“Slavers for a White God: What Happened When Spaniards Did Not Speak Softly or Use the Right Sign Language Along Indian Highways of the Colonial Southwest”
Juliana Barr, University of Florida
Respondents: Michelle Molina, Northwestern University; Paul Ramírez, Northwestern University
“Stolen Pasts and Erased Histories: Anti-Imperialist Critique in New Social Art”
Jennifer Flores Sternad, New York University
This paper examines political art from the past decade that uses conceptualist strategies to critique imperialist practices and epistemologies. The works I discuss weave narratives across multiple media and genres – from interventionism to literature to performance – in order to engage with the history of European colonialism in the Americas and its imprint on the present. I show how the artists’ meditations on subaltern pasts and systemic erasure work to foreground the effects of successive imperialist enterprises on historiography, as well as to make visible the dialectic of place-making and displacement that characterizes urban spatial production in the Americas.
In the 1850s, the U.S. decided to import camels to help it navigate the vast swaths of terrain recently won from Mexico. The story of the expedition sent to purchase those camels is one that ranges from England and France to Africa, Turkey, Egypt, and the Crimea before returning to Texas. As disadvantaged U.S. military officers interact with shrewd merchants and foreign rulers, the camel expedition becomes a narrative about the desperate nineteenth-century U.S. desire to see the “manifestly destined,” hemispherically expansive nation as one with a globally powerful presence.
Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically. For a copy of the papers, email the Scholl Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP by May 6th.