Before Utopia: The Political and Historical Context of West of Center

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

UO professors Joe Lowndes (Political Science), Kate Mondloch (Art History), and Marsha Weisiger (History) discuss the social and political context of the West of Center era.  Moderated by JSMA executive director Jill Hartz.

Joe Lowndes, "The Counter-Culture and the Left: The Political Culture of the Communards"

Joe Lowndes is an associate professor of political science at the University of Oregon.  His areas of research include social movements, populism, racial politics, and American political culture. He is the author of From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism. Most recently, he has written articles on the Tea Party and Occupy movements. He has spent time at Black Bear Ranch commune in Northern California, and been part of a number of counter-institutions, including the Powderhorn grocery cooperative in Minneapolis, and was a co-founder of Blackout Books in New York City's Lower East Side.

Kate Mondloch, "Feminism, Art, and the Counterculture”

Kate Mondloch is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory in the Department of Art and Architectural History in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon. She serves on the Executive Committees of the University’s Cinema Studies program and the new graduate certificate program in New Media and Culture (and will assume the role of Director in Fall 2013). Her research fields are wide-ranging and include postwar sculpture, digital culture, science and technology studies, contemporary craft, and feminism. Her first book is Screens: Viewing Media Installation Art (University of Minnesota Press, 2010). She is currently working on her second book, tentatively entitled Eye Desire: New Media Art After Feminism, 1990-present.

Marsha Weisiger, “Reclaiming Ground: Earth Art as Cultural Critique”

Marsha Weisiger is the Julie and Rocky Dixon Chair of U.S. Western History and an associate professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Oregon. She is the author of Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country, a history of livestock grazing, cultural identity, gender, and environmental justice on the Navajo Reservation, and Land of Plenty: Oklahomans in the Cotton Fields of Arizona, 1933-1942, a social and labor history of agricultural workers. She is currently working on several book projects, including The River Runs Wild, which examines the intellectual, ecological, experiential, and gendered meanings of wild-ness, and a collection of essays on environmentalism and the counterculture, tentatively titled Simplify, Simplify!, which will ponder such topics as the paradox of the magazine Simple Living; the Eugene-based tree-planting collective, the Hoedads; earth architecture; and reclamation art.