University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Faculty Fellows, Spring 2016

Marc Bellemare
Applied Economics, CFANS, Twin Cities

The Political Economy of Food Price Stabilization

Policy makers have frequently identified food price stability – whether stability is defined as the elimination of price fluctuations around a given price level or the maintenance of high or low food prices – as important goals of economic policy. After a period of little to no research on food prices, there has been a resurgence of interest in the topic of food prices since the food crisis of 2008. Having written several articles on food prices, I am now planning on writing a book summarizing current knowledge and offering new insights (albeit somewhat more speculative ones than what one can publish in journal articles) on the political economy of food price stabilization, to be submitted to an academic press.

New York Times Op-Ed: Farmers Markets and Food Borne Illness

Jennifer Gomez Menjivar
Foreign Languages and Literatures, CLA, Duluth

Tropical Tongues: Language Ideologies, Endangerment, and Minority Languages in Belize

Our book manuscript will examine the precarious state of minority languages in Belize following Independence (1981-present), as Kriol (a minority language itself) has risen to the level of a “national language” in the country. While the powerful positions of English and Spanish are undeniable, we argue that it is Kriol’s rise in covert prestige that has had the most dramatic impact on Maya Kekchi, Maya Mopan and Garifuna. We use a wide variety of data—including ethnographic observation, interviews and quantitative surveys—to develop a picture of the minority language situation in Belize. Each chapter of Tropical Tongues examines the varying degrees of prestige and stigmatization accrued by these languages over the last thirty-four years, allowing us to capture a full picture of instability and endangerment: problems that each language appears likely to face in the near future.

Annie Hill
Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies, CLA, Twin Cities

Sex Trafficking, Migration, and Law

The issue of sex trafficking has generated global concern, provoking responses that range from new laws, transnational treaties, and police operations to the proliferation of single-issue NGOs and diverse media treatments. Narratives of sex slavery and images of women and children trapped in prostitution are so persuasive that governments race to respond to the threat ahead of empirical data and without a clear definition of the crime. Through an analysis of interviews, fieldwork, and primary documents, my project asks the fundamental question of what constitutes sex trafficking and focuses on a specific site – the multinational union of the United Kingdom – to assess the international fight to stop the traffic. It gives an account of why, at the turn of the twenty-first century, the issue of trafficking emerged with such rhetorical force, and how anti-trafficking campaigns deploy gender and race to depict “modern-day slavery.” The results of this research offer an empirical and analytically rich contribution to theories and live debates within women and sexuality studies, rhetoric, criminology, migration studies, and political science.

Michael Lower
History, CLA, Twin Cities

Violence and Religious Difference in the Premodern Mediterranean

Scholars of the Mediterranean have long argued that the Christians and Muslims who lived around the sea shared a common culture shaped by climate, geography, and agricultural practices, despite the religious differences that should have divided them. Theorists of a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and Christianity, on the other hand, see the religious divide as sharp enough to be an endemic source of conflict. The obvious differences between the two schools of thought – one privileges the natural environment and its power to shape human civilizations, while the other locates the wellsprings of human action and motivation in religious allegiance – should not obscure a common assumption they both share: religious differences, when vigorously maintained and defended, usually led to anxiety and violence. In this project, I develop an alternate history of religious difference, one that explores not only its capacity for provoking conflict but also its potential as a source of stability and cooperation in a pre-secular age. In this history, I describe the forging of distinct religious identities among Muslims and Christians in the medieval period not as an impediment to the emergence of a shared Mediterranean culture and lifestyle, but rather as an integral feature of its creation.

William Salmon
Linguistics, CLA, Duluth

Tropical Tongues: Language Ideologies, Endangerment, and Minority Languages in Belize

Our book manuscript will examine the precarious state of minority languages in Belize following Independence (1981-present), as Kriol (a minority language itself) has risen to the level of a “national language” in the country. While the powerful positions of English and Spanish are undeniable, we argue that it is Kriol’s rise in covert prestige that has had the most dramatic impact on Maya Kekchi, Maya Mopan and Garifuna. We use a wide variety of data—including ethnographic observation, interviews and quantitative surveys—to develop a picture of the minority language situation in Belize. Each chapter of Tropical Tongues examines the varying degrees of prestige and stigmatization accrued by these languages over the last thirty-four years, allowing us to capture a full picture of instability and endangerment: problems that each language appears likely to face in the near future.

