Monumental Reckoning: Unsettling Histories, Reimagining Futures

Engaging debates over monuments and histories of exclusion, Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities undergraduates from UW’s Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses have generated a rich set of interdisciplinary student projects that reframe and reimagine the work of archives, memory and cultural agency in the world.

Program

The 2021 Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities invites you to a virtual symposium showcasing exceptional undergraduate student research! Join us via Zoom on Friday, August 20 from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. to learn more about students' work. You can register here: https://bit.ly/SIAH2021. Please see the program below for a schedule of the day's events.

9:00-9:20: Opening Remarks

  • Janice DeCosmo, Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs
  • Lydia Heberling, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and María Elena García, Associate Professor, Comparative History of Ideas, UW Seattle

9:30-10:45: PANEL 1. Genealogies of Harm and Healing

Chair: María Elena García

Students presenters and their research abstracts:


Jasmine Mae Alindayu // Intended Major: Law, Societies, and Justice // How an Authoritarian Leader Brought Me Closer to Dad

The Philippines is experiencing a new kind of era ever since the onset of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency. Although the Philippines deems itself as a republic, the president exhibits an authoritarian nature. His tactics, rhetoric, and worldview have garnered attention and controversy, leading to a reevaluation of the country. Despite disagreement and condemnation from human rights groups and other entities, for many people Duterte stands as an effective leader in the Philippines. Even with his brutality, there is a strong presence of approval. In this project, I aim to explore and uncover what makes Duterte such a likeable figure among Filipino citizens. A review of the literature reveals many plausible reasons. Duterte veils himself as a ‘common man.’ His efforts to combat the war on drugs are also admirable to many Filipinos; they feel much safer with some of his policies. Initially, my research was supposed to manifest in an academic paper. However, I found that one of my parents shared the same sentiments as other Filipinos. To highlight my findings, I chose to interview my dad and borrowing from the work of Ocean Vuong, I utilized the form of a letter to my father. With this project, I aimed to connect with my dad in hopes of understanding more about my people. Additionally, I was able to hear the genuine thoughts and background of my dad. This brought me closer to my roots, and my dad.

Tess Beschel // Comparative History of Ideas and Cinema and Media Studies // The Labor of Mourning

At the onset of COVID-19 in the U.S. I moved back in with my parents to navigate the isolated and unstable future that the coronavirus presented for many of us. As I was living at home, established relations within networks of family and friends invited me to consider the gaps of understanding which were a result of indoctrination into particular ways of being and relating. Through music, writing, reading and conversation I studied the embodied affect of the settler state and patriarchal capitalism within gendered relations. What I learned is that emotional negligence is a mechanism employed by those in power to maintain power, and that the embodied affect of such violent structures of power is a pointed and potent grief. This project is an exploration of my own grief, an inquiry towards relationality that is reciprocal, that bears the weight of its own grievances, incongruencies, and desires for what else is possible. My project asks: what alternative relations does grief in the present open us up to experience in the future? To answer this question, I offer three original songs, fractals of poems pieced together from over the last year, and an opening of space for us to feel together. Rhythm, melody, and harmony are the fundamental relationships between sounds within music and I pose such relations as a template within human relations past, present, and future, and a form by which to be in conversation with more-than-human life. My hope is that we discover a kind of relief in collective suffering when openness and recognition are embraced. This project is an embodiment of what I desire to see more of in all relations and institutions, emotional expression recognized as strength, vulnerability recognized as truth, and grief recognized as a point of mutuality.

Fotimakhon Ibrokhim // Comparative History of Ideas, Food Systems // Storying: A Monument of Resilience and Decolonial Healing

