“Resistance in the Materials”: a Gathering of Printers Pressing for Change
Thursday Feb. 25 and Friday Feb. 26, 2021

Co-sponsored by Santa Clara University’s Center for Arts and Humanities and the University of Maryland’s BookLab and Center for Literary and Comparative Studies, “Resistance in the Materials” is a bicoastal event that will center BIPOC artists, scholars, and interventionists (and allies) and celebrate “printing” (broadly construed across many media) as an accessible form of activism capable of leaving its own unique impressions in diverse communities.

This two-day program begins with a plenary panel featuring Lillian-Yvonne Bertram and Jonathan Senchyne on Thursday February 25th at 12pm PT/3pm ET. On Friday, February 26th at 12pm PT/3pm ET, there will be a roundtable of four print artists including Victoria Law, Sarah Matthews, Amy Suo Wu, and Rio Yanez. Harkening to the immediacy and impact of mail art, our participants have exchanged a “print” with each other as an anchor point for collaborative reflection and discussion of the possibilities of printing as political action.

In addition to our main programming, all registrants will receive an invitation to a pop-up print mixer following our roundtable. This casual virtual event is a great opportunity to share your current print project with participants and reflect on the symposium.

Please go here to Register with EventBrite (links in right hand column):



Thurs Feb. 25 @ 3pm/12pm (EST/PST)  
Plenary Session featuring talks by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram and Jonathan Senchyne (90 min. with q&a)

Lillian Yvonne Bertram: “Rich Light is in the Riot: Programming Gwendolyn Brooks for Page & Screen”

Jonathan Senchyne: “Wisconsin Ideas”

Fri Feb. 26 @ 3pm/12pm (EST/PST)
Print Exchange Roundtable with Victoria Law, Sarah Matthews, Amy Suo Wu, Rio Yañez (90 min. with q&a)

Fri Feb. 26 @ 4:30pm/1:30pm (EST/PST)
Pop-Up Print Mixer with audience participation and print sharing, BYOB. (Approx. 1 hr.); link will be distributed to attendees at other two events.

Participant Bios

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is Associate Professor and Director of the MFA in Creative Writing at UMass Boston, and Director of the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival. They consider themself primarily a poet, publishing traditionally and digitally, with a focus on computational and digital poetics. Some of their work can be seen at www.lillianyvonnebertram.com. Their most recent book is Travesty Generator (Noemi Press, 2019).

Victoria Law

Victoria Law is a freelance journalist and author who covers issues of incarceration, particularly women’s incarceration and resistance. She is also the editor/publisher of a zine called Tenacious: Art & Writings By Women in Prison, which started in 2002, and the co-founder of Books Through Bars–NYC, an all-volunteer group that sends free books to people in prison nationwide.

Sarah Matthews

Sarah Matthews is a printmaker and book artist. Her work has been exhibited in the US and is a part of the permanent collections of Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, George Washington University’s Gelman Library, University of Puget Sound, and Samford University. She is also a YouTuber and a foam stamp designer for ArtFoamies.com.

Jonathan Senchyne

Dr Senchyne is the Director of the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is an Associate Professor of Book History and Print Culture in the Information School. Dr. Senchyne has been a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society and was the Pine Tree Foundation Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the Future of the Book in a Digital Age at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His most recent book is The Intimacy of Paper in Early and Nineteenth-Century American Literature (University of Massachusetts Press, 2020).  http://www.jsench.org/  
Amy Suo Wu

Amy Suo Wu was born in China, grew up in Australia, and lives in The Netherlands as an artist, designer and teacher. Since 2015, she has engaged in steganographic practices such as hiding techniques, evasion tactics, and covert communication as acts of protection, survival and resistance in the face of oppression and violence. This research is now published under the title ‘A Cookbook of Invisible Writing’ through Onomatopee (2019). Her most recent interest and practice circles around literal and metaphorical approaches of mending, design as remittance and self-fulfilling prophecy and how text and textile might be woven together to form embodied publishing.

Rio Yañez

Rio Yañez is a Chicano artist and curator born and currently based in San Francisco, California. As a printmaker he is a member of The Great Tortilla Conspiracy, a tortilla art collective, which prints artwork and political graphics on tortillas at art events, political actions, and protests. By using a formula of edible silkscreen inks, The Great Tortilla Conspiracy are able to put their art on tortillas, make them into food (like quesadillas), and distribute them as art that feeds people. Their philosophy is that art is at its most subversive when it is impermanent and feeds people. They typically present themselves as chefs and scientists when they create their work.

Matthew Kirschenbaum
Professor of English and Digital Studies
Director, Graduate Certificate in Digital Studies
Printer’s Devil, BookLab
University of Maryland

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