MAKE A BIG ASK DIFFERENCE!
Since 2004, the Cultural Center has organized an annual ASK for Social Justice program for the campus community. The purpose is to host a program that explores essential Attitudes, Skills, and Knowledge for promoting social justice.
ASK 2013: Saturday, March 30, 2013
"Why Can't I: Exploring Cultural Appropriation"
This year's ASK conference focused on cultural appropriation on Hampshire's campus in the context of our larger society. This theme was born out of the frustrations many students of color have when it comes to seeing aspects of their cultural, racial, or religious identities reduced to a costume, a fashion statement, or stripped of their original meaning and symbolic significance. When not consistently addressed, cultural appropriation can feed into the many microaggressions students of color experience while navigating Hampshire as a predominantly white academic and social space. In order to begin a much-needed conversation, the ASK conference committee and cultural center staff wanted to provide a safe space where students, faculty, and interested people can come together and begin to work out grassroots solutions and strategies in a safe environment. The goal of the ASK conference was not to provide finite answers, but to allow the identities often marginalized by cultural appropriation a platform to discuss and engage with many intersecting issues related to both cultural appropriation and their identities.
Guiding ideas: Why can't I wear a Native American headdress if I'm not Native American? Why can't I wear a bindi if I'm not Desi/Indian? Why is blackface offensive to African diasporic people? Why can't I say the N-word if I'm not black? Why are these things (and much more) considered cultural appropriation? How is cultural appropriation a form of racism? What is the link between cultural appropriation, cultural genocide, and cultural theft? How can I work to dismantle cultural appropriation as a non-person of color? How can I work to dismantle cultural appropriation between people of color as a person of color? How can I learn the difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation?
|9:15-9:45 a.m.||Check-in and breakfast|
|9:45-10:30 a.m.||Welcome and guest speaker Susana Loza|
|10:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m.||Session 1|
|12:10-1:20 p.m.||Lunch (catered)|
|1:20-2:50 p.m.||Session 2|
|3:00-4:30 p.m.||Session 3|
|4:40-5:40 p.m.||"Appropriation through the Ages at Hampshire College" with alums Sara Littlecrow-Russell (F96), Sasha Alexander (F04), and Emerson Brisbon (F04)|
|5:40-6:15 p.m.||Closing; evaluations and raffle drawing|
|10 p.m.-1 a.m.||Five College dance party in SAGA|
“Diggin’ That Tribal Look:” Clothing and Cultural Appropriation
Watch Me Dance the Jig
Celebration and Cultural Appropriation
Wearing Headdress Before They Were 'Cool'
Excavating the Words: What is “Ghetto”?
Who Owns the Sacred: Religion and Cultural Appropriation
Dreadlocks: An Identity, Not a Trend
Unpacking Appropriation Through Media
Reacting to and Coping with Effects of Cultural Appropriation
Why Can’t I Harlem Shake? Erasing POC’s Cultural Legacy
Demystifying Asia: Romanticized Asian Culture and Practice
Interruption Cultural Appopriation Gallery and Dialogue
Guest Speaker: "Cultural Appropriation, Racist Theme Parties, and the Politics of Backlash in a Post-Racial Era."
Susana Loza is an assistant professor of media culture at Hampshire College. Her research and teaching interests encompass science fiction and horror; digital media and cybercolonialism; the politics of online fandom; and power, privilege and cultural appropriation. Her recent publications include "Vampires, Queers, and Other Monsters: Against the Homonormativity of True Blood," in Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire (New Academia Press, 2011) and "Sampling (Hetero)sexuality: Diva-ness and Discipline in Electronic Dance Music" in Electronica, Dance, and Club Music (Ashgate, 2012), and "Playing Alien in Post-Racial Times," in Monster Culture in the 21st Century (Bloomsbury Academic, Forthcoming 2013). She has been published in Popular Music and the Journal of Popular Music Studies. Professor Loza is currently working on a project entitled Post-Racial Performativities: Race, Sex, and Popular Culture in 21st Century America.
Alumni Panel: "Cultural Appropriation through the Ages at Hampshire College"
Sara Littlecrow-Russell (F96)
Sara Littlecrow-Russell ’96 is a lawyer, political poet, higher education administrator, ethnobotanist, mom, and indie perfumer. She was a Public Interest Law Scholar at Northeastern School of Law and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. Her book of poetry "The Secret Powers of Naming" was named Outstanding Book by the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights and received a bronze medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. As the owner of Alkemia Perfumes, she blends an array of eccentrically themed phthalate- and paraben-free perfume oils. She is also the associate to the vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her most memorable Hampshire College experience was taking a stand against cultural appropriation by hiking into the woods and burning down the campus sweatlodge.
Emerson Brisbon (F04)
Emerson Brisbon (F' 04) is a graduate of Hampshire College where they studied race and gender/sexuality through the mediums of film, video, and dance. While at Hampshire, they worked at the Cultural Center as the SOURCE group coordinator and participated in various mischief making on campus with their fellow comrades, ranging from antagonistic flier hanging and banner dropping to the planning for Cut out Appropriation Day and the following year's Action Awareness Week. Since graduation they have been living in Brooklyn and working with FIERCE, a grassroots community organization for LGBTQ youth of color as their leadership development director. Emerson are a fierce believer in a for us by us model of social change. Having worked in the non-profit world for several years, they are excited to begin a journey of exploring healing work and its potential to empower our communities to take control of their health and wellbeing. They are also extremely honored and excited to attend this year's ASK conference and hope to hear from current students about the conditions of oppression and discrimination on campus.
Sasha Alexander (F04)
Sasha Alexander Goldberg is an adopted, queer, transgendered, mixed race Black/South Asian media maker, educator, and cultural organizer. Sasha currently lives in Brooklyn and teaches across New York City for the Tribeca Film Institute, the Maysles Institute for Documentary Production, and Global Action Project, using media for youth empowerment and social justice education. Sasha was involved in social justice organizing and intersectional community building at Hampshire 2004-2008, and beyond. Sasha graduated from Hampshire in spring 2008 after installing “Our Bodies are Stories,” a mixed media installation gallery.
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