Roozbeh Shirazi
Organizational Leadership, Policy, & Development, CEHD, Twin Cities

There is Always Something to Prove: Transnational Youth, Sociopolitical Belonging, and Education in the Twin Cities

Across the social sciences, schooling has often been imagined as a vehicle of a just future and guarantor of equal opportunity in society. Education typically represents not only the means of individual success, but also the building of social cohesion in learning about collective norms and memory. Yet demographic shifts generate new meanings of schooling, and new sociopolitical realities in schools. In the past two decades, for example, the immigrant population of the Twin Cities has more than doubled. This social transformation has been accompanied by the growth of educational policies and practices that target the academic and social well being of immigrant students, as well as by a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment and surveillance of immigrant communities. Drawing upon fieldwork, interviews, and documents, this project explores the sociopolitical production of two Twin Cities high schools and will trace how these sites—through curriculum, pedagogy, and discipline-produce different youth citizenships. This analysis is set against a larger backdrop of attention to practices of media representation and the social, political, and policy environments in which they unfold. This study will contribute to understanding the relationship between sociopolitical membership and schooling in a time of heightened migration controls and national security concerns.

Visiting Fellow, Fall 2015 – Spring 2016

Ila Sheren
Art History, Washington University in St. Louis

Super Wicked: Digital Art, Environmental Crisis, and the De-centered Human

This book project analyzes the ways by which artists, both activist and socially conscious, exploit the parameters of digital and online art to deconstruct what it means to be human. More broadly, this art historical study rethinks the relationship between art and activism, negotiates the fraught territory of what constitutes activist art and, in doing so, draws connections between social practice and digital aesthetics. I organize the project along themes of human-object empathy, social databases, tactical media, and globalized landscapes, incorporating media and genres such as photography, film, Internet art, and performance. I will address the questions of how artists and artworks can drive current object-oriented theory, how new technologies can alter human/non-human relationships, how artists engage with and communicate scientific research, and, ultimately argue that digital art can effectively address climate change as a social problem.

Community of Scholars Program Fellows, Spring 2016

Kasey Keeler
American Studies, CLA, Twin Cities

Indigenous Suburbs: Settler-Colonialism, Housing Policy, and the Erasure of American Indians from Suburbia

I analyze the suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul as historically Indian places and demonstrate the continuous residency of American Indians in suburbs. I use an interdisciplinary methodology including a demographic analysis of U.S. Census data, historical archives, and auto-ethnography based on my experiences as a suburban Indian to challenge common narratives of suburbia and to underscore the participation of American Indians in the processes of suburbanization.

Part one of my research focuses on the years between the end of the U.S.-Dakota War and the start of WWI. Here, I argue Indian people were engaged in the early development of Indian places despite policies to remove Indian people and the growing number of non-Native settlers. In part two, I focus on the policies that shaped suburbia and Indian Country after WWII. I investigate the role of federal housing policies that promoted suburbanization and new home construction, specifically the 1944 G.I. Bill home loan program. My analysis interrogates how the federal Indian policies of Relocation and Termination prevented American Indian suburbanization and homeownership. I problematize scholarship in American studies, urban studies, and suburban studies by challenging narratives of suburbia that predominately focus on whiteness, domesticity, and homeownership in the post-WWII period.

Alicia Lazzarini
Geography, Environment, and Society

‘Açúcar nem Sempre Doce’: Reinvestments, Land, and Gendered Labor in a ‘New’ Mozambique

Since the civil conflict’s end, Mozambican government and private enterprise have capitalized on the idea of Africa as a ‘last frontier’ of investment. With one of the continent’s highest FDI rates, Mozambique seems poised for explosive growth. Engaging multi-sited archival and ethnographic research, this project examines contemporary and historical transformations in Mozambique’s largest sugar producing site, in southern Mozambique. A small colonial mill, the Açucareira de Xinavane (AdX) or Xinavane Sugar Mill has become one of the most emblematic projects in the country’s rehabilitation. Now the country’s largest estate, AdX has tripled in size, employs nearly 10,000 workers annually, and comprises 60% of female sugar workers. This project asks: What is the ‘re’ in Xinavane’s sugar rehabilitation, and why is it important to understanding Mozambique? In conversation with economic geographical, feminist, and African and Portuguese historical and postcolonial literatures, I examine how sugar in Xinavane echoes and critically diverges from its colonial past. Understanding Xinavane’s land and labor history as dynamically shaping the landscapes and possibilities of production – and livelihoods – today, the project enrolls sugar as an analytical site, to examine how Portuguese colonial history shapes the postcolonial present, and the production of the ‘new’ nation.

