Organization: New York University
Come to Pass | The 2019 Neil Postman Graduate Conference
NYU Department of Media, Culture, and Communication
Conference Date: November 1, 2019
Abstract Deadline: June 15, 2019
Keynote: Neferti X. M. Tadiar, Professor and Chair, Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University
What is coming to pass? How do we experience that which is passing us everyday? From coastal vantages, friends and lovers wish safe passage with the wave of a hand. In the berths of ships, this security is furnished both through documents of passage — visas, tickets, logbooks — as well as the logistics of oceanic travel and maneuvers of the ship.
Yet transversal, identity, and its mediations sometimes run athwart of each other. After failed attempts, user and password meet interface as impasse. Students get caught lolling in the hallway without a pass only to face the fury of administrators. No, safe passage is not guaranteed. It is a matter of strategy and planning. Taking on the clothes, haircuts, language, and gestures of gendered, sexualized, or racialized normativity, we inhabit forms of passing only to reject them in more familiar community.
Saying passage is a matter of survival is to point to both the quotidian and the crisis. One moment, we’re occupying the ethics of sociality. Someone says, “Pass the salt.” And the next, that someone has “passed on”. Passage directs us from one register to another, from one world to another. These are not merely euphemisms. Our rituals and rites of passage move us forward. They are not something we can pass up.
The 2019 Postman Graduate Conference invites graduate students, artists, and independent scholars to submit projects that attend to passage and acts of passing. Recognizing the mobility of the concept, the selection committee welcomes interdisciplinary responses, artist talks, and academic papers which meditate on passing and its possibilities as modes of inquiry and survival.
Possible topics include (but are by no means limited to):
Temporalities of passage
Borders, nation-states, securitization, and migration
Strategies of trespassing
The experience and aesthetics of passing
The materialities and measurements of sensation
Gendered and/or racialized performativity as “passing”
Risk, speculation, and logistics
Blackness and the Middle Passage
Debility, capacity, and technological mediation
Surveillance and policing of affect
Modes of evidence and witnessing
Biopolitics, necropolitics, sovereignty, and capital
Forms of political violence
Rites of passage and passage as religious motif
The passage and literature
Translations across languages, ontologies, and epistemologies
** Please email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15, 2019. Abstracts should be 250-300 words in length, formatted as Word documents (.doc, .docx), and accompanied by a CV **