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Conferences & lectures

The Traffic in Objects

Part one of the Con-tact virtual lecture series

Date & time
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Registration is closed


Sowparnika Balaswaminathan, Pranav Menon, Rania Esmat Saad, Ariana Seferiades Prece


This event is free


Jordan Molot



The 26th Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference is pleased to present THE TRAFFIC IN OBJECTS, inaugurating the Con-tact virtual lecture series organized by the Department of Religions and Cultures at Concordia University.

The first of four webinars, THE TRAFFIC IN OBJECTS articulates "con-tact" not only as a sensorial phenomenon between bodies and subjects, but as a juncture between human and non-human worlds; a dynamic interface of cultures and structures; a messy entanglement of past, present, and future.

The program will consist of a three-person graduate panel followed by a response/keynote address, and will conclude with a public Q&A segment.

The presentations are as follows:

  • Pranav Menon (Columbia, Comparative Literature)
    "The Native’s New Clothes: Colonial Dress and Contact Zones in ‘The Tempest’"
  • Rania Esmat Saad (Concordia, Art Education)
    "Akhmim’s Female Embroiderers: Mobilizing Decolonized Folk-Art for Economic and Social Empowerment in Southern Egypt"
  • Ariana Seferiades Prece (Concordia, Cultural Anthropology)
    "Altar: an ethnographic short film about contact between humans and non-human entities in domestic atmospheres in Buenos Aires"


  • Sowparnika Balaswaminathan (Smithsonian Institute)
    "Blood, Sweat, and Gods: The Moral Economies of Smuggling under Extractive Capitalism"


  • The event will be conducted in English.
  • Participation is free, but registration is required.
  • We will be utilizing Zoom’s "webinar" feature, meaning that only the camera of panelists and presenters will be on display. Viewers are thus strongly encouraged to join and engage with the program in comfort and relaxation.
  • The presentations will consist of lecture, powerpoint and audio-video components. ASL interpretation and closed caption (auto-generated by Rev) will be available for all users, and PowerPoint texts will be manually copy-pasted into the chatbox.
  • We are committed to ensuring that this event is as accessible as possible. If you have any questions, concerns, or requests, please contact us or email us at

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