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Banff International Curatorial Institute Symposia

Night Sky over mountain range

Art, Writing, Practice is a residency program and symposia on art writing with a particular focus on experimental forms.

This half-day event will feature short talks by residency faculty Tina Campt and guest lecturer Jack Halberstam followed by a discussion on their respective practices, as well as presentations by faculty Macarena Gómez-Barris and guest lecturer Saidiya Hartman after which a conversation between both will take place. Featuring internationally recognized scholars at the forefront of their respective fields, this event will provide insight into their writing practices and subjects of research.

Faculty and Guest Lecturer Biographies

Macarena Gómez-Barris

Macarena Gómez-Barris is Timothy C. Forbes and Anne S. Harrison University Professor and Chair, Department of Modern Culture and Media with a joint appointment in the Brown Arts Institute at Brown University. Gómez-Barris is a theorist, writer, and scholar of artistic practice and works at the intersections of Global South Studies, Latinx and Latin American Studies, and decolonial queer approaches to the environmental humanities. Early work focused on the visual arts of memory and its afterlives. She has also researched extractivism, its aesthetics, and efforts to move beyond states of authoritarianism into more radical experiments with freedom and collaborative autonomy. Central to her writing practice and scholarship is the conversation with communities, artists, and activists within dramatically changed landscapes and environments. Gómez-Barris has published four books including; The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives (Duke University Press, 2017) that examines five scenes of ruinous extractive capitalism and Beyond the Pink Tide: Art and Political Undercurrents in the Américas (UC Press 2018), a text of critical hope about the role of submerged art and solidarities in troubled times. She is also author of Where Memory Dwells: Culture and State Violence in Chile (2009), and co-editor with Herman Gray of Towards a Sociology of a Trace (2010). She is series editor with Diana Taylor of Dissident Acts at Duke University Press and co-founder of the Elemental Media Lab at Brown University. Her forthcoming book considers colonial oceanic transits and the generative space between land and sea. 

Tina Campt

Tina Campt is Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor of Humanities in the Department of Art and Archeology and the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. Campt is a Black feminist theorist of visual culture and contemporary art, and the founding convener of the Practicing Refusal Collective and the Sojourner Project. Her early work theorized gender, racial and diasporic formation in Black communities in Europe and southern Africa, and the role of vernacular photography in historical interpretation. Her more recent scholarship bridges the divide between vernacular image-making and the interventions of Black contemporary artists in reshaping how we see ourselves and our societies. Campt has published five books including: A Black Gaze (MIT Press, 2021); Listening to Images (Duke University Press, 2017); Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe (Duke University Press, 2012); and Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender and Memory in the Third Reich (University of Michigan Press, 2004). Her co-edited collection, Imagining Everyday Life: Engagements with Vernacular Photography (with Marianne Hirsch, Gil Hochberg, and Brian Wallis Steidl, 2020), received the 2020 Photography Catalogue of the Year award from Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation.

Saidiya Hartman

Saidiya Hartman is the author of Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America  (1997; Norton, 2022); Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007) and Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments (Norton, 2019), which received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, and the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction, the Judy Grahn Prize for Lesbian Nonfiction, and the John Hope Franklin Prize. She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2019.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Literature. She is University Professor at Columbia University.

Jack Halberstam

Jack Halberstam is a Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of seven books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011), Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012), and a short book titled Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press).  Halberstam’s latest book from Duke UP is titled Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire. Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality, and the built environment. Halberstam is now finishing a second volume on wildness titled: Unworlding: Trans and Queer Anarchitectures and a Theory of Nothing.