Art, Tech & Culture

Abolition Feminisms

Art, Tech & Culture
16 Apr, 2018

Abolition Feminisms

A 2017-2018 California Regents Lecture.
Angela Davis will be interviewed by Leigh Raiford, Assoc. Professor of African American Studies, and Malika Imhotep, PhD Candidate in African American Studies and Designated Emphasis in New Media

Please note:

As of very shortly after 10:00 AM this morning (4/6/2018), this talk and the waitlist were sold out. We know many of you are frustrated and disappointed that you weren't able to secure seats. With more than 15,000 people interested in this free talk on Facebook alone, we were concerned that the talk would reach maximum capacity quickly. We are thrilled by the incredible response to Angela Davis’ April 16th Regents conversation at the Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium, and the way this opportunity is resonating with the campus and broader public we seek to serve. We thank you all for your interest and support of our efforts bringing Professor Davis to campus. To ensure access to the widest audience possible, this talk will be available via livestream and we have lifestream locations set up as well. We have included that information below.

Understandably given the very short timescale, some of you have sent questions asking if there is evidence of "bots" or misuse on the eventbrite ticketing platform. We are sensitive to these concerns and have reviewed the reservation list. There is no evidence that there was any misuse or glitch on the platform, only that thousands of people were attempting to reserve a seat for this free lecture all at the same time.

Since all seats have been reserved we want to remind people about our door advisory: At 6:30pm, A+D staff will fill any remaining seats in the theater on a first come, first serve basis with people who have opted to stand in line at the door. Please know that if you choose to stand in line at the door without a reservation, we cannot promise that any seats will become available. We are certain attrition for this talk will be extremely low, so please only stand in line if you are willing to risk not gaining a seat.

Livestream information:

The livestream link for this talk is available here. For those wishing to watch the talk with peers and community members, we're assembling locations with campus partners. We will be updating locations over the next two weeks. The following locations have been confirmed:

On-Campus Community

Host: Residential Education & Resident Faculty Program
Location: Unit 1 APR (All Purpose Room)
Capacity: 90 people
Audience: UC Berkeley community (students, faculty and staff only)

Off-Campus Community (Public)

Host: The Underground Scholars & The American Cultures Center
Location: 105 North Gate Hall
Capacity: 146
Audience: Students & Community Members
Note: Doors open at 6:30 pm. This event will include opportunities to Q&A with Underground Scholars members.

Host: Multicultural Center
Location: Multicultural Center, ASUC Student Union: Martin Luther King Jr. Building
Capacity: 80
Audience: Students & Community Members

"Some of us [activists] say, if we would have had Facebook [during the National Student Strike], we would have won the revolution," Angela Davis told PBS in an interview in 2012. Then she added, "But of course that's not the case."

At a moment when #MeToo has had tangible effects in industries from film to law to government, join us to learn how new technologies are impacting activism today. World-renowned activist Angela Davis will explore how we can use both long-established and more contemporary tools to build resilient architectures of resistance, informed through her own experience fighting against the prison-industrial complex.

Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice. Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Most recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D program – and of Feminist Studies.

Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. Her recent books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, a new edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and a collection of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom. Her most recent book of essays, called Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, was published in February 2016.

Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.

Like many educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.

Leigh Raiford Associate Professor and H. Michael and Jeanne Williams Chair of African American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, where she also serves as affiliate faculty in the Program in American Studies, and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson foundation, and the Hellman Family Foundation and has also been a Fulbright Senior Specialist. Raiford is the author of Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle (University of North Carolina Press, 2011), which was a finalist for the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Best Book Prize. She is co-editor with Heike Raphael-Hernandez of Migrating the Black Body: Visual Culture and the African Diaspora (University of Washington Press, 2017) and with Renee Romano of The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory (University of Georgia Press, 2006).

Ra Malika Imhotep is a black feminist writer/root worker from Atlanta, GA currently pursuing a doctoral degree in African American and African Diaspora Studies and a Designated Emphasis in New Media at the University of California, Berkeley. Her thinking engages black femme performance aesthetics and cultural production throughout the Black African Diaspora. Her creative praxis is invested in a textual and performative enjoyment of undisciplined movement, the historical present, black obscenities, black spiritual practices and other blackityblk happenings. She is a member of The Black Aesthetic art collective, co-convener of experiential study group 'The Church of Black Feminist Thought' and the proud daughter of Diane Makeda Johnson and Akbar Imhotep.

About the Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium

Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium is an internationally recognized forum for presenting new ideas that challenge conventional wisdom about art, technology, and culture. This series, free of charge and open to the public, presents artists, writers, curators, and scholars who consider contemporary issues at the intersection of aesthetic expression, emerging technologies, and cultural history, from a critical perspective.


This year, we are excited to present World Without Mind with Frank Foer as part of the following series:

Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities


09/25 World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech
Frank Foer, Journalist, New York
In partnership with the Graduate School of Journalism

10/23 Socially Engaged Internet-Art: Aesthetics of Information Ethics
Paolo Cirio, Artist, New York
In partnership with the Department of Art Practice

11/6 We must conjure our Gods before we obey them
Michael Rock, Designer, 2X4, New York
In partnership with the Department of Architecture & Urban Planning


01/29 Indexical Ambivalence
Kris Paulsen, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University, Ohio
In partnership with the History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series

02/05 Connectivity as Human Right
Nicholas Negroponte, Architect, MIT, Massachussetts
In partnership with the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation

03/19 Yugoexport Is the Name of this Oral Corporation
Irena Haiduk, Artist, Belgrade, Serbia
In partnership with the Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series

04/09 new art, flag art, good art, portal art
Ian Cheng, Artist, Los Angeles
In partnership with the Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series

04/16 Abolition Feminisms
Angela Davis, activist & scholar, UC Santa Cruz
interviewed by Leigh Raiford, UC Berkeley
and Malika Imhotep, UC Berkeley
A 2018 Regents Lecture

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