Citizenship Lab Presents: Ghost Rivers in the Urban Anthropocene

Date/Time: Friday, February 17, 9:00 AM China time
Location: [ZOOM] 974 1691 6744
Speaker: Kregg Hetherington, Associate Professor at Concordia University in Montreal

Several years ago, a group of students at Concordia University went looking for water and found a ghost. They weren’t alone in this. Local activists, urban planners and eventually city officials all found themselves, over the past decade, drawn into relation with a long-forgotten river that, for different reasons, had begun to haunt local infrastructure. In 2021 they even held a funeral, played the bagpipes, and tried to come to terms with a new form of mourning. As this paper will argue, the appearance of ghost rivers is a kind of infrastructural inversion proper to the urban Anthropocene, conjured by shifting attention to landscapes of ecological destruction. To know a ghost river is to understand underground pipes and legal histories, it’s to become aware of contamination and histories of disease, and it’s to reflect on the future of human cohabitation. But communing with a ghost, and holding funerals for the deceased, is not the same as repair. Instead, it’s an invitation to reflect on new kinds of Anthropocene beings, and the responses that they demand. Continue reading “Citizenship Lab Presents: Ghost Rivers in the Urban Anthropocene”

HRC Citizenship Lab is Seeking a Research Assistant


Application due date: December 18, 2022

To apply, please send CV and cover letter to

Workload: Project based, and up to 10hrs/week (40 RMB/hour)
Starting date: Immediately

Main Duties and Responsibilities: Assisting the Lab co-directors with Lab-related research activities. This may include, but is not limited to, identifying potential guest speakers; assisting the lab directors with bibliographic research for citizenship-related publications; and identifying case studies and other materials for inclusion in article and book manuscripts written by the Lab co-directors or affiliates. Continue reading “HRC Citizenship Lab is Seeking a Research Assistant”

Freedom Lab Film Screening: Stagecoach

Date/Time: Dec 14, 5:30pm China time
Location: IB lecture hall (in-person only)
Drinks and snacks will be served!

The film screening will be followed by a talk, as part of Freedom Lab’s US Studies Speakers’ Series, from Boris Vejdovsky on Dec 15, 4pm China time. Learn more about the talk >>

Additionally, the DKU library has the ebook of the shooting script of the movie:

Freedom Lab Presents: US Studies Speakers’ Series – Boris Vejdovsky

Date/Time: Dec 15, 4pm China time
Location: Zoom ID 334 3189 585
Speaker: Boris Vejdovsky (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

The speaker will be discussing the film, Stagecoach, an early Western, in 1939. Freedom Lab will have a film screening the evening before, on Dec 14, 5:30pm China time. Learn more here >>

The Global Performance of American Culture: Rhetoric and Symbolic Forms in American Western Movies

The Western has often been read as a quintessentially American form of popular art, a genre that has expressed over decades the moods and anxieties of the nation. While many studies have shown that the Western metonymically expresses the social, political, racial, and sexual tensions of the nation, relatively little attention has been paid to its aesthetic and political forms. In other words, many critics have paid attention to what the Western says, but not so much to how it does it; while it is always dangerous to seek to oppose form and content, I propose to focus on the rhetoric and the prosody the Western. Continue reading “Freedom Lab Presents: US Studies Speakers’ Series – Boris Vejdovsky”

Citizenship Lab Research Project: “Poetry, translation, and world citizenship in the long 1950s.”

Humanities Research Center’s Citizenship Lab proudly funds Professor Alice Xiang’s research project, Poetry, translation, and world citizenship in the long 1950s.

Project members: Professor Alice Xiang & Research Assistant(s) TBD

Project Summary: This project explores the role of poetry as a key force in the production of solidarity between new and emerging nations in the 1950s. From multilateral peace conferences to transnational poetry anthologies, the works of left-leaning poets such as Nazım Hikmet, Pablo Neruda, and Nicolas Guillén were widely disseminated across a range of mediums during this period, making them highly influential in shaping aspirational forms of internationalist belonging and world citizenship. One of Turkish poet Hikmet’s most popular works, Angina Pectoris (1948), for example, opens with the following lines: “If half my heart is here, doctor / the other half is in China / with the army flowing / toward the Yellow River.”

