Microseminars

Black Embodiments Studio Microseminar

The Simpson Center offers microseminars at the graduate level that reflect its commitments to crossdisciplinary research, digital humanities, and public scholarship. These courses are typically one-credit, credit/no credit, allowing students to fit them into regular departmental coursework. They are frequently structured around the work of a visiting speaker, letting students grow familiar with a speaker's work and deepening the possibility of real exchange while they are here.

Because the concentration camps that held Japanese Americans during World War II were typically established in harsh and desolate conditions, dust and dryness feature prominently in personal accounts of incarceration, and e

Saidiya Hartman’s multi-award-winning work spans the fields of African American literature and cultural history, slavery studies, law and literature, gender studies, and performance studies.

This microseminar has two goals: 1) prepare for curating an exhibit of noted Black Mississippi-born, Seattle-based artist James W. Washington, and 2) engage Black curatorial theories and practices, including on Black aesthetics, performance, and digital practices.

In conjunction with an upcoming symposium, this microseminar focuses on contemporary plurifeminisms across Abya Yala,* particularly the “art-law” collaborations that have been a component of many feminist struggles for transformation in the region.

This seminar focuses on the major concerns of Quayson’s recent postcolonial thought, namely the social construction of urban space, and the cultural representation of contemporary tragedy.

In a time of crisis and austerity, what strategies can we use to imagine a safe and thriving future for trans, nonbinary, Two Spirit, intersex, gender-variant, and gender-creative people and communities?

With support from the Mellon Foundation and Social Science Research Council (SSRC), this microseminar is a workshop in the art of writing proposals to fund international dissertation research.

This microseminar has three goals: 1) to foster connections among abolitionist minded communities in the Seattle region, 2) to learn what abolition geography means and how this normative framework can be applied to Washington state; and, 3) to workshop ideas that would apply the insights of abolition geography to Washington state.
This project seeks to decolonize the rhetoric and understanding of humanitarianism by examining the histories of forced migration and practices of humanitarian care for forced migrants, including both ‘conventional’ and ‘humanitarian refugees’, that developed outside of Europe and North America.

In this microseminar we explore art of the Northwest Coast and how it functions within the political realm of Canada’s Truth and Reconcilation (TRC) Commission and in the face of extractive industries on unceeded territory and the devestation they can bring to Indigenous lands and sovereignty.

This microseminar seeks to decolonize the rhetoric and understanding of humanitarianism by examining the histories of forced migration and practices of humanitarian care for forced migrants, including both ‘conventional’ and ‘humanitarian refugees’, that developed outside of Europe and North America.

This microseminar explores the political importance of art in responding to the violence of dictatorship, war, and extractive economies. It is organized around the spring 2020 visits of four scholar-artists from Puerto Rico and Peru.