This project explores the impact of migration on personal and familial relationships, through the process of storytelling. Focusing on my family’s migration story from Uzbekistan to the U.S., I explore themes of intergenerational trauma, resilience, survivance, and re-making relationships as central to our experience. For the diasporic community of Uzbeks, our past is informed by Russian colonial and imperial rule which is inherently rooted in the erasure of Central Asian history. This erasure is also a central theme when exploring the lived experiences of familial trauma, distance, struggle, and silencing. More importantly, the project also explores the ways resilience is foundational in our lives. The questions I am asking are: How is our family trauma-informed by our migration story, and in what ways is it linked to life before migration? What does a path for decolonial healing and restoring familial relationships look like? Through a desired-centred approach and mosaic methodologies, I am in conversation with my close friends, family, and my own stories to produce a piece of creative writing. This work explores the very lived realities–both individual and collective– of the manifestation of coloniality and the inheritance of pain and resilience it has on survivors of violence and displacement. My aim is to re-write stories and imagine possibilities of healing that go beyond survival. This project informs transformative and anticolonial healing that embodies resilience, longevity, and the de-pathologization of ourselves.

Katie Ward // Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and Environmental Studies // Minor: Human Rights // Oh! Silly White Women: I Was a Monument to the Patriarchy

Stereotypes around femininity presented to young Women have historically not been inclusive, often consisting of single-story, one-dimensional white ideals of femininity. Young Women could lean into the stereotype or turn away, but the dismissal often created new stereotypes due to a lack of variety in feminine representation such as “I’m not like other girls.” The exposure to these white feminine stereotypes created cracks in a young Woman’s relationship with femininity and what it means to be a girl, causing a shift to antifeminist and sexist thought while developing internalized misogyny. This presents externally as Women-hating behavior that supports the learned mindsets of white men in regards to the sexualization, degradation and the general treatment of other Women. The patriarchal system influenced millions of young Women across the country in their homes, in their classrooms, each night on television, and then reinforced the same imagery on the covers of teen magazines. These young Women often started behaving as a monument to the patriarchy acting for the best interest of the heteronormative white male experience. I was one of those young white Women, and due to a lack of strong feminist representation I instead turned into a living, breathing, and sometimes ‘preaching’ monument to the patriarchy. Through autoethnography and archival research of magazines and sitcoms that were popular in the 1990’s and 2000’s, I will analyze my own experience. I explore the ways I was manipulated by the heteropatriarchy and colonialism to be antifeminist, to hate other Women and actively cause harm to others based on their expression of femininity.

Marlowe Barrington // Pre-Nursing and Comparative History of Ideas // Nursing Hagiographies and Erased Black Legacies: How Have the Foundations of Nursing Shaped its Future?

This project is an investigation into monuments to colonialism and racism within nursing in the United States. A monument could be a person or their legacy that survives through a medical instrument, policy, or practice. This project will specifically address the centuries of harm inflicted upon Black women by the colonial mothers of nursing and the prevention and erasure of Black nurses in the field. My research question is: How do the hagiographies (idealized biographies) of foundational white female nurses hide the racist and colonial origins of nursing and how does this erasure ultimately shape the profession today? To explore this question, I draw on resources from the UW’s libraries and archives as well as the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization. More specifically, I explore the work of nurses such as Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole to better understand how the legacies of white women have been strategically crafted whilst the legacies of black women have been shoved to the margins. Additionally, I investigate the history of the University of Washington’s School of Nursing to better understand how schools of nursing may have prevented the education of Black women. The UW School of Nursing is a prestigious nursing school and is ranked as No. 1 for public institutions nursing graduate programs. This project is significant because these monuments manifest as barriers to access and care for marginalized communities and have created grounds for community mistrust. It is crucial to change the system of medicine in the United States so that vulnerable communities can heal rather than experience further harm. I believe that to change or disrupt the system, an understanding of its foundations is imperative.

10:55-12:10: PANEL 2. Reimagining Archives, Identity, and Colonialism

Chair: Adam Warren

Student presenters and their research abstracts:

Ethan Nowack // Ethnomusicology and Comparative History of Ideas // Voicing Otherwise: Archival Vocality // Unsettling the Listening Body

