Uncontainable Collections Research Project:
Speculative Futures of Objects

with Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Ayana V. Jackson, Camille Turner, Megan Tamati-Quennell, Subash Thebe Limbu, and Crystal Mowry, hosted by Lillian O’Brien Davis, Clara Halpern, and Zulfikar Hirji

On May 4, 2024, the Art Gallery of York University launches Uncontainable Collections: Speculative Futures of Objects a limited-series podcast featuring three conversations exploring the prospective and yet-unknown condition of the might-be through the lens of museum collections and contemporary art.

In this series, scholars, curators, and artists engage with articulations, expressions, and representations of the (im)possible, (extra)ordinary, and (un)imaginable—i.e., speculative—futures that diverse individuals, groups, communities, and societies are envisaging, dreaming, composing, conjuring, imagining, and bringing into being. Please stay tuned for episodes with Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Ayana V. Jackson, Camille Turner, Megan Tamati-Quennell, Subash Thebe Limbu, and Crystal Mowry.

This series developed from conversations between AGYU curators Lillian O’Brien Davis and Clara Halpern and Anthropology Professor Zulfikar Hirji related to the University’s art collection and a course at York University that considers various perspectives: Indigenous Futurisms, African Futurisms, Afro-American Futurisms, Arab/Gulf/Muslim Futurisms, Asian/Sino/Indo/South-Asian/Adivasi Futurisms, MesoAmerican/LatinX Futurisms.

Uncontainable Collections: Speculative Futures of Objects is the third in a series of programs that are part of the Uncontainable Collections Research Project presented by AGYU. This annual workshop series re-orients York University’s art collection, serving as a pedagogical tool for faculty, students, and arts practitioners while also informing the development of collection guidelines that promote ethical current practices of collections care. In 2023, the thematic was Permanence/Impermanence: The Life of Public Art, featuring Allison Glenn, Vanessa Kwan, Mohammed Laouli, and Raqs Media Collective, and was moderated by Jenifer Papararo. In 2022, the first iteration of the series focused on African cultural and ceremonial objects, featuring Sanchita Balachandran, Dr. Gus Casely-Hayford OBE, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Ciraj Rassool, moderated by Liz Ikiriko.

Zulfikar Hirji, co-host
Zulfikar Hirji is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University. He is interested in how human societies articulate, represent, and perform understandings of self, community, and other and on issues of knowledge production, representation and identity, visual, material and sensory culture, and critical pedagogy. His research focuses on Muslim societies in a range of historical and contemporary contexts, particularly around the Indian Ocean. He has conducted archival research and multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in various parts of the world including East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, South Asia, Europe, and North America.

Available episodes are on our website (below). Alternately, you can follow the series on Soundcloud or subscribe to it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

See also:

Episode 3: Space, Place, and Land podcast

Episode 3: Space, Place, and Land podcast
Uncontainable ...
12 June 2024

Episode 2: Positioning the Present podcast

Episode 2: Positioning the Present podcast
Uncontainable ...
24 May 2024

Episode 1: Vessels & Voyages podcast

Episode 1: Vessels & Voyages podcast
Uncontainable ...
4 May 2024

Uncontainable Collections 2024

Uncontainable Collections 2024
podcast series
Summer 2024

Uncontainable Collections 2023

Uncontainable Collections 2023
research project
4 May 2023

Uncontainable Collections 2022

Uncontainable Collections 2022
research project
20 Apr 2022

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