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Ruth Wilson Gilmore, "Seeing: The Problem"

Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 7 - 8:30pm

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© Carlos Porfirio courtesy Maumaus _ Lumiar Cité

© Carlos Porfirio courtesy Maumaus _ Lumiar Cité

Ruth Wilson Gilmore delivers a free, public lecture as part of the Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series. The talk explores technologies of seeing — images, surveillance, film, categories, terror, and representation — to think about the current frenzy of people circulating visuals as though the materials “speak for themselves." Topics include the Berlin Conference, Kodak’s innovations, imperial uses of anti-slavery, science, lynching, prison, postcards, and the scopic imperatives of colonialism, apartheid, and class war. Gilmore will end by tracing out contradictions that might provisionally ground decolonial practice to enliven consciousness through re-seeing experience.

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is professor of earth & environmental studies, and American studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she is also Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. She writes about abolition, racial capitalism, organized violence, organized abandonment, changing state structure, criminalization, and labor and social movements. A second edition of her groundbreaking Golden Gulag will appear soon. Recent publications include “Beyond Bratton” (with Craig Gilmore, in Policing the Planet, Camp and Heatherton, eds.), and “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence” (in Futures of Black Radicalism, Lubin and Johnson, eds.). She is a co-founder of many grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project; Critical Resistance; and the Central California Environmental Justice Network. Honors include the American Studies Association Angela Y. Davis Award for Public Scholarship (2012); the Association of American Geographers' Harold Rose Award for Anti-Racist Research and Practice (2014); the SUNY-Purchase College Eugene V. Grant Distinguished Scholar Prize for Social and Environmental Justice (2015-16); and the American Studies Association Richard A Yarborough Mentorship Award (2017).

The Spring 2019 IDS Lecture Series at The Cooper Union is organized by Leslie Hewitt and Omar Berrada. The IDS Public Lecture Series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding and support from the Robert Lehman Foundation for the series. The IDS Public Lecture Series is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. 

Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.