Haptic Bodies: Perception, Touch, and the Ethics of Being
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Haptic Bodies: Perception, Touch, and the Ethics of Being

Haptic Bodies: Perception, Touch, and the Ethics of Being

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Diana Center, Barnard College, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

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adjective technical
of or relating to the sense of touch, in particular relating to the perception and manipulation of objects using the senses of touch and proprioception [relative perception].

How are we, as global citizens, accountable to each other? This year's Scholar and Feminist Conference explores the haptic—the perception and manipulation of objects using the sense of touch—as an ethics of being in the world. Feminist scholars, artists, and activists come together in this utterly unique two-day conference to examine the many ways in which touch helps us better understand the politics and aesthetics of embodiment, situatedness, and performance. Through a series of panels and artistic encounters, we consider how our senses—not only touch, but taste, sight, and sound—situate us as bodies in political and economic contexts (such as labor), as well as in personal and sensory ones.


Please visit the concurrent exhibition Weaving Gender/Quilting Racefeaturing works by Vera P. Hall and Martha Friedman, on view from March 1 – 28 in the Tunnel Gallery, Altschul, Lower Level.

Blue Herring by Martha Friedman
Blue Herring is part of a body of work that consists of a series of large relief sculptures, which replicate the signature patterns of bespoke male suiting. It is a sculpture that dissects standard suiting cloth weaves, in this case, herringbone, to reconfigure it on a monumental scale. The patterns displayed present a symbolic representation of male power and privilege alluding to a gendered, hierarchical society in which some individuals are draped and girded by these fabrics, as others toil using unacknowledged digital labor to make them.

Touching History: The Quilts of Vera P. Hall
Quilting is an unusually community oriented artistic practice, and even everyday quilts have “stories stitched in the seams.” Former educator and political activist, Vera P. Hall has been a textile artist for over 50 years. The black history quilts displayed in Touching History combine Hall’s masterful stitching with skills she developed as a second grade teacher and reading expert to digitally engage important questions: How do you tell a complicated story visually? How do you help people with different literacies learn our common history?


Friday, March 3rd

4 – 5 PM: Weaving Gender/Quilting Race: The Politics of Digital Labor
Artist talkback with Vera P. Hall and Martha Friedman
Moderated by Tina Campt

5 – 6 PM: Reception

6 – 8 PM: Dance and Spoken Word Performances
Dance conduction – student/faculty performance led by Gabri Christa
With live music by Burnt Sugar Arkestra
Spoken word performance by Ramya Ramana
Artist talkback moderated by Sarah Nooter

Saturday, March 4th

10 AM: Welcome by Tina Campt and Nancy Worman

10:15 – 11:15 AM: Art and the Senses: Panel 1
Josely Carvalho in conversation with Alicia Imperiale and Alex Purves

11:30 AM – 1 PM: The Haptics of Race
Rizvana Bradley, Ashon Crawley, Samantha Sheppard and Mila Zuo
Moderated by Tina Campt

1 PM – 2 PM: Lunch

2:30 PM – 4 PM: Haptic Animalities
Joshua Bennett, Patricia Clough and Jasbir Puar
Moderated by Carla Freccero

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM: Art and the Senses: Panel 2
Grisha Coleman and Erin Manning i conversation with Victoria Wohl
Moderated by Nancy Worman

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Diana Center, Barnard College, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

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