Voice has typically been understood as an external representation of an internal uniqueness or individuality, often at the expense of the recognition of its always already relational, multi-sensory, and multi-sitedness. This project engages with the interdisciplinary and critical study of voice, the archival and epistemic violences that have been enacted around it, and the ways in which it opens resistive and unsettling possibilities otherwise. I ask, how does listening, to past and present, to archives and voices, offer new and unsettling modes of relating to the world?. Through this exploration, I intend to illuminate the radical potential of listening differently, and offer openings towards an anti-colonial listening practice. To do this, I engage a critique of Alan Lomax’s “Cantometrics,” a vocal/musical classification system for global music, positioning it as an example of colonial listening practice. I then turn towards the music of Wolastoqiyik singer Jeremy Dutcher, and their reimagining of archival Wolastoqey language songs and recordings. I position Dutcher’s music as a “voicing otherwise” that encourages listening differently. Additionally, in an effort to unsettle the ways that we write about and through music and sound, I explore various multisensory and performative writing practices, inviting the reader to listen differently through the form and structure of the written project. Voice and listening have the potential to become critically engaged elements of experience in a deeply liberating sense. My hope is that this project will contribute to such a widened conception of voice, particularly in the context of monumental reckoning and unsettling colonialisms.

Wendi Zhou // History and Philosophy; Minor: Comparative History of Ideas // Don’t Mythologize Me: Monumentalization and Refusal in Audre Lorde’s Berlin Years, 1984-1992

My paper is on the topic of Audre Lorde’s Berlin years (1984-1992), the time she spent as a visiting scholar at the Free University of Berlin. My project seeks to uncover how Lorde framed the Afro-German movement (and critiqued the erasure of German racism and Holocaust memory) via her published and unpublished writings, and how this can be connected to the views she expresses before the Berlin years on intersectional activism in the United States. I will be using Lorde’s published prose works such as the essay “A Burst of Light: Living with Cancer” (1988) in addition to unpublished (English-language) correspondence with German female scholars, writers, and social figures both Black and white. I argue that Lorde’s writings during her time in Berlin reflect a heightened awareness of the need for “defining” (both self-definition and the naming of oppressions from German society), reflecting her own and Black German women’s attempt to create a voice for themselves within a climate heavy with the denial of both racism and Nazi crimes—and how Lorde rejects monumentalization in doing so. While a large amount of literature exists on Lorde’s poetry, few scholars have attempted to use historical methods to shed light on Lorde’s vision of intersectional activism via her published essays and unpublished writings. In doing so, I hope to show the limits of Lorde’s mythologization as a monumental figure while proposing a critique of the American and German publics she addressed in such writings.

Rachel Suominen // International Studies and Business Administration; Minor: Human Rights // Written Into History? Solastalgia and Emotion Under the Western Gaze

In 2003, after witnessing strong emotional distress in populations near new open-pit mining projects, environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht coined the environmental neologism “solastalgia” to refer to “the pain or sickness caused by the loss of, or inability to derive solace from, the present state of one’s home environment.” In recent years, I have experienced the effects of climate change on my own emotional relationship with home, and I encountered the term solastalgia as I attempted to grapple with my own seemingly solastalgia-like emotions. In this project, I examine how solastalgia as a term portrays its named emotion to explore how the naming and ‘languaging’ of a particular experience influences how the experience is written into history – and to ask why that writing is being done. Using solastalgia as an anchor alongside other methods of documenting emotion, I argue that the situating of solastalgia as a specific pathologized diagnosis reaffirms colonial structures of legitimacy. The term solastalgia exists within systems of Western knowledge which prioritize false objectivity at the expense of valuable subjective experience. Examining the etymology and usage of solastalgia helps us understand how language can act as a monument, highlighting and documenting certain aspects of history while silencing others.

Magdalena Lombardi // Comparative History of Ideas // For the US to Live the Wolf Must Die: Extermination in the Southwest From 1880-1930

The United States established itself as a cohesive and internally policed nation-state through a process of exclusion through border making and racialized violence. Above all, the construction and regimentation of the state involved practices that sought to naturalize the borders of the United States in order to endow its barriers with an immutable solidity. This solidity was ratified through physical demarcation, legislation and violence directed at those deemed “other,” both human and non-human. By relying on a constructed archive that documents the federally organized Gray Wolf eradication programs in the borderlands of Arizona and new Mexico from 1880 until 1930, I demonstrate how the delineation of the United States/Mexico border was both preceded and continues to be perpetually defined by policies that enact precisely these kinds of exclusionary measures. I will show how this federally mandated dominance over the lives and the habitats of non-human animals was utilized by analogous procedures to surveil and police the border in their effort to bolster and sustain the United States as a settler-colonial state. By revealing otherwise concealed historical insights, I hope to undermine the prevailing conceptions of national boundaries by denaturalizing the illusion of fixed, constant, and enduring lines of demarcation and consequently offer opportunities to envision a world without such divisive separations. Such a vision would allow for the recognition of borders not as sites of inclusion, but as spaces built on methodical exclusion of both human and non-human beings.

