Following the talk, Communicating Difficult Topics: Art, Aesthetics and Anthropology in Light in Dark Times, SAR invites current members to take a deeper dive into the topics discussed during an informal Zoom conversation with Alisse Waterston and Charlotte Corden. How was it to work on this exceptional experiment in art, aesthetics and anthropology? What can they share about the larger implications of the graphic form for the future of anthropology and of the book as an intervention in a deeply troubled world? This program provides a unique opportunity for our members to engage with the speakers about their research and ideas.
Free and open to SAR members only. Limited to 50 screens. RSVP to Amy Schiffer, email@example.com
Alisse Waterston and Charlotte Corden, an anthropologist-writer and an artist-anthropologist, reflect on their extraordinary collaboration in the making of the graphic novel, Light in Dark Times: The Human Search for Meaning, rooted in nonfiction and comprised of fictionalized encounters with writers, philosophers, activists and anthropologists. A highly creative and intellectual endeavor, the work is an effort to grapple with real-world concerns, to deploy an innovative format to produce, disseminate and receive knowledge, and to create an aesthetically beautiful book with a powerful story. Designed to reach multiple audiences, this book of public anthropology conveys the drama of the world in dark times and difficult circumstances even as it reveals spaces of excitement and hope. In the presentation, Waterston and Corden describe the process of their artistic creation as an exceptional experiment in art, aesthetics and anthropology, revealing how working together on this project surfaced key understandings of social life. They also consider the larger implications of the graphic form for the future of anthropology and of the book as an intervention in a deeply troubled world.
About the speakers:
Alisse Waterston is Presidential Scholar and Professor, City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and author or editor of seven books. A Fellow of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies (SCAS) in the Programmes in Transnational Processes, Structural Violence, and Inequality (2020-2022), she served as President of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in 2015-17. In addition, Waterston serves as Editor of the book series, Intimate Ethnography (Berghahn Books) and Advisor for Otherwise Magazine. Her most recent articles are “Imagining World Solidarities for a Livable Future,’ kritisk etnografi – Swedish Journal of Anthropology (2020) and the short story, “Interiors” (Anthropology Now 2020).
Charlotte Corden is an illustrator and fine artist whose work centres around what it is to be human. She is fascinated with how the power of hand-drawn images can reveal and describe complex truths. As anthropologist and illustrator she has worked with Stripe Partners, the British Cabinet Office, and the National Health Service, UK. As a fine artist, she has studied drawing and painting at The London Fine Art Studios and the Arts Student’s League, NY.