Annie Seaton designed and taught a year-long class on Race and the Pastoral as part of the Difference and Media Project. This interdisciplinary exploration of space, place, and aesthetics has included many visitors, two (and counting) conferences, and a book in progress. Annie graduated from Wellesley, where she first experienced the bittersweet qualities of the pastoral, and did her PhD at Harvard with Barbara Johnson. Annie’s creation of the Difference and Media Project emerged from her directorship of the Multicultural Affairs Office at Bard. Annie was a Mellon Fellow at Stanford, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in Aesthetics, Politics, and Difference at Brown University. Annie’s interests include race and psychoanalysis, the pastoral, the Enlightenment, and the liberal arts college as an historical, aesthetic, and political structure.
Born and raised in Uruguay, Diego A. Parra moved to Wales (United Kingdom) at the age of 16 to attend Atlantic College; an international United World College. Afterwards, Diego moved to the United States to attend Bard, where he is currently a Junior studying film and human rights. Diego has been involved with multiple TLS projects, including the Old Gym Theatre Project and La Voz Magazine. Diego is a current fellow with the Difference and Media Project; he is also Vice-President of the International Student Organization at Bard. Diego’s creative and academic work links the personal and the political, drawing on his experience collecting narratives throughout Europe and Latin America.
Erica Newton grew up in Berkeley, CA and she has spent time clowning around in Ethiopia. Since her arrival at Bard, Erica has decided to concentrate in Human Rights (focusing on the question of the “Other”) . Erica has also continued to work on creative writing and visual arts. Erica hopes to find points where human rights and the arts meet. She’s also an avid soccer player and is developing a series on African film for the Difference and Media Project this semester.
Lucas Allan Baumgart spent the first 17 years of his life in Western New York. He spent 10 of those years attending The Park School of Buffalo. After graduating in 2010, Lucas began his time at Bard. A student of poetry, Lucas intends to write his senior project on how we, as citizens, “mythologize with technology.” He has been working for the Difference & Media Project for 2 years, and is the curator of (Re:)Poetic, a series on experimental poetry and its intersections with various forms of otherness. Lucas is also the student co-curator of the Rethinking Difference Lecture Series.
Jake Sokolov-Gonzalez studied Music Composition at Bard College. Jake has traveled and performed as an improviser across the country and internationally, notably at Stimmen Festival, Vision Festival, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center Out Of Doors. He believes simple human performance to be a radical political gesture. Jake is Alumni Fellow at the Difference and Media Project; he is curating “Politics of Improvisation: an exploration of the Black avant-garde” this semester at the Difference and Media Project. Jake is also a contributor to the Semana Latina in conjunction with LAIS.
Isabel Filkins is a junior at Bard College. A Politics and Literature major, Isabel is avidly interested in graphic design and web development. Isabel links literature, politics, and new media via her interests in Internet media and censorship law. Isabel is also a dancer: she choreographs Poi, an ancient form of Maori Fire Dance, and is a member of URF, Bard’s Arts and New Media Neighborhood housing.
Mitch McEwen is an urban designer, curator, educator, and unlicensed architect. She is a recipient of The New York State Council on the Arts 2010 Independent Projects award for Architecture, Planning and Design. Her architectural work has been published in Architectural Record and the New York Times, and she has been profiled in PIN-UP magazine. Mitch holds an M. Arch from Columbia GSAPP and B.A. from Harvard in Social Studies. Mitch has visited Bard to talk about intersections of race and architectural form. Mitch has also been an interlocutor on the “race and the pastoral” project.
Poet and critic Kevin Holden has visited, talked with, and read poetry to Bard students. He is currently a PhD student in Comparative Literature at Yale. Kevin’s BA in literature at Harvard was followed by an MPhil at Cambridge and an MFA at Iowa, where Kevin was also a visiting assistant professor. Kevin’s interests in queer theory, class, anti-racism, and social justice are combined with interests in avant-garde poetics and translating poetry from Russian and French.
Tanzanian Playwright Nick Mwaluko has done workshops and performances at Bard, and is a frequent interlocutor and visitor. Nick is a Columbia MFA graduate and was also a Norman Felton Fellow at the University of Iowa and an Emerging Artist at the Public Theater in 2008-2009. Nick wrote and directed “Erasing the Pastoral” with Bard students in May 2010. A former Point Foundation scholar, Nick is interested in helping Bard students to find scholarships and fellowships related to queer identity, the arts, and other things. Recently, he has consulted with Bard students on the Point Foundation scholarship, and is helping to consult on African film.
Shawn Tristan Powell is a queer producer, director, storyteller, activist and Bard College alum. He produces performance works that push buttons; question boundaries of gender, sexuality, and race; and promote radical new ways of thinking, feeling, living and loving. Shawn has been a key participant in race and the pastoral, “Rethinking Race after Obama”, and other Difference and Media Project events. Shawn is a trans-activist and has been very active in political organizing in recent years.
Macintosh goddess, film maven, performer, photographer, and Yoruba practioner, Zoe Collins has been a multifarious and inspiring Difference and Media Project collaborator. Zoe has studied film at Bard and worked with a variety of artists, filmmakers, and activists around issues of representation, race, performance, spirituality, and embodiment.