Scholars and Artists in Residence, Spring 2016

Rachel Jendrzejewski
Playwright and Interdisciplinary Artist

Making Reality: Complicating Popular Definitions of Story in Contemporary Performance

“Story” is a word that shapes our lives. Stories play an enormous role not only in how we interpret and process our realities, but how we make and move through them on a daily basis. Yet what, exactly, is a story—and how do different ways of thinking about story reinforce or undermine systems of power? The teachings of authorities from Aristotle to Joseph Campbell are internalized so deeply in the collective Western understanding of story—and in the fabric of capitalism and politics—that, despite ample voices calling for more expansive thinking, mainstream U.S. culture still privileges certain forms of story, while dismissing others as inferior if not irrelevant. My project investigates multifaceted definitions, forms, and functions of “story” found in art, entertainment, business, and politics, among other fields, through theoretical inquiry, interviews, and experimental performance practice. This work coincides with and will inform a new play that I am developing with Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis, offering a testing ground for another important question of the project: How should this research be shared? What form of “story” should it take, and why?

Beth Mercer-Taylor
Sustainability Education, Institute on the Environment

Change the System Not the Climate

I will explore intersections between human rights, social justice and climate change, comparing the contexts of U.S. college campus sustainability efforts and the U.S. youth climate movement. I will look at how several campuses seen as leaders in transforming higher education towards sustainability describe or symbolically express a rationale for their sustainability projects, courses, curriculum or other activities. In parallel, I will seek to understand the values expressed, and not expressed, by the sustainability activities of these campuses. Similarly, I will look at how several organized groups within the youth climate movement express a rationale for their activities, and at what values the activities themselves might express. My project will be informed by my experience, and those of several close colleagues, in moving from outsider to insider both in campus sustainability efforts and in the youth climate movement. My understanding of sustainability in these two contexts has been shaped by participating in numerous conferences on sustainability in higher education, in youth climate convenings and, most recently, at the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21) or the Paris 2015 Climate Conference. My own perspective on sustainability has grown through my interactions with creative work responding to climate change, including visual arts, design, music, writing and dance.

My research efforts will also include expanding my knowledge of the specific ways that climate justice could be integrated into climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. I suggest a couple of starting points here:

1. On December 12, 2015, negotiators from 196 countries jumped to their feet at Le Bourget Conference Center to applaud the historic signing of the Paris Agreement to address climate change. After negotiators had failed to reach agreement in Copenhagen in 2009, and in the shadow of recent terrorism, the Paris Agreement represented a triumph of human cooperation. On that same day, activists filled the streets of Paris, holding up “Change the System, Not the Climate.” Although those crowds represented many organizations, countries and political ideals, many shared a view that human rights and equity need to be at the forefront of global actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Their cry for climate justice arises from the reality that climate change disproportionately impacts persons and communities that have not themselves caused the problem.

2. Indigenous knowledge systems and practices contribute to climate change action, both in mitigating the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and in adapting to them. The international scientific body that considers the state of current science around climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), states that indigenous knowledge systems and practices are a resource deserving attention by parties negotiating a global climate agreement. The IPCC recommends that international climate negotiators, policymakers and those assisting in the climate talks, officially the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Implementing Body (SBI), realize that:

Indigenous, local, and traditional knowledge systems and practices, including indigenous peoples’ holistic view of community and environment, are a major resource for adapting to climate change.

Since the University of Minnesota is located in and near the homelands of Dakota, Ojibwe and several other Native American Tribal Nations, I hope to explore questions of indigeneity and sustainability, based on how people I am connected with on our campus and community see connections or tensions. My own family story, of being Metis and of family members over generations moving away from difficult experiences, may become part of my work.

Guillermo Narváez
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Boundaries at Work with American Indian Communities

I propose to examine concepts of boundaries as it relates to the development and maintenance of key public infrastructure in American Indian lands. Infrastructure work in American Indian lands is frequently done in conjunction with multiple agencies having overlapping jurisdictions in decision-making, financing and execution of projects. Boundaries is an interesting theoretical framework to use in examining how this separation is reinforced between entities while simultaneously connections are enabled in tense and contingent manners (Barth 1988; Quick and Feldman 2014).

