How are artists, activists, and communities resetting the colonial clock? What does it mean to reinterpret political actions as insurgent performances? How might we transform the collaborative possibilities of scholarly work?

In episode 92 of the Imagine Otherwise podcast, host Cathy Hannabach interviews curator, performer, and scholar Sandra Ruiz about the radical ways that Puerto Rican artists, performers and activists are resetting the colonial clock, what it means to use language to restage historical performances in the present, how Sandra mobilizes everyday absurdity in her theater and gallery curatorial work, and why imagining otherwise is one of the most powerful tools of insurgency and decolonization.

Guest: Sandra Ruiz

Sandra Ruiz wearing a grey vest and black shirt. Text reads: Sandra Ruiz on episode 92 of the Imagine Otherwise podcastSandra Ruiz is an assistant professor of Latina/Latino studies and English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Program in Comparative World Literature, the Program in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory.

She received her PhD in performance studies from New York University and since then has published in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of CriticismWomen and Performance, Performance Matters, and Autumn Knight: In Rehearsal.

Sandra’s new book Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anticolonial Performance was published by NYU Press in July 2019. She is currently working on two new book projects: a scholarly book titled Perilous Pedagogy: Psychoanalytic Affections Within the Live Aesthetic and a book of poetry titled The Edge of Depth.

Sandra has been awarded the Junior Faculty Fellowship for the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory (2016–2018), an IPRH Faculty Fellowship (2014–2015), the Illinois Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Associate (2012), and an LLS Departmental Award for Teaching.

Sandra is the co-founder of the Brown Theatre Collective, creator of La Estación Gallery, and has curated live performance for the Krannert Art Museum.

We chatted about

  • Sandra’s new book Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anti-Colonial Performance (01:53)
  • Political resistant performance by Puerto Rican activists (05:40)
  • Temporal resistance and challenging colonial time (11:33)
  • What a Puerto Rican futurity feels like  (16:15)
  • Sandra’s deep commitment to public scholarship and engagement (22:43)
  • Imagining otherwise (24:40)

Red and orange gradient. Text reads: "I really want to break away from this idea that the scholar is producing only through writing. The scholar also speaks, the scholar also feels, the scholar also uses their hands. It's really important to me to engage with the community and to do collective work—that's creating things as well." Quote is by Sandra Ruiz on the Imagine Otherwise podcast

Takeaways

Writing Sandra’s book Ricanness

I wrote a book from conviction and that really matters to me. I share that because when I started academia, the advice that you get is your first book is your book for tenure. You’re on the clock, you [must] produce something that will allow you to keep your job. But I felt that that was absolutely absurd—absurd in the bad kind of way, a kind of an anti-intellectual absurdism. So I wrote something that means something and that touched me as I was writing it. I hope that as the reader reads it, that they’re also moved and touched by it.

Political inflammatory performance

I love that you call it a performance because that’s really one of the things that I’m trying to do in the book: move from the aesthetic to the political. Part of that means that we take these moments in time that appear to be sacred, that we can only tell in one way because they’re political actions, and to think through how those actions are also sensational acts, which is exactly what [Delores “Lolita”] Lebrón calls that performance. She calls it a sensational act.

Breaking the loop of colonial time

1954, 2019, 2017, 2016, 1977, 1984, and 1982. The reason why I’m pulling all those moments out—1917, 1952—is that what happens between Puerto Rico and the United States is that you can point to any kind of policy, any moment in time, any historical marker and notice that although we’re taught to believe in the progress narrative of history, in this situation, what is really happening—and this is why I got excited about time—is that the relationship is actually on loop. We’re just caught in it. And it’s a matter of figuring out how to jump out of it.

Transforming what counts as scholarship

I definitely didn’t get into academia to just write books and publish articles that what 10, 20 people would read or maybe not read. I’m really invested in using my body, connecting with others, sharing and creating and cultivating a type of undercommons in spaces that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as intellectual spaces.

Imagining otherwise

I want to live in a world where the right to be human also means the right to be plural, complicated, filled with nuance and ambivalence along with relentless conviction and undying compassion. I also want to live in a world where collaboration and collectivity surpass the corporation. Where we are all fascinated by what we can’t even see. I want to use curious methodologies and invent dirty theories, translate philosophy to fit my life, build established spaces for artists or creatives to help us get out of the mess we’ve created of our present situation.

