Announcement: Institute of (im)Possible Subjects: Migratory Times

Institute of (Im)possible Subjects

The Institute of (im)Possible Subjects (IiS) is a transnational feminist collective of artists, writers, and researchers.

We are pleased to announce Migratory Times, a global art, research, and education initiative that will be our focus in 2016 and 2017.

We are recipients of an inaugural Abundance Foundation Out of Eden Community Arts Fellowship in support of the project’s launch.

We are working closely with collaborators globally, with primary nodes in S. Korea, the Philippines, and Colombia, engaging in translocal conversations on questions of global migrations, gender, and the politics of movement. Each of these nodes will host, in overlapping sequence, a series of exhibitions, screenings, educational events, and art and media production workshops. The main events, held outside of metropolitan centers, will emerge from research groups and learning circles engaging the experience of migrants and refugees in the different localities; the temporalities of migration; the geo-politics of human migration; and…

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Sharing this gorgeous contribution by Annie Fukushima from my new project 24 hour social studies! Visit at!


by Annie Isabel Fukushima

Here is a lecture I gave drawing upon Mae Ngai’s work, “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America” – “What is an American? Genocide, Relocation, Citizenship and Making of the ‘Illegal’“ (September 23, 2016) at the University of Utah. The class: 100 students, majority students of color with many who have migrant narratives in their own histories and/or their family histories. It was important that we had a conversation about the making of the term “illegal.” Ngai’s work has been seminal for understanding the legal construction of citizenship and the “illegal.“

During the election period, living in a conservative state, where migrant communities are an integral part of the Utah context, discussing migration is ever important.

Lessons learned:

1. The term “illegal” has so much history, that even when you trouble it for students, they may still find it challenging…

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Join us! Alongside the Institute of (im)Possible Subjects’ year long “Migratory Times” art and research project, we announce our next flashread of the introduction to Mae Ngai’s book “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America.” Our namesake!

From 12 a.m February 17 to 20 in your time zone, join us in reading the text and posting responses to this tumblr. Responses can be submitted using the submit button. The reading is posted on the tumblr. Welcome to the conversation!




Happy new year! I’m re-blogging this from The Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects tumblr site. We are super excited to announce a public “flashread” of this text by Stefano Harvey and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study.

This is the first of many future “flashreads” we will be hosting over the coming year using open access publications as the basis for engaging public symposia and debate.

Lasting for three days, each “flashread” will engage a public readership in discussion about a contemporary theoretical text that addresses the most important issues of our time, from the perspective of the transnational feminist concerns of the editorial collective.

Participation is simple: Read the text and post responses to it to this tumblr via the submissions form. Or just follow along!

All responses are welcome, including images, text, sound, and video.

Looking forward to being in conversation with you about The Undercommons.

Publishing in/with/and Precarity

National Women's Studies Association Conference "I'm Presenting: Precarity" Badge

National Women’s Studies Association Conference “I’m Presenting: Precarity” Badge

As the badge (which suffers from a bit of irony deficiency), provided by the NWSA tells you: “I’m Presenting!” at Precarity, the NWSA Annual Conference. Organized by Laura Fantone, a member of the editorial collective of the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects (I(i)S), several members of the I(i)S are leading a workshop that will share experiences of publishing and envision new possibilities for transnational feminist publishing. To widen the circle of the conversation, we are asking for contributions of stories about publishing, which we will use as taking off points for our discussion. The I(i)S is a platform for knowledge creation and sharing, and this is one of many ongoing events that, we hope, instigates critical engagement in the current conditions of publishing and starts new threads of conversation.

Please share your stories, good, bad, ugly, critical, joyful, indifferent, with us here. Here is the text from the call for contributions:

Publishing in Precarity (Deadline: November 15, 2015)

We pose these questions for your/our consideration:

Women, queer, and/or transgender academic voices, how are our subjectivities institutionally constrained? How is our precariousness related to our challenges of disciplinary boundaries? Institutional language? Clearcut positioning in terms of racial/gender/class/ethnicity/ boundaries? What does publishing academic work mean to ‘marginal’ subjectivities? what kinds of erasures, containment processes and limited translations are we forced into? What spaces are we building precariously, in order to escape old tokenisms and the curse of the “women” / “Queer” / “Transgender” / “Queer of color” doing “gender studies” and publishing gender stuff ‘only’? In what way does publishing as collective entity, floating precariously on-line, liberate us from institutionalization?

We will discuss the stories shared with us in relation to our stories – to find common context and a ground to discuss publishing in precarity. Your stories will be shared – anonymously if you choose – at the National Women’s Studies Association conference during our roundtable, “Publishing in/and/with Precariousness.” We will also be publishing a ‘zine and an online publication based on our discussions.

Thank you for your contributions and please, stay in touch with us and continue the conversation!

Details of the presentation:

Publishing in/and/with/ Precariousness
Sun, Nov 15, 8:00 to 9:15am, Wisconsin Center, 103D (LCD)
Presenters: Dalida Maria Benfield, Laura Fantone, Tara Daly.
Discussant: Annie Isabel Fukushima


The Codex Hackathon was a super interesting arena for exploring forms of reading and assembling information across digital and physical codices and expanded, immersive engagement with multiple texts. The work that I’ve been doing on speculative forms of online & offline exhibition of aggregations of digital and physical artworks has put me in a state of dysphoria regarding the current norms of information architecture. The infinity of formal possibility seems to be locked away in endless grids, with a temporality of “now”ness that nevertheless endlessly evokes historical elsewheres. Our group had a dynamic conversation and flexible, open membership with many folks dropping in and adding thoughts to the mix. The presence of the amazing book scanner designed by Dany Qumsiyeh – as well as the presence of other folks from the Noisebridge hacker space (great space! can’t wait to visit again!) in San Francisco – accentuated thinking across the intimacy of the physical presence of a book and the pleasures of annotating paper. With this scanning – a tactile/machinic process – as a starting point, and working with the amazing team of Dany, Robert Ochshorn, SJ Klein, Matthew Battles, and other important voices who dropped in, we began pushing on thinking vertically + horizontally, with the multiple speeds of video, words, and stills…and generated a series of experimental codices: an audio codex, a book codex, and a digital codex (please put all of those terms in quotes, as I’m not sure they’re accurate anymore…). The audio codex is a printed file of a conversation about a book – wavelengths, words, digital dust. The audio was a recording about Trevor Paglen’s contribution to The Thing The Book, and the slipperiness of situating representation itself that is proposed by his contribution is echoed by the codex, printed and folded in the barely visible pauses of sound (or as Matthew Battles put it, the “conversation white knuckling its way into code”); the “book” codex is a remix of scanned annotations of paper books; and the “digital” codex is a cross linking of scanned and annotated pages of McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage and video/audio from the Internet Archive and the Prelinger Archive. In fact, we had a great conversation Saturday night with Rick Prelinger and Megan Shaw Prelinger that energized us towards the already urgent project of intersecting video in ways that seem so simple, and yet so rare now online – beautiful compelling pathways that cross/expand texts! Isn’t that the intertextual promise – or maybe it’s precisely the formation of the “text” in thinking “intertextuality” that has limited the spaces of meaning? Grids, lines, the traces of a certain type of machinic thought production. Why is fluidity so locked away? Working to find the fluidity seems to mean rethinking everything, or thinking from other spaces of generativity. Other tools and machines yet to be produced and reworked…for me, a space that I am meditating on is in fact, the Mayan “codex” and “calendar” (are these really the right terms for such expansive frames, epistemically?)…towards the next iteration of the los archivos del cuerpo project…

excerpt from The Coming Insurrection