Vancouver Institute for Social Research: Carla Nappi

March 16, 2015

Carla Nappi – Prepositioning History


This talk is going to focus on the significance of prepositions and their linguistic relatives for thinking with, and for translating, materiality in history. We’ll approach objects as loci of proximal relationships. We’ll consider what it entails to build a historical archive that’s attentive to that approach. We’ll imagine what an art of historical composition based on such an approach would look like. And we’ll try to bring it all home with a case study from an ongoing project on Manchu bodies and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).


The Vancouver Institute for Social Research (VISR) is an independent, para-academic, graduate-level, theory-based free school that began in Feb. 2013. Our intent is to move beyond the borders of the traditional university and to open up a more accessible platform in the city for the engaged discussion of critical theory.


The Institute’s fourth session will be organized around the theme of “Sovereignty,” and is being held from March 2 to April 27, 2015.


Once a week on Monday evenings from 7-9 pm at the Or Gallery (555 Hamilton Street), professors, grad students, and local activists will be presenting on topics of their choice. The seminar will be free to the public and advance readings will be distributed through our WordPress site. Videos of past classes can be found here.


Venue is wheelchair accessible

Participant Bios

Carla Nappi is Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of History at UBC.