Spring 2022 Colloquium



White Masochism: The Psycho-Sexual Dynamics Behind U.S. Political Grammar

Dr. Mariana Bolívar Rubín

Wednesday, February 9th at 12pm via Zoom

Dr. Bolívar will discuss the psycho-sexual dynamics of masochism to examine socio-political identifications grounded on the spectacle of cruelty and the rhetoric of whiteness that animates U.S. political grammar today. Bolívar argues that Republican public speeches around zero tolerance policy and Democrats voting rights initiatives, such as independent redistricting commissions, have functioned as ritualized contracts grounded on the performative violence and exclusionary rhetoric involving Latinx communities. Such masochist political dynamic exposes both parties’ strategic moves toward innocence, that is, their attempt to ease responsibility without giving up political power. 

Mariana Bolívar Rubín is Associate Professor of Modern Languages at MCLA. She received her Ph.D. in Hispanic American literatures and cultures with an emphasis on gender and cultural studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her academic background and research interests demonstrate a commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship by engaging with current and pressing topics within race, gender, and trans-nationality. Currently, she is interested in the representation of Afro-Caribbean religion in Latinx literature and film.



Oral History Remix: Disrupting Notions of Difference

Dr. Lisa Arrastia

Thursday, March 10th at 6pm via Zoom

Dr. Arrastia and attendants will try to bring into being “diverse, untidy social dreams” by listening to students engage a new genre of public art, one of duration, one with the intent of disorienting our notions of difference through a love pedagogy, a pedagogy of aesthetic love.

Lisa Arrastia is Assistant Professor of Education at MCLA. Lisa is school leader, teacher, and school founder in NYC, Chicago, and California, studies pedagogies of culture, racial capitalism, masculinity, social class, place, and dystopias in education. She is co-editor of Starting Up (Teachers College Press) and author of “Love Pedagogy: Teaching to Disrupt” (The Crisis of Connection, NYU Press).



The Tectonics of Form: Change and Impermanence in New Contemporary Drawings and Paintings

Prof. Gregory Scheckler

Thursday, March 24th at 5:30pm in Murdock 218 (MCLA)  

Prof. Scheckler will share new artworks that respond to questions of how we might embrace change and impermanence in visual art. Relying on gesture drawing and movement trends found throughout Berkshires geologies, these artworks reconfigure art-making as creative non-fictions borne of nature’s patterning forces. 

Gregory Scheckler is Professor of Fine and Performing Arts at MCLA. His work is rooted in imagery from nature and its observation. When he’s not writing, artmaking, or teaching, he and his wife ski, hike and bike the Berkshires and tend their solar-powered home in the company of two fuzzy cats.


Amanda Laury Kleintop

The Balance of Freedom: Abolishing Property Rights in People in the US Civil War and American Memory

Dr. Amanda Laury Kleintop

Tuesday, April 5th at 12pm via Zoom – RSVP HERE

Though enslavement and the trade in Black bodies once existed throughout the United States, Americans often frame slavery as a southern problem. In this talk, Dr. Kleintop argues that the nation built this myth after the Civil War during debates over whether to pay former enslavers for the value of freed people. When the Fourteenth Amendment successfully nullified white southerners’ claims for compensation in 1868, Americans celebrated immediate, uncompensated emancipation as an inevitable outcome of the war and distanced themselves from the legal and economic legacies of chattel slavery.

Amanda Laury Kleintop is Assistant Professor of History at MCLA. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University, among others. It has been published in Slavery & Abolition, and she is completing her first book.

Guangzhi Huang

Constructing Imaginary White Cultural Space: Urbanization and Anti-Black Racism in China

Dr. Guangzhi Huang

Thursday, April 21st at 6pm via Zoom – RSVP HERE

Through investigating local campaigns to eliminate African communities in Guangzhou, China, Dr. Huang exposes the racial capitalist logic behind urbanization in post-socialist China. The brief existence of Black communities in Guangzhou shows how whiteness informs place-making strategies and highlights the tangled relationships between race, class, and modernity in a non-Western context.

Guangzhi Huang is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at MCLA. Huang is a scholar of contemporary China who is particularly interested in the intersection of race and urbanization. Influenced by critical race theories and global urban studies, his research sheds light on how meanings of race disseminate globally and localize in non-Western contexts.

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