In the wake of protests over the violence of the carceral state, this course explores the place of art in politics through an engagement with the work of MacArthur Foundation fellow Jason De León (UCLA) and Mexican filmmaker Raúl Paz Pastrana. This course asks us, how can art shape public engagement with immigration and border policies? Can public mourning be politically productive?
This project seeks to decolonize the rhetoric and understanding of humanitarianism by examining the histories of forced migration and practices of humanitarian care for forced migrants, including both ‘conventional’ and ‘humanitarian refugees’, that developed outside of Europe and North America.
This microseminar will focus on the work of anthropologist Anna Tsing, who will deliver the Katz Distinguished Lecture on February 25, 2020. Anna Tsing’s pathbreaking work cuts across numerous disciplinary and conceptual boundaries, exploring topics ranging from community-based conservation and mushroom hunting to global supply chains and the deep history of human domestication.
The purpose of this microseminar is to introduce graduate students to the intellectual feast that is the annual convention (if you have not attended it before), as well as to spark discussion and deliberation on matters important to us all—including basic issues of human rights and the future of the humanities. This is also an opportunity for you to meet graduate students in literary and cultural studies from other departments.
This microseminar explores diverse models of writing on black embodiments to gain intimate contact with artists, curators, and scholars whose work on black embodiments models innovation, accessibility, and criticality. Over the course of the quarter, residents will visit five exhibitions and develop their own short-form arts criticism. 
This microseminar explores diverse models of writing on black embodiments to gain intimate contact with artists, curators, and scholars whose work on black embodiments models innovation, accessibility, and criticality. Over the course of the quarter, residents will visit five exhibitions and develop their own short-form arts criticism.
This microseminar focuses on the relationship of neoliberalism to rapidly changing permutations of governmental power. Our readings and discussion will consider how the escalating political turbulence of the present moment changes the way we should view neoliberalism as a political project.
This microseminar has three goals related to movement building and education. 1) Map the current conjuncture in the Pacific Northwest region as a basis for political strategy development; 2) Develop curriculum for racial capitalism scholarship for this region; 3) Model a process that could be adjusted and replicated for different geographic contexts.
This microseminar provides students with an understanding of the politics surrounding fifth columns in the contemporary world. It exposes students to debates about the ways that suspect minorities or ideological opponents are implicated in activities that undermine the state.
In this course, we will probe the genealogies, claims, and stakes of world art studies and global art history. We will examine new art historical paradigms that build on and depart from these models, specifically the oceanic, geological, and digital.
This microseminar explores diverse models of writing on black embodiments to gain intimate contact with artists, curators, and scholars whose work on black embodiments models innovation, accessibility, and criticality. Over the course of the quarter, residents will visit five exhibitions and develop their own short-form arts criticism.
This microseminar introduces graduate students to a range of humanities careers and explores how the skills we acquire in earning a PhD can be used beyond the college classroom. We will draw on local resources (humanities PhDs working in various career contexts in the Puget Sound region) to mentor current graduate students.
This transdisciplinary and multilingual seminar, which aims to create a community of graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences working across modern languages as well as students in other fields who see translation as crucial to their scholarship and (eventual) activism, takes as its task the bridging of the gap between academic-theoretical discourses on translation and the practice of translation as a public good.
This microseminar takes place in conjunction with the symposium "The Shifting Landscape of Public Communication," which explores the “big questions” for scholars concerned with a contemporary media landscape marked by surveillance, propaganda, and receding faith in the power of social institutions.
This microseminar frames the visit of Tara McPherson to the University of Washington on October 11-12, 2018, when she will give a public lecture entitled “Platforming Hate: The Right in the Digital Age.” We will read and discuss McPherson’s provocative essays “Designing for Difference” (2014) and “Why Are the Digital Humanities So White” (2012).
This microseminar is organized around the November 4 workshop Ethics, Settler Colonialism, and Indigeneity in the History of the Human Sciences in the Global South. Both the course and the workshop ask how we might assess and write about the ethical breaches and conundrums that took place in the human sciences as researchers defined and carried out investigations of "the other" at home and abroad.
In this microseminar, the cinema of the Hispanic world will be our case study. Students will study recent trends in Spanish and Latin American film, while also connecting with local and international experts in film programming, including people at the Guanajuato Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, the Seattle Latino Film Festival, the Cervantes Institute, and the Sitges Film Festival.
This microseminar asks students to consider the meaning and practice of scholarship as universities become more racially and economically exclusionary than even a decade past. In this context, does “scholarship” at the Research-1 level function as an alibi for exclusion and minoritization? How might we rethink and redeploy the term “scholarship” in ways that resist the reproduction of racial disparities and inequities across institutions of higher education?
This microseminar is for graduate student “residents” of The Black Embodiments Studio, a critical arts writing incubator and public lecture series that queries how definitions of blackness are produced and expressed through visual, aural, and affective realms—engaging three domains that underwrite the physical and metaphysical dimensions of inhabiting skin marked as “black.”
This microseminar is for graduate student residents of The Black Embodiments Studio, a critical arts writing incubator and public lecture series that brings graduate students from a range of disciplines and knowledge-based practices together to query how definitions of blackness are produced and expressed through visual, aural, and affective realms—engaging three domains that underwrite the physical and metaphysical dimensions of inhabiting black skin.
This microseminar serves as preparation for and engagement with an April 2018 colloquium that brings together six dance/ing scholars for two days of lectures, workshops, and dialogue that address border crossings through the lens of improvisational social dances. The microseminar includes visits with important voices in Dance Studies including Jasmine Johnson, Kareem Khubchandani, and Marta Savigliano.
Starting with a historical examination of forms of television alternative to the dominant commercial and national model, the seminar will grapple with the new kinds of public spheres structured by new media social platforms and networks. Along the way, we will consider different models of publics, counterpublics, and public sphericules; as well as crucial distinctions between publics, audiences, communities, and networks.
This course surveys the work of comics scholar Ramzi Fawaz, chiefly through a reading of his book The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics (NYU Press, 2016) and related work. We will discuss Fawaz’s application of queer theory and utopianism to superhero comics and other comics genres since the 1960s for how these reflect the emergence and representation of alternative communities in post-war US culture.
The microseminar provides the opportunity for masters and doctoral students from multiple disciplines to think with each other and Rithy Panh about key themes in his work. Students are required to read in preparation for seminars; participate in screenings and colloquia during Panh’s visit; and complete a two-page paper or one-minute film.
In this microseminar, we will read philosophical and legal scholarship (including work by Lawrence) and excerpted court opinions. Students will deepen their understanding of the legal, moral, and philosophical controversy regarding hate speech; learn about and critically engage weighty arguments on different sides of the debate; and develop their own well-informed and well-reasoned positions on the questions raised.