Fear and Loathing in Monuments: Rethinking the Politics and Practices of Monumentality and Monumentalization

Blonde woman leans on a brick wall, smiling

Kaitlin M. Murphy, chair, director of Graduate Studies, and associate professor in the Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory graduate interdisciplinary program at the University of Arizona.

 

Description:

Monuments—and the function and import of monumentality and practices of monumentalization—are currently under incredible scrutiny. Should historical statues to racist figures and pasts be left as they are or removed and destroyed? Should they be re-homed in statue parks intended as final resting places for disgraced statues? Or should they be left but with additional monuments and memorials added to their surroundings to provide further context? At the root of these debates is a fundamental inquiry about not just what monuments are but, more importantly, what monuments are intended to do for and within a body politic. Murphy argues that monuments function as speech acts, and although they rarely speak for an entire body politic, monuments play a critical visual role in shaping historical narratives and cultural reckoning with racist, violent pasts and their lived afterlives. Thus, while in many respects backward-facing, monuments are also profoundly future-facing in the values and narratives they visually symbolize and articulate and the kinds of spaces and community practices they can help cultivate.

 

Bio:

Kaitlin M. Murphy is chair, director of Graduate Studies, and associate professor in the Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory graduate interdisciplinary program at the University of Arizona. She is the author of Mapping Memory: Visuality, Affect, and Embodied Politics in the Americas (Fordham UP), co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Memory Activism, and currently at work on two book-length projects, the first of which is tentatively titled Future Histories: Memory, Violence, and Decolonial Reimaginings. Murphy received her Ph.D. in performance studies and M.A. in visual culture, both from New York University.

 

Speaker series:

This virtual presentation is part of the 2021-2022 virtual speaker series “Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World,” which features distinguished speakers who explore individual and collective engagement with photography, a medium that defines visual culture. Through decoding this visual landscape, we become conscious of how we use images to construct identity and meaning. The lectures in this series will address themes including photography exhibitions and civic spectatorship, surveillance, and the construction of race, image production, and representation, and trauma and memory. The series is curated by Holly Filsinger, graduate student in visual culture. The series is hosted by Illinois State University Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and is supported and co-sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, University Galleries of Illinois State University, the School of Communication, the Department of English, the Department of History, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Virtual lectures via Zoom are free and open to the public. If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this program/event, please contact hefilsi@ilstu.edu. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

Experiencing Images Panel Discussion 

Experiencing Images Panel Discussion 

Wednesday, March 23 at 2 p.m. at University Galleries  

Join ISU faculty members Dr. Byron Craig (assistant professor, School of Communication), Jin Lee (professor, Wonsook Kim School of Art—photography), and Jason Reblando (assistant professor, Wonsook Kim School of Art—photography) as they discuss selected photographs from University Galleries’ permanent collection. This event is organized by graduate student Holly Filsinger as part of her year-long speaker series, Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World.   

 

Speaker series:

This virtual presentation is part of the 2021-2022 virtual speaker series “Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World,” which features distinguished speakers who explore individual and collective engagement with photography, a medium that defines visual culture. Through decoding this visual landscape, we become conscious of how we use images to construct identity and meaning. The lectures in this series will address themes including photography exhibitions and civic spectatorship, surveillance, and the construction of race, image production, and representation, and trauma and memory. The series is curated by Holly Filsinger, graduate student in visual culture. The series is hosted by Illinois State University Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and is supported and co-sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, University Galleries of Illinois State University, the School of Communication, the Department of English, the Department of History, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Virtual lectures via Zoom are free and open to the public. If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this program/event, please contact hefilsi@ilstu.edu. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

Civic and Community Engagement: From Practical to Academic Applications

This event is the Diversity and Equity Spring Speaker Series that is sponsored by the Department of English and hosted by its Equity and Diversity Committee.  In this conversational dialogue, Alexandra Cenatus, assistant director for programming and public engagement at the University of Florida, and Dr. Laura Gonzales, assistant professor of digital writing and cultural rhetorics at the University of Florida, will invite participants to consider how various approaches to and definitions of community engagement are fostered or limited at academic institutions. Sharing experiences from their own community engagement work with multiple communities in local and transnational contexts, the presenters will share how they navigate and challenge institutional constraints to community engagement.  To attend, please use the event link: https://bit.ly/3sZJhk3.

Future Ancestral Technologies: How will we dream of our collective future?

“Future Ancestral Technologies: How will we dream of our collective future?” with Cannupa Hanska Luger.   

