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The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute (ISI) is delighted to announce its inaugural residency with inspirational anthropologists Jean and John Comaroff. For the past thirty years, the Comaroffs’ work has influenced a generation of scholars interested in questions of identity and resistance in both colonial and postcolonial cultures in Africa and elsewhere. Writing both separately and together, their recent work has ventured into the intersections of law and ethnicity as well as relations between the global north and south. For many years distinguished professors at the University of Chicago, Jean and John Comaroff are now Professors of African and African American Studies and Oppenheimer Fellows in African Studies at Harvard University. Their most recent books include Law and Disorder in the Postcolony (2006), Ethnicity, Inc. (2009), and Theory from the South, or How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa (2011).

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ISI is grateful for funding from the Provost, University of Massachusetts, and the Deans of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Previous Residencies

2012: Jean and John Comaroff

2011: Gary Smulyan, Ray Drummond, & Kenny Washington

2010: Caryl Phillips

‘Beyond Borders’, the ISI Residency at the University of Massachusetts, was established through a Visioning Grant from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. In hosting artists, writers, and intellectuals both from the USA and elsewhere, our purpose is to think through and across borders of various kinds: between peoples, cultures, nations, religions—but also across borders of discipline, or the creative and the scholarly, or the academy and the world. Much of the world as we know it is shaped by social policy, yet policy often reinforces fragmentation. Our suggestion is that it may be time to change the frame of how we envision the world, and that artists and thinkers have a role in doing so. Today artists and intellectuals are not less necessary but more so, and we need to hear from them and encourage them. We are looking for powerful artistic and intellectual statements, to reshape our vision, our ways of seeing, hearing, thinking, and understanding.

Beyond Borders

The ISI Residency at the University of Massachusetts

Theory from the South

Jean and John Comaroff

October 23rd-25th, 2012