“Migration, Empire, and Transformation”

May 16-18, 2007

This conference considers the intersections of empire and the multiple displacements of populations through the lens of cultural productions. It considers how aural, historical, literary and visual texts act as transformative forces and dialogic spaces, which contest and (re)articulate notions of identity and community beyond the categories of nation, colonizer and colonized, center and periphery. Among the questions we wish to address are the following: How does the global reach of the expansive economic and informational networks of power today compare to the earlier imperialisms associated with colonization, conquest and slavery? What is the effect on the nation of shifting frontiers, antagonistic groups, and unexpected transnational alliances?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall 1409

Opening Film screening and Artist Presentation

6:30 pm: Opening Reception, James Bridges Theater

7:00 pm: Introduction, Elsa Chen (UCLA, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow)

7:05 pm: Film Screening, James Bridges Theater
Shu Lea Cheang, “Fresh Kill” (1994, 80 minutes)
(Program [PDF])

8: 30 pm: Keynote Artist’s presentation, Shu Lea Cheang
“Re-Route: Rush Hour on the Trans-Nation Highway”

9:00 pm: Audience Q&A with artist

Shu Lea Cheang is a multi-medium artist working in the field of net-based installation, social interface and film production. Her net installation works were commissioned and permanently collected by Walker Art Center (Bowling Alley, 1995), NTT [ICC], Tokyo (Buy One Get One, 1997) and the Guggenheim Museum (Brandon, 1998-1999). She made two theatrical feature films, Fresh kill, premiered at Berlin film festival in 1994 and included in Whitney Biennale (New York) in 1995; another feature I.K.U. produced by Tokyo’s Uplink, was premiered at Sundance film festival 2000. Her recent installation and web projects include BabyPlay (NTT [ICC], Tokyo, 2001), Garlic=RichAir (Creative time, New York, 2002), Burn (Venice Biennale, 2003), Milk (56K bastard TV, 2004), BabyLove (Palais de Tokyo, 2005).
She co-founded several collectives: Kingdom of Piracy (based in netspace, since 2001), Mumbai Streaming Attack (based in Zurich since 2003) and TAKE2030 (based in London since 2003). In 2007, she launched “MobiOpera,” a collective public cinema made with mobile phones at the New Frontier, Sundance film Festival. She is currently developing “LOVEME2030,” a series of multi-screen-based installation set in Metropolis Europa.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, Royce Hall 306

9:00 am: Welcome, Royce Hall 306
Timothy Stowell, Dean of Humanities, UCLA
Françoise Lionnet and Shu-mei Shih, co-directors, UCLA Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities

9:05 am: Introduction
Babli Sinha, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

9:10 am to 12:00 pm
Panel I: Transnational Media and the Production of Global Imaginaries

Hamid Naficy (Northwestern University, Department of Radio/TV/Film and Department of Art History)
“The Multiplicity Factor in the Current Cinemas”

Priya Jaikumar (USC, School of Cinematic Arts)
“Film Surveys and British India”

Olivia Bloechl (UCLA, Department of Musicology)
“Devils on the Move: Possessed Vocality in the Early Atlantic World”

Babli Sinha (UCLA, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow)
“Mimicry or Mediation? Comic Reflections on Modern Life in Nayak Panchotia’s Kanya Palaka/Woman Protector

Discussant: Ali Behdad (UCLA, Departments of English and Comparative Literature)

12:00 pm to 1:30pm: Lunch break

1:30 pm to 4:00 pm:
Panel II: Resisting Colonial Violence

Angie Chabram-Dernersesian (UC Davis, Chicana/o Studies Program)
“Between the Transnational and the Translocal: Chicana Feminist Homelands and Contact Zones”

Joan Ramon Resina (Stanford University, Department of Spanish and Portuguese)
“The Confines of the World: Empire and Transformation in Albert Sánchez Piñol’s Cold Skin”

Eulàlia Moles (UCLA, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow)
“Thinking Translatinidad through Contemporary Chicana and Catalan Feminist Decolonial Writings “

Discussant: Rafael Pérez-Torres (UCLA, Department of English)

4:00 pm to 4:30 pm: coffee break

4:30 pm to 6:30 pm: Keynote Speech, Royce Hall 314
Étienne Balibar, “Toward a Diasporic Citizen?”

Introduction: Françoise Lionnet

Étienne Balibar is a Distinguished Professor of French & Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, and Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy at the Université de Paris X, Nanterre. He is an internationally renowned
political philosopher, who early on co-authored, with Louis Althusser and others, the landmark book of French Marxism,Reading Capital(1965). His current research focuses on issues of citizenship, racism, subjectification, and the question of Europe. His works available in English include Masses, Classes, Ideas: Studies on Politics and Philosophy before and after Marx (1993); Race, Nation, Class (with Immanuel Wallerstein) (1994), Politics and the Other Scene (2002), and We, the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship (2004).

Friday, May 18, Sequoia Room, Faculty Center, 480 Charles Young Drive

9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Panel III: Art History

Susette Min (UC Davis, Department of Asian American Studies)
“Between Ruins: Time Travel and Utopic Memory in the Works of The Otolith Group and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha”

Midori Yoshimoto (New Jersey City University, Department of Art History)
“Public Art as Catalyst of Social Action: Transnational Collaborations in the Art of Nobuho Nagasawa”

Elsa Chen (UCLA, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow)
“The Migration of Art: On the Transnational Reception of Works by Taiwanese American Media Artist Shu Lea Cheang”

Discussant: Saloni Mathur (UCLA, Department of Art History)

12:00 pm -1:30 pm: Lunch break

1:30 pm to 4:00 pm:
Panel IV: Across Continents, Across Histories

Massimo Riva (Brown University, Department of Italian)
“Italian Diasporas and the Invention of a National Identity: Remarks on a Modern Paradox”

Simon Levis-Sullam (UC Berkeley, Mellon Fellow)
“Exile as a Transnational Experience and the Origins of Modern Italy”

Alessandra Di Maio (UCLA, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow)
“Weak Postcolonialism? Somali Italian Writers”

Discussant: Lucia Re (UCLA, Department of Italian)

4:00 pm: Closing Reception

This event is sponsored by the Dean, College of Letters and Sciences, UCLA, and the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities at UCLA.

This program is free and open to the public, however, seating is limited. Parking will be available for $8 on the UCLA campus. Please go to the kiosk on Sunset and Westwood Plaza to purchase a pass for the nearest available lot.

For more information, please contact Laura Clennon via e-mail at .