The Movement & The Middle East: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Divided the American Left
(Thursday) 12:10 pm - 1:30 pm
Knox Hall Room 208
Knox Hall Room 208
Global Imagination after Versailles: Alternative Histories of Science In Modern Eastern Europe
Global Imagination after Versailles: Alternative Histories of Science In Modern Eastern Europe
Please join the East Central European Center at the Harriman Institute for a roundtable discussing Contemporary European History 28, a special issue on post-Versailles human and social sciences in Eastern Europe with historian Eugenia Lean, and the co-editors of the volume, Katherine Lebow, Małgorzata Mazurek, and Joanna Wawrzyniak.
With the ‘global turn’ in social and humanistic sciences, one often wonders: does Eastern Europe generate ‘world-scale’ ideas? As historians have critically examined center-periphery frameworks and geopolitical hierarchies in the making of ‘global knowledge,’ the history of science can be now, in principle, be told from any place where people have reimagined their relationship to a shared global modernity. This panel addresses the salience of this insight for modern Eastern Europe, building on a recently published special issue of Contemporary European History. The issue looks at scholarly innovations in Eastern Europe to tell an alternative history of science. Its point of departure is that post-Versailles Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe was a particularly fertile space for the production and circulation of social scientific ways of knowing. Its aim is to recover the radical and world-scale potential of some of these forgotten projects and scholars to challenge perceptions of Eastern European science as an exclusively ethnocentric project. The issue also considers how the geopolitical shift from a world of empires to one of nation states, which started in the Balkans and East Central Europe in 1918 and continued in dependent and colonial territories after 1945, impacted knowledge globally. Finally, it explores the entanglement between local and global aspects science, bringing together historians driven by broader questions of ‘historical epistemology.’
The special issue of Contemporary European History will be available on-line. The roundtable will focus on the introduction in particular, but also include discussion on the volume as a whole.
Eugenia Lean, Director of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute; Associate Professor of Chinese history, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
Katherine Lebow, Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford
Małgorzata Mazurek, Associate Professor of Polish Studies, Department of History, Columbia University
Joanna Wawrzyniak, Associate Professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw
Eugenia Lean is an Associate Professor of East Asian Language-Culture and Director of Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. She is interested in a broad range of topics in late imperial and modern Chinese history with a particular focus on the history of science and industry, mass media, consumer culture, emotions and gender, as well as law and urban society. She is also interested in issues of historiography and critical theory in the study of East Asia. In her award-winning book Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China (2007), she examines a sensational crime of female passion to document the political role of emotions in the making of a critical urban public. Her newest book, Vernacular Industrialism in China: Local Innovation and Translated Technologies in the Making of a Cosmetics Empire, 1900-1940 (Columbia University Press, 2020), examines the manufacturing, commercial and cultural activities of maverick industrialist Chen Diexian (1879-1940).
Katherine Lebow is teaching History at the Oxford University. Her research interests are social and cultural history of 20th-century Poland in a global context; everyday life under state socialism; autobiography and testimony, especially ‘everyman autobiographies’ ca. 1930-50; history of social science. She published Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56 in 2013 and “The Conscience of the Skin: Interwar Polish Autobiography and Social Rights,” Humanity 3:3 (2012), which won the 2013 Aquila Polonica Prize for best English-language article in Polish studies. Her current book project, The People Write! Polish Everyman Autobiography from the Great Depression to the Holocaust, addresses the Polish sociological tradition of “social memoir” and its transatlantic echoes before, during, and after World War II.
Małgorzata Mazurek teaches modern history of Poland and East Central Europe at Columbia University. Her interests include history of social sciences, international development, social history of labor and consumption in the twentieth-century Poland and Polish-Jewish studies. She published Society in Waiting Lines: On Experiences of Shortages in Postwar Poland (Warsaw, 2010). Her current book project Economics of Hereness: The Polish Origins of Global Developmentalism 1918-1968 revises the history of developmental thinking by centering east-central Europe as the locality of innovations in economic thought in post-imperial Europe and the postcolonial world. In 2014-2018 she has also been a also a member of an international research project Socialism Goes Global: Cold War Connections between the ‘Second’ and ‘Third World’ 1945-1991 funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Joanna Wawrzyniak has been an associate professor the Institute of Sociology of the University of Warsaw since 2008. She was recently a visiting professor at European University Institute, Florence. She is interested in a wide range of topics: East Central Europe, public history, cultural heritage and oral history, and intellectual history. Among her recent books are: co-authored Enemy on Display: The Second World War in Eastern European Museums (2015; Pb2017), co-edited Memory and Change in Europe: Eastern Perspectives (2016, Pb2018), and a monograph Veterans, Victims, and Memory: The Politics of the Second World War in Communist Poland (2015). She is also a co-leader of an international ECHOES project City Museums and Multiple Colonial Pasts, and a a leader of two national research grants on transformation of work and on history of sociology.
