NEPH Spring Symposium 2023

Columbia University and Bard Graduate Center

April 20, 2023

Site Visits

- Interference Archives and the Lesbian Herstory Archives

- New-York Historical Society

- Northwest Coast Hall, American Museum of Natural History

- Seneca Village

- Tenement Museum

(expanded descriptions below)

Exhibition Tours and Reception, Bard Graduate Center

Curatorial Practice Roundtable, Bard Graduate Center


April 21, 2023

All events at Columbia University



Institutions Lightning Talks

Coffee Break

Graduate Student Lightning Talks


Panel Discussion: I See My Light Shining, Medical Humanities, and the Zip Code Memory Project

Coffee Break

Breakout Sessions

Cocktail Hour

Dinner Reception at Faculty House

April 22, 2023

Public Humanities Training Workshops, Columbia University

- In Search of a Tunnel: Researching the Underground Railroad in Upstate New York

- Introduction to Indigenous Oral Tradition and Anti-colonial Histories

- Podcasting With Zora's Daughters

- Practicing Connection IRL // rooted sharing, listening, and making

Object Study Workshop, Bard Graduate Center

- Learning from Things

(expanded descriptions below)

Program Details

Site Visits – Friday Apr 20

All Site Visits take place Thursday April 20 at 2:00 – 4:00pm

Interference Archive and the Lesbian Herstory Archives
This site visit will take participants to two pioneering community-based archives in Brooklyn, the Interference Archive and the Lesbian Herstory Archives. Participants will hear from volunteers about how these archives–both intentionally separate from libraries and universities–function, and have time to peruse the collections.

New-York Historical Society
A tour of Crafting Freedom: The Life and Legacy of Free Black Potter Thomas W. Commeraw at the New-York Historical Society with Margi Hofer, Co-curator and Vice-President and Museum Director, followed by a visit to the Center for Women’s History with Anna Danziger Halperin, the Center’s Associate Director.

Northwest Coast Hall, American Museum of Natural History
Tour of the recently re-installed Pacific Northwest Coast Hall featuring new exhibits developed with consulting curators from the Coast Salish, Gitxsan, Haida, Haíltzaqv, Kwakwakaw’akw, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nuxalk, Tlingit, and Tsimshian communities. Tour guide Aaron Glass, Associate Professor at Bard Graduate Center, is an anthropologist who focuses on First Nations visual art and material culture, media, and performance on the Northwest Coast of North America.

Seneca Village, Central Park
A walking tour of the site of Seneca Village, a community founded by African Americans in 1825 and destroyed by the City of New York in 1857 for the construction of Central Park. The tour will include a discussion of the history of the village and the archaeological project as well as new information about villagers’ lives revealed by the material remains. Tour guide Meredith Linn is a historical archaeologist at Bard Graduate Center and co-author of the site report of the 2011 excavations in the village.

Tenement Museum
Participants are invited to tour 100 Years Apart at the Tenement Museum, an innovative retelling of the stories of two immigrant women, Natalie Gumpertz and Mrs. Wong, as they made new lives while working in New York City’s garment industry. The tour will visit the recreated 1880s tenement apartment of the Gumpertz family, whose primary breadwinner disappeared during the Panic of 1873, followed by a visit to an interactive 1980s Chinatown garment shop that connects the memories of Mrs. Wong, her children, and her co-workers. A share-back following the tour with Tenement curators will allow participants to hear how primary sources, scholarly research, and contemporary issues informed the approach to the recreations and exhibits.


Public Humanities Training Workshops – Saturday Apr 22

All Workshops take place Saturday April 22 at 10am – 12pm

See Eventbrite pages for registration and additional details.


In Search of a Tunnel: Researching the Underground Railroad in Upstate New York (Columbia)

How do we research the underground railroad when evidence of its civil disobedience was frequently and deliberately hidden? In this workshop, we’ll examine the collective work of academic researchers and community partners to furnish and exhibit evidence of underground railroad activities in Central and Western New York. Of the two approaches that inform the Cornell-Ithaca Underground Railroad Research Project, an archaeological excavation and critical fabulation, the workshop will concentrate on the writing, discussion, and showcasing of fictional approaches to experiences of traveling on the underground road.

