonialism in Archaeology”
  • Location: Strong Hall B1

Thursday, November 4 – Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin (UTK Sociology)

  • Lecture Title: “Black Safety: Safety in Black Neighborhoods in Urban Appalachia”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Tuesday, November 9 – Dr. Rachel Watkins (American U)

  • Lecture Title: “Reimagining Science in Anthropology and Beyond: A Black Feminist Perspective.”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Wednesday, November 10 – Dr. Rachel Watkins (American U)

  • Lecture Title: “Reimagining Science in Anthropology and Beyond: A Black Feminist Perspective.”
  • Location: Strong Hall B1

Thursday, November 11 – Dr. Solange Muñoz (UTK Geography)

  • Lecture Title: “Housing and Home as Radical Infrastructures of Care”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Wednesday, November 17 – Dr. Lindsay Montgomery (U Arizona)

  • Lecture Title: “You Have Harmed Us”: Stories of Violence, Resistance, and Survivance from the U.S. Indian Education System”
  • Location: Strong Hall B1

Thursday, November 18 – Dr. Lindsay Montgomery (U Arizona)

  • Lecture Title: “Naming the Dead: Reclaiming Sites of Historical Trauma at Carlisle Industrial Boarding School”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Tuesday, November 23 – Kelle Jolly (Singer/Musician)

  • Lecture Title: “Where Do Your Dreams Live?”
  • Location: Stokely Management Center G2

Posters