(from the 2021-2022 Speaker Series, “Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World”) 

Science fiction has the power to shape collective thinking and serves as a vehicle to imagine the future on a global scale. Cannupa Hanska Luger’s Future Ancestral Technologies is Indigenous science fiction. It is a methodology, a practice, a way of future dreaming, rooted in a continuum. Through installation, video and land-based work, the series develops an ongoing narrative in which Indigenous people develop sustainable, migration-based technology to live nomadically in hyper-attunement to land and water. Within the limitless time jumps of Future Ancestral Technologies, Luger challenges our collective thinking to imagine a post-capitalist, post-colonial future where humans restore their bonds with the earth and each other, and the artist asks us to consider how we will dream of our collective future. Luger reclaims and recontextualizes the technology of his ancestors by placing the past and the future in dialogue to demonstrate the interconnected relationships between human beings and the land. http://www.cannupahanska.com/fat

 

Photos courtesy of Cannupa Hanska Luger

 

Bio

Cannupa Hanska Luger is a multidisciplinary artist and an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota and European descent). Through monumental installations and social collaboration, Luger activates speculative fiction and communicates stories about 21st Century Indigeneity, combining critical cultural analysis with dedication and respect for the diverse materials, environments, and communities he engages. He lectures and produces large-scale projects around the globe and his works are in many public collections. Luger is a recipient of a 2021 United States Artists Fellowship Award for Craft and was named a 2021 GRIST Fixer, he is a 2020 Creative Capital Fellow, a 2020 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, and the recipient of the Museum of Arts and Design’s 2018 inaugural Burke Prize, among others. www.cannupahanska.com @cannupahanska #cannupahanskaluger

 

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This virtual presentation is part of the 2021-2022 virtual speaker series “Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World,” which features distinguished speakers who explore individual and collective engagement with photography, a medium that defines visual culture. Through decoding this visual landscape, we become conscious of how we use images to construct identity and meaning. The lectures in this series will address themes including photography exhibitions and civic spectatorship, surveillance, and the construction of race, image production, representation, and trauma and memory. The series is curated by Holly Filsinger, graduate student in visual culture. The series is hosted by Illinois State University Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and is supported and co-sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, University Galleries of Illinois State University, the School of Communication, the Department of English, the Department of History, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Virtual lectures via Zoom are free and open to the public. If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this program/event, please contact hefilsi@ilstu.edu. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

On the Matter of Subject: What We Photograph Matters

“On the Matter of Subject: What We Photograph Matters” with Cecil McDonald Jr.   

(from the 2021-2022 Speaker Series, “Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World”) 

Employing still and moving images, this talk will explore how the image and the image-maker shape our understanding of each other and the world we inhabit. The image-maker has a responsibility to the subject matter and the proliferation of the images they create.

 

Cecil McDonald Jr.

Cecil McDonald Jr.

Bio

Cecil McDonald Jr. uses photography, video, and text to explore the intersections of masculinity, familial relations, and the artistic and intellectual pursuits of black culture. McDonald studied fashion, house music, and dance club culture before receiving a MFA in photography at Columbia College Chicago, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, with works in the permanent collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago Bank of America LaSalle Collection, and the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. He was awarded the Joyce Foundation Midwest Voices & Visions Award, the Artadia Award, The Swiss Benevolent Society, Lucerne, Switzerland, Residency and the 3Arts Teaching Artist Award. In The Company of Black, his first comprehensive monograph was published by Candor Arts and was short listed for first photographic book of the year by The Aperture Foundation and Paris Photo.

 

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This virtual presentation is part of the 2021-2022 virtual speaker series “Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World,” which features distinguished speakers who explore individual and collective engagement with photography, a medium that defines visual culture. Through decoding this visual landscape, we become conscious of how we use images to construct identity and meaning. The lectures in this series will address themes including photography exhibitions and civic spectatorship, surveillance, and the construction of race, image production, representation, and trauma and memory. The series is curated by Holly Filsinger, graduate student in visual culture. The series is hosted by Illinois State University Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and is supported and co-sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, University Galleries of Illinois State University, the School of Communication, the Department of English, the Department of History, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Virtual lectures via Zoom are free and open to the public. If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this program/event, please contact hefilsi@ilstu.edu. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

Poet Claudia Rankine

The Bill Morgan Distinguished Poetry Series is proud to host award-winning poet Claudia Rankine at 7 p.m. April 7, 2022, at the Normal Theater. The reading will be followed by a reception.  The reading and reception are free and open to the public.

White Sight: Visual Politics of Whiteness 

White Sight: Visual Politics of Whiteness (from the 2021-2022 Speaker Series, “Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World”) 

Thursday October 21, 2021, at 6 p.m. CST via Zoom with Nicholas Mirzoeff. 

Zoom Event Registration Link: https://bit.ly/3kJL61r.

Nicholas Mirzoeff

Nicholas Mirzoeff

To adapt Simone de Beauvoir, “one is not born but becomes white.” This talk engages the persistence and continued force of white ways of seeing and making white space. Combined, these form what Mirzoeff calls “white sight.” To be white has been imagined as the apex of the supposed pyramid of the human. That is a powerful place from which to see, survey, and conduct surveillance, the key practices of white sight. It is a system that has a material infrastructure, connecting ways of seeing and making space and the apparatus of government. Its material forms connect, distribute, enable, and store the set of desires and fantasies that comprise what it is to make whiteness. This talk examines how these systems work and how they might be unbuilt.

