© photo by Jeff Day

Cross/Currents H-Lab (2021-22)

The Cross/Currents H-Lab takes the word currents as its inspiration, as both a metaphor and a tool, enveloping not only its main definition in relation to water or its movement, but also its broader reverberations. By connecting the words cross and currents, our main goal is to bring into dialogue environmental humanities and migration studies (with an emphasis on race, diaspora, and indigeneity). In our work together we hope to rehearse ways of bringing literary and artistic analysis to bear on issues of the environment and migration, and vice-versa. We have outlined three main trajectories around the notion of Cross/Currents: mobility, transmission, and flow. Firstly, mobility considers how water has been a conduit for migration– the movement of people and non-human elements–with its historic and contemporary iterations defined by violence and trauma. Secondly, transmission engages recent scholarship in media studies, the history of science, and the history of technology. It pushes us to think about the material aspects of technologies, and to consider newer models of communication like undersea cable systems or transoceanic internet traffic. Finally, we use the flow of water and air as points of reference from which to build new critical vocabularies and frameworks for knowledge production beyond traditional conceptualizations of human agency. Our ultimate purpose is to decenter an anthropocentric and imperialistic understanding of global interconnection and exchange.

Lab Team

Faculty:
Luis Francia, Adjunct Professor, Social and Cultural Analysis
Jordana Mendelson, Associate Professor, Spanish & Portuguese; Director, King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
Laura Torres-Rodríguez, Associate Professor, Spanish & Portuguese
Dean Itsuji Saranillo, Associate Professor, Social and Cultural Analysis

Graduate Students:
Erica Feild, PhD candidate, Spanish & Portuguese, GSAS
Michael Salgarolo, PhD candidate, History, GSAS
Emilie Tumale, PhD candidate, Sociology of Education, Steinhardt
Mariko Chin Whitenack, PhD candidate, American Studies, Social and Cultural Analysis, GSAS
Lee Xie, PhD candidate, Spanish & Portuguese, GSAS