On Contemplation

Guest Editor: Myron M. Beasley

Introduction: The Pink Tube & The Incorrigible Disturber of the Peace     [pdf & audio]
Myron M. Beasley

I Was Hamlet—Cunning Scenes And Family Albums    [pdf & video]
Eda Čufer

memoration #2: constituent parts    [pdf & video]
Leah Decter

Revisiting Janet Cardiff’s Central Park Audio Walk as an Ophelian
Performance and Representation
Laura Dorwart

Judgment and Beauty     [pdf]
Yoon Soo Lee

Five Outings in Queer Indirection and the Ingredients
of my Undoing
Erica Rand

Comment Nannite est devenu tante Cilet
(How Nannite Became Aunt Cilet)
  [video & text]
Jean-Ulrick Désert

Contemplating Tobacco    [pdf]
Melinda Plastas

How do we know what we know? A Meditation on
Expert-Intuitive Workshop Practice
Michael McMillan

Food for the Gods: Ewé òòò, á sà   [video & pdf]
Scott Alves Barton

Borderlands: An Experimental Audio Performance    [audio, pdf, & images]
Deborah Templeton and Monty Adkins

Skin Castles     [poem & audio]
Gina Athena Ulysse

Churches and Factories    [video & text]
Anastasya Koshkin

Ce qui compte    [monograph]
Jean-Paul Rocchi

<notes on contributors>

» Monty Adkins is a composer, performer, and Professor of Experimental Electronic Music at the University of Huddersfield. He has created installations, concert and audio-visual works, and a number of collaborations with contemporary performers, video artists and photographers. His work since 2008 has been released by Audiobulb (UK) and Cronica (P).

» Scott Alves Barton is a doctoral candidate in NYU Food Studies program. His doctoral work is focused on the intersection of secular and sacred cuisine as a marker of ethnic and cultural identity in Northeastern Brazil, using documentary film and written text. Grant funding from the Council on Culture and Media, CLACS, Steinhardt’s Dean’s Grant and the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, NY Culinary Historians, Julia Child Foundation, André and Simone Soltner Foundation, the American Philosophical Society and the Ruth Landes Foundation have financed Scott’s research. Scott has worked for more than twenty-five years as an Executive Chef, Restaurant and Product Development Consultant, and, Culinary School Teacher. Ebony named Scott one of the top twenty-five African-African American Chefs. Scott is an alumnus of the School for American Chefs. He has been a fellow of Instituto Sacatar in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil the Tepoztlán Institute for Transnational History of the Americas in Tepoztlán, Mexico, The Issues in Critical Investigation at Vanderbilt University and is a fellow of the Brazilian NGO for Afro-Brazilian folkloric cultural heritage practices: Fundaçao Cultural Palmares. He’s been featured as a chef on BayCafe TV, CBS Early Show-Chef on a Shoestring, the Food Network, Gourmet Magazine and Food Arts. He’s been interviewed for his research on TV Rede Bahia, Solteropolis, A Tarde newspaper and other periodicals. His recipes are included in the Jocelyn Diabetes Cookbook, The Southern Foodways Community Cookbook and Tavis Smiley’s Pass it Down Cookbook. He has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences, has been a guest lecturer at several universities. Scott has served on the Board of Southern Foodways Alliance and the James Beard Foundation Cookbook awards. Scott was recently featured on the PBS program, A Chef’s Life. Scott currently is an adjunct professor at NYU and a culinary instructor at the Institute for Culinary Education, (ICE).

» Myron M. Beasley, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the areas of Cultural Studies, African American Studies, and Women and Gender studies at Bates College. He was awarded the Paschel V. Vacca Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of Montevallo, Alabama, 2016. He is also a curator and performance artist. His ethnographic research includes exploring the intersection of cultural politics, art and social change, as he believes in the power of artists and recognize them as cultural workers; He has been awarded fellowships and grants by the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and most recently the Ruth Landes Award from the Reed Foundation, for his ethnographic writing about art and cultural engagement. Patience on a Monument: Recent work by Eto Otitigbe (UT, Austin 2016), The Ghetto Biennale (Haiti), CAAR Paris (France) are recent curatorial projects. His writing has appeared in many academic journals including The Journal of Poverty, Text and Performance Quarterly, Museum & Social Issues, The Journal of Curatorial Studies and Performance Research.

» Eda Čufer is a dramaturg, curator and writer, whose essays on theater, dance, and visual art have appeared in many books and journals. In 1983 she co-founded the theater group >GSSN (Scipion Nasice Sisters Theater), and a year later she cofounded the art collective NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst), both based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. During the 1990s she worked extensively with NSK's visual art unit, the Irwin group, on a number of relational projects focused on post-socialist condition, and edited several books relating to those projects, including NSK Moscow Embassy: How the East Sees the East, Transnacionala (Highway Collisions Between East and West at the Crossroads of Art), and (together with Victor Misiano), Interpol: The Art Exhibition Which Divided East and West. She also collaborated with the international dance group En-Knap and with performance and visual artist Marko Peljhan's Project Atol. Between 2002 and 2004 she co-curated the exhibitions In Search of Balkania (Neue Galerie/ Graz) and Call Me Istanbul (ZKM/Karslruhe). She recently co-edited the book NSK from Kapital to Capital(MIT Press), which was published simultaneously with the NSK retrospective. She is now working on a book project, Art as Mousetrap, with the support of a grant from the Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Foundation. This new project concerns the Shakespeearean “stategem of mousetrap,” and its relevance for contemporary performative and activist art. She is an assistant professor in Academic Studies and Art History at the Maine College of Art.

