Making Bodies Legible

Last week I visited the Facing History exhibit of Shirin Neshat’s work at the Hirshhorn Museum (which I’m excited to share with you in an upcoming exhibit review) and was struck by the attention to physical bodies in her work. It’s no secret that attention to bodies as sites of violence is a key component of my academic work, but after seeing Neshat’s photography and short films, I spend the next few days thinking about the ways we can keep the role of the physical body legible in critiques of war and colonialism. My research (and some great tweets from my followers!) led me to Bodies of Violence: Theorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations, by Lauren Wilcox, a book which cuts right to the heart of what I found most fascinating about Neshat’s art.

A recent symposium on this book was held at The Disorder of Things, but beneath the jump is a quick rundown of my own as well!

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#HRRlive: Communities Mobilized for Social Change

What a critical time to be a museum. In what ways do we regard these institutions as classrooms, as discourse, as truth? The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) took a giant leap in this arena––prior to even finalizing construction (set to open in 2016)––on Saturday, April 25th. A mix of museum professionals, students, activists, and just interested folk, gathered at the National Museum of the American Indian for a symposium to engage discussion and solutions around “Ferguson,” which has come to stand in for the prevalence of state-violence inflicted on black bodies that is not a new occurrence but hyper-visible due to technology and social media. “History, Rebellion and Reconciliation: Communities Mobilized for Social Change” symposium hosted by NMAAHC was a day of intellectual and artistic musing. Continue…