Colloquium Series

All events are held in Hart Hall 3201 at 4pm unless otherwise noted. 

Click the drop down boxes for dates, speakers, and webinar registration links.

Fall 2023 Colloquia

Cultural Studies PhD students enrolled in CST 290 must submit colloquium papers for four events.  

October 19, 2023

What I Wish I Knew about Grad School Alumni Panel 

  • Maya Cruz is an interdisciplinary scholar of Feminist Science and Technology Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. She received her PhD in 2022 from UC Davis in Cultural Studies with designated emphases in Science and Technology Studies and Feminist Theory and Research. Maya is currently a Provost’s “Fellow to Faculty '' in the Department of Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University, working at the intersections of Race, Health Equity, and Science and Technology Studies. In 2025, she will become an Assistant Professor in the Department. 
  • Katherine Nasol is a community-rooted researcher, educator, and organizer based in Oakland, California. Her scholarship & teaching centers on care & healing justice as it relates to racial capitalism and critical immigration studies. She is the Senior Research Coordinator at AAPI Women Lead, where she facilitates community-driven research with an intersectional focus on violence, healing, and wellness for Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women, girls, gender-expansive, and non-binary communities. She is also an incoming lecturer at Stanford’s Asian American Studies Program. She earned her doctoral degree in Cultural Studies at University of California, Davis, and her bachelors degree from Stanford University in International Relations and a minor with honors in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Her work has been featured in American Behavioral Scientist, AAPI Nexus: Policy, Practice, and Community, and the Harvard Asian American Policy Review.
  • Joshua K. Redwine is currently a lecturer in Ethnic Studies at Mt. San Antonio College. He served as 2022-2023 Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Associate in Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His current book project explores the many ways that vomiting and nausea, as expressions of queer Brownness, open up possibilities for an ethic of care and compassion against those forces that serve to sicken, marginalize, and debilitate. His work has appeared in Aztlán.

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, via Zoom

November 9, 2023 

Meet Your Faculty with Carl Whithaus and Chunjie Zhang 

  • Carl Whithaus is a Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at UC Davis. He studies writing and digital cultures. His books include Multimodal Literacies and Emerging Genres (Pittsburgh, 2013) and Writing Across Distances and Disciplines (Routledge, 2008). His forthcoming work, Swarms, Viral Writing, and the Local (Pittsburgh, 2024), explores how writing moves across networked publics and includes a detailed discussion of social media witnessing. Over the last twenty years, his teaching has focused on critical pedagogical praxis and has been heavily influenced by the works of Paulo Freire, bell hooks, and Ira Shor.
  • Chunije Zhang is associate professor of German at UC Davis. Her ongoing research has been concerned with colonial history in the Pacific and its cultural representations in German and European discourse around 1800 and 1900. Her book Transculturality and German Discourse in the Age of European Colonialism (Northwestern UP, 2017) is a major result of this research interest. Another research focus of hers is on Chinese and European cultural and philosophical exchanges and the exploration of the global from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century. As a result of this research interest, she just completed a book manuscript Quest for Liberation: Philosophy and the Making of World Culture in China and the West, 1900-1960. In addition, Chunjie is interested in literary and cultural negotiations of refuge and migration related to the issues of identity, justice, politics, and aesthetics. Postcolonial theory, cosmopolitanism, de-westernization, and global history belong to her theoretical approaches toward cultural studies. She is the co-editor of the book series "Asia, Europe, and Global Connections” with Routledge and the editor/co-editor of several books and journal special issues. Her writings appeared or will appear in journals such as Journal of the History of Ideas, Critical Inquiry, European Review, The Germanic Review, German Quarterly, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation etc.

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Hart Hall 3201 

Winter 2024 Colloquia

Cultural Studies PhD students enrolled in CST 290 must submit colloquium papers for four events.  

January 9, 2024

Samantha Pinto - "Reproducing the Black Womb"

This talk works through the historical weight of reproduction in global Black feminist thought via an analysis of the womb as material and metaphor. The womb is a site where transnational black feminist political desires meet in uneasy and temporary dialogue with each other and with the materiality of biology. Tracing material and metaphorical representations of the racialized womb across acute historical, geographic, national, and scientific contexts,  I stitch together a feminist reproductive politics that centers on uncertainty rather than choice or justice. 

Samantha Pinto is Director of the Humanities Institute, Professor of English, core faculty of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and affiliated faculty of African & African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.  She is the author of Difficult Diasporas (NYU Press, 2013) and Infamous Bodies (Duke UP, 2020) and the co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Intersectionalities (2023), the book series “Black Feminism on the Edge,” and special issues of Feminist Formations and SAQ with Jennifer C. Nash. She is finishing a book on race and scientific discourse, with solo-authored books about feminist ambivalence and divorce in the works, alongside other collaborative and co-edited projects. 

