SSC Virtual Seminar Series: Ronak K. Kapadia, Gender & Women's Studies, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA

Ronak Kapadia
Ronak Kapadia
Insurgent Aesthetics, by Ronak K. Kapadia
Insurgent Aesthetics, by Ronak K. Kapadia

Reimagine Everything: How Insurgent Aesthetics and Queer Collective Care are Transforming Our Worlds

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

12:30 – 2:00 pm

*We will send the seminar link and password to registered participants.

Please RSVP to Joan Sharpe.


This talk explores how the Black and brown Midwest has become the epicenter of twenty-first century insurgent rebellion against the dominant militarized policing order in North America. From abolition to healing justice and transformative justice and mutual aid, a new generation of visionary artists and activists from queer and trans Black Indigenous and People of Color (QTBIPOC) communities are offering a crucial wellspring of ideas about survival, healing, and justice in the waning years of twenty-first century US empire. These strategies circulate widely within contemporary social movements working to turn the tide against prisons, policing, and American warfare. At a time when the proliferating calamities of global fascism, neoliberal austerity, carceral governance, climate chaos, and endless warfare appear to be ascendant across the planet, how do minoritarian cultural workers living and laboring in the heart of empire make sense of this dying world order while dreaming up new worlds through their art-making and organizing? The ecology of minoritarian art and activism emerging from today’s overlapping protest movements offer a powerful roadmap for understanding the dystopian here and now of US imperial decline and imagining rebellious futures that can move us from despair and isolation to coalition and transformation.

About the speaker:

Ronak K. Kapadia (he/him) is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Gender and Women’s Studies Program and affiliated faculty in Art History, Global Asian Studies, and Museum & Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is author of Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War (Duke University Press, 2019) which won the 2020 Surveillance Studies Network Best Book Prize. Insurgent Aesthetics theorizes the world-making power of contemporary art responses to US militarism in the Greater Middle East. Along with a series of new curatorial collaborations, Kapadia is at work on a new book entitled “Breathing in the Brown Queer Commons,” on the visual cultures of race-radical, queer, and trans migrant futurisms amidst the wilds of ecological chaos and US imperial decline.

Everyone welcome!

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