Common Ground

Living Artifacts in Colonial Collections: James Clifford

Featuring Clifford, Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, and Hearne Pardee


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Historian and cultural theorist James Clifford joins Rail Editor-at-Large Thyrza Nichols Goodeve and Rail contributor Hearne Pardee for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading from Noa Mendoza.

In this talk

Find more information on Clifford’s books The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art (1988), Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century (1997), and Returns: Becoming Indigenous in the Twenty-First Century (2013), all available from Harvard University Press.

James Clifford

A picture of James Clifford
Historian and cultural theorist James Clifford is an Emeritus Professor in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Clifford is the author of several widely cited and translated books, including The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth Century Ethnography, Literature and Art (1988) and Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late 20th Century (1997), among others. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recent Guggenheim recipient, and an External Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. Clifford’s current research concerns the decolonization of museum collections of non-Western art and culture. His most recent book, Returns: Becoming Indigenous in the Twenty-First Century (2013) explores these unfinished changes.

Thyrza Nichols Goodeve

Thyrza Nichols Goodeve
Writer, editor, artist, and interviewer Thyrza Nichols Goodeve writes “with” rather than “on” contemporary art and artists. Her interests range across art as a “structure of feeling,” human/nonhuman animal ontologies, the aesthetics of wonder, the interview as essay, surrealist methodologies, and the metaphysics of technology. She has published widely on artists such as Ellen Gallagher, Tom Friedman, Hadieh Shafie, Joan Waltemath, among many others. She is the author of How Like A Leaf: A Conversation with Donna Haraway (1999). She was Senior Art Editor at the Rail from 2017 to 2019 and is currently an Editor-at-Large.

Hearne Pardee

A picture of Hearne Pardee.
Artist and writer Hearne Pardee is based in New York and California, where he teaches at the University of California, Davis. His paintings and collages explore everyday landscapes, including those on the Pacific Island of New Caledonia. His writings for the Brooklyn Rail include a recent review of Lois Dodd’s paintings of the “local”, and a 2019 interview with Wayne Thiebaud.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and we’re fortunate to have Noa Mendoza reading.

Noa Mendoza

Noa Mendoza
Poet Noa Mendoza is a recent graduate from Vassar college. She is currently a fellow at Wendy’s Subway and an intern at Ugly Duckling Presse. Her writing seeks to permeate the boundaries between English and Spanish, sound and written word, narrative and poetry. Her work appears in Narratively magazine, Umlaut Magazine, Fecund Magazine, and the Vassar Review, among others. She has an upcoming chapbook in the works to be published by Wendy’s Subway.