EVENT Mar 21
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The Postcolonial Queer Body as Palimpsest (NeMLA 50th Annual Convention)

Washington, DC
Organization: Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Event: NeMLA 50th Annual Convention
Categories: Postcolonial, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Literary Theory, Women's Studies, World Literatures, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2019-03-21 to 2019-03-24 Abstract Due: 2018-09-30

This session takes the image of the “palimpsest” as its semantic inspiration to problematize the layerings of power that simultaneously obscure, erase, and recode the experiences of postcolonial queer bodies. As Judith Butler demonstrates in her engagement with Levinasian ethics, the structure of address between the “I” and the Other is an interruption of narratives that behooves the I’s need to be recognized by an interlocutor. From this, we can extrapolate the problem that confronts postcolonial queers: how the multiplicity of address they are mired in satisfies the desire to be acknowledged as Subjects but at once also precludes the possibility of stable positionality, rendering their attempts to be fully recognized as always necessarily provisional and endlessly reinscribable. But what marks are bodies made to bear by such reinscriptions, and still which others are effaced? By whose hands are bodies emended, and for whom?

Seeking to make legible the potential complicity of postcolonial queer bodies in the writing of their own (his)stories, this session invites critical investigations of intermedia sources (literature, film, art, etc.) that surface the complex textualities of postcolonial queer bodies as palimpsests imbricated in waves of diaspora, transnationalism, and globalization that are at once continuous and discontinuous, complementary and contestatory, discursive and destabilizing.

Please submit proposals of 250-300 words, with a bio of at most 100 words, on how you intend to address one or more of the talking points above. For inquiries, you may contact Christian Ylagan at cylagan2@uwo.ca.



Christian Ylagan