Gerard Aching is W.E.B. DuBois Professor in the Humanities and professor of Africana and Romance Studies at Cornell University. He specializes in 19th- and 20th-century Caribbean literatures and intellectual histories, theories of modernism and modernity in Latin America, and relations of literature, philosophy, and slavery in Plantation America.


Introduction to Indigenous Oral Tradition and Anti-colonial Oral Histories (Columbia)

In this workshop, we will think about how to take an intentionally anti-colonial or indigenizing approach to the planning, execution and presentation of oral history. We will consider how we choose to tell certain stories, the questions that we ask of them, and the additional information that we use to supplement their narratives, ensuring that the stories we amplify empower the people who share them with us. Exercises and discussion during the workshop will explore project, interview, and editorial design.

Sara Sinclair is an oral historian of Cree-Ojibwa and mixed settler descent. Sara teaches in the Oral History Master of Arts Program at Columbia University. She is Project Director of the Aryeh Neier Oral History Project at the Columbia Center for Oral History Research.


Podcasting 101 with Zora’s Daughters (Columbia)

Zora’s Daughters is a society and culture podcast that uses Black feminist anthropology to close read popular culture and model critical participant observation of the world we live in. In this workshop, Alyssa James and Brendane Tynes, the duo behind the award-winning podcast, will guide participants through the process of creating a public-facing podcast that speaks to and emerges from research. Workshop participants will engage in a series of questions and activities designed to help them think obliquely about their scholarly interests and develop their ideas into a compelling and widely accessible creative project. The workshop will cover essential topics such as: finding your ‘why’; identifying your audience; developing a topic; and creating a public presence.

Alyssa A. James is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University, a 2020 SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, and co-host of the Black feminist anthropology podcast Zora’s Daughters. Her research examines the discourses that transform commodities into heritage as it unfolds through a nascent coffee revival project in Martinique.

Brendane Tynes is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. She is a 2018 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow whose research centers the affective experiences of Black people in the Movement for Black Lives. Her research stands at the intersections of affect theory, Anthropology, and Black Studies with a particular emphasis on Black feminist anthropological theory and praxis.


Practicing Connection IRL // rooted sharing, listening and making (Columbia)

This workshop provides an introduction to some of the methods used in social practice art, an approach to artistic engagement that emphasizes the potential of art to support positive social change. In this workshop, we will engage in practicing ‘connection’ to create an experience of community and care through listening, sharing and making. We will perform a listening score, ‘this is a piece,’ that invites us to consider what we need as creative agents. We will then guide participants in making an artist book or zine, which are tools that social practice artists often use as jumping off points for dialogue, tools for celebration, and objects for collective reflection. Sharing, listening and making are methods that we use in our own practice and we hope that by working through these methods together, these tools may support the work that matters most to you.

Cristina Ferrigno is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Queens, NY. Cristina’s work explores identity and belonging, through lived experiences, photographs, zines, and an array of socially-engaged local and international projects. She currently serves as a teaching artist with the Queens Museum, The Mosaic Project, and Sunnyside Arts.

Floor Grootenhuis is a New York based Dutch-Kenyan artist currently in residence at the Raper Lab in the Hunter College Biology department and a fellow with Social Practice CUNY. Her contemporary and performative practice is focused on invitation, connection and identity and has been exhibited at Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Museum, Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Five Myles Gallery, and the Centre de Cultura Contemporània in Barcelona.


Learning from Things: Object Study Workshop (Bard Graduate Center)

This workshop focuses on hands-on engagement with objects from the Bard Graduate Center Study Collection. Participants will explore a variety of methods to analyze, learn from, and teach about material culture.

Catherine Whalen is Associate Professor at Bard Graduate Center, where she specializes in American material culture studies. Her research interests include object-based cultural nationalism, history and theory of collecting, gender and sexuality studies, US craft and design history, oral history, digital humanities, and material culture studies methodology and historiography.

Meredith Linn is Assistant Professor at Bard Graduate Center. Her field is historical US historical archaeology, where she draws upon theories and methods from anthropology, history, and the natural sciences to investigate the development of the modern world through its physical traces. She is especially interested in how and what material objects can tell us about the lived experiences of people neglected or misrepresented in written record.