Skip to Content

Appropriation and Its Discontents

«Back To Seminars

Organizer: Patricia Barbeito

Co-Organizer: Nicole Merola

Contact the Seminar Organizers

Appropriation is a buzzword that touches on a host of complex cultural issues and anxieties. From the furor unleashed by conceptual poet Kenneth Goldsmith when he read “The Body of Michael Brown,” an appropriation of Brown’s autopsy report for a conference at Brown University, to recent controversies in Europe about the use of the Anne Frank story to shed light on the plight of refugee children, debates about cultural appropriation reflect broader social anxieties shaped by global economic, environmental, and migration crises, as well as related concerns about historical memory and what identity (in all its articulations) means in today’s world. Given appropriation’s embroilment in long-standing, ongoing debates about originality and authenticity, authorship and artistic freedom, ownership and consumption, and the ethics and politics of empathy, it provides an especially rich lens through which to engage a range of theoretical frameworks and cultural debates.  This seminar calls for papers that examine the notion of appropriation from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives including, but not limited to: debates in the literary and visual arts, issues in environmental studies, affect studies, post-coloniality, animal studies, and current pedagogical debates.

«Back To Seminars