(Thursday) 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)
Organizing Migrant Asian Sex Workers Across Oceans In conversation with KK de la Vida
Organizing Migrant Asian Sex Workers Across Oceans
In conversation with KK de la Vida • Chanelle Gallant • Elene Lam • Elena Shih • Kate Zen
Moderated by Yin Q
Introduced by Mae Ngai
How might treating migrant sex work as labor rather than as a problem change policies, transform communities and create new futures?
This conversation centers theories and practices that emerge from organizing with Asian sex worker communities embedded in complex migration networks that span East Asia, Southeast Asia, and North America. The dominant anti-trafficking discourse in relation to migrant sex work reinforces policing and surveillance networks, stigmatizes sex workers, and isolates migrants, with the result that it often harms those who it is meant to “save.”
Although multiple models of policing sex work, including global anti-trafficking effortas full criminalization (in the US), buyer criminalization (the Swedish model), legalization (in the Netherlands), and full decriminalization (as in New Zealand), currently compete in activist, governmental, and policy-making circles, they all disproportionately affect migrant sex workers. Understanding these policies, discourses and their power within contemporary governance also requires revisiting racialized and gendered histories that must be traced back to Cold War geopolitics and earlier.
Based on research and organizing in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Canada, and the United States, the speakers here insist that we think of sex work alongside rather than in contrast to other forms of work, shifting from criminal to labor law frameworks. The implications of migrant sex work organizing go beyond policy, suggesting new ways for transnational communities, arranged by differences of privilege based on language, education, immigration and citizenship status, race, gender, sexuality, and forms of sex work, to imagine futures beyond criminalization and toward liberation. This panel will be followed by a Q & A and then a series of small breakout group discussions.
KK de la Vida is a member of Red Canary Song & pilipinx shifterhood collective Walang Hiya, building bridges between NYC & Visayas, Philippines. A graduate of anthropology from Barnard College, Asian Cultural Council grantee in dance, bodyworker, herbalist & performance artist, KK explores moving bodies in shifting techno-ecologies.
Chanelle Gallant is a co-founder of Migrant Sex Workers Project, a grassroots group of migrants, sex workers, and allies who demand safety and dignity for all sex workers regardless of immigration status based in Canada. She has been a grassroots feminist organizer for nearly 2 decades and is on the national leadership team of Showing Up For Racial Justice. She writes about justice and sex, most recently in the collection Pleasure Activism. She can be found online at www.chanellegallant.com
Elene Lam is a community organizer and human rights defender. Elene is the Executive Director and a Founder of Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network) and Migrant Sex Workers Project in Canada., She holds a Master of Social Work and a Master of Law, with a specialization in Human Rights. She is currently a Ph.D. student at McMaster University where she is researching the harms associated with anti-trafficking initiatives. Elene has been actively engaged in work related to human rights, violence against women, migration, gender, and sex work justice for more than 20 years.
Mae M. Ngai, Professor of History and Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies, is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in questions of immigration, citizenship, and nationalism. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia in 1998 and taught at the University of Chicago before returning to Columbia in 2006. Ngai is author of Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America and The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America The Tape Family and the Origins of the Chinese American Middle Class.
Elena Shih is the Manning Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University. Her first book, Manufacturing Freedom, Rescue, Rehabilitation, and the Slave Free Good is based on 40 months of ethnographic research with the anti-trafficking, sex worker, and migrant worker right’s movements in China, Thailand, and the US.
Yin Q is a BDSM educator/writer, media producer, sex worker rights activist, and mother of two fierce girls. As an alumni of Barnard College, Yin’s work has centered on uplifting stories of women, queer, and trans people, as relevant in their web series, Mercy Mistress, and the short video documentary Yang Song: Fly in Power. Yin is currently an artist in residence at PS1MoMa.
Kate Zen is a coder, artist, and organizer. She’s the co-founder and interim director of Red Canary Song, a grassroots collective of Asian and migrant sex workers in Flushing, Queens. Previously, she was part of Butterfly and the Migrant Sex Worker Project in Toronto. She worked on policy communications for the Global Network of Sex Work Projects in the UK, organized with Streetwise and Safe and the Red Umbrella Project, helped the editorial teams of $pread Magazine and Tits and Sass, and served on the Board of SWOP-USA and Maggie’s Toronto. She also organized with street vendors and domestic workers, working within the Chinatown community as a youth to cofound the Chinatown Literacy Project.
Artwork by Niko Flux.
(Monday) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Jerome Greene Hall Rm 701 (Case Lounge)