Annual Theme

2020 – 2021
“Emergencies, Ruptures”

Emergency is the quality of our present moment: a time of crises and a point of rupture through which new conditions of possibility may emerge. Through this theme, the Center will be committed to exploring the various deeply interrelated crises that produce the emergencies of our moment, many of which appear to strike at the very core of social consensus around what is truth, the nature of justice, and the value of life. We will ask: Is this a point of rupture, or of return?

2019 – 2020
“Difference”

Within the framework of this theme, the Center’s activities will highlight the ways by which traditions of knowledge production — in particular, academic knowledge production – have served as foundational to the social formations and power relations that produce and inscribe forms of difference around the globe. Through this theme, the Center will explore the ways by which social and historical forms of difference remain determinative in our present political moment, and the role that re-articulations of difference in political mobilizations and cultural discourse.

2018-2019
“Culture, History, and Translation”

Culture, History and Translation considers longer histories of connection, exchange, and interdependency in ways that unsettle discretely bounded territories and recast received historical periods. It does so by reconsidering formerly studied “areas” by reassigning the global study of Europe, transoceanic studies, hemispheric American studies, global Black diaspora studies, and global Asia studies. Specifically, we critically engage translation as interceding on settled notions of culture and history and as imbricated in constructions of colonialism, race, empire and diaspora.

2017-2018
“Materialisms, Old and New”

This theme encompassed theories of materialism from older Greek philosophical traditions, through modern dialectical materialism and scientific materialism, to the range of approaches currently referenced as the “new materialism.” It included projects in the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences, and suggested that culture, society, history, environment, religion, arts, and representation, as well as ontology, epistemology, and politics, are rethought in relation to material processes, objects, and affects.