Tuesday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Hart Hall 3201

January 18, 2024

Hentyle Yapp - “Govern Otherwise: Trash, Debility, and Degrowth”

This talk turns to a key scene for feminist new materialisms, China studies, and the environmental humanities: trash. By analyzing canonical works of contemporary Chinese art, I highlight how the logic of disposability enframes our understanding of not only discarded objects but also migrant workers. Under the demand for constant growth and consumption, both of these sites are often taken as evidence of China's rapid neoliberal development and/or a human-nonhuman divide. Broadly, I take stock of these dominant narratives in order to push our focus on trash and migrants to more fully account for our practices of consumption, highlighting rifts across rural and urban and across Global North and Global South. Through such rifts, we better understand how to think with labor, debility/disability, and Marxism, which ultimately clarifies what we do with and how we engage in transnational analysis. Through an account of debility and the environment, transnational analysis broadly offers utopic imaginations of governing otherwise. I thus turn to works by Chinese artists, Cao Fei and Song Dong, to imagine other ways to deal with heaps of trash and to exist beyond the call for constant growth and consumption. 

Hentyle Yapp is associate professor of Performance Studies in the Department of Theatre and Dance at UC San Diego. He is the author of Minor China: Method, Materialisms, and the Aesthetic and the co-editor with C. Riley Snorton of Saturation: Race, Art, and the Circulation of Value; his writing has also appeared in American Quarterly, South Atlantic Quarterly, GLQ, and Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies, amongst other venues. He is an associate editor with GLQ, where he curates a new section on Queer Aesthetics.

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Hart Hall 3201

January 19, 2024

Eunjung Kim - “Scenes of In/dignity:  Posthumous Care, Anonymity, and Thinking with Absence”

Presenting from her book in progress titled Dignity Archives, “Scenes of In/dignity” examines the memorialization of people with disabilities--most of whose names are unknown--who were killed in an institution in Sagamihara, Japan, in 2016, and an anonymous memorial of a person who died of neglect in an AIDS care hospital in Namyangju, South Korea, in 2013. These memorials convey not only that disabled people's right to life was denied by injustice, but also that their dignity continues to be violated after their deaths. Yet the sense of dignity's absence coexists with the affect of its presence, animated by the relationality formed in these memorial spaces. Challenging constructions of dignity as something that can be ascribed to a being or something that can be taken away, Kim explores radical materiality of dignity in moments when its absence is sensed and felt by others. The talk concludes with a discussion of the methodology of absence and its implications for the practice of transnational disability studies.

Eunjung Kim is an associate professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and Disability Studies Program at Syracuse University. She is the author of Curative Violence: Rehabilitating Disability, Gender and Sexuality in Modern Korea (Duke University Press, winner of the Alison Piepmeier Award and the James B. Palaise Award). She co-edited Crip Genealogies with Mel Y. Chen, Alison Kafer, and Julie Avril Minich (Duke University Press 2023). Her work appears in a variety of interdisciplinary journals, such as Catalyst: Feminism, Theory and Technoscience; Sexualities; GLQ; Social Politics and in edited collections, Against Health; Intersectionality and Beyond; Asexualities; Disability, Human Rights, and the Limits of Humanitarianism. Her work has been translated to Korean, Japanese, and Turkish. Her research and teaching focus on transnational feminist disability studies, Asian and Asian American disability studies, theories of otherness, vulnerability, asexuality, and queer inhumanism. 

Friday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Hart Hall 3201

January 22, 2024

Julietta Hua- “Insurance, Racial Power and the Financialization of Domestic Life”

How does insurance render the "economization of life" (Michelle Murphy) into a positive outcome of national economic activity rather than "violence without ethical crisis" (Denise Silva)? This presentation thinks about insurance as racial infrastructure. As such, insurance logics and the relations they enable render the value of labor a matter of (private) property, and that value of labor-property thus ultimately tied to (differentiating) bodies for national accumulation. Hence despite the formal end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, its logics of accumulation continue to sustain and organize modern life in the form of (life, workers' comp, disability, health) insurance. By examining how reproduction, domestic labor, and the household sit at the crux of insurance, this presentation suggests that insurance's financialization of life naturalizes, rather than renders into ethical crisis, the violence of death by medical debt, forced un-housing, and labor's "race to the bottom."