My work with different tribal governments thus far has been on transportation safety, but I am expanding this to other aspects of everyday interactions between tribal and non-tribal policy makers in key areas. In particular, I want to examine the “everyday” political, economic and cultural interactions at the seemingly low-level bureaucratic relations that have an overarching impact on the common everyday life. While this analytic is not unique and often applied to the post-colonial, I feel that it has not sufficiently been considered within the U.S.

Faculty Fellows, Fall 2015

Michael Gallope
Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, CLA, Twin Cities

New Ontologies of Sonic Writing

Philosophical questions concerning the politics and aesthetics of how certain texts are “written” or inscribed have drawn attention from scholars across the social sciences and humanities. How has the ease and quality of digital sound recording changed what music can be remembered, as well as the nature of the sounds that can be adopted as musical material? Through the lens of a participant ethnography I undertook with Sierra Leonean singer Ahmed Janka Nabay, this project poses new questions about the ontology of music based in an archive of digital sound recordings that document the band’s rehearsals, performances, and social interactions. It argues that new sound recording technology has facilitated a change in the ontology of music. While holding a microphone (and pressing record) entails basic choices of what and how to record, the resultant audio track preserves a multitude of sonic information that need not be filtered through any one system of notation, idiom, or social consensus. This project examines how this lack of idiomatic formatting, along with the mobile ease of the recording process and the dramatic rise in sound quality, has created increasingly fluid and complex conditions for musical collaboration across significant cultural boundaries.

Cindy Garcia
Theatre Arts & Dance, CLA, Twin Cities

How to Make it to the Salsa Dance Floor

Dance Floor is my play-in-progress that I plan to rewrite and choreograph. The play advances interdisciplinary frontiers across the fields of Chicano/Latino Cultural Studies, Performance and Gender Studies, and Dance Studies by working at the intersection of scholarship and performance. I explore the relationships among Latinas and the politics of migration over 500 years after the colonization of the Americas. I am specifically interested in the practices of gendered racism and racialization in the United States that continuously reproduce violences against Latinas/os, including in salsa clubs, supposed sites of escape and leisure. The often-danced narrative explores the tense, unexpected reunion between Guadalupe and Coatlalupe who were violently separated over 500 years ago during the Spanish colonization of present day Mexico. Since then, Guadalupe became revered – a practitioner of Los Angeles style salsa. She wants nothing to do with Coatlalupe – despised in the club because she dances “like a Mexican” (the “wrong” kind of Latina in the club). The rewrite will develop their embattled love story and delve more personally into the trauma of deportation differentially experienced on both sides of the border.

Sarah Parkinson
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Twin Cities

Organizational Emergence in Crisis: Networks, Neuroscience, and Military Organizations in the Middle East

How can scholars understand organizational adaptation in crisis? Drawing on the social and biological sciences, this project examines how military organizations emerge, innovate, and invent in environments characterized by acute violent repression, mass displacement, and/or natural disaster. Specifically, it blends insights from neuroscience with ethnographic and social network approaches in order to conceptualize organizational behavior under extreme duress. Focusing on military organizations in the modern Middle East, the project comprises three areas of inquiry: an ethno-historical study of rebel organizations’ emergence in wartime Lebanon; a new ethnographic investigation of military, civil defense organizations, and disaster management institutions’ co-evolution in contemporary Turkey; and a deeper theoretical inquiry into the potential for neuroplasticity to serve as a metaphor and, possibly, a model for dynamic social network adaptation. By engaging theoretical areas of inquiry such as political violence, state building, civil-military relations, human security, and organizational theory, this project provides new insight into political and social processes in crisis zones. Moreover, by challenging dominant methodological and epistemological approaches to studying military organizations and by ethnographically examining processes of emergence and adaptation, it provides new potential for conversations across disciplines and research traditions.

