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Talk by Professor Avery F. Gordon

"The Remains of a Prison: Fugitive knowledge on the wings of red arrows"

Fri, December 7, 2012 | Burdine Hall 214

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

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Abstract: In this presentation, I will discuss The Workhouse: Room 2, a collaboration with Berlin artist Ines Schaber produced for documenta(13).  Room 2 of The Workhouse engages with the history of the former monastery, workhouse, and prison Breitenau.  Over time, Breitenau has confined many persons considered extraneous and disposable subjecting them to a regime of punishment and “correction.”  Consisting of photographs, curtain, text, and audio files, Room 2 of The Workhouse presents glimpses of fugitive knowledge that emerge in and around this prison in order to conjure historical alternatives that could have been taken but were not and to contribute to an ongoing archive of re-memory whose aims are not correction.

Avery Gordon is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Centre for Research Architecture, Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College, University of London.  In 2012, she was the Anna Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin where she worked on a collaborative project with Ines Schaber exhibited at dOCUMENTA (13).  She is the author of Notes for the Breitenau Room of The Workhouse—A Project by Ines Schaber and Avery Gordon; Keeping Good Time: Reflections on Knowledge, Power and People and Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, among other books and articles.  Her work focuses on radical thought in action and over the last few years, she has been writing about captivity, war and other forms of dispossession and how to eliminate them.  Since 1997, she has co-hosted No Alibis, a weekly public affairs radio program “No Alibis” on KCSB 91.9 FM Santa Barbara.  She is also the Keeper of the Hawthorne Archives, which records the living history of the arrival and existence of a group of runaways, secessionists and “in-differents” who form autonomous zones and settlements, and have receded from living as obedient (and also resistant or resisting) subjects.

Sponsored by: Department of Sociology

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