More from Sandra

Projects and people discussed

About Imagine Otherwise

Imagine Otherwise is a podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Episodes offer in-depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice, and explore the nitty-gritty work of imagining and creating more just worlds. Check out full podcast episodes and show notes at ideasonfire.net/imagine-otherwise-podcast. Imagine Otherwise is produced by Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency helping progressive, interdisciplinary scholars write and publish awesome texts, enliven public conversations, and create more just worlds.

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Episode transcript

Cathy Hannabach [00:03]: [upbeat music in background] Welcome to Imagine Otherwise, the podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Episodes offer in-depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice and explore the nitty-gritty work of imagining otherwise. I’m your host, Cathy Hannabach. [music fadeout]

[00:23] This is episode 92 and my guest today is Sandra Ruiz.

Sandra is an assistant professor of Latina/Latino studies and English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

She received her PhD in performance studies from New York University and since then has published in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of CriticismWomen and Performance, Performance Matters, and Autumn Knight: In Rehearsal.

Sandra’s new book Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anticolonial Performance was published by NYU Press in July 2019, an analysis of how what she calls “Ricanness” operates as a continual performance of bodily endurance against US colonialism in Puerto Rico.

She is also currently working on two new book projects: a scholarly manuscript titled Perilous Pedagogy: Psychoanalytic Affections Within the Live Aesthetic and a book of poetry titled The Edge of Depth.

Sandra is the co-founder of the Brown Theatre Collective, creator of La Estación Gallery, and has curated live performance for the Krannert Art Museum.

In our interview, Sandra and I discuss the radical ways Puerto Rican artists, performers, and activists are resetting the colonial clock, what it means to use language to restage historical performances in the present, how Sandra mobilizes everyday absurdity in her theatre and gallery curatorial work, and why imagining otherwise is one of the most powerful tools of insurgency and decolonization.

[to Sandra] Thanks so much for being with us today.

Sandra Ruiz [01:48]: Thank you so much, Cathy. It’s a real pleasure to be able to be here with you today.

Cathy: You’re the author of a really exciting new book called Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anticolonial Performance. Can you give our listeners a little bit of sense of what that book covers and what got you interested in this topic?

Sandra: Yeah, most definitely. I think first, before I describe the book, I want to talk a little bit about the process of writing it. You know, I’m both elated and exhausted. I’ve been working on versions of this book for about 20 years and it feels like a real victory that it’s going to be in the world pretty soon.

[02:35] I want to say that I wrote a book from conviction and that really matters to me. I share that because when I started academia, the advice that you get is your first book is your book for tenure. You’re on the clock, you produce something that will allow you to keep your job. But I felt that that was absolutely absurd, like absurd in the bad kind of way, kind of an anti-intellectual absurdism.

So I wrote something that means something and that touched me as I was writing it. I hope that as the reader reads it, that they’re also moved and touched by it. I feel like it’ll make sense when, when you read, because so much of the work at the sentence level is trying to kind of produce a rhythm so that the reader is working alongside the text in a poetic way. I hope so, anyway.

But yeah, the book is informed by theorists and philosophers in Puerto Rican and Latino studies, performance studies, gender and queer and sexuality Studies, continental philosophy, a little psychoanalysis and literary theory. I tried to combine all of these different kind of a methodological approaches to say something about colonial time.

[03:29  So each chapter investigates different aesthetic and political resistances to the measure of colonial time. Specifically, the book moves between theater, dramatic literature, experimental video art, revolutionary protest, photography, poetry, and durational performance art.

I’m highlighting the work of artists and activists such as Lolita Lebrón Sotomayor, Adál (formally known as Adál Maldonado), Papo Colo, and Ryan Rivera, who—I argue in the book—reset colonial time through nonlinear aesthetic practices as both forms of survival and self-determination.

While the book traces these threads of post-World War II cultural history, it tries to disrupt that colonial lineage to argue that Puerto Rican subjectivity operates on a continual loop, this ongoing performance of bodily endurance, which is on loop against this thing called us colonial time.

[04:39] So I start the book in 1954 when Lebrón and three other members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party led this revolutionary action within the [US] Chamber of Congress. They went in there to demand independence for the island. What Lebron’s insurgent act helps me do throughout the book is explore the connection between colonialism and Puerto Rican subjectivity, gender, sexuality, and racialized performance.

