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MIGC 2017 image
The 2017 Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference (MIGC) engages with the idea of MOSAIC in culture and theory. Mosaics, of course, are images produced by the arrangement of glass, stone, tile, and other non-precious materials into a pattern. While mosaic most immediately invokes an artistic aesthetic, the term also encompasses notions of perspective, legibility, materiality, representation, collectivity, and place.

Mosaic is a way of considering the relationships between the one and the multiple, troubling the artificial divisions cracking and crackling within our social compositions. For keynote speaker Jason W. Moore (Sociology, Binghamton University), we must recognize society and nature as entwined in a "world-ecology" that interrelates capitalism, nature, power, and history as “the fundamental co-production of earth-moving, idea-making, and power-creating across the geographical layers of human experience.”

Society and nature are often categorically separated, but they must be recognized as always and necessarily co-constituted. For keynote workshop leader Margaret Rhee (Women’s and Gender Studies, Oregon), art, as both a praxis and poetics of social equality, enacts a social consciousness in storytelling that interrelates being with desire. To recognize a mosaic is to engage in aesthetic attention to the world. This kind of perspective is also being taken up by studies in fields such as (but not limited to) eco-criticism, new materialism, ethnic and indigenous studies, media studies, Marxism.

In addition to the keynotes, MIGC 2017 will feature over a dozen other talks and artist presentations. A complete schedule can be found on the MIGC 2017 website.

Jason W. Moore
“Expulsions, Inclusions, and the Double Valence of Violent Abstraction: How Modernity Works Through Nature to Accumulate Capital and Destroy Lives”
Friday, February 17
3:30 pm Curtin 175
Live video stream

Brown bag lunch discussion
Friday, February 17
12:15 pm, Curtin 175
Reading: Jason W. Moore, "The Capitalocene, Part II" (PDF)

Margaret Rhee
“Kaleidoscope Thinking: On Graduate Reflection, Body, and Writing”
Saturday, February 18
1:00 pm Curtin 175




Catherine Lutz
Catherine Lutz
(Anthropology, Brown University)
The United States has an all-volunteer military force, one that public opinion polls regularly show is the most respected institution in U.S. society. Nonetheless, numbers of those who enlist sooner or later say no to some or all of what they are asked to do, think, or represent. This has been especially so for those who participated in the war in Iraq, as it was for those who volunteered during the Vietnam War.

In this talk, Catherine Lutz (Anthropology, Brown University) explores that paradox, asking how and why those service members walk their path from yes to no. It explores the roots of both their volunteering and their objecting in the rhetoric of choice and in the masculine ideals to which they aspire.

Friday, February 24
3:30 pm, Curtin 175
Live video stream

Brown bag lunch seminar
Friday, February 24
12 noon Curtin 939
Reading: Catherine Lutz, "The U.S. Car Colossus and the Production of Inequality"
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