Reimagining Everything: Women of Color Feminisms, Art, Culture & The Humanities Symposium

Reimagining Flyer w sessions top 900

This event is FREE and OPEN to the Public



9:15 – 9:30am – Welcome & Opening Remarks

Elsa Barkley Brown – History and Women’s Studies, University of Maryland

9:30 – 10:45am  – PANEL 1:  Women of Color Feminism, Violence, and the Humanities

Grace Hong – Gender Studies & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
“Strife and Struggle: Women of Color Feminism in Conflict”

Viviana MacManus – Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
“Critical Social Justice Pedagogies and Transnational Latin American Feminism”

Erica Edwards – English, University of California, Riverside
“Black Feminism and the Long War on Terror”

Alexis Lothian (Moderator) – Women’s Studies, University of Maryland

11:00am – 12:15pm – PANEL 2:  Affective and Collective Technologies of Knowledge and the Human

Maria Cotera – American Culture and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan
“From Collections to Collectivities: Re-imagining the Archive”

Simone A. Browne – African and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas at Austin
“A.I., Automation, Algorithms and Rastus Robot, the Westinghouse Mechanical Slave”

Zakiyyah Jackson – English, George Mason University

Mecca Sullivan (Moderator) – Women’s Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

12:15 – 1:15pm – Lunch on your own

1:30 – 2:45pm – PANEL 3:  Reimagining the Boundaries in Queer of Color

Deborah Vargas – Ethnic Studies, University of California, Riverside
“Reimagining Work and Life in Queer Nightlife”

Vanita Reddy – English, Texas A& M University
“Feminist and Queer Afro-Asian Formations”

Marlon Bailey – Women’s and Gender Studies, Arizona State University
“Black Queer Sex, Love, and Life in the Age of AIDS”

Marlon R. Moore (Moderator) – English, US Naval Academy

3:00 – 4:15pm – PANEL 4:  Sonic Reformations and the Movement Politics of Black Bodies

Robert Patterson – African America Studies, Georgetown University
“Working the Middle: Rhythm and Blues Music Reinvents Sociological Discourses”

Uri McMillan – English and African American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
“Sensing the Surface: Sensation, Surface, and the Black Body”

Treva Lindsey – Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, The Ohio State University
“Now Let’s Get in Formation: Black Femme Protest Art in the Movement for Black Lives”

Julius Fleming, Jr. (Moderator) – English, University of Maryland

4:15 – 4:30pm – Closing Remarks

LaMonda Horton Stallings – Women’s Studies, University of Maryland


Marlon M. Bailey is an Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University, Tempe. Marlon’s book, Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2013. Butch Queens Up in Pumps was awarded the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize by the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association. Bailey’s most recent essay, “Black Gay (Raw) Sex,” appears in the collection, No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies, edited by E. Patrick Johnson (Duke University Press, 2016).

Simone Browne is an Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches and researches surveillance studies, biometrics, airport protocol, popular culture, and black diaspora studies. She is a member of the Executive Board of HASTAC. Her book, Dark Matters: On The Surveillance of Blackness (Duke UP, 2015) is a conversation between Black Studies and Surveillance Studies—the latter a young discipline devoted to investigating the technological and social dimensions of surveillance. Browne’s research shows that surveillance was an essential part of transatlantic slavery, a system that held millions of people against their will and tracked them as property. And she argues that slavery created an ongoing demand for technologies to monitor Black bodies.

Maria Cotera is an Associate Professor of American Culture and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita González, and the Poetics of Culture (University of Texas Press, 2008) which explored the ways in which women of color negotiated their roles as native ethnographers and developed narrative tactics to decolonize knowledge. Most recently, her work has centered on extending this feminist of color genealogy into the 1960s and 1970s through Chicana por mi Raza, a national digital humanities project that seeks to create an online interactive archive of oral histories and material culture documenting Chicana Feminist praxis from 1965-1985. This project, along with her work with El Museo del Norte (a community engagement project in partnership with activist and public historian, Elena Herrada) has to allowed her to rethink the politics of scholarly production and to re-imagine its possible “publics.”

