Post-Colonial Symposium presents local and international migrant experience through art and lecture

Boone - Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, a founder and major voice of postcolonial thought known for her seminal text, "Can the Subaltern Speak?," recently lectured at Appalachian. Between her visit and the upcoming Humanities Council Symposium on postcolonialism, October 9, it seems that talk of the subaltern is in the air.

Case MilagrosPerhaps it is no coincidence that the Multicultural Center on Appalachian State's campus will house the exhibit "Milagros for Migrants", from Monday, October 5th through Tuesday, October 13th.

This multi-media exhibit addresses the political lives of migrant workers and puts a magnifying lens to our relationship between consumption and labor.

Artists/Activists Deborah Barndt, guest speaker of the symposium, and Min Sook Lee create an intentional encounter between migrant workers and audience using video, photographs, soundscapes and in-situ altars.

Deborah Barndt has collaborated on numerous projects involving Mexican migrant laborers in the tomato agribusiness. She is currently on the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University.

In regards to her art, Barndt believes that "many consumers remain unaware that much of our so-called 'local food' is actually produced and picked by 'global labor." Her work "reveals a process that is at the same time personal and historical, ecological and political, cultural and spiritual."

Friday's symposium will conclude with a roundtable discussion with a focus on the humanities in the context of local communities, including Watauga County.

Moderated by Clark Maddux, of Watauga Residential College, the closing roundtable will feature representatives from Appalachian and the Community Together (ACT), the Ashe County Migrant Education ProgramJunaluska Heritage Association, and the Madras Christian Council of Social Services in Chennai, India.

This year's symposium is entitled "Postcolonial Humanities: Crossing Borders, Making Connections," and will be held on October 9, 2015 from 9:00am-5:00pm in the Blue Ridge Ballroom at Appalachian State University. Registration for the symposium is free. To register visit

This event is free and open to the public, and is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding is provided by the College of Arts & Sciences, and the QEP at Appalachian State University.

Published: Oct 6, 2015 10:51am