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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Fall 2019

HUM 596A

The Black Embodiments Studio

(2 credits, C/NC)

Time Schedule

Instructor: Kemi Adeyemi (GWSS)

Course Meetings: October 11-12; November 15-17

The Black Embodiments Studio is a critical arts writing incubator that explores enactments of, and arts criticism surrounding, black embodiments in contemporary art. Residents meet for daylong intensives October 11-12 and November 15-17 to discuss diverse models of writing on black embodiments and 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 5 exhibitions and develop their own short-form arts criticism. Interested graduate students and postgraduates should submit a 2-page letter of inquiry in PDF format to Dr. Kemi Adeyemi ( by 5 pm PST on September 25, 2019. This letter should detail the applicant’s critical practice, how thinking through black embodiments and contemporary art may be generative to it, and what they hope to gain through The Black Embodiments Studio. Ten residents will be notified of their acceptance by September 27, 2019.

Kemi Adeyemi is Assistant Professor of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. She is currently writing her book, Making New Grounds: Black Queer Women’s Geographies of Neoliberalism, which explores the sonic, affective, and embodied methods black queer women have for taking pleasure in the neoliberal city, and she is in the process of co-editing Queer Nightlife, a collection that documents the diverse expressions of queer nightlife worldwide.

HUM 596B

Neoliberalism and the (Dis)integration of the Political

(1 credit, C/NC)

Time Schedule

Instructors: Eva Cherniavsky (UW English) and Lee Medovoi (University of Arizona) 

Course Meetings: Meets in CMU 226 Monday-Wednesday, October 21-23 and Tuesday, October 29, 3:30-5:30 pm. Participants are also required to attend the colloquium session on October 24 and are invited to attend the sessions on October 25 and 26.

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. For a long time, neoliberalism was viewed primarily as a force for depoliticization and the unambiguous subordination of the state and its democratic subjects to the market. New questions are now being raised, however, by the global, hard-right turn and the potent fusions of neoliberalism with resurgent nationalisms. How should we understand the relation between ever more deregulated markets and the increasingly authoritarian political climate? How might we press beyond the now familiar invocations of neoliberalism’s “entrepreneurial” subject to understand the structures of feeling that animate the rise of neopopulisms and neoracisms? And finally, should we interpret our moment as one of unprecedented consolidation (in which capital has subsumed the state), or just the reverse, as a moment where the unsustainability of capitalism is finally on full display? In exploring these questions, we will pay particular attention to agency, opposition, and culture. How does opposition to neoliberalism look different today than it did in the heyday of globalization twenty years ago? What are the functions of today’s media (old and new) and of cultural practices in cultivating (or extinguishing) alternative political imaginaries?

Eva Cherniavsky is the Andrew R. Hilen Professor of American Literature and Culture at UW. She is the author of Neocitizenship: Political Culture after Democracy (2017), Incorporations, Race, Nation and the Body Politics of Capital (2006) and That Pale Mother Rising: Sentimental Discourses and the Imitation of Motherhood in 19th-C. America (1995).

Lee Medovoi is a Professor of English at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Rebels: Youth and the Cold War Origins of Identity (2005). He was the founding director of the Portland Center for Public Humanities, a founding board member for the Cultural Studies Association, and a former member of the PMLA editorial board.

Questions? Please contact Cherniavsky at

COM 597

Community-Based Research Methods 

(5 credits)

Time Schedule

Instructor: Carmen Gonzalez (Communication) 

Course Meetings: Meets Thursdays 1:30-4:20 pm in Communications 242. 

The development of community-based research, action research, participatory action research, and community-engaged research emerged from different disciplines, with slightly different approaches but generally aligned goals. These aligned research approaches draw on a diverse array of thinkers inside and outside the academy. This course examines various models of community-based research with an explicit focus on the methodological approaches that guide such work. Students will review and critically analyze empirical research projects that involve partnerships with non-profits, foundations, and other community organizations. Each student will also be expected to partner with an organization and conduct fieldwork throughout the quarter. The scope of the project will depend on the needs of the community partner and the expertise of the student researcher. A mandatory virtual orientation will be held in the summer to help students identify community partnerships and brainstorm research questions so that fieldwork can begin the second week of the quarter. This course was developed with the support of a Mellon Summer Fellowship for New Graduate Seminars in the Humanities, part of the Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics initiative at the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

Carmen Gonzalez is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication. Her community-based research has focused on the intersection of digital and health equity, addressing both the information and health needs of underserved communities. Dr. Gonzalez’ work has been supported by funders such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Google, and the National Institutes of Health.

Questions? Please contact Gonzalez at