Re-imagining Liminalities in Times of Crises (Panel / In-Person)


Special Session
World Literatures and Comparative Studies / Historical and Political Studies

Ragini Chakraborty (University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign)
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Paulomi Sharma (University of Minnesota - Twin Cities)
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The COVID-19 pandemic has regenerated conversations regarding human subjectivities at the crossroads of multiple crises. Global power structures have collapsed, borders have been defied and challenged, as national securities/insecurities have come to gain newer definitions. At this juncture, we are forced to witness the creation of transitional spaces where bodies, materials, texts, cultures, ideas and/or identities are at the cusp of becoming. This panel invites abstracts (300 words) and a bionote (100 words) that discuss/interrogate/explore questions of liminality vis-a-vis issues of vulnerability, gender, body, religion, race, bio-politics, and marginalization as represented within the frameworks of literatures, arts, and/or cultural studies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has regenerated conversations regarding human subjectivities at the crossroads of multiple crises. Global power structures have collapsed, borders have been defied and challenged, as national securities/insecurities have come to gain newer definitions. At this juncture, we are forced to witness the creation of transitional spaces where bodies, materials, texts, cultures, ideas and/or identities are at the cusp of becoming. This panel invites abstracts (300 words) and a bionote (100 words) that discuss/interrogate/explore questions of liminality vis-a-vis issues of vulnerability, gender, body, religion, race, bio-politics, and marginalization as represented within the frameworks of literatures, arts, and/or cultural studies.

Some of the key questions that this panel seeks to explore are:

~Can we define/re-define a theory or politics of liminality in the contemporary crisis of COVID-19/disease-infestation?

~How do we envision such a transitional space as operating in the context of literatures and other arts, across time and space?

Taking Foucault’s concept of "biopolitics" as the beacon for re-interrogating the idea of shifting vulnerabilities over the years, this panel aims to think through as well as re-interrogate, in the wake of the current global crisis, questions that concern but are not limited to:

-human/post-human/non-human subjectivities

-vulnerability of bodies/languages/sexualities

-marginality and identity crises

-liminal spaces of ‘being’

-possibilities of recuperation

-migration and exile

-gender & sexuality

-cultures and languages in transition

-eco-criticism

-materialism(s)