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65 5th Ave, Room 411
New York, NY, 10003
United States

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought at the New School incubates advanced transdisciplinary research and practice at the intersection of social theory and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university.

Jessica Pisano

Seminar

The GIDEST seminar is held on Fridays from 12-1:30pm. All seminars take place in the GIDEST Lab at 63 Fifth Avenue, Room 411.


Sessions are devoted to discussion of pre-circulated papers that can be downloaded one week in advance by clicking on the presentation title below.

 

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Jessica Pisano

A SOCIAL LIFE OF PROPERTY: EUROPEAN BORDERLANDS UNDER FASCISM, STATE SOCIALISM, AND NEOLIBERALISM

What was fascism? What was communism? What is neoliberalism? Jessica Pisano’s current work revisits these questions through an historical ethnography of a single street in western Ukraine that ends in a barbed wire fence. In her GIDEST seminar, Jessica will discuss a turbulent period in the life of this street—“a period that may have something to teach us, if we are able to listen,” she writes.

Three decades into the twentieth century, residents of this street confronted rapid political change. The Hungarian army has just retaken the area after interwar Czechoslovak rule, and the population is negotiating new, restrictive citizenship rules and changing laws about migrants and border regimes. Soon, some of street’s residents will be deported and murdered: first because they are members of an ethnic minority with irregular citizenship status, then, just three years later, simply because they are members of that ethnic minority. 


Both those who were deported and those who remained left behind material traces of their lives. What can those traces tell us about the social order in which they lived? What did those who remained do when their neighbors were deported, and how did they think about their responsibilities? How did different members of this society think about the relationship between legality and morality? Finally, after violence, amidst loss, ellipses, and silence, what kinds of knowledge are needed to read a landscape?

Jessica Pisano is a 2018-19 GIDEST Fellow. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University and is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the Politics Department at the New School for Social Research. She is a longtime associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Pisano has written extensively on contemporary and twentieth century politics and political economy in Eastern Europe. She currently is completing a book about capitalism and the state in contemporary Ukraine and Russia, focusing on local command performances of democratic institutions.

Earlier Event: April 12
Nitin Sawhney
Later Event: May 3
Nicole Starosielski

GRADUATE INSTITUTE FOR DESIGN, ETHNOGRAPHY & SOCIAL THOUGHT, 63 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10003