That’s one example, but each chapter tries to capture the effects of timelessness and too much time under the colonial mandate. Part of it is to reset the colonial clock. I’m trying to say that the way that we do that is by pausing time, stopping time, slowing it down, accelerating it, waiting with it and that all of these figures that I talk about really work hard to push against dominant narratives of race, gender, sex, sexuality, and national belonging to reset this thing called the colonial clock.

Cathy [05:37]: You open the book with the story that you just mentioned of Lebrón’s deliberate and politically inflammatory performance on the floor along with other activists. I would love to hear more about that story. I know a lot of listeners are going to be super familiar with that but for some listeners, this might be new information to them. Can you give us a little bit of sense of what was that act and what was so important about that performance?

Sandra [05:58]: Oh, absolutely. I love that you call it a performance because that’s really one of the things that I’m trying to do in the book: move from the aesthetic to the political first. Part of that means that we take these moments in time that appear to be sacred, that we can only tell in one way because they’re political actions, but to think through how those actions are also sensational acts, which is exactly what Lebrón calls that performance. She calls it a sensational act.

If you’ll let me, what I’d really love to do is recreate the story for the listeners the way that I’ve written it in the book, so.

Cathy: Sure.

Sandra [06:44]: Okay, good. So I’ll begin.

Minutes after members of the House of Representatives began to trickle into the US congressional chamber and the speaker of the house [inaudible], approximately 30 gunshots sailed over the proceedings. The gunshots sprang from Puerto Rican Nationalist Party members Irving Flores Rodríguez, Andrés Figueroa Cordero, Rafael Cancel Miranda, and Dolores “Lolita” Lebrón Sotomayor, who previously purchased for one way tickets from New York City to Washington, DC to execute a meticulous incursion on Congress in the name of Puerto Rican liberation.

Even on the heels of the attempt on President Truman’s life four years prior, spearheaded by the party’s own leader, all four compatriots passed through security with their concealed weapons and were freely admitted into the ladies’ gallery on the floor above House members. They sat armed in the second row, peering down on the assembly of white men in law-making suits.

[07:54] Lebrón, alongside her comrades, fixed both hands on her .38 caliber pistol and fired several shots at the House top, not with the intention to harm but to free herself of colonial domination. Unfurling the Puerto Rican flag after her hail of bullets, Lebrón called for the independence of the island. In a statement of unmistakably existential import, she screamed “Viva Puerto Rico!” thrusting the name of her island between the dual imperatives of life and freedom.

The year was 1954 and Lebrón was dressed to die, not to kill. In her version of a clever suit, she dressed in hyperfeminine combat gear, and the thirty-four-year-old donned crimson stained lips, manicured eyebrows, a black hat a top quaffed hair, a chic scarf over a double breasted skirt suit, high heels, dangling pearl earrings, and toting a black purse that contained a suicide note. Holding her loaded Lugar, Lebrón staged a scene in anticipation of her own open casket reveal on the afternoon of March 1st.

Soon after Lebrón and her comrades opened fire, a representative with the help of several spectators, climbed the stairs to the gallery and subdued Lebrón, Cordero, Rodríguez, and Miranda, blocking the nationalists’ deliberate political staging.

[09:00] Lebrón was apprehended at the scene without any bodily harm and shortly afterward was apprehended by authorities. Five congressman were injured and immediately rushed to hospitals, but no one was killed during the attack. However, the four subjects were instantly charged with sedition, assault with a deadly weapon, and intent to kill.

Lebrón was acquitted of assault with intent to kill and sentenced to 16 to 56 years in prison while her compatriots suffered longer sentences of 25 to 81 years each and were found guilty of assault with intent to kill. The defense argued that Lebrón aimed her gun at the ceiling, rather than the House floor. As such, she received the most lenient of sentences. Ironically, her offense carried less legal ramifications. While fortifying her political and personal premeditation, it also separated her from her male peers.

So that’s the story. In the book there’s tons of endnotes to tell more of the sensational act of when this happened, what was happening at the time on the congressional floor, what laws were being passed. It was the same day that they were meeting to try to pass the [Operation] Wetback bill.

Cathy [10:08]: That’s such an incredible story.

