Hemi connects artists, scholars, and activists from across the Americas and creates new avenues for collaboration and action. Focusing on social justice, we research politically engaged performance and amplify it through gatherings, courses, publications, and archives. Our dynamic, multilingual network traverses disciplines and borders and is grounded in the fundamental belief that artistic practice and critical reflection can spark lasting cultural change.
Hemispheric Institute Projects and Initiatives
HemiPress is our digital publications imprint, created to house and centralize our diverse publication initiatives. Using a variety of customized open-source platforms, HemiPress includes a digital book series, stand-alone essays, and our journal emisférica, alongside other online teaching resources. HemiPress also provides access to Tome, an online authoring tool that facilitates long-form publishing in an immersive, media-rich environment.
Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library (HIDVL)
HIDVL is the first major digital video archive of performance practices in the Americas. Created in partnership with NYU Libraries and with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, HIDVL guarantees historical preservation of and free, online access to more than 700 hours of streaming video and extensive supporting materials in three languages. Recently acquired collections include Augusto Boal, Franklin Furnace, and UNIVERSES, among others.
Hemi New York
Housed at NYU, Hemi New York is a hub for artistic and scholarly exchange, featuring year-round public programming including conferences, performances, and exhibitions. Core initiatives include EMERGENYC, a training program for emerging artivists; the Critical Tactics Lab, a forum for researching collective action; and Hemispheric Dialogues, conversations around contemporary debates led by prominent scholars in the field.
Work groups facilitate long-term and collaborative research between scholars, artists, and activists. Our model for work groups emerged as an alternative to traditional academic panels, providing a space for sustained exploration of key issues in the study of performance and politics.
Part academic conference, part performance festival, Encuentros are biennial events that bring together hundreds of scholars, artists, activists, and students at different sites in the Americas. Encuentros foster experimentation, dialogue, and collaboration through a program of lectures, performances, roundtables, work groups, exhibitions, and workshops. Recent Encuentros include eXcéntrico: Dissidence, Sovereignties, Performance (Santiago 2016) and MANIFEST! Choreographing Social Movements in the Americas (Montreal 2014).
Through our interdisciplinary courses, offered in different locations in the Americas, we work to expand conventional understandings of what knowledge is and how it gets transmitted. Collaborative pedagogies, interdisciplinary methodologies, an emphasis on situated knowledge, field work, and physical practice comprise some of the strategies through which we are reimagining pedagogy and knowledge production.
Housed in the Tamiment Library at NYU, our archive includes fragile materials such as slides, photographs, books, posters, and other performance ephemera that have been provided by affiliated artists and scholars in order to assure their preservation for future generations. In addition to the collections at Tamiment, Hemi maintains an onsite library of books, journals, videos, and other primary source materials donated by artists and scholars in our network. Visitors may access this unique collection by visiting our reading room.
Graduate Student Initiative (Hemi GSI)
Hemi GSI seeks to strengthen the Institute’s network of graduate students working at the intersection of performance and politics. Hosted by member universities and organized entirely by students, Hemi GSI conferences (Convergences) create opportunities for a new generation of scholars to share their research, collaborate with artist-activists, and develop alternative pedagogies.
The Helix Queer Performance Network
A collaboration between La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and the Hemispheric Institute, the Helix Queer Performance Network seeks to nurture emerging queer performers, unite diverse queer communities, and celebrate the legacy and lineage of queer performance in New York City. Helix grew out of the Hemispheric New York Performance Network, an initiative created with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation that built long-term institutional partnerships with key New York City arts spaces. Through educational initiatives, innovative stage productions and challenging public conversations that prioritize diversity across age, race, class and gender, Helix aims to foster an inter-generational, multi-racial, multi-gender performance community where artists can document a broad spectrum of queer experience in the context of a rich artistic history.
Hemi is animated by its member institutions. Each organization contributes its local knowledge to create a network far more powerful than any single entity. In addition to participating in the vision and practice of Hemi, member institutions gain enhanced access to our digital authoring tools, online archives, and other pedagogical resources. Faculty and students also have opportunities to propose work groups, participate in graduate-level courses, and engage with an active, Americas-wide network to address pressing social issues.