Julietta Hua is professor of women and gender studies at San Francisco State University. She is co-author, with Kasturi Ray, of Spent Behind the Wheel: Drivers' Labor in the Uber Economy (2021); and author of Trafficking Women's Human Rights (2011). In addition to teaching courses in government, migration, law and human rights she continues to work with Oakland Hand in Hand, a domestic employer organization to advocate for domestic worker labor protections. She is also currently board chair of San Francisco Safehouse, a supportive housing non-profit for women who have experience sexual violence.

Monday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Hart Hall 3201

February 22, 2024

Faye Gleisser - "The Work of Risk: Guerilla Art for Surviving the Carceral Present"

As laws governing the expression of dissent continue to morph, artists must anticipate the presence of police and the consequences of arrest, especially when creating confrontational or participatory performance and conceptual work on the streets, sidewalks, and in media transmissions beyond art-sanctioned spaces. How has the anticipation of punitive encounter taken shape materially, temporally, and sonically in art? Relatedly, in what ways has the mis- or under-recognition of the racialized, gendered, and sexualized conditions of artists’ differing vulnerability to state-sanctioned violence contributed to the normalizing of carceral relations in the stories we tell about riskiness and deviance in art practice? Art historian and cultural theorist Dr. Faye Gleisser addresses these questions and their political implications for the present in her new book, Risk Work: Making Art and Guerrilla Tactics in Punitive America, 1967-1987 (University of Chicago Press, 2023). In this book talk, Gleisser examines the complex relationship between artists' deployments of guerrilla tactics, state power, and policing from the 60's through the '80s. Drawing upon Black feminist and queer of color theories of spatialized power, Gleisser argues that artists’ calculation of arrest is a form of knowledge—punitive literacy—that reveals salient insights into the processes through which carceral violence is continually managed and reconfigured in art and cultural discourse.

Faye Gleisser (she/her) is an interdisciplinary art historian and curator of 20th and 21st century art, specializing in the history and theory of political violence, and expressions of gendered and sexualized raciality in visual and material culture. Her research and teaching are situated at the intersection of three main subject areas: performance and conceptual art and tactical intervention; the racial and carceral logics of archives; and curatorial ethics and canon formation. In her work, she approaches art as a material manifestation of sociopolitical conditions and artists as theorists of power and social encounter. Gleisser completed a PhD in art history and performance studies at Northwestern University and is Associate Professor of Art History and Critical Theory at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she is an affiliate of the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society. Her scholarship has appeared in Art Journal, Artforum, Journal of Visual Culture, and Aperture, and in catalogues for exhibitions such as The Propeller Group, Prospect.5 Triennial, and Out of Easy Reach. In her current research, Gleisser is investigating the entanglements of contemporary art, surveillance regimes, medical penology, and hormonal consciousness. 

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Hart Hall 3201

Register for the webinar:

March 7, 2024

Joseph Fischel - "The Feminist If Ambivalent Case For Decommisioning Rape Law"

In the 1970s, Michel Foucault suggested that we eliminate rape law. Nobody thought this was a good idea, feminists foremost. It probably still isn't. And yet, we know there are costs to statutorily segregating out sex crimes from other crimes, feminist and liberal reforms to rape law notwithstanding. Some of those costs include: revictimizing victims through cross-examination; sex crime as as an overrepresented contributor to racialized mass incarceration; the social outcasting of sex offenders and the attendant normalization of everyday (hetero)sexuality; more amorphously and maybe more invidiously, the discursive reproduction of girls' and women's bodies as thing-like, violable, and degradable; more speculatively and maybe more provocatively, the discursive doubling of rape as a harm-worse-than-death. Are the benefits worth the costs? If rape law once protected the property transfer of white girls and women from their fathers to their husbands, second wave and later reforms repurposed rape law in the service of protecting rights-bearing citizens.  But retaining the "sex" of sex crimes meant reconstructing rather than relinquishing the specialness of sex. On this read, the distinction between sexual assault and assault is not between a violation of property and a violation of the person, but rather a distinction between a violation of personhood and the person. The dilemma remains whether rape law can or has shed its gendered, proprietary residuals.  This paper meditates on some possibilities of decommisioning rape law. What might be the advantages (and disadvantages) of deploying criminal assault and battery laws, civil rights remedies, and torts to remedy sexual violence in rape law's stead?

Joseph Fischel is a theorist of sexual and social justice. His scholarship on the regulation of sex, gender and sexuality traverses queer studies, critical race and feminist legal theory, and normative political thought. Fischel's first two books are on the magnetizing force of consent in U.S. law, media culture, and activism: Sex and Harm in the Age of Consent (2016) and Screw Consent: A Better Politics of Sexual Justice (2019).  His current book project, Sodomy's Solicitations: A Right to Queerness, interrogates Louisiana sodomy laws to advance a queer politics that contests the state's deployment of sex.  Fischel is also co-editor of Enticements: Queer Legal Studies (2024). 