Sandra [10:10 ]: It really is. Part of doing this type of research is to reproduce and restage the very things that the artists or revolutionaries or activists were we staging in their own work. You calling it a sensational act gave me the perfect opportunity to read it as with the performance studies skills that I learned to retell this story in such a way that creates this stark distinction between all of these white men in Congress and this woman dressed head to toe in revolutionary garb that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as revolutionary. So feminine drag becomes more than an accessory in this case.

Cathy [10:52]: You also talk a lot about time and about how these performances, like Lebrón’s along with the other artists that you look, try to intervene in colonial time—US colonial time in particular. The Lebrón example is such a great case study of that, where it’s hearkening back to this long history of colonialism as well as its very present manifestations in 1954. We could talk about its continuing president manifestations in 2019 too. I’d love to hear more about the kind of temporal implications and interventions that these artists are exploring. Why time?

Sandra [11:31 ]: I love the way you asked that question and how you highlight two moments.

1954, 2019, 2017, 2016, 1977, 1984, and 1982. The reason why I’m pulling all those moments out—1917, 1952—is that what happens between Puerto Rico and the United States is that you can point to any kind of policy, any moment in time, any historical marker and notice that although we’re taught to believe in the progress narrative of history, in this situation, what is really happening—and this is why I got excited about time—is that the relationship is actually on loop. We’re just caught in it. And it’s a matter of figuring out how to jump out of it.

Part of what I try to do is turn to different artists that jump out of the loop. They force us to rethink this longstanding colonial relationship in which colonial oppression is not mastered by the annexation of land, but really from the colonization of time itself, as you point out.

Sandra [12:33 ]: So for example, in the introduction I highlight Adál Maldonado’s piece, a photographic series, which is absolutely stunning, evocative. It’s called “Puerto Ricans Underwater.” It takes place in 2016 and sadly, obviously the artists didn’t know, but as I always say, there’s something futuristic about every artist. If we paid them a little more, gave them a little bit more respect, they might help us land in the future where we’re all somewhat wanted.

So he creates this series called “Puerto Ricans Underwater,” which foreshadows Hurricane Irma and Maria. These images are of different Puerto Rican subjects. Some are chefs, some are musicians, some are teachers, some are activists. It’s basically Puerto Ricans of everyday life. They’re submerged in a bathtub underwater. I read this “Puerto Ricans Underwater” photographic series as a foretelling of death-to-come, of the colony soon being submerged underwater.

[13:32] And I talk about that as a temporal measure. What he offers us is a new way to kind of breathe. If breathing is a breathing together, what does it mean to have to be submerged under water? How do you survive when water is actually a daily weapon against colonized subjects? So that’s one way I think about time differently.

The other chapter that I just read with a description of Lebrón, in that chapter, I talk about how I think she stops linear masculine time with her sensational act on the congressional floor by forcing us to rethink death, dying, her death not taken, and the relationship between gender performance and death. I think what she’s really trying to do, even though she doesn’t die that day and dies later at the age of 90, what’s really important about that is that she offers death as a way to access subjectivity.

[14:27] And that feels really profound. In a way, she’s saying, “I’m walking into a floor that hasn’t been walked on. I’m going to shift the way that we think about time as scripted and policed.”

Another chapter takes us into the world of an absurdist endurance play, which is extremely funny but also painful. It almost needs a trigger warning because the play is extremely violent. It’s by Pedro Pietri, another Puerto Rican of the Puerto Rican avant garde movement of the 1970s.

In this play what he does is he creates a countdown. There’s all these stage directions and moments in which, you know, the telephone’s ringing for 15 minutes, they’re dancing for 13 seconds. I’m sorry, I said minutes. Wow. That would be something else, but it’s 13 seconds.

[15:20] I feel like what he’s doing there is trying to get us to think about dissent as a political action, how we need to count down in order to exist in a world that doesn’t want us.

In another chapter I talk about the idea of exhaustion as a temporal concern for colonized subjects through Papo Colo’s work in 1977 when he ran down the West Side Highway with 51 pieces of rope and blocks attached to his back, this kind of shorn cape of a failing superman hero. He collapses after ten minutes; he’s exhausted.

I talk about that. I talk about exhaustion, about collapsing, about running, getting back up. All of these are what I’m terming different measures under the umbrella of endurance.

Then in the last chapter I talk about a waiting as a political act. How waiting might actually be a type of politics, a type of insurgency, and we haven’t thought about it that way. Not all types of political actions need to be set at the same speed of emergency, even if we’re living in a state of one.

