Culture Combat: Provoking the Social Imaginary


A graduate student conference
Sponsored by the interdisciplinary MA program in Cultural Production

Saturday, March 14, 2009
Brandeis University
(To be held in the Schneider building of the Heller School for Social Policy)
10:00 am-5:00 p.m.


Culture Combat: Provoking the Social Imagination.
(A graduate student conference in Cultural Production)

Schedule of Events

9:00 am: Gallery Opens & Registration

10:00 am: Informal Gallery Conversation
moderated by Dr. Mark Auslander

10:45 am: Opening Remarks
Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe
Mark Auslander, Director, Cultural Production
Bryce Peake, Conference Organizer

11:00 am: Provoking Belonging: Race and Identity
Theresa Barbaro Healing and Having Culture Through Commodity Form
Katie Hargrave: Is This Plymouth Rock?
Sage Rogers: Tearing it Up: Trickster Art and Artists
Dori Aspuru: Race, Logos, and Internet Store Fronts
Discussant: Dr. Mary Baine Campbell

12:35 pm: Break
Lunch Provided by the MA Program in Cultural Production

1:00 pm: Art Trumps Money? Social Value and Culture Combat in the Rose Controversy
Roundtable moderated by Dr. Laura Miller


2:00 pm: Receding Horizons: Visuality and Power
Pryanka Nandy: Invoking the Indian Social Imaginary
Miki Sisco: Who’s on Top? Power, Agency, and Choice…
Brian Butler: Social Constructionist Models & Queer Theory
Evan Parks: The Activation of Imagination in Matthew Barney
Kevin Driscoll: YouTube Decay
Discussant: Dr. Andreas Teuber

3:45 pm: Keynote Address: Dr. Wayne Marshall
Pick your Battles






Culture Combat: Provoking the Social Imaginary

A graduate student conference
Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary M.A. Program in Cultural Production, Brandeis University, March 14. 2009

As global and local cultural fields are increasingly desensitized to shock and awe, how are we to conceptualize and respond to provocative images, speech acts, signs, environments, sounds and performances? In what respects are edgy cultural forms driven by commodified markets and consumer hunger for novelty? Conversely, under what circumstances might the outrageous, the transgressive, the disruptive, the experimental, or the grotesque catalyze meaningful social critique and popular movements for social transformation? What new, virtual and emergent imagined communities are signaled and inspired through cultural productions that forcefully cut across conventional categories of thought, perception and action?

"Pick your Battles." Keynote Address by Wayne Marshall, Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Ethnomusicology, Brandeis University.

Academic papers, posters, videos, installations, multimedia works and performance pieces will explore the nature and significance of the culturally provocative in a diverse range of genres, media, and locations.


This conference anticipates the March 19-21 MusicUnitesUs residency of the geography-defying performance group Nettle at Brandeis University (Nettle: Music for a Nu World: Cultural Collaboration in the Globalized Age) Please see:
http://www.musicunitesus.info/nettle.html