BY: LEIGH FONDAKOWSKI
DIRECTED BY: CAITLIN KANE
CORNELL UNIVERSITY, FLEX THEATRE
APRIL 26 - MAY 4, 2019
SYMPOSIA & COLLOQUIA CURATED
ESCAPE FROM THE ARCHIVE
GRADUATE STUDENT COLLOQUIUM
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES
As the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (FGSS) program's graduate assistant (2019-21), I organize a graduate student colloquium in which FGSS graduate minors share dissertation chapters and articles in progress for discussion and feedback. This monthly gathering is one of several new initiatives intended to increase the rigor of the minor and to generate opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration across the College of Arts and Sciences.
In addition to the graduate colloquium, I also coordinate a professional development series for graduate student minors through FGSS. These monthly sessions bring Cornell faculty and visiting scholars into conversation with FGSS graduate students about issues of professionalization. The sessions vary in structure from structured workshops to informal conversations, and the session topics have included developing job market materials, grant writing, and navigating imposter syndrome in the academy to name just a few.
DISRUPTING WHITE SUPREMACY: A FEMINIST PEDAGOGY SERIES
In collaboration with faculty from the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, I instituted an anti-racist pedagogy group that brings faculty and graduate students together to interrogate how white supremacy informs our curriculum and our classroom policies. Together, we are working to advance feminist, intersectional, and anti-racist pedagogies in our individual classrooms, in our departments, and across the university.
Theatre and performance have long been generative sites of encountering and reanimating the past. Significantly, where the archive is most frequently a textual (though still potentially sensual and affective) engagement with history, theatre and performance offer the opportunity to embody the past, to encounter history in the surrogated flesh. In 2017, I co-organized a three-day symposium, "Escape from the Archive," which invited fifteen scholars and artists, including keynote speaker Soyica Diggs Colbert and featured artist Leigh Fondakowski, to Cornell's campus for a series of round tables, panels, and performances to explore these generative relationships between performance and the archive. In 2020 and 2021, Erin and I are co-organizing an ASTR pre-conference and working group, "Touching Histories" that builds on the productive conversations that occurred during this symposium.