Tag Archives: public policy

Announcing Hostile Terrain 94: Austin Site

Hostile Terrain 94 is an international participatory exhibit commemorating the thousands of people who have died or disappeared attempting to cross the U.S./Mexico border, due to the U.S Border Patrol policy of Prevention Through Deterrence. Organized by the Undocumented Migrant Project, the exhibit grew from the work of anthropologist Jason DeLeon, one of the Humanities Institute’s 2019 Distinguished Visiting Lecturers. Hostile Terrain exhibits will begin launching in late Fall 2020, and continue through Fall 2021. The Humanities Institute plans to participate, with a target date of Spring 2021 for the physical exhibit, and other activities leading up to and following the exhibit.

In advance of the exhibit, the Undocumented Migrant Project is hosting “A Moment of Global Remembrance.” The Project invites members of the public to record themselves reading aloud the name of a person who has died while crossing into the United States through the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. The recording also includes details of the person’s death. While it might be difficult to speak these details aloud, the project provides one way to remember those who have died and to bear witness to the results of U.S. policies.

The Humanities Institute extends an invitation to participate in “A Moment of Global Remembrance.” If you wish to record a video, the Undocumented Migrant Project offers these steps:

  1. Email hostileterrain94@gmail.com with the subject line “HT94 Video Compilation” and include your name and location* in the body of the email. *If you would prefer to keep your identity anonymous this information is optional. We will also accept audio-only recordings.
  2. We will reply to your email with the information that you will record yourself reading out loud along with further instructions.
  3. Send the recording back to hostileterrain94@gmail.com

Please submit all requests for participation by July 11th

For an example of the recording, watch Jason De León and other volunteers on the Global Moment of Remembrance announcement.

Hostile Terrain 94 : Global Moment of Remembrance

Recording the video can be a difficult experience. If you choose to record a video and would like to participate in a discussion about your  experience, the HI invites you to send a copy to Melissa Biggs, the guest curator for the Hostile Terrain 94 Austin site.

Three HI Affiliates Featured in Latest Issue of “Life and Letters”

In the latest issue of Life and Letters, several faculty from the College of Liberal Arts offer their perspectives on “Rebooting Our Lives After COVID-19.” Among the faculty included are two of our Difficult Dialogues professors: Robert Crosnoe, Associate Dean of Liberal Arts and Professor of Sociology, whose Difficult Dialogues course is called “Race and Policy in the U.S.,” and Ken-Hou Lin, Associate Professor of Sociology, who teaches “Two to Tango: The Sociology of Interpersonal Relationships” for the program. Another faculty member who contributed to the article, Heather Houser, Associate Professor of English, is collaborating with the Humanities Institute on our new theme, The Humanities in the Environment/The Environment in the Humanities.

How Do Collectives Come to Believe Collectively?

Dr. Priscilla Wald discusses our society’s “mythistories” in HI’s Faculty Fellows Seminar on Health, Well-Being, Healing
By Saralyn McKinnon-Crowley

Last week’s Faculty Fellows Seminar was led by our Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Priscilla Wald, R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English at Duke University. The seminar followed Dr. Wald’s Wednesday evening lecture, “Cells, Genes, Stories: HeLa’s Journey from Labs to Literature,” in which she discussed the cultural

Cell Culture of HeLa Cells
Culture of HeLa Cells

narratives around the immortal HeLa cell line developed from the cervical cancer cells of Henrietta Lacks. Dr. Wald sees the narratives about Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cell line—particularly the racist language of contamination used to describe the cells themselves—as what she calls a “mythistory,” a mythic belief or story shared by a collective that produces conventional narratives and sets of belief beneath the level of conscious thought. Dr. Wald came to her current project by way of a central question running through her research: how do collectives come to believe collectively?

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The Discovery of Hunger in America

Dr. Laurie Green discusses the politics of race, hunger, and poverty in 1960s America in HI’s Faculty Fellows Seminar on Health, Well-Being, Healing
By Clare Callahan
Robert Kennedy F. Kennedy touring the Mississippi Delta
Robert F. Kennedy touring the Mississippi Delta

In 1967, Bobby Kennedy toured the Mississippi Delta and, as the story goes, “discovered” hunger in America. This is where Dr. Laurie Green’s new book project—“The Discovery of Hunger in America: The Politics of Race, Hunger, and Poverty, 1967-1977″—begins. Dr. Green’s rich and complex study looks at the politics of hunger, specifically how hunger became integrated with racial discourse, during this ten year period. Last week’s Faculty Fellows Seminar on “Health, Well-Being, Healing,” focused on an important thread in Dr. Green’s work-in-progress: the testimony by liberal doctors at the 1967 hearings held in Jackson, Mississippi by the Senate Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower, and Poverty. These hearings followed from Bobby Kennedy’s tour of the Mississippi Delta, the publicity around which triggered a burst of attention to hunger and malnutrition in the U.S. Addressing the impact of hunger not only on the physical body but also on brain development and mental health, Dr. Green is particularly interested in how these doctors’ testimony influenced a discourse on race and social behavior at the time. That many of the individuals who had testified at the 1967 hearings in Jackson were also voting rights activists and labor activists, many of whom had lost work as a result of the mechanization of the cotton industry, led Dr. Green to realize that the question of health was fundamental to her work on civil rights and the struggle for freedom.

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