Bard College Hosts Inaugural Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck Conference, October 20–22
“The DRE: Disturbance, Re-Animation, and Emergent Archives” Conference Features Keynote Speakers Elizabeth N. Ellis and Marisa J. FuentesANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College will host its inaugural Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck conference from October 20 through 22. This conference, “The DRE: Disturbance, Re-Animation, and Emergent Archives,” considers the topic of archives from a range of humanistic perspectives, with keynotes showcasing methods in Native American and Indigenous Studies and African and African-American Studies, as well as offering the viewpoints of contemporary artists on these topics. The DRE is the first of three annual conferences supported by Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck, part of the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities for All Times initiative.
On Thursday, October 20 at 5 pm, multimedia Tsitsistas/Suhtai Nation (a.k.a. Northern Cheyenne) artist Bently Spang will open the conference with a screening and presentation in Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center followed by an opening reception at the Center for Experimental Humanities in New Annandale House. On Friday, October 21, keynotes by award-winning scholars bracket a day of smaller sessions exploring and modeling ethical practices in the archive, open to students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Marisa J. Fuentes, Presidential Term Chair in African American History and Associate Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, will deliver a keynote lecture, “Buried ‘Without Care’: Social Death, Discarded Lives, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade” on Friday at 9:30 am in the László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium of the Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation (RKC). Dr. Elizabeth N. Ellis, Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University and citizen of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, will deliver the second keynote lecture, “Recovering Indigenous Histories of Survival: Enduring Louisiana Nations” on Friday at 4 pm in Bitó Auditorium, RKC. Friday’s events, which include concurrent workshops, screenings, and presentations, also take place in RKC. On the morning of Saturday, October 22,recipients of Rethinking Place student research funding will present on their work.
On Saturday, October 22 at 2 pm, Oglála Lakȟóta scholar and multimedia artist Kite aka Suzanne Kite MFA ’15will close the conference with a talk, “Makȟóčheowápi Akézaptaŋ (Fifteen Maps),” at the Fisher Center’s LUMA Theater. This event is free and open to the public. Reserve your seat here.
For the full conference schedule, click here. All events are open to Bard College students, faculty, and staff. To register click here. Keynote addresses and Bently Spang’s opening artist presentation are open to the public dependent on space. Non-Bard community members who are interested in attending, please email: [email protected].
Bard’s “Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck” project affirms Bard’s tangible commitments to the principles and ideals of the College’s 2020 land acknowledgment and is supported by the Mellon Foundation’s 2022 Humanities for All Times. The Mellon grant offers three years of support for developing a land acknowledgment–based curriculum, public-facing Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) programming, and efforts to support the work of emerging NAIS scholars and tribally enrolled artists at Bard. Rethinking Place emphasizes broad community-based knowledge, collaboration, and collectives of inquiry and also attends to the importance of considering the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, upon whose homelands Bard sits.
For more information, please visit rethinkingplace.bard.edu.
About the Keynote Speakers and Participating Artists
Elizabeth Ellis is an assistant professor of history at Princeton University. She specializes in early American and Native American history and her research focuses on the early Indigenous south. Prior to joining Princeton, Ellis was assistant professor of history and co-director of the Native Studies Forum at New York University and the Barra Postdoctoral Fellow and a visiting assistant professor at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her forthcoming book with the University of Pennsylvania Press, Power on the Margins: The Petites Nations and Lower Mississippi Valley, 1650-1800, examines the formation of Native nations in the early southeast and the ways that Indigenous peoples shaped and limited the extent of European colonization. Her research interests also include, Indigenous migration, Native American slavery, and early Indigenous writing. In addition to her work on early America, Ellis writes about contemporary Indigenous issues and political movements and is committed to organizing and fighting for Indigenous self-determination. She is a citizen of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma.
Marisa J. Fuentes’s scholarship brings together critical historiography, historical geography, and black feminist theory to examine gender, sexuality, and slavery in the early modern Atlantic World. She teaches courses at Rutgers in the History and Women’s and Gender Studies departments on topics ranging from early modern Caribbean history and women’s and gender history in the United States to feminist theories and methodologies. She is the author of Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016) which won both the Barbara T. Christian Best Humanities Book Prize and the Berkshires Conference of Women’s Historians First Book Prize. Fuentes’s research has been funded by several institutions including the Ford Foundation, Fulbright IIE Program (Barbados), the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Kite aka Suzanne Kite is an Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University for the forthcoming dissertation, sound and video work, and interactive installation Hél čhaŋkú kiŋ ȟpáye (There lies the road). Kite’s scholarship and practice explores contemporary Lakota ontology through research-creation, computational media, and performance. Kite often works in collaboration, especially with family and community members. Her art practice includes developing Machine Learning and compositional systems for body interface movement performances, interactive and static sculpture, immersive video and sound installations, poetry and experimental lectures, experimental video, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records. Her work has been featured in various publications, including the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Journal of Design and Science (MIT Press), with the award-winning article, “Making Kin with Machines”, and the sculpture Ínyan Iyé (Telling Rock) (2019) was featured on the cover of Canadian Art. kitekitekite.com
Bently Spang is an independent multidisciplinary artist, educator, writer, curator and an enrolled member of the Tsitsistas/Suhtai Nation (a.k.a. Northern Cheyenne) in Montana, who works in mixed media sculpture, video, performance, photography and installation. His work confronts and confounds the persistent, romantic and inaccurate role crafted for Native people in the false narrative of ‘The West.’ bentlyspang.com
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 13 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 162-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
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