[Sugarman] Report from the Culture/Theory dinner meeting

Jennifer Wenzel jawenzel at umich.edu
Fri May 16 09:33:02 SAST 2014

At the "Culture" dinner, we shared possible ideas and interests but did not
leave the meeting with an idea for one coherent project to launch. I asked
participants to continue to think about whether they saw common threads or
a central question (or, perhaps rather, two or more entirely separate
questions) that our work might constellate around.

During yesterday's road trip I debriefed Marissa about the meeting, and in
that conversation I began to see one possible cluster of papers.

This would have to do with ideas of space- and place-making through
cultural production, particularly in terms of how cultural objects and
producers imagine and situate themselves within broader geographic and
geopolitical imaginaries (anti-apartheid, Cold War, decolonization/national
liberation, or, somewhat differently, a Pentecostal ecumene), as well as
re-imaginings of such work and such geographies in the present (ie. the
shift from "frontline," "Third World," or "Africanist"  to "Global South").
There also seems to be a common thread involving sponsorship and patronage
(by state or private entities) in the marketing and circulation of such

So, I would love to hear from Culture dinner folks, as well as those who
weren't able to attend, about your interest in this topic, or other
possible topic clusters that seem promising. And I'm looking forward to
Sarah and Isabel's talk today as further inspiration.

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