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“In Search of Lost Futures” book launch on an abstract green and blue background with human figures. 2 Feb 2022 at 11:30am - event details in post.

Sensorium Lunchtime Seminar Series (Winter 2022): In Search of Lost Futures: Anthropological Explorations in Multimodality, Deep Interdisciplinarity, and Autoethnography

Sensorium Lunchtime Seminar Series (Winter 2022): SPECIAL two-hour book launch for In Search of Lost Futures: Anthropological Explorations in Multimodality, Deep Interdisciplinarity, and Autoethnography (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021)

The Lunchtime Seminar Series is a weekly event which aims to foster interconnectivity between faculty, graduate students, visiting scholars and artists within the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design. This casual series will host a variety of scholarly presentations by both York and visiting researchers who want to interface with our community and share their work.

The sessions take place weekly on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lectures will be virtual until it is safe to gather in-person, at which time it will be a hybrid format, with in-person sessions at Sensorium Loft Space (4th Floor CFA, Room M333) and a virtual stream for those who cannot attend in person.

More information available at:

Dr. Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston (Anthropologist & Performance Theorist / Associate Prof. Performance Studies) & Dr. Mark Auslander (Visiting Research Scholar, Department of Anthropology, Brandeis University), plus other contributing authors.
February 2, 2022
11:30a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

In Search of Lost Futures asks how imaginations might be activated through practices of autoethnography, multimodality, and deep interdisciplinarity—each of which has the power to break down methodological silos, cultivate novel research sensibilities, and inspire researchers to question what is known about ethnographic process, representation, reflexivity, audience, and intervention within and beyond the academy. By blurring the boundaries between the past, present, and future; between absence and presence; between the possible and the impossible; and between fantasy and reality, In Search of Lost Futures pushes the boundaries of ethnographic engagement. It reveals how researchers on the cutting edge of the discipline are studying absence and grief and employing street performance, museum exhibit, anticipation, or simulated reality to research and intervene in the possible, the impossible, and the uncertain.

“Coming at a precipitous time when the dual presences of an out-of-control pandemic and ongoing systematic racism make us fear for the what the future could bring, In Search of Lost Future takes the reader to a multi-modal, interdisciplinary and autoethnographic space of creativity in which we can learn to rediscover the past to imagine the future—must reading for 21st century scholars.” -Paul Stoller, Professor of Anthropology, West Chester University, USA

Key Themes:
– Explores anthropological futures and imagined anthropologies through autoethnographic, multimodal, and interdisciplinary methods;
– Uncovers imaginative and future-oriented collaborative approaches of ethnographers, creative artists, curators, and those working with new media and technology; and
– Contributes to the fields of (futures) anthropology, performance studies, studies of exhibition and design, museum studies, and beyond.

Editors (both participating in launch)
Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, York University
Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston is Associate Professor of Theatre with graduate appointments in Theatre and Performance Studies and Social Anthropology at York University, Canada. Her book, Staging Strife (2010), was awarded the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Outstanding Qualitative Book Award and the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Ann Saddlemyer Book Prize (2011). Her article, “quiet theatre: The Radical Politics of Silence,” was awarded the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR) 2019 Richard Plant Prize for the best English-language article on a Canadian theatre or performance topic. She is a co-founding member of the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography (CIE), which received the American Anthropological Association General Anthropology Division’s 2019 New Directions Award in Public Anthropology.

Mark Auslander, Department of Anthropology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA
Mark Auslander, a sociocultural and historical anthropologist, works at the intersection of ritual practice, aesthetics, environmental transformation, kinship, and political consciousness in Africa and the African Diaspora. His curatorial work engages with art, race, environmental crisis, gender, and memory politics. He has directed museums of science and culture at Central Washington University and Michigan State University, and currently serves as director of special projects at the Natural History Museum.

Book Contributors Participating in Launch
Jodie Asselin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Lethbridge, Canada. She has a background in human geography and cultural anthropology, with a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the depart- ment of family medicine. Dr. Asselin’s area of interest is in environmental anthropology with a focus on rural/urban relations, place, policy, land use planning, and historical ecology.

Susan Falls is a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on agency, semiotics, and political economy. Interested in exploring how meaning- making works within the production, circulation, and use of material culture, Falls has worked with communities of dissent forming around diamonds, public art, ikat silk, breast milk, and robots. She is the author of White Gold: Stories of Breast Milk Sharing (2017) and Over- shot: The Political Aesthetic of Woven Textiles (with Jessica Smith [forth- coming]). Currently working on an ethnography of plant life, Falls teaches Anthropology at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Virginie Magnat, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia and works at the intersection of performances studies, cultural anthropology, experimental ethnography, and Indigenous research methodologies. Her new monograph, The Performative Power of Vocality (Routledge, 2020), employs an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach to explore vocality as a vital source of embodied knowledge, creativity, and well-being, grounded in process, practice, and place, as well as a form of social and political agency. Research for this book was funded by two grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Rajat Nayyar is an anthropologist and a filmmaker with an M.A. in Audiovisual Ethnography from Tallinn University. As a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar, he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University. His research focus is on vocality, everyday acts of resistance, collaborative fiction filmmaking, and futures anthropology. Rajat is currently developing Emergent Futures CoLab, a transdisciplinary laboratory that aims to map collaborative futuremaking methodologies. He is also co-editing the Performance Ethnography section of Centre for Imaginative Ethnography and founder of Espírito Kashi, a project that facilitates performative spaces for rural Indian communities to critically re-imagine folklore, envision new socialities, decolonize archives, and film futures. His recent film ‘Kashi Labh’ was screened at RAI film festival and numerous other anthropological film festivals and conferences.

Marek Pawlak, Ph.D. is an anthropologist working as Assistant Professor in the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Jagiellonian University in Cracow. In his research, he focuses on crisis, migration, futures, and emotions. He has been conducting an ethnographic fieldwork on affects and temporalities of crisis in Iceland and social class, national identity and cultural intimacy among Polish migrants in Norway. He is an author of the book Zawstydzona tozsamosc. Emocje, ideologie i władza w ˙zyciu polskich migrantów w Norwegii [Embarrassing Identity. Emotions, Ideologies and Power among Polish Migrants in Norway] (Jagiellonian University Press, 2018).



Feb 02 2022


11:30 am - 1:30 pm
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