Leslie Center Humanities Institute - Winter/Spring 2024

"Promiscuous Care and Performance"

The Leslie Center for the Humanities announces the Humanities Institute, Promiscuous Care and Performance, which will take place in late Winter and Spring 2024.

The institute will explore care and carework in the contexts of theatre and performance through the lenses of Black feminist thought, disability studies, queer theory, and transnational feminism. The institute borrows from The Care Collective to define care as a means of "social capacity and activity" that foregrounds and facilitates interdependency, relationality, and mutual flourishing; it stands in opposition to instrumentalization. As we consider the potential of performance to embody these capacities, we also seek to honor and lift up the collective wisdom of scholars, artists, and cultural workers who have excavated the nuances and complexities of care and care work through an intersectional perspective. Their profound insights inform and guide our institute in our considerations of care, access as care, and the geopolitics of care. How to theorize—rather than romanticize—practices of care in critical, historical, and material terms? How to center the radical potential of a nascent field while also critiquing its capacities for academic extraction? How to stay tethered to the legacies of intellectual and activist labor brought forward by numerous overlapping fields, such as Black feminist and disability scholars? How might the humanities, with its emphasis on cultural and artistic labor, expand our imaginings of a more caring, just world?

We seek to deepen and expand these questions through the institute, which is co-directed by Laura Edmondson, Analola Santana, and Misty De Berry (NYU). Renowned scholar and writer Alexis Pauline Gumbs will be the Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Institute. She'll be joined by a prestigious group of Institute fellows that includes Josh Chambers-Letson at Northwestern, Una Chaudhuri at NYU, and Patrick Anderson at UCSD.  Dartmouth fellows include Iyabo Kwayana (film), Kianna Middleton (AAAS), Carlos Minchillo (Spanish and Portuguese), and Alisa Swindell (the Hood museum).

As a prelude to the Institute itself, we will host Gumbs on campus, along with artist and performance theorist Josefina Báez, for a Teach-In, "The Arts of Care," on February 22-23. Then, from late March to early May, five weekly zoom sessions, "Meditative Practices in Critical Thought," will be held on Thursdays. We will then cap off the Institute with a Symposium and Community Gathering from 5/9 to 5/12, which would feature performances, panel presentations, and workshops.

Please write to promiscuous.care.and.performance@dartmouth.edu if you are interested in participating in any of the sessions, all of which will be hybrid Zoom and in-person events.