Torin Burns // History, Race, Gender, and Power; Minor: Diversity) // Rabies Pride: Queer Micro Communities on the Internet as Sites of Liberation

In 2017, Tumblr user dirk-has-rabies created the Rabies Pride Movement for autistic trans individuals who feel like they are treated as less than human or diseased. In July of 2018 a satire account called rabidloving was created that co-opted rabies pride into a joke label about being attracted to people with rabies or the idea of having rabies. Currently, the true meaning is virtually impossible to find under associated tags or searches on Tumblr. How does the formation of rabies pride produce insights into the complexities of online queer spaces as sites of liberation and assimilation? Through archival research on TikTok – where I first came across the movement – and Tumblr I seek to contextualize the Rabies Pride Movement and its appropriation within broader narratives around queer liberation and LGBT+ assimilation while disrupting the idea that there is a singular queer mindset in online spaces. I will articulate how rabies pride is an example of smaller communities in queer internet culture that function as sites of liberation through a refusal to be palatable to cis-heteronormative society that are often lost or perpetually rejected by others due to the assimilative nature of jokes other LGBT+ people make around these communities. This understanding helps challenge homogenizing views of online queer spaces, and recontextualize how we interact with the internet while seeking to give understanding to the appropriated movement rabies pride.

12:10-1:30: Lunch break

Nourish your body and come back to continue nourishing your brain and heart!

1:45-3:05: PANEL 3. Art Against the Grain

Chair: Lydia Heberling

Students and their research abstracts:

Madeline Werner // English Literature and Comparative History of Ideas // Reckoning with Ragnarok: Critique and Reinterpretation in Marvel’s Thor Franchise

As media conglomerates continue to grow and subsume smaller artists and studios, attending to the types of narratives they are producing and how those narratives serve or complicate the aims of the overall corporation becomes increasingly important. Furthermore, Disney’s global reach as an American media franchise can be considered a product and extension of historical colonial violence, even as some of its products purport to critique such forms of oppression. In this project, I examine how Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, directed by Māori filmmaker Taika Waititi, reframes the glorified civilization of Asgard as a violent colonial empire, a fascinating recontextualization that potentially critiques not only sanitized narratives of colonialism but Disney’s utilization of them. The movie was commercially successful, raising further questions about how the film critiques and serves Disney. I question how Thor: Ragnarok constructs its critique of its fantasy-colonialism and the parameters of that engagement. To accomplish this, I perform a close reading of the film alongside contextual materials such as previews, interviews, and previous Marvel media from which it draws. I argue that Thor: Ragnarok reframes and subverts the previous Thor movies to critique historicized and overtly violent colonialism, and constructs a simultaneous critique of ongoing legacies of colonialism and systems of oppression. Its critique of ongoing oppression is couched in humor, avoiding being provocative in a way that would alienate audiences accustomed to the previous whitewashed depictions of power and empire or fully implicate Disney’s participation in those narratives.

Mayumi Sophiya Alino // Political Science and Cinema and Media Studies; Minor: Informatics // Looking as Political Act: The Oppositional Gaze in Cinematic Realism