Helena Pohlandt-McCormick
History, CLA, Twin Cities

The Graves of Dimbaza: Reconsidering the Resilience of Race in the Post-Apartheid Present

The post-apartheid, evoked here as Benjamin’s “perilous critical moment” (Arcades Project) of the historical reading of the colonial ordering of the world, evokes a landscape of promise and violence, dispossession, exploitation, continuity and change. In thinking the predicaments of the post-apartheid present and the troubling legacies of the past in South Africa, my work is concerned with the incompleteness of the transition, the hardening fronts of nationalism and neoliberalism/globalization, the prickly assertion of disciplinary reason and conceptual disagreement, and the tenacity of racial formations and the racialized subject of history. My research is located in the ambiguous, contradictory space of Dimbaza in the former Eastern Cape Bantustan, figured simultaneously as homeland resettlement village, decentralized industrialization showcase, site of political banishment, international symbol of apartheid difference and graveyard of the racially discarded. It engages with the elements of knowledge susceptible to being assembled by historical imagination – documents, testimonies and visual sources (including the documentary Last Grave at Dimbaza and letters collected by the International Defence and Aid Fund) – which constitute or resist the racial subject. My work contributes to scholarship in South Africa, engages with debates about the archive and history, and with globally, conceptually and politically relevant research on race and antiracism.

Amit Yahav
English, CLA, Twin Cities

Moments: Qualitative Time in Eighteenth-Century Culture

This project recovers eighteenth-century explorations of qualitative duration and uses them to reflect on the present. Existing cultural histories underline the rationalization of time – the development of techniques of standardization, precision, and abstraction. Such quantitative measures promote the industrial, disciplinarian, and individualist cultures of western modernity. And yet, if the eighteenth- century privileged rationality, it also valued sensibility. Sensibility emphasizes sensationist, emotional, and sociable dimensions of lived experience. My research exposes the temporal underpinnings of this culture, as well as traces its continued current impact. Locke famously argues that our sense of duration approximates what Newton has called absolute time – an entity that flows equably regardless of objects or perceptions. Eighteenth-century writers less committed to traditional philosophy draw attention to durational experiences that cannot be adequately gauged by such definition. Love, sympathy, judgment, and aesthetic pleasure, many writers maintain, rely on a temporality for which abstract measures matter less than intensity and patterned relations among moments. I aim to establish this temporal conception as key to the culture of Sensibility and for its legacy to modernity, serving as a counterpoint to standardizing technologies while also relying on such technologies for its dissemination.

Kyungsoo Yoo
Soil, Water & Climate, CFANS, Twin Cities

Agrarian Expansion, Immigration and the Emergence of Earthworm-Engineered Forests: 9,000 years of Human-Natural History in Glaciated Regions of N. Europe and N. America

I will build a story and a large interdisciplinary research proposal that are a powerful reminder of human’s interconnectedness with nature. The story involves farmers, immigrants, Vikings, and earthworms. Earthworms in the formerly glaciated forests in N. America are not native. They arrived with crops and cattle that European farmers brought and are now known for causing many negative impacts on the forests. I propose that earthworms were aliens in glaciated N. Europe as well. Though de-glaciated at about same time (~9,000 BP), Sweden had its first agrarian populations at ~4-5,000 BP. In Sweden, unlike in the glaciated N. American forests, earthworms are credited for fertile forest soils. Sweden and Minnesota thus offer a natural laboratory where we can reveal how agrarian expansion, earthworm invasion, earthworm-engineered forests, and people’s concept of “pre-agricultural” forests have co-evolved and will continue to co-evolve. I will further examine the Viking expansion across N. Atlantic islands, hoping to understand how and to what extent earthworms, timing of their introduction, and Vikings’ agricultural practices affected the ecosystem processes where environmental conditions are strikingly different from those of Minnesota and Sweden.

Visiting Fellow, Fall 2015

Bill Moseley
Geography, Macalester College

Can Markets & Technology Solve the Scourge of Global Hunger?
The New Green Revolution for Africa, Marginal Communities, and Rural Malnutrition

Global philanthropy and Aid organizations have increasingly framed African small scale, subsistence agriculture as the major development conundrum of the early 21st century. Farmers of this ilk are characterized as underproductive, destined to a life of poverty, and implicitly responsible for the continent’s unacceptably high levels of food insecurity. The solution, it is argued, is better incorporation into the global food economy via a value chain approach involving the use of improved inputs, better production technologies, and enhanced access to markets for the sale of production. This project will consolidate and expand my research on international aid efforts in southern Mali and Botswana, employing a value chain approach, that are aimed at smallholder farmers and gardeners. I explore the mechanics of these initiatives, the domestic politics surrounding them, and how these efforts are being received, and acted upon, by small scale farmers.

