In the first session of the Fall 2022 semester, we'll be revisiting The Oracle for Transfeminist Technologies deck. "The wisdom of the Oracle, embedded with transfeminist values," the deck's instructions tell us, "will help us foresee a future where technologies are designed by people who are too often excluded from or targeted by technology in today's world." Absolutely no experience with technology is needed.
Speculative Technologies Learning Community
For a second year, the Digital Humanities Center is hosting a monthly learning community on Speculative Technologies for Liberatory Worlds to build capacity for what adrienne maree brown calls “radical imagination,” where “all efforts to bend the arc of the future towards justice, is science fictional behavior.” Build community with students, staff, and faculty and explore imaginative possibilities through hands-on activities, critical play games, and more.
The learning community will be held on the following dates (all Thursdays) from 4:00-5:30 PM: 9/15, 10/13, 11/10, 12/8, 1/26, 2/9, 3/9, 4/13. You don't have to attend every session--drop in when you can!
Read more about our past and upcoming sessions below.
In this second session, we'll be writing speculative fiction, as inspired by Octavia Butler's genre-bending novel Kindred. Like Butler, we'll be interrogating "What if" scenarios to imagine and create alternative narratives that speak to our pasts, present, and futures. This session will be hosted in collaboration with the Barnard Creative Writing Program.
In this third session, we’ll be playing with the Personal Storytelling Tool, a card deck created by Oneika Russell. This card deck was designed as a tool for social engagement and self-inquiry and comes from a video work 'Voyage' also being created to think about individual awareness and consciousness in relation to history, ecology and spirituality. Please join us as we use this tool to build connections, self-reflect, pathwork, and more! This session will be hosted in collaboration with featured artist Oneika Russell.
In the final session of the 2021-2022 academic year, we explored indigenous technologies of resistance and environmental injustices–past and present–throughout North America. Following a collaborative reading practice and discussion, participants who attended in person had the opportunity to plant seed paper and seedlings. Participants joining through Zoom were able to arrange pick-up of a planting kit at the DHC before the session.
In this seventh session, we explored our bodies' capacities to communicate and connect through movement and sound. This learning community session occured between discussions in our Queer Asylum series on “Transforming Systemic Violence: Experiences of Female and Non-Binary Identifying Queer Migrants.” In that series, activists and scholars examined how intersecting forms of systemic violence shape the experiences of forced migration and everyday life for female- and nonbinary-identifying queer migrants in the US. In our learning community session, inspired by the work of Translucent Borders and the Queer Asylum series, we explored building shared vocabularies of embodiment and liberation in spite of and against imagined borders. This session was hosted in collaboration with the Movement Lab.
In this sixth session, we responded to the powerful film Fast Color (2019), screened as a part of the Media Center's Feminist Film Series. To explore the importance of recording and reckoning with ancestral and embodied memory highlighted in the movie, we practiced meditating and creating a collective journal of ancestral powers. This session was hosted in collaboration with the Media Center and featured guest Alexis Pauline Gumbs '04.
In this fifth session, we explored augmented reality and the speculative anthology Black Freedom Beyond Borders: Memories of Abolition Day in order to build capacity for what adrienne maree brown calls “radical imagination.” This session was also part of the series Abolition & ____ co-sponsored by the Empirical Reasoning Center, Vagelos Computational Science Center, and the Digital Humanities Center. We also encourage you to check out the Athena Center's SPARK: with Kamal Sinclair :: On Imagining New Futures.
In this fourth session, we explored the method of collage as a speculative design practice which uses images, live materials, words, and more to create new compositions that speak to our values and our visions of the past, present, and future. Collaging tools and materials were provided for this session but attendees were also encouraged to bring materials such as photographs, pressed leaves, paper, and fabric to add to their own works. This session was hosted in collaboration with the Design Center.
In this third session, we explored mapping as a technology that inscribes relations and values in visual form. Together we created maps that inscribed our values, values that allow us to imagine “the just and liberated worlds we long for” (brown). This session was hosted in collaboration with the Empirical Reasoning Center.
In this second session, we wrote visionary fiction, which Walidah Imarisha describes as "an all-encompassing term for any fantastical art (speculative fiction, horror, magical realism, fantasy, etc.) that might aid in creating social change." We need spaces, she writes, "both real-world and digital, that allow us to imagine beyond the limits of what we are told is possible if we are to build liberated futures." We grew our collective capacities for imagination and social change by writing visionary fiction together! This session was hosted in collaboration with the Center for Engaged Pedagogy.
In the first session of the Fall 2021 semester, we played with The Oracle for Transfeminist Technologies deck. "The wisdom of the Oracle, embedded with transfeminist values," the deck's instructions tell us, "will help us foresee a future where technologies are designed by people who are too often excluded from or targeted by technology in today's world." Absolutely no experience with technology is needed.
The Digital Humanities Center is committed to hosting and supporting programming that reflects its core values of inclusivity, sustainability, exploration, and collaboration. For questions, accommodation requests, or issues, email us at email@example.com.