Within the ethnographies, memories, and archives produced throughout a capitalist empire, the ‘gaze’ has generally been used against the subject, creating narratives which entrench the hegemony in defining the subject to accord with the needs of the dominating culture. The term ‘oppositional gaze’ was developed in 1992 by bell hooks in conversation with Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema: the ‘gaze’ is a scopophilic act albeit with the potential to be a radical method for resistance; the oppositional gaze then refers to ‘looking’ as a defiant act to which the actors reclaim a sense of autonomy over the spectator and turn the gaze back upon their oppressors. What makes the act of ‘looking’ so defiant and how this looking translates to an oppositional gaze is the question this project attempts to answer through a close reading of various media and using an array of methods and theories from such disciplines as film studies, ethnography, and data ethics. I build upon the foundations of hooks and Mulvey while asserting that the definition of ‘looking’ goes beyond visual perception and into the act of understanding and perceiving. I apply these theories of the ‘gaze’ and my own explorations of ‘looking’ to juxtapose Rahul Jain’s Machines (2016) and Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland (2020) in analyzing its application and limitations. With this project, I hope to impel further discussion on the study of the gaze by compiling demonstrations of its application in various media and its disruption of prevailing narratives.

Ruby Barone // Art History and Comparative History of Ideas // Words and Weapons: The RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ’s Formula for Reclaiming the Power of Language

This project explores the history and power of language in relation to graffiti writer Rammellzee’s philosophy of Ikonoklast Panzerism as well as to his art. Using informal interviews, ethnographic engagement, and close readings relating to Rammellzee and the alphabet’s history, I investigate how the individual can claim the power of language back from colonizers and oppressors through subversive art. I question how Rammellzee’s work can be used to reimagine the alphabet as a tool to deconstruct monuments of oppression and imperialism that are pervasive to society. Rammellzee founded Ikonoklast Panzerism on the idea that each individual letter of the alphabet can be armored and weaponized in order to free themselves from the institutions which wield the power of language over the rest of society. He bases his beliefs in the medieval history of monastic illuminated calligraphy and uses his theories to create art which subverts structures of power. I argue that Rammellzee’s work reveals the potential of individualized power by reclaiming the almighty power of language and challenging the limitations of legibility and standardization. Drawing from concepts such as linguistic imperialism and graffiti techniques to inform my creative work, this project emphasizes the power of the written word in today’s world, and investigates how language can be reimagined and repurposed by each individual. I synthesize my research findings into a creative form that touches on my own relationship to language in academia, and how I can apply Rammellzee’s ideas to my own life.

Sophia Carey // English and Comparative History of Ideas; Minor: Theatre Studies // All the World’s On Stage?: Metatheatrical Presence of Indigenous Absence in Public Works’ As You Like It

Public Works is a program of the Seattle Repertory Theatre that annually produces works of community-based theater in the effort to create “theater of, by, and for the people” built upon ostensibly anti-colonial practices. In this paper, I address the question: How does Public Works’ 2019 production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” resist, reproduce, and/or reimagine legacies of theatrical colonialism, as in line with the program’s anti-colonial intentions? I will perform a close reading of the script and video recording of the 2019 production of “As You Like It” in conversation with Indigenous, performance, and Shakespeare scholars to argue that Seattle Rep’s Public Works 2019 production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” uses metatheater in order to decenter Shakespeare as an authority over the production, instead positioning performers, audience members, and the theater itself as those actively reshaping the play’s meaning. This use of metatheater takes important steps to preempt Shakespeare from acting as an active tool of colonial violence, but becomes insufficient to convert the absent presence of Indigeneity in the production into a full presence, due in part to the lack of Indigenous voices onstage. By evaluating Public Works’ productions in terms of their relationship to colonialism and white supremacy, my goal is to further develop understandings of and frameworks for anti-colonial practices within theater spaces and the Western canon.

Em Chan // English Literature and Art History // Memory Made Material: Unearthing the Histories of Monumental Matter

This narrative web experience invites readers to rethink their own relationships with the material world. The piece frames materials within Western monumental structures — namely the marble pedestal, the bronze figure, and the “living” rock carving — not as inanimate instruments in colonial systems, but as living victims and actors within those very systems. I examine how these materials are treated within the Western monument-making process through alternate frameworks—namely Neolithic, Queer and Indigenous material theories—in order to expose the violences inherent in Western material theory and practice. This piece, structured in a series of web pages, leads the reader through a research narrative strung together from conceptual images, academic text, and instructions for a tactile activity. I intend to explore how the critical lenses we apply to examine monumental materials can act to liberate them from the inanimacies inflicted upon them, and highlight the resistances they mount against monumentalization, prompting a further “dematerialization” of the Western monument.

