Jul 23 2022

Concluding Keynote: Gesa Mackenthun “Ghostly Gardeners: America’s Ambivalent Discourse on Indigenous Land Tenure.”

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We are so excited to announce that the concluding keynote of our conference will be held by Gesa Mackenthun!

Gesa is professor of American Studies at Rostock University, Germany. Her books include Embattled Excavations. Colonial and Transcultural Constructions of the American Deep Past (2021), Metaphors of Dispossession. American Beginnings and the Translation of Empire (1997), Fictions of the Black Atlantic (2004), and many edited volumes, among them Decolonizing ‘Prehistory’. Deep Time and Indigenous Knowledges in North America (with Christen Mucher, 2021), Sea Changes. Historicizing the Ocean (with Bernhard Klein, 2004), Entangled Knowledge. Scientific Discourses and Cultural Difference (with Klaus Hock, 2012), and DEcolonial Heritage: Natures, Cultures and the Asymmetries of Memory (with Aníbal Arregui, 2017). Her current research deals with representations of the transatlantic history of enclosures, evictions, and ecocide.

She will be holding a Keynote on the topic “Ghostly Gardeners: America’s Ambivalent Discourse on Indigenous Land Tenure.” Join us on the 24.07. at 10:30 am to listen to her exciting talk! Please note that there has been a change in venue! The talk will take place in room 11/212!


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Jul 22 2022

Keynote Announcement: Anjali Vats “The Being and Doing of Critical Race Intellectual Property: A Ten Year Reflection on Method and Praxis”

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We are proud to announce that Anjali Vats will be joining our conference this year and hold a keynote on the topic The Being and Doing of Critical Race Intellectual Property: A Ten Year Reflection on Method and Praxis.”

Anjali Vats, JD, PhD is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law with a secondary appointment in the Communication Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She is interested in issues related to race, law, rhetoric, media studies, and popular culture, with particular focus on intellectual property. Her book, The Color of Creatorship: Intellectual Property, Race and the Making of Americans (Stanford University Press, 2020), examines the relationship between copyright, patent, and trademark law, race, and national identity formation. She has published in law reviews and academic journals, including the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and Communication, Culture & Critique. She also recently co-edited a special issue of First Amendment Studies on race and free speech. From 2014 – 2021, Vats was Associate Professor of Communication and African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College and Associate Professor of Law at Boston College Law School (by courtesy), where she taught Critical Race Theory and studied questions of Critical Race Intellectual Property. In 2016-2017, while on an AAUW Postdoctoral Fellowship, she served as a Visiting Law Professor at UC Davis School of Law. She was also previously a faculty member in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, where she was affiliated with the Center for Intellectual Property Research at the Maurer School of Law. Before becoming a professor, Vats clerked for the now retired Chief Justice A. William Maupin of the Supreme Court of Nevada.

Join us on the 23.07. at 10:00 am to listen to her exciting talk in room 11/212!

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Jul 21 2022

Opening Keynote: Ravit Reichman “Possessive Cases: The Propertied Imagination in Modern Times”

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We are so excited to announce that the opening keynote of this Institute’s concluding conference will be held by Ravit Reichman on the topic of “Possessive Cases: The Propertied Imagination in Modern Times”! Check out our convener introductions to read up on her full bio and see the abstract in the following:

“How do we come to feel possessive over intangibles—memory, identity, history, citizenship—that, strictly speaking, we cannot own? In taking up this question as a way to understand the modern condition, this lecture examines the propertied imagination: the psychic life of property through which we experience the world as a series of possessive cases, and through which we make claims to repossess what we believe to be ours. Navigating the psychic terrain of possession, I propose that property in the modern era comes into view predominantly through loss rather than acquisition, and that this loss is accompanied by an expanded sense of property that shapes relations of ownership beyond the law. Drawing particularly on examples from law and literature, I suggest that this propertied imagination calls for a particular mode of reading, one attuned to property’s affective registers like grief, possessiveness, self-possession, or entitlement, and to its rhetorical turns—those moments when language alerts us to the existence of a propertied relationship that law is often at pains to address.”

The Keynote will be held on the 22.07.  at 4 pm. Join us in room 11/E08!

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Jul 20 2022

Conference Program

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We are finally able to share our conference program for this weekend with all of you!

We are so stoked to have Ravit Reichman, Anjali Vats and Gesa Mackenthun holding the keynotes for the conference!

And of course we are excited to find out what our students came up with during this workshop week in the paper sessions.

A few titles are still missing: We will upload a finalized version on Friday.


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Jul 11 2022

Workshop on Property, Migration and Belonging

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Vikki Bell and Leti Volpp will be convening Workshop 4 on questions of Property, Migration and Belonging.

The first session will address law’s relationship to interdisciplinarity with a focus on questions of immigration. We will examine how property surfaces as a way to conceptualize various rights and entitlements, including the right of a lawful resident to return, the claim of an irregular migrant to remain, and the request of a refugee to belong.  We will also consider how immigration might be re-theorized as the management of claims for resources rather than as spatial movement over territory.

The afternoon session will consider the ways in which those things are left behind after periods of state violence – buildings that were used as clandestine detention centres, photographs, clothes – become a focus within the community’s struggles for memory and justice. How are buildings, images and the cultural productions they provoke mobilized within the struggles to ‘re-set’ the norms of a society in the wake of such violence? Taking examples from Argentina and Chile’s experiences, we will consider how processes we can understand as bio-political created a caesura of differential belonging during the Southern cone’s experiences of dictatorship, and how in their post-dictatorship transition different modes of ‘repair’ seek to act on the property and traces that remain in order to demand new socialities and new normative commitments. We will pay attention to the different forums in which these demands are made, within and beyond the law, as well as how new forms of belonging and affiliation arise that may require further attention and critique. In terms of interdisciplinarity, the session will encourage you to think about how you engage with cultural productions such as performances, textual and visual interventions, in your own work.

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