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Hart Hall 3201

Register for the webinar:

Spring 2023 Colloquia

Cultural Studies PhD students enrolled in CST 290 must submit colloquium papers for four events

April 6, 2023 

Shannon Cram Unmaking the Bomb: Environmental Cleanup and the Politics of Impossibility 

What does it mean to reckon with a contaminated world? Shannon Cram investigates the social politics of this question at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a former weapons complex in Washington State. Home to the majority of the nation’s high-level nuclear waste and its largest environmental cleanup, Hanford is now tasked with managing toxic materials that will long outlast the United States and its regulatory capacities. This talk considers the structural impossibilities associated with Hanford’s cleanup as well as the normative categories that inform atomic hazard. It recognizes that multi-millennial waste will inevitably exceed its institutional containers, and that administering eternity has unthinkable, science-fiction-like qualities. But it also explores the powerful conditions and contexts that define unthinkability itself—the social relations that designate some impacts as reasonable and others inconceivable, allowing cleanup to distribute survival unevenly. Thus, it considers both the concrete and constructed realities of contaminated life, and the oft-blurred boundaries between the two. 

Shannon Cram is an Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Washington Bothell. She is the author of Unmaking the Bomb: Environmental Cleanup and the Politics of Impossibility (forthcoming from University of California Press). 

Co-sponsored by the Critical Militarization, Policing and Security Studies Research Cluster with funding from the Davis Humanities Institute

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Hart Hall 3201 

Register for the webinar here:

April 27, 2023 

Shaista Patel Indian Americans Engulfing “American Indian”: Marking the “Dot Indians’” Indianness through Genocide and Casteism in Diaspora

Shaista Aziz Patel works as an Assistant Professor of Critical Muslim Studies in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UCSD. She identifies as a Pakistani Shi'a Muslim. Her scholarly and all other political investments are in several questions that draw upon theories in critical Muslim, Indigenous (to North America and South Asia), Black, Dalit, anti-caste, and transnational feminist studies. 

In this talk, I contribute to the slowly emerging conversation on why South Asians must center caste in all our scholarly and other political work. I will argue that it is urgent to talk about the participation of non-Black, non-Indigenous people of colour in upholding structures of violence, such as white settler colonialism, anti-Blackness, and casteism in order to challenge the epistemology of “colonial unknowing” in critical praxis. I am particularly invested in thinking about this urgency in relation to the participation of caste-privileged brown South Asians in various systems of domination in North America (specifically Canada and the US). To think about the complicity of caste South Asians I will examine part of a photographic series called An Indian from India (2001–07) by Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, an Indian American photographer to show that even seemingly critical conversations on anti-indigeneity and anti-Blackness without centring caste are not only simply performative rhetoric but also casteist and, therefore, harmful to the work of political organizing. 

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Hart Hall 3201 

Register for the webinar here:

May 11, 2023

Christine Imperial - Mistaken for an Empire

Born in postcolonial Philippines into a family—and country—with a complicated history, Christine Imperial learns from a lifetime of experiences that there is no easy path to understanding or belonging. Setting out to renew her relationship to Tagalog, the language she had previously distanced herself from, she contends with the meaning of her dual Philippine/US citizenship along with the conditions surrounding it, reflecting on imperialist and class systems and the history of her birth country. Beginning with an attempt to translate into Tagalog Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden”—Kipling’s ode to American imperialism after the US takeover of the Philippines—Imperial reflects on and writes against Kipling’s poem as she unspools her fractured family’s story.

Reckoning with both the anguish and promise of hybridity, Mistaken for an Empire expands into an exploration of the author’s relationship to English and Tagalog, history, family and state, origin and belonging. By interrogating the many intricacies of individual and national identity and the legacies that shape them, Imperial grapples with the tangled nature of allegiance, whether it be to family, to country, or to self.

Christine Imperial is a PhD Cultural Studies student at UC Davis where she was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. Her first book Mistaken for an Empire is published with Mad Creeks Books, an imprint of the Ohio State University, as the 2021 Gournay Prize Winner. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the California Institute of the Arts. At CalArts, she was the 2020 Emi Kuriyama Thesis winner and a 2020-2021 REEF Fellow. A 2021 Hawker Prize Winner for Southeast Asian poetry, she has published writing in POETRY, TLDTD, American Book Review, Inverted Syntax, among others.  

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Hart Hall 3201 

Register for the webinar here: 

Colloquium Series