» Leah Decter is an inter-media artist and scholar based in Winnipeg, Canada—Treaty 1 territory. She holds an MFA in New Media from Transart Institute (Berlin) and is currently a PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies at Queens University (Kingston, ON). Decter has exhibited, presented and screened her work widely in Canada and internationally in the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands and India. Her most recent writing has been published in The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (2015) (chapters co-written with Ayumi Goto and Jaimie Isaac respectively). In 2014, her ongoing dialogic art project (official denial) trade value in progress (co-activated with Jaimie Isaac) was featured in Studio: Craft and Design in Canada, and the Journal of Canadian Art History.

» Jean-Ulrick Désert is a conceptual and visual artist born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Désert's art works vary in form: public billboards, actions, paintings, site-specific sculpture, video and art objects. They emerge from a tradition of conceptual work engaged with social and cultural practices. [» artist website]. Well known for his “Negerhosen2000,” his provocative “Burqa Project” and his poetic "Goddess Projects," Désert has said his practice may be characterized as visualizing “conspicuous invisibility.” He has exhibited widely at venues such as The Brooklyn Museum, The Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, Grey Art Gallery NYU/Studio Museum of Harlem, Walker Art Center in the USA, la Cité Internationale des Arts in France, The Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst in Germany and in galleries and public venues as well in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Ghent, Brussels. He is the recipient of several awards, public commissions, private philanthropy, including Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Villa Waldberta-Munich, Kulturstiftung der Länder (Germany) and Cité des Arts (France). He received his degrees at Cooper Union and Columbia University (New York) and has been an invited lecturer and critic at universities in the United States (Princeton, Yale, Columbia), Germany (Humboldt University in Berlin) and in France (at the École supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris). Désert established his Berlin studio-practice in 2002.

» Laura Dorwart is a Ph.D. student in the Drama and Theatre program at UC San Diego and UC Irvine. She is the current Managing Editor of Theatre Forum, has a forth-coming book review in the Journal of American Drama and Theatre, and is co-editing an anthology on madness, disability, and sexuality with her husband, Jason Dorwart.

» Lewis R. Gordon is Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies at UCONN-Storrs; Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Government, the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica; European Union Visiting Chair in Philosophy at Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France; and Writer-in-Residence at Birkbeck School of Law atthe University of London. He recently was also Nelson Mandela Visiting Professor of Politics and International Studies at Rhodes University in South Africa. A graduate of Yale University and the Lehman Scholars Program of the City University of New York, he is the author of several influential monographs such as Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism (Humanities Press, 1995; Humanity Books, 1999), Fanon and the Crisis of European Man (Routledge, 1995), Her Majesty’s Other Children: Sketches of Racism from a Neocolonial Age (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), which won the Gustavus Meyer Award for Human Rights in North America, Existentia Africana (Routledge, 2000), Disciplinary Decadence (Paradigm/Routledge, 2006), An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Cambridge UP, 2008), and, with Jane Anna Gordon, Of Divine Warning: Reading Disaster in the Modern Age (Paradigm/Routledge, 2009), anthologies such as Fanon: A Critical Reader (Blackwell’s, 1996), Existence in Black (Routledge, 1997), A Companion to African-American Studies (Blackwell’s, 2006), which was a NetLibrary Book of the Month in February 2007, and Not Only the Master’s Tools (Paradigm, 2006), more than 200 articles, many of which have been translated into several languages, and interviews and essays for a variety of public forums, including Truthout.org on which he now serves on the Board of Directors. You can follow Professor Gordon on Twitter@lewgord

» Amanda KM is an Egyptian-American artist who lives and works in Cairo, Egypt. In 2005, she earned a BFA in photography and digital media and a BS in psychology from the University of Houston. In 2013, she received her MFA from Transart Institute. In 2014, she received a grant from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture for her project Filtered Conversations at Roundtable. Her installations have been shown in numerous countries including Egypt, Portugal, Germany, and Senegal. Visit her website for artist statements, images, and videos of the works discussed in Melinda Plastas' essay, "Contemplating Tobacco."

» Anastasya Koshkin received an advanced fine arts masters degree from Brussels’ Sint Lukas University, and studied Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University. Her points of inspiration are folklore, and items of ancient and ethnic origin. Within her written and music work, she incorporates symbols and elements from the natural environment, philosophy, psychology, and creative writing. Her academic and artistic work is developed alongside learning about and utilizing cultural artifacts and time-based processes as points of importance. Intersection points, such as the horizons between earth and air, are of particular interest to her work, as well as the intersection points where nature and culture coalesce, within the thread work of past and present. Anastasya works with music, language, and interdisciplinary media. Her childhood was distributed across an array of cultural borders. Born in Belarus, she lived in Israel, Canada, and the United States. She currently serves as teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Music Department, with a focus on composition and technology.

