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The American Communities Program and The Biological Century

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The American Communities Program invites you to join us in kicking off our 2014-2015

research theme: The Biological Century.


This year we explore the explanatory power of theories of “biopolitics,” following Michel Foucault and the many others who have inquired about what happens when life itself becomes statistically manageable, institutionally governed, and even scientifically produced.  Addressing the impact of social regulation on health, mortality, sexuality, productivity, and the boundaries between life and death, our upcoming events confront a range of emergent political, ethical, and aesthetic problems characteristic of what has been called the “biological century.”  Please browse our calendar, included below, and join in on the discussion!

All events are free; all faculty, staff, students, and community members are welcome to attend.

Please “like” us on facebook ( or visit for further updates and details.

Faculty, please do feel welcome to incentivize or include participation in ACP events on your syllabi as appropriate.  For more information, disability accommodations, or to make arrangements to bring a class to one of our events, please contact ACP Director Andrew Lyndon Knighton at

Thank you for spreading the word and for supporting ACP programming at CSULA!

Tuesday, OCTOBER 21


1:30 pm • San Gabriel Room

3rd floor • University-Student Union

The 2014-2015 ACP Fellows – Dr. Pablo Baler (Modern Languages and Literatures), Dr. Cheryl Koos (History), and Dr. Paola Marin (Modern Languages and Literatures) – discuss biopolitical themes.  What happens when life itself is socially regulated, and even scientifically produced? How is our world shaped by the governmental oversight of health, mortality, sexuality, and mobility?  The fellows will explore a range of emergent political, ethical, and aesthetic questions confronting us in what has been called the “biological century.”   

Thursday, OCTOBER 30


6:15 pm • U-SU Theatre

1st Floor • University-Student Union

Why would someone want to encode poetry into the eyes of a fly, fish for paramecium, or send transgenic organisms into outer space? The projects of artist Joe Davis can seem fantastical, impossible, even ill-advised.  But this documentary’s deeper look into his work reveals a hidden logic that is surprising and contagious – more philosophy than art.  Discussion with director Peter Sasowsky follows. 2010, 90 minutes.

Friday, OCTOBER 31


9 am – 5 pm • Alhambra Room

3rd floor • University-Student Union

Since the 1970s, when Michel Foucault first engaged with the idea of biopolitics, generations of scholars have responded to his interest in how the biological lives of whole populations are governed by modern forms of political, corporeal, and statistical regulation. Join ACP and an array of distinguished scholars from around the nation as we frame our 2014-2015 theme, “The Biological Century,” with a day-long symposium evaluating the current state of biopolitical inquiry and experimenting with future theoretical directions.

Featured speakers include:

Dr. Arne De Boever (School of Critical Studies, California Institute of the Arts)
Dr. Una Chung (Global Studies, Sarah Lawrence College)
Dr. Christian Haines (English, Dartmouth College)

Dr. Regina Martin (English, Denison University)

Dr. Mimi Thi Nguyen (Gender and Women's Studies/Asian American Studies, University of Illinois)
Dr. Jasbir Puar (Women's and Gender Studies, Rutgers University)

Dr. Craig Willse (Cultural Studies, George Mason University)

Biopolitical Afterlives is presented in collaboration with CSGS.  Roundtable discussions run throughout the day; see ACP’s facebook page ( for schedule updates and further information.

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The American Communities Program and The Biological Century