Courses Overview

Our interdisciplinary courses, offered in different locations in the Americas, combine the face-to-face quality of traditional classrooms with immersive site visits and online collaboration. Whether through semester-length seminars or thematically-based summer intensives, Hemi courses work to expand conventional understandings of about the production and transmission of knowledge. Collaborative pedagogies, interdisciplinary research methodologies, an emphasis on situated and site-specific knowledge, field work, and physical practice comprise some of the strategies through which we are redefining pedagogy and knowledge production. While course materials are accessible only to registered students, course information is available below.

Emerging predominantly from Latin America, ‘decolonial’ studies call attention to the fact that coloniality is not only not over, not post, but that it permeates almost all aspects of our lives: subjectivity, race, gender, language, as well as our epistemologies and pedagogies. This course will examine some of the basic elements of coloniality and the theories and practices that scholars and artists have developed to contest ongoing practices of “epistemicide.” Readings start with Columbus’ First letter (1493) and the Requerimiento (1513) and fast forward to works by Quijano, Sousa Santos, Dussel, Mignolo, Rivera Cusicanqui, Juan López Inztin, Wynter, and others. While the course focuses on decolonial struggles coming out of the Americas, students will be invited to question the geographies of thought that place Caribbean theorists (Fanon, Césaire, Hall, etc) in debates about colonialism that all but exclude the Americas.

Emerging predominantly from Latin America, ‘decolonial’ studies call attention to the fact that coloniality is not only not over, not post, but that it permeates almost all aspects of our lives: subjectivity, race, gender, language, as well as our epistemologies and pedagogies. This course will examine some of the basic elements of coloniality and the theories and practices that scholars and artists have developed to contest ongoing practices of “epistemicide.” Readings start with Columbus’ First letter (1493) and the Requerimiento (1513) and fast forward to works by Quijano, Sousa Santos, Dussel, Mignolo, Rivera Cusicanqui, Juan López Inztin, Wynter, and others. While the course focuses on decolonial struggles coming out of the Americas, students will be invited to question the geographies of thought that place Caribbean theorists (Fanon, Césaire, Hall, etc) in debates about colonialism that all but exclude the Americas.

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This course explores the many ways in which artists and activists use performance to make a social intervention in the Americas. We begin the course examining several theories about performance and activism (Brecht, Boal, Ngugi wa Thiong’o among others) and then focus on issues of agency, space, medium, event, framing, and audience in relation to major protests and political movements as seen in the work of major practitioners: the YES MEN, CADA, Reverend Billy, Anonymous, Zapatismo, and others. Video screenings and guest lectures will provide an additional dimension for the course. Students are encouraged to develop their own sites of investigation and present their work as a final presentation and paper.

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The crisis around migration in the Americas has reached epic proportions. This course, "Art, Migration, & Human Rights," will explore the violence resulting from dictatorships, neoliberalism, and trafficking of drugs and humans, which has led to an increase both in migration and in the violence that migration itself produces. Taking place in Chiapas, Mexico, the course will introduce participants to the various groups that intervene in the crisis: the Zapatistas, journalists, photographers, filmmakers, human rights activists, scholars, artists, and others who try to bring international attention to the situation and help mitigate the violence. In addition to interacting with local artists and activists, the course will examine current scholarship that explores the history, politics, and potential outcomes of the current situation. Jesusa Rodríguez will lead an intensive performance-activist workshop as part of the course, which will culminate in a collective project that brings together scholarship, art, and activism on these urgent topics.