Cathy [16:16]: I’m curious, given all of these amazing examples of artists, activists, everyday folks who are reimagining what a Puerto Rican future looks like that doesn’t deny the past but also isn’t reducible to that past (and perhaps multiple pasts that we can talk about). What does a Puerto Rican future look like to you? Or what do you want it to look like?

Sandra [16:39]: I love that question. God, I thought about this so much and I’m not sure that I can channel it through vision. It certainly exists in embodied time. Sometimes that means that the kind of overdetermination of the ocular isn’t sufficient in capturing the will of the spirit.

I would say that it’s definitely a full, sensorial, ongoing event or affair where existence definitely is not measured by oppression or physical and spiritual servitude or billions of dollars in debt, disease, and natural disasters—that, as we know, are not really that natural—or a slow death, accumulating the residue, the bodily commodity, or dispossession.

I can tell you what I sense in part as a social feeling. I think that all of these desires that I have for the full sensorial effect of the Rican future are instigated by sovereignty, a new distribution of capital, a government not run by fascists, a place to dream and time travel even beyond the future. That’s something that really me—what’s beyond the future?

As your wonderful podcast is called Imagine Otherwise, not to be too playful here, but it might be our greatest and most curious weapon against oppression and global fascism. I don’t see dreaming or imagining otherwise as separate from insurgency. I think it’s part of its overall essence.

Cathy [18:09]: I’d love to shift gears a little bit now and talk about how you have manifested and explored some of these ideas in your curatorial work. We’ve talked about your scholarship and you mentioned that for you, these are deeply intertwined areas of collective and personal life. So I’d love to turn to the theater collective and the gallery that you’ve been working with for many years.

So I know in 2014 you cofounded the Brown Theater Collective with Mateo Hurtado out of what you called a shared love for the absurd in everyday life and how that connects to social justice or insurgency. What does that mean? What got you to interested in absurdity and how does that play out in the work you do with the collective?

Sandra [18:52]: I mean, just to be most truthful, I’m absurd. I’ve always turned to humor and absurdism as a way to manage living in a world that is so oppressive and, I keep turning to this, living in a world that doesn’t want me. I feel like I’ve had to develop new ways of existing and being in order to manage everyday life.

Mateo was a former student of mine and he felt really oppressed on campus. He was a student of theater and not able to get roles, demanding roles, and was called upon often to be kind of like this cultural ambassador of accents and ways of being Puerto Rican. He was frustrated and felt that he always had to be this kind of transparent subject in order to get a part. There weren’t really many parts for him.

[19:47] So came to my office one day really angry, really frustrated, wanting to write something against everyone—you know, that kind of undergraduate anger. And I was like, “Well, another option is to just create our own collective and make it what we want.” Part of being in a world that doesn’t want you is to create alternative spaces in which you are wanted. And so he was like, “Wow, okay.” And that’s really how it began.

It began as a way not to let the anger and oppression prevent us from making art, being these weird brown folk, weird queer people who imagine different ways of existing in the world.

[20:34] I think that for me specifically, I don’t see the three A’s—I call them the three A’s: academia, art and activism—I don’t see how they’re separate. They’re not antithetical to one another. I can’t possibly imagine doing research that doesn’t involve some relationship to public scholarship or public engagement. When its is not accessible, then it’s not doing its job, at least for me.

So we started this collective and we decided that we wanted to focus on playwrights of color, with a large focus on queer playwrights of color and many women and feminists. We put on the first production of The Masses Are Asses by Piedro Petri. It was completely absurd. The audience loved it. What we found was that there were other weird folks on campus as well. They were interested in this kind of work.

Since then we’ve been producing work by María Irene Forés, the, off off Broadway, Cuban American, incredible playwright. Other things that we do is stage poetry readings and a lot of staged readings if we can’t do full productions because we run by donation only and most of the productions are in classrooms or in conference rooms. We really try to find these atypical spaces and turn them into theater worlds.

[21:38] In 2017, with a group of other students who weren’t necessarily interested in theater or performance art, but more interested in, I would say curatorial work or thinking about how to put on a show or work with artists more intimately, I started last La Estación Gallery. With the help of a really fierce feminist collective of staff, faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students, we turned a copy room into a gallery. It’s a self-sustaining gallery that houses artists-in-residents.

