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Benjamin Zender

PhD Candidate in Performance Studies | GSS TA 2019-20

Benjamin Zender is a Ph.D. student in Performance Studies at Northwestern. For their dissertation research, they ask how people and communities forge identities through, and how are they disciplined by, their orientations toward shared objects. In their ethnographic work, they speak with individuals about their own “object management” practices of hoarding and minimalism as well as makers of minoritarian archives and museums, drawing a continuum between these individual and collective practices. Considering the ways that minoritarian archivists have curated objects as part of a praxis for worldbuilding, they ask how we might develop a radical, community-based approach toward the care, management, and publicizing of everyday documents and ephemera. 

Courses Taught

  • Winter 2020 | Trash!: Hoarding, Bad Object-Orientations, and Performance (GNDR_ST 371)
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