Erica Edwards is an Associate Professor of English at University of California, Riverside. She specializes in African American literature, gender and sexuality, and black political culture. She is the author of Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), which won the Modern Language Association’s 12th annual William Sanders Scarborough prize. Her work, published in such journals as American Quarterly, Callaloo, American Literary History, and Black Camera, shows how contemporary African American literature challenges us to think in new ways about the relationships between African American narrative, American popular culture, and the contemporary history of black politics and black social movements. Professor Edwards is currently at work on a book on African American literature and the War on Terror.

Grace Kyungwon Hong is a Professor of Gender Studies at University of California, Los Angeles; she also holds a joint appointment in Asian American Studies. Her research focuses on women of color feminism as an epistemological critique of and alternative to Western liberal humanism and capital, particularly as they manifest as contemporary neoliberalism. She is the author of Death Beyond Disavowal: The Impossible Politics of Difference (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and The Ruptures of American Capital: Women of Color Feminism and the Cultures of Immigrant Labor (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) and the co-editor (with Roderick Ferguson) of Strange Affinities: The Gender and Sexual Politics of Comparative Racialization (Duke University Press, 2011). She is the co-editor (also with Roderick Ferguson) of the Difference Incorporated book series at the University of Minnesota Press. She teaches courses on women of color feminism and Asian American culture.

Zakiyyah Jackson is an Assistant Professor of Black Feminist Theory, Literature, and Criticism in the Department of English at George Mason University. Her book in progress, tentatively titled “The Blackness of Space Between Matter and Meaning,” argues that key Black Atlantic literary, visual, and philosophical texts generate a critical praxis of humanity, paradigms of relationality, and modes of embodiment that alternately expose, alter, or reject the nexus of “race” and “species” discourse in Western science and philosophy. Reading the existential predicament of modern racial blackness through and against the human-animal distinction in Western philosophy and science reveals not only the mutual imbrication of “race” and “species” in Western thought but also invites a reconsideration of the extent to which exigencies of racialization have preconditioned and prefigured modern discourses governing the nonhuman. Ultimately, “The Blackness of Space” reveals the pernicious peculiarity of both reigning foundational conceptions of “the human” rooted in Renaissance and Enlightenment humanism and current multiculturalist alternatives. What emerges from this questioning is an emphatically queer sense of being/knowing/feeling human, one that necessarily disrupts the foundations of the current hegemonic mode of the Human.

Treva Lindsey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University. She specializes in black feminist theory, women’s history, and popular culture studies. She has published in and has forthcoming publications in Meridians: Feminism, Race, and Transnationalism, Urban Education, The Black Scholar, The Journal of Pan-African Studies, SOULS, African and Black Diaspora, the Journal of African American Studies, and African American Review. Her first book entitled, Colored No More: New Negro Womanhood in the Nation’s Capital (forthcoming from University of Illinois Press, Spring 2017). She is also the co-editor of a forthcoming collection on the future of Black Popular Culture Studies (NYU Press). Her next book project will focus on popular culture representations of contemporary African American womanhood from the late twentieth century to the present. She is building a strong online presence through guest contributing to online forums such as HuffPost Live, The Feminist Wire and The Left of Black Web Series.

Viviana MacManus is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland-Baltimore. Her work centers on Latin American political and gender violence and uses a transnational feminist lens to analyze cultural representations of Latin American state violence. Her work has been published in International Feminist Journal of Politics and The Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. She is working on a manuscript, “We are Protagonists of this History”: Gender, Political Violence, and Testimonies of Resistance in Latin America’s Dirty Wars. The book centers on Latin America’s history of gender and state violence during the “Dirty Wars” of Argentina and Mexico (1960-1980s) and investigates the U.S.-sponsored hemispheric plan to thwart leftist political resistance during the Cold War. The project examines cultural representations of state and gender violence — including oral histories, human rights reports, literature, and film – in order to assess the gender politics involved in guerrilla movements and unarmed political organizations in Mexico and Argentina.