Sawyer Seminar Graduate Fellow, Fall 2015

Laurie Moberg
Anthropology, CLA, Twin Cities

Fluid Landscapes: Materializing the Future after Natural Disasters in Thailand

This project considers how experiences with global climate change disasters affect human imaginings of the future and relationships with nature. Examining recurrent episodes of flooding on Thailand’s rivers as climate change disasters, I question how human and nonhuman stakeholders, from river communities to state administrators to environmental NGOs to rivers themselves, make meaning from floods and negotiate a disrupted and uncertain future in their aftermath. Unprecedented floods in 2011 drew these constituencies together in a shared experience of nature’s unpredictability; varied responses to the floods, however, demonstrate conflicting understandings of both human and riverine capacities. Specifically, the Thai state’s 350 billion baht (US$11 billion) water management plan to subdue Thailand’s unruly rivers has provoked public outcry and anti-dam protests from NGOs and northern Thai river communities who see the plan as destructive to river ecosystems and community lives and livelihoods. My research intervenes in this critical post-flood period as people develop new narratives about water and reformulate their relationships with rivers. Using ethnographic methods to engage both human and nonhuman perspectives, I query how human actions and articulations work to materialize different visions of the future and how rivers both participate in and disrupt these human practices and agendas.

Scholars and Artists in Residence, Fall 2015

Ursula Lang
Geography, University of Glasgow

Cultivating Everyday Life: Yards, Nature and Time

Front and back yards are utterly mundane and also deeply political spaces. Yards are shaped by histories of urban development, variegated access to property ownership, more than human organisms, and urban governance. This book project examines how people cultivate and inhabit yards in diverse neighborhoods in Minneapolis, in conversation with perspectives from urban environmental politics, theories of everyday life, and cultural geographies of nature-society relations. Through an ethnographic and qualitative approach, I have found engagement with yards often involves a surprisingly diverse range of informal property arrangements. Engagement with yards also depends on people’s attachments with environments through skill, affect and emotion, and their capacities to attune to more-than-human rhythms. I argue yards and yard practices contribute to the reinforcement of certain fundamental urban logics such as private property and the production of a discrete and manageable nature. But everyday yard practices also provide disruptions to these logics and create the conditions for new social relations to emerge. The project significantly extends the limited scholarship on yards by showing how everyday engagements with these domestic landscapes create particular conditions for community relations and ecological possibilities to emerge. The research contributes to understandings of urban green space, the nature of commons, and geographies of property. In particular this fall, I focus on how geographers and others study affect and rhythm through visual and textual representations.

Presley Martin
Sculpture and Installation Artist

Dye Buckthorn Dye

What if we could help endangered pollinators and fight climate change by changing our relationship to one common tree? Common buckthorn is a colorful plant. Pollinators love the flowers and birds love the fruit. It sequesters lots of our carbon emissions, but we label it noxious and try to eradicate it. This project celebrates and explores the positive contributions of buckthorn, and attempts to control its invasiveness by harvesting the berries to use for color in art projects. Dye Buckthorn Dye hosts buckthorn berry harvesting outings and workshops on making ink and dye from the berries and bark.

Jennifer Row
French, Boston University

Queer Velocities: Speeds of Sex on the Early Modern Stage

My book manuscript in progress, Queer Velocities: Speeds of Sex on the Early Modern Stage advances a new methodology for approaching early modern studies of gender and sexuality through closer attention to velocities: to speeds of lusting, loving and living that diverge from hegemonic temporal norms. Focusing on seventeenth century French and British theater I highlight the critical potential of a sexual tempo that rushes, drags, or jars against a newly precise temporality sparked by major innovations in chronometry.

Whether under James I or Louis XIV, theatrical representation and political power were inextricably tied together. Not only did seventeenth century dramatic literature theater idealize certain sexual norms, but it also symptomatically registered the socio-sexual tensions gripping a period of great political and social transformation.

In Queer Velocities, I focus on how the theater staged erotics that did not adhere to the emerging gender norms of the seventeenth century. I show that, in an age of emerging chronometric and biopolitical regimentation, these queer desires resort to velocity (drag or acceleration, rush or idleness) as a means of resistance and as a way of igniting alternative possibilities of living. Drawing upon the history of chronometry, rhetoric, and dramatic literature, my research shows how queer velocities seize on the time of sexuality to generate new erotic sensations, forms of intimacies, and affective regimes.