» Yoon Soo Lee is a Professor of Art and Design. She has been teaching at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth since 2001, and also at Vermont College of Fine Arts since 2011. Yoon Soo’s practice moves around three core areas of study: the art of pedagogy, how to work in dialogue cross-discipline, and how to create art and design that is based on self-knowledge. These investigations have led to presentations at the AIGA Educators Conference, UCDA Design Educators Conference, grants from the National Institute of Health, presentations at the Cognitive Science Society and papers such as “Functional Criticism in the Graphic Design Classroom” published in Design Principles and Practices. Yoon Soo studied at Seoul National University where she received her BFA and MFA, and also at Western Michigan University where she received her second MFA in graphic design.

» Michael McMillan is a writer, playwright and artist/curator. His work includes Brother to Brother (1996), The West Indian Front Room (2005-06), The Front Room: Migrant Aesthetics in the Home (Black Dog 2009), No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960-1990 (2015-16), Rockers, Soulheads & Lovers: Sound Systems Back in Da Day (2015-16). He has an Arts Doctorate from Middlesex University 2010, and is currently an Associate Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the London College of Fashion, UAL.

» Melinda Plastas is visiting associate professor of Women and Gender Studies at Bates College. She is author of A Band of Noble Women: Race Politics in the Women’s Peace Movement (Syracuse UP, 2011). Her interests include race and social movements, gender and militarization, and more recently, gender and tobacco capitalism including the intersection with visual culture. She has also written about James Baldwin and the prison industrial complex and the use of graphic novels in teaching about war and peace.

» Erica Rand is the Whitehouse Professor of Art and Visual Culture and of Women and Gender Studies at Bates College. Her writing includes Barbie’s Queer Accessories (Duke, 1995); The Ellis Island Snow Globe (Duke, 2005); and Red Nails Black Skates: Gender, Cash, and Pleasure On and Off the Ice (Duke, 2012). She serves on the editorial board of the journals Criticism, Salacious, and Radical Teacher. Her current book project, with the working title, Hip Check: Essays in Gender, Sports, Borders, and Writing, works at the juncture of trans studies, sports studies, and visual culture studies to think broadly about the intimate and interconnected workings of regulation, surveillance, appraisal, and pleasure.

» Jean-Paul Rocchi is a professor at the Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, where he teaches on African American literature and gay, lesbian, and queer studies. A past fellow at the Du Bois Institute (Harvard, fall 2007), he is the co-director of the graduate school “Cultures et Sociétés” of Université Paris-Est. He has published several essays on James Baldwin and other contemporary black writers, and on race, sexualities, psychoanalysis, and epistemology. He is the author of several edited and coedited collections, including L’objet identité: épistémologie et transversalité (2006), Understanding Blackness through Performance: Contemporary Arts and the Representation of Identity (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013), Black Intersectionalities: A Critique for the 21st Century (Liverpool University Press, 2014), Black Europe: Subjects, Struggles, and Shifting Perceptions (Palimpsest, SUNY Press, 2015), and of the forthcoming monograph The Desiring Modes of Being Black: Essays in Literature and Critical Theory (Rowman and Littlefield International).

» Dianne Smith (MFA) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Harlem, NY. Her work tackles notions of identity, race, politics and transformation. She has shown at Piedmont Art Center, Art Basel, Miami, The Harrison Museum of African American Culture, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York City Parks Department, Armory Week and Bartow Pell Mansion.

» Deborah Templeton is the pen-name of Deborah Middleton, a Senior Lecturer in Drama and co-Director of the Centre for Psychophysical Performance Research at the University of Huddersfield (UK). As Deborah Templeton, she writes short fiction and performance texts. All of her creative work is founded on her contemplative practice, which involves both Samatha-Vipashyana meditation and Kripalu Yoga. Her short story, “Tender Light” appears in the ibook, Rift Patterns (Audio Bulb 2014) alongside the music of Monty Adkins.

» Gina Athena Ulysse is a feminist artist-anthropologist-activist and self-proclaimed Post-Zora Interventionist. She earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is also a performance artist, poet and multi-media artist. Her most recent book is Why Haiti Needs New Narratives: A Post-Quake Chronicle (2015). She is currently Professor of Anthropology at Wesleyan University.

Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies (issn: 1557-2935)

editor-in-chief: Michael LeVan (Vancouver, WA)
the city editor: Daniel Makagon (DePaul University)
digital horizons editors: Craig Gingrich-Philbrook (Southern Illinois University) and Daniel (Jake) Simmons
   (Missouri State University)
performance & pedagogy editor: open
book review editor: Christopher J. McRae (University of South Florida)

banner photo/design ("constellation/contemplation") by Michael LeVan
Creative Commons License
Unless noted otherwise, everything on this site is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.