Uri McMillan is an Associate Professor of  English and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a cultural historian who researches and writes in the interstices between black cultural studies, performance studies, queer theory, and contemporary art. His first book, Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance (NYU Press, 2015) is on black performance art, objecthood, and avatars staged by black women artists. He has published articles on performance art, digital media, hip-hop, photography, and nineteenth-century performance cultures in varied arenas such as Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, and e-misferica. In addition, he has lectured at art museums, including MoMA PS1 and the Hammer Museum, and published numerous essays on black contemporary art for the Studio Museum of Harlem.

Robert Patterson is Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of African American Studies at Georgetown University. In his first book, Exodus Politics: Civil Rights and Leadership in African American Literature and Culture (UVA Press, 2013), he examines late twentieth century African American literary texts to demonstrate how this cultural production enhances our understanding of civil rights, black leadership, and black political discourses. He also is the co-editor of The Psychic Hold of Slavery: Legacies in American Expressive Culture (Rutgers 2016), which is an interdisciplinary collection of scholarly essays that examines slavery’s continued significance. Some of his other work appears in South Atlantic Quarterly, Black Camera: an International Film Journal, Religion and Literature, The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, the Cambridge Companion to African American Women’s Writing, and the Cambridge Companion to Civil Rights Literature. Patterson is working on his second monograph, It’s Just Another Sad Love Song: Rhythm and Blues Music and the Politics of Race, which is a scholarly examination of the intersections of rhythm and blues music, artists, culture, politics, film, literature, and sociological discourses from the 1980s to the present.

Vanita Reddy is an Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University, with faculty affiliations in Women’s and Gender Studies and the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute. Her articles have appeared in the journals South Asian Popular Culture, Contemporary Literature, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, and the Journal of Asian American Studies. She is the author of Fashioning Diaspora: Beauty, Femininity, and South Asian American Culture (Temple UP, 2016), one of the first books to consider beauty and fashion as a point of entry into an examination of South Asian diasporic public cultures. It examines a range of literature, visual art, and live performance in order to carefully map how transnational itineraries of Indian beauty and fashion shape South Asian American cultural identities and racialized belonging from the 1990s to the late-2000s with Indian beauty and fashion. She is also co-editing an issue of Scholar and Feminist Online called “Feminist and Queer Afro-Asian Formations,” which is forthcoming in Fall 2017.

Deborah R. Vargas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Vargas is the author of Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), and her publications have appeared in Feminist Studies, Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory; Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies; Social Text; and the edited collection Latina/o Sexualities: Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies. Vargas is the recipient of numerous fellowships awarded by the Ford Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the UC Humanities Research Institute, and the UC Office of the President. Currently Vargas is a member of the editorial boards of Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies and the Journal of Popular Music Studies.


The main University of Maryland College Park address is: 7965 Baltimore Ave College Park, MD 20740

All symposium events will be held in 1100 Tawes Hall (building # 141 on the campus map). Tawes is located on the north end of campus next to Lot 1, the Benjamin Building, and the Art-Sociology Building. See a Google map of Tawes Hall and nearby parking lots here.

PARKINGFull visitor parking information can be found here

The most convenient visitor parking is located at Union Lane Garage – located between the Adele H. Stamp Student Union Center for Campus Life and Cole Field House. Current rates at this facility are $3.00 per hour, with a $15.00 per day maximum. After 4:00 p.m., visitors may park without a permit in the surface lot (Lot 1) by Tawes Hall.

Another option is the Stadium Drive Garage – Located adjacent to Byrd Stadium, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and the Riggs Alumni Center. Current rates at this facility are $3.00 per hour, with a $15.00 per day maximum.


For detailed directions to the University of Maryland campus, including by car and by rail, please visit


The Washington, DC area has an extensive bus and subway system (metro). The Metrobus and the Metrorail extend well into the College Park area.

You can visit the metro website or call (202) 637-7000 for ride information. You can use the metro trip planner to get directions, based on your start and end points and the time you wish to arrive.

The University of Maryland is located on the green line, College Park/UM metro stop. You can take the free Shuttle-UM, a taxi, or walk about 15 minutes to the campus.


Capital Cab: (301) 322-8877
Yellow Cab Company: (202) 544-1212
Yes Taxi: (410) 500-6659


For downloadable campus maps, please visit