3:15-4:30: PANEL 4. Locations of Memory and Struggle

Chair: José Antonio Lucero

Students and their research abstracts:

Guadalupe Emanuel Ramos-Orozco // Economics and History // Commodification of a City: Tacoma and Its Exploitation of Hilltop

Cities around the world have experienced dramatic restructurings within the last 50 years. The rise of post-Fordism as the dominant mode of economic production and consumption, and the switch from managerial governance of urban settings to entrepreneurial governance have been accompanied by increased costs of living, homelessness, and environmental degradation. This continued urbanization and commodification at the core of our society has led to increased economic tension and class disparities. In this paper, I ask how and why the City of Tacoma is restructuring the neighborhood of Hilltop, how this moment is linked to histories of racialized segregation (how it has done so in the past as well) and what repercussions this has for the neighborhood. Drawing on oral histories, archival documents, and ethnographic engagements, I explore Hilltop as a reflection of David Harvey’s theory of “new urban entrepreneurialism.” Additionally, I ask, how is Hilltop representative of similar urban dynamics happening in cities around the United States? In other words, how does Hilltop serve as a monument to neoliberalization? Using Hilltop as a case study, I argue that gentrification and homelessness are not unintended consequences of neoliberal restructuring, but rather an end goal necessary for the commodification of Tacoma and the movement of capital within the city.

Zipei Wang // Community, Environment, and Planning and Education, Communities, and Organizations // Multi-generational Desire-based Design: A Critical Examination of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

On March 30, 1942, under President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, 227 Japanese Americans living in Bainbridge Island, Washington were gathered at the Eagledale Ferry Dock and forcibly sent to the internment camps for “national security” concerns during World War II. In 2011, 69 years after the exclusion order, though with few victims still alive, a memorial at the Eagledale Ferry Dock was dedicated, thanks to the collective effort of local Japanese American community organizations. Yet, after decades of generational identity transformation, how did the development of the historic site fulfill the diverse expectations of multiple generations of Japanese Americans? This paper, drawing on Eve Tuck’s desire-based framework and an in-depth analysis of the multi-generational Japanese American identities, provides a critical examination of the memorial’s design. From the story of first Japanese immigrants to the recent Asian American movements, this paper first disentangles the complexity of multi-generational Japanese American identities. Then, drawing on ethnographic observation and an extensive literature review, this paper examines the capability of key design elements of the memorial to represent the individual and collective desire held by different Japanese American generations. This pilot study challenges the traditional linear approach to historic site development and calls for intentional engagement with diverse identities and desires within the community to promote inclusive urban design.

Elizabeth Peterson // Near Eastern Languages & Civilization, Persian // Tomb in Paradise: The Preservation of the Tomb of Cyrus the Great During the Islamic Revolution

The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran saw the destruction of many monuments to previous regimes. Despite the close alignment of the previous regime to the Tomb of Cyrus the Great and calls from Chief Justice Sadeq Khalkhali to raze Cyrus’s tomb, the tomb remained intact as a historical site. Why was Cyrus’s tomb preserved when other pre-Revolution monuments were razed? I answer this question through the analysis of secondary sources about Cyrus’s tomb, architecture, and nationalism. I combine this approach with the examination of primary photographic and documentary footage of the tomb. The tomb was preserved because it is a palimpsest, representing many facets of Iranian culture and heritage – from tomb to mosque to monument. Nationalists in Iran succeeded in attributing modernity and patriotism to Cyrus, both of which are masculine. The combination of Islam and nationalism into religious nationalism allowed not only for the preservation of Cyrus’s tomb, but also his later rehabilitation. Additionally, the tomb is about 800 km south of the capital city which allowed for the silencing of the tomb without necessitating its destruction. The iconoclasm of revolution often results in the destruction of important historical monuments and architecture, but the preservation of this particular monument is an important case study for how oppositional new regimes can preserve the monuments of previous ones while still bolstering their own legitimacy.

