Visiting Scholars Program

2019-2020 Visiting Scholars

Janice Duncan is a filmmaker and independent scholar.  As a visiting scholar at FRI, Duncan will conduct research for Vibes Hypnotiques, a transmedia (video/archive + dance performance + prose/poetry) project examining Afro-diasporic dance as a form of possession, resistance, and liberation. The research will focus on examining how dance language and technology houses knowledge of ancestral wisdom and resistance across Afro-diasporic traditions of movement. Using experimental forms of new media, creative and personal writing, and technology, Vibes Hypnotiques will provide an intimate non-linear hybrid story experience that excavates dance as possession visually, conceptually, and metaphysically.

Jennifer Mogannam is a scholar of ethnic studies whose work highlights Arab feminist perspectives within decolonial feminist thought, particularly how stateless and refugee communities articulate a feminist nationalism through the absence of a state within the current global nation-state order. As a visiting scholar with FRI, Mogannam will build upon current research toward a book manuscript and work on two articles that contribute to critical refugee studies and women of color feminisms. Mogannam will expand their dissertation research through both archival research at the Freedom Archives and oral history interviews with past generations involved with Palestinian women’s union organizing in the 1970s. They will also perform autoethnography and activist ethnography on contemporary cross-movement work in Palestinian and Arab art and organizing spaces by documenting the ways in which gendered labor manifests within movements proclaiming to work against patriarchy. The first article is a transdisciplinary study of the relationship between nationalism and feminism that examines the affective labor women provide to the Palestinian revolution. The second article is a collaboration with Leslie Quintanilla that examines the Central American caravans to the US-Mexico border in comparison to the Mediterranean Sea crossing, situating a critical conversation around borders globally as these contexts intersect with critical refugee studies.

Kayleigh Perkov is a scholar of visual studies specializing in craft and technology, and recent curatorial fellow with the Center for Craft in Asheville, North Carolina. As a visiting scholar at the Feminist Research Institute, Perkov will develop their dissertation into an art exhibition that takes place at the Center for Craft in the spring of 2020. Perkov’s research focuses on studio craftswomen in the 1960s and 70s who utilized the tools and theories of the Information Age to give physical form to abstract theoretical systems. Perkov argues that the objects they created—hybrids of technology and handmaking—provide a historical precedent for current movements in personal fabrication and the use of digital tools in artistic practice. The primary focus is on three women working at the dawn of the Information Age: Janice Lourie (b.1930), Sonia Landy Sheridan (b.1925), and former UC Davis faculty member Katherine Westphal (1919-2018). These figures will be joined by contemporary makers to point towards feminist futures not yet realized, such as Stacy Jo Scott, who uses ceramic printers and machine learning to generate objects inspired by queer utopic texts. As a whole, the exhibition locates the roots of digital fabrication in modes of production informed by traditionally female labor and imagines a future motivated by radical inclusivity. The FRI fellowship will fund catalog production and contribute assets to help the exhibition travel.

Meredith Tromble is an intermedia artist and writer, professor of Interdisciplinary Studies/Art & Technology at the San Francisco Art Institute, and since 2011, artist-in-residence at the Complexity Sciences Center at UC Davis. Her collaborations with geology professor Dawn Sumner and others have been widely presented at venues ranging from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco and National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. to the Glasgow School of Art. As a visiting scholar at FRI, Tromble will further develop The Vortex, a collaborative performance and dynamic visual image that uses contemporary dance and art to tell true stories of gender, race, and creativity in science, spanning historic injustices and daily microaggressions. Tromble will interview UC Davis scientists who are female, people of color, or gender nonconforming, make drawings from their stories, and incorporate this material into the performance. The goal is to present the work along with a post-performance discussion and a student workshop as a memorial to feminist geophysicist Louise Kellogg, thereby contributing to a feminist future for science. The workshop will engage students in the process of creating nonverbal visual and movement imagery from stories as a form of activism. The work, post-performance conversation, and workshop energize discussion of knowledge, social pressures, and power.