Spring 2021 Colloquium


Snowy winter landscape

Private Performance as Caretaking

Professor Melanie Mowinski

Join CARE SYLLABUS for the third in a series of lectures, part of The Mind’s Eye Works-In-Progress Colloquium.

Title: Private Performance as Caretaking

Abstract: In this exploration of performance, acts of endurance, and the role of caretaking in the arts and recovery, Melanie Mowinski examines the idea of wilderness mindset. Mowinski defines wilderness mindset as being present to the unpredictability of life, a concept she developed through her walking practice. When one deliberately seeks the uncomfortable or the opportunity to be lost while walking, resiliency, perseverance, confidence and fortitude get exercised. What is done “alone” can be framed as private performance, an act of endurance in the ongoing care for the body and soul within this great unknown. 

Speaker Bio
Melanie Mowinski lives and works in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts where she is a professor of art at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). Mowinski holds an MFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and an MAR from Yale University. Mowinski balances hyper control & very specific rules with experimental investigations in her letterpress and book arts making. She gravitates towards the creation of one-of-a-kind artist books housed in unusual and traditional enclosures. Her books under the imprint PRESS • 29 PRESS are in private and public collections around the world.

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Drawing of a witches hat

Witches, Girlhood, and the Ethic of Care

Dr. Ingrid E. Castro

Join CARE SYLLABUS for the second in a series of lectures, part of The Mind’s Eye Works-In-Progress Colloquium.

Title: Witches, Girlhood, and the Ethic of Care

Abstract: In this talk, Dr. Castro outlines childhood studies interpretations and applications of the feminist ethic of care to expand the concept of children’s ethic of care to their material cultures. Castro discusses the caring girlhood of young witches as represented in examples from film, streaming media, and literature to argue that girl witches are material culture – subsumed into the narrative and cultural imaginary, a witch (when younger) is no longer a scary person but instead a material culture artifact. The young witch is first and foremost carer for others around them, whether that be animal, friend, relative, or trusted adult.

Speaker Bio
Ingrid E. Castro is Professor of Sociology at MCLA. She earned her MA and PhD in Sociology, with two Graduate Certificates in Cinema Studies and Women & Gender Studies, from Northeastern University. She regularly writes on children and childhood, specifically child and youth agency, ethic of care, generationalism, and interpretive reproduction. Her edited volumes include Researching Children and Youth: Methodological Issues, Strategies, and Innovations (2017); Representing Agency in Popular Culture: Children and Youth on Page, Screen, and In Between (2019); Child and Youth Agency in Science Fiction: Travel, Technology, Time (2019); and Childhood, Agency, and Fantasy: Walking in Other Worlds (2020).

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Abstract of concentric circles with light pouring out

Imitation of Life: A Lyric Essay

Prof. Zack Finch

Join CARE SYLLABUS for the first in a series of lectures, part of The Mind’s Eye Works-In-Progress Colloquium. 

Title: Imitation of Life: A Lyric Essay

Abstract: In this reading of an essay begun during this past year, Zack Finch explores whether performance art and literature can enact the sorts of funerary, healing, and socially cathartic care work traditionally reserved for more religious rituals and ceremonies of mourning.  Moving across a spectrum of aesthetic texts, including installation works by Taryn Simon, sculpture by Fred Wilson, essays by Stéphane Mallarmé, and films by Douglas Sirk and Stan Brakhage, this work-in-progress takes a personal, auto-theoretical approach to the question of how one navigates loss and separation under the conditions of the ongoing pandemic. 

Speaker Bio
Zack Finch is a poet, essayist and scholar of modern and contemporary US poetry and poetics. He has received awards and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Breadloaf Writer's Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Wallace Stevens Society. His work has appeared in places including American Letters & Commentary, Boston Review, Fence, Jacket2, Poetry and Tin House. A graduate of Warren Wilson's Program for Writers (MFA in poetry) and University of Buffalo's Poetics Program (PhD), he currently teaches writing and literature courses in the English Department at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

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