We were able to pay Erica Gressman and basically showed her entire body of work. We got a lot of donations, a lot of money across campus. There was a lot of interest in what we were doing and we started an internship for students. So now students are able to learn about performance creation as well as arts management.

[22:27] Again, a lot of this is hard work. I think the part that fascinates me the most about academia is challenging the idea that you should be behind a desk writing. What the hell is writing if you aren’t producing something in life that benefits the collective or the community?

Cathy: Across all of the kind of work that you do in the world, the curatorial, the research, the teaching, you’re very passionate about public scholarship and public engagement. I think the projects that you’re involved with are such a fantastic example of the power of that. I’d love to talk a little bit more about that. Why public scholarship? What do scholars need to be doing to ensure that their work actually engages with the communities that they’re reading and writing about?

Sandra [23:14]: I definitely didn’t get into academia to just write books and publish articles that what 10, 20 people would read or maybe not read. I’m really invested in using my body, connecting with others, sharing and creating and cultivating a type of undercommons in spaces that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as intellectual spaces.

I really want to break away from this idea that the scholar is producing only through writing. The scholar also speaks, the scholar also feels, the scholar also uses their hands. That feels really, really important to me—to engage with the community or to do collective work, that I’m creating things as well. Painting, I don’t know, mounting frames or whatever, the idea is that I’m not just the one imagining the ideas, but that I’m also doing that kind of labor, that physical labor and intellectual labor, spiritual labor. That for me is why I do what I do.

It also allows me to work closely with students. Even though I’m at an R1 [Research I university], teaching is the most important part of my job all the time. And mentoring. I cannot write, I cannot do research, I cannot curate a show at KAM [Krannert Art Museum], the museum here on campus, if I’m not engaging with students. They’re my most important interlocutors. They really are.

Cathy [24:35]: So this brings me to my favorite question that I get to ask folks and it really sums up why it is that you approach the work that you do in the world in the way that you do. And that’s your version of a better world. We talked about your version of a Puerto Rican futurity, but I wonder if we can talk maybe a little more broadly or about how that Puerto Rican futurity informs other visions you have of the future.

So I’ll ask you this giant question, but I think it’s a super important question. And one we don’t get enough chances to ask and to answer and to talk about with other folks. What’s the world that you’re working towards?

Sandra [25:10 ]: This is why I love your podcast. I want to be in any place and in any space and in any dimension where I’m allowed to dream. I was so excited by this question that I have to say that I wrote something down and I want to read it because I mean, when do we get asked to dream, right? We’re never told, “All right, swing higher!” It’s all, “Settle down. Relax. Let’s not. We can’t.” And I’m kind of frustrated by that world.

So I wrote, I want to live in a world where the right to be human also means the right to be plural, complicated, filled with nuance and ambivalence along with relentless conviction and undying compassion.

I also want to live in a world where collaboration and collectivity surpass the corporation. Where we are all fascinated by what we can’t even see. I want to use curious methodologies and invent dirty theories, translate philosophy to fit my life, build established spaces for artists or creatives to help us get out of the mess we’ve created of our present situation.

Cathy [26:15]: Pretty powerful vision of a better world.

Sandra [26:18 ]: Oh my God, yeah. If I could spend the entire day dreaming and imagining, it’s what I would do. I’m not paid to do that, but I also am [inaudible]

Cathy [26:28]: And it informs the projects that you do work on.

Sandra [26:31 ]: Yeah, I think so. I think so. I mean everything is, it’s pretty holistic. I don’t see anything that I do as separate from one another, which can become pretty difficult when you’re doing public engagement or public scholarship and more creative work. Sometimes it’s like, “Well, if you curate a show that’s not scholarship, it’s not an article.” I think we need to rethink how we think intellectual labor.

Cathy: Well, thank you so much for being with us and sharing all the creative ways that you imagine otherwise.

Sandra: Thank you so much, Cathy. This has been awesome and just great to be able to dream with you.

Cathy [27:07]: [upbeat music in background] Thanks for listening to another episode of Imagine Otherwise. Imagine Otherwise is produced by Ideas on Fire, and this episode was created by Christopher Persaud, Sarah Grey, and myself, Cathy Hannabach. You can check out the show notes for this episode on our website at ideasonfire.net, where you can also read about our fabulous guest as well as find links to the people and projects we discussed on the show.