This virtual presentation is part of the 2021-2022 virtual speaker series “Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World,” which features distinguished speakers who explore individual and collective engagement with photography, a medium that defines visual culture. Through decoding this visual landscape, we become conscious of how we use images to construct identity and meaning. The lectures in this series will address themes including photography exhibitions and civic spectatorship, surveillance, and the construction of race, image production, and representation, and trauma and memory. The series is curated by Holly Filsinger, graduate student in visual culture. The series is hosted by Illinois State University Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and is supported and co-sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, University Galleries of Illinois State University, the School of Communication, the Department of English, the Department of History, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Virtual lectures via Zoom are free and open to the public. Register in advance at https://bit.ly/3kJL61r

If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this program/event, please contact hefilsi@ilstu.edu. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

Speaker Bio:

Nicholas Mirzoeff is a writer and professor of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU. He is a visual activist, working at the intersection of politics, race and global/visual culture. In 2020-21 he is ACLS/Mellon Scholar and Society fellow in residence at the Magnum Foundation, New York.

Among his many publications, The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality (2011) won the Anne Friedberg Award for Innovative Scholarship from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies in 2013.

How To See The World was published by Pelican in the UK (2015) and by Basic Books in the U.S. (2016). It has been translated into 10 languages and was a New Scientist Top Ten Book of the Year for 2015.

The Appearance of Black Lives Matter was published in 2017 as a free e-book, and in 2018 as a limited edition print book with a graphic essay by Carl Pope and a poem by Karen Pope, both by NAME Publications, Miami.

Since the 2017 events in Charlottesville, he has been active in the movement to take down statues commemorating settler colonialism and/or white supremacy and convened the 2017 collaborative syllabus All The Monuments Must Fall, fully revised after the 2020 events.

He curated “Decolonizing Appearance,” an exhibit at the Center for Art Migration Politics (September 2018-March 2019) and is currently collaborating on a global public art project with artist Carl Pope, poet Karen Pope, and gallerist Lisa Martin, entitled “The Bad Air Smelled of Roses.”

A frequent blogger and writer, especially for the art magazine Hyperallergic, his work has appeared in the Nation, the New York Times, Frieze, the Guardian, Time and The New Republic.

A Museum Without Walls: Photo Exhibitions and Civic Spectatorship

“A Museum Without Walls”: Photo Exhibitions and Civic Spectatorship

Thursday, September 23, 2021, from 6–7:15 P.M. CST, via Zoom

Register in advance at https://bit.ly/3ntRSKm

 

The landscape for the theory and practice of photography is changing. Robert Hariman and John Lucaites address this in The Public Image (Chicago, 2017) by arguing for an interpretive realism that would encourage the treatment of photography as a public art in support of an ethics of civic spectatorship. In this presentation Lucaites develops that argument by drawing upon Andre Malraux’s notion of “a museum without walls” as a lens through which to examine the contemporary display of photo exhibitions as they contribute to a democratic politics.

 

Biography for the speaker, John Louis Lucaites:

John Louis Lucaites is Provost Professor of Rhetoric and English, emeritus at Indiana University: Bloomington. His most recent publications focus on the relationship between judgment, visuality, and public culture, including No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy; The Public Image: Photography and Civic Spectatorship (both co-authored with Robert Hariman, U. of Chicago Press, 2016); and In/Visible War: The Culture of War in Twenty-First-Century America (co-edited with Jon Simons, Rutgers U. Press, 2017).  He is also the co-author (with Celeste Michelle Condit) of Crafting Equality: America’s Anglo-African Word (Chicago, 1993). He is the senior editor for a book series on Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique for the University of Alabama Press. He served as the associate dean for Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University. He has received numerous awards including the National Communication Association’s Distinguished Scholar Award in 2012. He earned his B.A. at Rutgers College, his M.A. at the University of North Carolina, and his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. He taught at Indiana University from 1986 to 2019.

 

About the Speaker Series “Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World”

This virtual presentation is part of the 2021-2022 virtual speaker series “Experiencing Images: How the Visual Shapes Our World,” which features distinguished speakers who explore individual and collective engagement with photography, a medium that defines visual culture. Through decoding this visual landscape, we become conscious of how we use images to construct identity and meaning. The lectures in this series will address themes including photography exhibitions and civic spectatorship, surveillance, and the construction of race, image production, and representation, and trauma and memory. The series is curated by Holly Filsinger, graduate student in visual culture. The series is hosted by Illinois State University Wonsook Kim School of Art and is supported and co-sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the School of Communication, the Department of English, the Department of History, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Virtual lectures via Zoom are free and open to the public. Register in advance at https://bit.ly/3ntRSKm.

 

If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this program/event, please contact hefilsi@ilstu.edu. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

Maltese Falcon screening with postshow discussion

In this noir classic, detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) gets more than he bargained for when he takes a case brought to him by a beautiful but secretive woman (Mary Astor). As soon as Miss Wonderly shows up, trouble follows as Sam’s partner is murdered and Sam is accosted by a man (Peter Lorre) demanding he locate a valuable statuette. Sam, entangled in a dangerous web of crime and intrigue, soon realizes he must find the one thing they all seem to want: the bejeweled Maltese falcon. NR / 100 min. Free to Attend. Join us for a postshow discussion on Film Noir moderated by Illinois State University’s William Thomas McBride.