Continue reading “Citizenship Lab Research Project: “Poetry, translation, and world citizenship in the long 1950s.””

HRC Citizenship Lab Manuscript Workshop #3

Collective Candidacies in Brazil: Challenges and Pitfalls of a Gambiarra

Date & Time: Tuesday, Nov 29, 7:30 PM (BJT)
Zoom ID: 955 0753 0898
Speaker: Ricardo Mendonça
Ricardo Mendonça is an Associate professor of Political Science at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil). His work is on democratic theory, contentious politics and political communication. Continue reading “HRC Citizenship Lab Manuscript Workshop #3”

HRC Citizenship Lab: Research Assistant Opportunity


Student Job Title: Research Assistant for The Citizenship Lab at the Humanities Research Center
Start date and end date: December 2022 – May 2023 (start and end dates flexible depending on student schedule)
Number of Students to Hire: 1 (open to students from any track)
Stipend: 40 RMB/hour
Workload: Project based, 1-5 hours per week (flexible depending on student schedule)
Reports to: Professor Alice Xiang

Please send CV and cover letter to by November 30, 2022.

Student researcher job description:
This project seeks a research assistant with the ability to read Russian. The student researcher would focus on identifying and translating 1950s Russian sources relating to the Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet, as well as commentary on China’s literary initiatives (in particular its push for ‘yafei wenxue’, or ‘Asiafrican literature’). Examples of such sources include major newspapers and periodicals. This project may be of particular relevance to students with a background in literature, history, or international relations, but is open to any student with advanced Russian reading ability and an interest in the topic.

Continue reading “HRC Citizenship Lab: Research Assistant Opportunity”

Freedom Lab Presents: Children Are Abolitionists: Boys and Girls of the Antislavery Movement 

HRC Freedom Lab invites you to join Michaël Roy on “Children Are Abolitionists: Boys and Girls of the Antislavery Movement.”

Date/Time: Fri, Nov 25, 8-9:30 PM China time
Zoom ID: 261 330 4845
Speaker: Michaël Roy

Children were a vital, though neglected, presence in the US abolition movement. Throughout the antebellum period, a variety of abolitionists—the Liberator’s editor William Lloyd Garrison and the white reformer Henry Clarke Wright, the fugitive slave turned abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the African American primary school teacher Susan Paul—appealed to children’s antislavery and antiracist sympathies. “If . . . we desire to see our land delivered from the curse of PREJUDICE and SLAVERY,” Garrison declared in 1835, “we must direct our efforts chiefly to the rising generation.” His call did not go unheeded. Young abolitionists read antislavery tracts and slave narratives; they attended antislavery meetings and fairs; they learned and penned antislavery speeches which they recited at school; they participated in Emancipation Day celebrations and in programs to honor the memory of John Brown; they raised money to finance antislavery lecturers’ international travels; they even signed antislavery petitions, testing the limits of their citizenship. Aided by their parents and teachers, Black and white children acted in concrete ways against the slave system and made a meaningful contribution toward its demise. This presentation sheds light on their little-known activism. Continue reading “Freedom Lab Presents: Children Are Abolitionists: Boys and Girls of the Antislavery Movement “

Citizenship Lab Calls for Grant Applications for Faculty-Student Research Collaboration

The Citizenship Lab invites applications for funding from faculty, Class of 2023, and Class of 2024 students working on or developing Signature Work (SW) projects related to citizenship.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please reach out to the Citizenship Lab ( for questions and to submit your application.

Continue reading “Citizenship Lab Calls for Grant Applications for Faculty-Student Research Collaboration”

Student Report: Film screening of “I am Not Your Negro”

Reported by Mateja Bokan, Class of 2025.

This Documentary Screening of “I am Not Your Negro” is sponsored by HRC Freedom Lab on October 25, 2022.

Freedom Lab Co-Directors, Selina Lai-Henderson and Jesse Olsavsky introduces the film. (Photo by Jesse Campbell, Class of 2025)

Based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, I am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck is a Documentary nominated for an Academy Award that raises urgent ideas regarding racism in the United States of America. Continue reading “Student Report: Film screening of “I am Not Your Negro””