SEPTEMBER 12 | 12PM | MORTON 204-A
Dragging da Gama: José Veloso Salgado, Pushpamala N., and Historical (Re)Dress
Presented by R. Benedito Ferrão
Assistant Professor of English and Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies
This paper takes as its subject a photograph by Bangalore-based artist, Pushpamala N., titled The Arrival of Vasco da Gama (2014). The photograph, inspired by José Veloso Salgado’s 1898 painting Vasco da Gama perante o Samorim, recreates the nineteenth century orientalist canvas by replacing all of its European figures with South Asian ones. The painting depicts the Portuguese navigator’s first meeting with the Zamorin of Calicut, in 1498. At first glance, Pushpamala’s version appears nearly identical to Salgado’s portrayal of the historic moment. However, in addition to the racial remake, Pushpamala N., a woman, takes on the role of da Gama, himself. Bearded and clothed as a man, Pushpamala N. performs a gendered and racial crossing, but as my presentation will ask, is this act as transgressive as the artist means it to be?
Benedito Ferrão is an Assistant Professor of English and Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies at The College of William and Mary. His scholarly and teaching interests are in Afro-Asiatic connections between Portuguese and British post/coloniality. In 2017-18, Ferrão organized the art exhibition Goa/Portugal/Mozambique: The Many Lives of Vamona Navelcar (Fundação Oriente Gallery, Goa) and edited a book of the same title to accompany the retrospective.
OCTOBER 3 | 12PM | MORTON 204-A
Theatre as an Action Tool for Social Change
Presented by Roxie J. Patton
Associate Director, Center for Student Diversity with Members of William & Mary's Inside Out Theatre
In this session we will explore the ways that artists can amplify marginalized voices and experiences to shift cultural consciousness. The W&M Inside Out Theatre Troupe will share their experiences writing and performing original works from a justice oriented lens.
Roxie J. Patton is the Associate Director of the Center for Student Diversity. She received her B.A. in Theatre and Dance from Wittenberg University and her M.A. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Wright State University. She has been active in social justice movements around race, sexuality, gender, disability, fat, and religion for over a decade. As a queer disabled storyteller, she works with students to empower them to find their voice and live authentically
Inside Out Theatre was the brainchild of Margie Cook and Artisia Green which began with the mission of empowering students of diverse backgrounds to share their experiences during New Student Orientation. Over the last year, the program has expanded to include a troupe of writers and performers working year round to write new pieces and curate two annual shows. In the future the group hopes to create an annual play festival.
NOVEMBER 14 | 12PM | MORTON 204-A
Roundtable on New Book: "Comic Performance in Pakistan: The Bhānd" by Claire Pamment
Co-presented by Laurie J. Wolf
Professor of Theatre and Chair of the Department of Thetre, Speech, and Dance
Co-presented by Andrea Wright
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and AMES
Co-presented by Claire Pamment
Assistant Professor of Theatre
A panel discussion on Pamment’s recent book, which explores comic performance in Pakistan through the vibrant Indo-Muslim tradition of the Punjabi bhānd which now holds a marginal space in contemporary weddings. With irreverent repartee, genealogical prowess, a topsy-turvy play with hierarchies and shape shifting, the low-status bhānd jostles space in otherwise rigid class and caste hierarchies. Tracing these negotiations in both historical and contemporary sites, the author unfolds a dynamic performance mode that travels from the Sanskrit jester and Sufi wise fool, into Muslim royal courts and households, weddings, contemporary carnivalesque and erotic popular Punjabi theatre and satellite television news.
Laurie J Wolf is Professor of Theatre and Chair of Theatre, Speech and Dance at William & Mary, where she teaches theatre history, Renaissance studies, playwriting and gender studies. She holds a Ph.D. from UCLA, and previously taught at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where she convened the MA degree in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. She is the author of several books on theatre, including Performance Analysis: an Introductory Coursebook, co-edited with Colin Counsell and published by Routledge, and Introduction to Theatre: A Direct Approach; she is currently working on Shakespeare in Context, to be published by Waveland Press in 2019.
Andrea Wright is an assistant professor in Anthropology and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the William & Mary. She is currently working on two book projects. One, “Networked Pipelines: Migration and Oil in the Arabian Sea”, looks at the process of contemporary Indian labor migration to the Gulf and how this process shapes individuals, politics, and contemporary economic policies. Her second book project, “From Slaves to Contract Workers: Oil, Security, and Labor Rights in the 20th Century Arabian Sea” looks at strikes at oil projects in the gulf from the 1930s to the 1960s and how these strikes influenced the development of states, rights, and international security.
Claire Pamment is an assistant professor of Theatre, Speech and Dance at William & Mary. Her research focuses on South Asian popular theatre and performance, with interests in marginality, gender and Muslim cultures. Her articles have been published in TDR, Comedy Studies and Asian Theatre Journal, and numerous books. She is the author of ‘Comic Performance in Pakistan: The Bhānd’ (2017), and is presently pursuing a new book project exploring hijra and transgender performance in Pakistan.