The 26th Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference (AGIC) is pleased to present the Con-tact lecture series. Embracing the radical possibilities of the virtual world, programming will be held over a series of four seminars, scheduled on January 26th, February 23rd, March 23rd, and April 20th, from 6pm-8pm EST.
As notions of encounter and movement – both personal and political – have rapidly altered in form, and as questions of touch and proximity have been thrown into sharp, frictive, and often violent relief, we are urgently called to consider: What does it mean to be in relation to an-other across axes of feeling and being, time and space; in absence of physical contact, or, alternatively, in suffocating and immobilizing excess of it? Traversing and unraveling these boundaries, we hope to facilitate, or, borrowing from Erin Manning, “reach-toward” new modes of ethical inter-action by placing diverse fields and concepts into unanticipated creative dialogue.
Featuring a combination of graduate panelists, creative projects, and keynote addresses, it is our hope that this virtual, elongated format encourages sustained engagement and critical rumination as new connections, ideas, and circumstances unfold between and across each meeting.
‘Con-tact’ — whether hyphenated or not — is a fundamentally relational concept, which is to say that within the multitude of networks that engender our world, no mode of contact can be separated from the other. Working within such a thematic framework therefore demands a certain ethic of accountability to the territories on which we, the AGIC Committee, have been organizing. Concordia University (where AGIC is primarily situated) is located on the unceded lands and waters of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, who are and have long been recognized as its custodians. Tiohtià:ke/Montréal has — and continues to be — a gathering place for many First Nations, and is now home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples.
In addition, we recognize the Algonquin/Omàmiwinini, Abenaki, and Okanagan Nations whose neighbouring unceded lands and waters we have also occupied as we connect with one another through the digital universe. Though we will not be gathering in person, we invite all who will join us for this virtual event to consider their own social positions and geographic locations in relation/s to Indigenous sovereignty.
(Adapted from Concordia’s official territorial acknowledgment as passed by the Indigenous Directions Leadership in Feb 2017)