Isobel Williamson // International Studies // Monumental Reckoning in Martinique: Interrogating Victor Schoelcher’s Legacy

This paper and counter-tour will examine the relationship between tourism, the silencing of Martinican activism in international media, and the legacy of colonialism. Martinique is located in the southeastern Caribbean, and has been colonized by France since the mid-1600s. Victor Schoelcher was a French abolitionist who has received much more credit than he is owed for emancipation in the French Caribbean. The project explores the tourism industry and international media’s role in upholding dominant narratives around Schoelcher that are rooted in white saviorism. The questions this research seeks to answer are: What is the relationship between tourism and schoelcherisme, which is the glorification and mythologism of Victor Schoelcher? How does activism on Martinique that challenges white supremacy and colonialism bring to light truths that the tourism industry attempts to conceal in its messaging? The approach to answer these questions involves critical analysis of tourist websites and brochures. This project will also incorporate social media and publications of Martinican writers and activists. The counter-tour will illustrate how the tourism industry invisibilizes the work of activists to challenge Schoelcher’s material legacy, keeping their work from receiving international attention. This research project will challenge depictions of the island that are interwoven into the tourist industry’s advertisements and Western perceptions of Martinique, and highlight means of resistance to white supremacy and colonialism.

Delia Daisy Emminger // Comparative History of Ideas // Anatomy of a Vacated Building: An Oral History of Family and Institutional Care

Along Renton Avenue in South Seattle sits a vacated building. Once it was Florence Crittenton, a home organized to evangelize unwed mothers, from 1899 to 1973. Later, as the Thunderbird Treatment Center, it served as a rehab informed by Indigenous knowledge for Natives which operated from 1987 till 2020. Having family members who have experienced the physical entity’s palimpsest of institutional care triggered questions about how buildings hold memory. This project aims to rework public archives by centering an oral archive of interviews with family framed by their experiences with care and hauntings. I question the completeness of the government’s archive and the flexibility of memory in order to develop a conversation around what to do with generational rage and disorientation when the site of care is sanitized by history. The theoretical foundation of this project is grounded in Indigenous methodologies which honors the validity of story-sharing in regenerating how history is taught, encouraging affective engagement. I furnish the building with stories opposed to material artifacts and historical documents. The stories are the anatomy of the building that remember the erasure enacted on bodies and memories that challenge the excellency of colonialism.

 

 

4:30-4:45: Concluding Remarks

  • Rachel Arteaga, Assistant Director, Simpson Center for the Humanities
  • José Antonio Lucero, Associate Professor, Jackson School of International Studies and Comparative History of Ideas, UW Seattle, and Adam Warren, Associate Professor, History, UW Seattle

Thank you and acknowledgements

We would like to thank all those who contributed to the success of the Institute:

Mary Lidstrom, Ed Taylor, Janice DeCosmo, Kathleen Woodward, Rachel Arteaga, Sophie Pierszalowski, Annabel Cholico, C.R. Grimmer, Caitlin Palo, Matthew Unruh, Kirsten Atik, Jenelle Birnbaum, and all others who have contributed to this program.

Special appreciation to: Professor Ileana Rodríguez-Silva, Department of History | Professor Stephanie Smallwood, Department of History | Professor Holly Barker, Department of Anthropology and Burke Museum | Professor Deborah Miranda, Department of English, Washington and Lee University | Owen Oliver, UW Alum | Dustin Klein, Artist | Alex Criqui, Activist.

Students benefited from the expertise and guidance of many librarians at the UW Libraries. Our heartfelt thanks go to Dylan Burns, Theresa Mudrock, Deb Raftus, Elliott Stevens, Madison Sullivan, and others.

Many thanks to the Mary Gates Endowment for Students for support and encouragement of undergraduates in research. We are also grateful to the Undergraduate Research Program, the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Summer Quarter and the Office of Research for sponsorship of this program.

The Summer Institute in the Arts & Humanities is a tri-campus collaboration and includes students from the Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses of the University of Washington, which are located on the homelands and waters of the Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Sammamish, Suquamish, Tulalip, and other Coast Salish peoples. We acknowledge these communities and strive to repair and sustain relations as guests and natives on these lands and waters.