Feeling Queer/ Queer Feeling International Colloquium
9:00am 9:00am

Feeling Queer/ Queer Feeling International Colloquium

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Feeling Queer / Queer Feeling
International Colloquium
University of Toronto, Canada
24–26 May, 2017

As a physical and psychological phenomenon, affect takes place in the body and is both outside of and beyond representational mediations, as it mobilizes the concrete experience of the self, of others, and how we are in the world. In response, theories of affect are in our opinion tactical and strategic attempts to come to grips with shifting and nuanced aspects of infinite difference, to qualify the gradient of difference and alterity at the very core of the self. Certainly, we speak of feelings, sensations, emotions, perceptions, and “passions” but theories of affect call for critical sympathy and attention to attempt to translate into another language that which does not happen in words. We must take into consideration that words and concepts are only partial, incomplete, and imperfect attempts at translating experience and that translations reduce the complexity, wealth, diversity, multiplicity, plurality and singularity, of the phenomenon which we want to best describe. How can one then begin to apprehend that which is not within the range of oral or written language, that which cannot be communicated directly, and that which can be showed but not relayed in literature, cinema, painting, or by any other art form? How do we go about capturing, either materially or conceptually, that which cannot be apprehended or seized in any other way?

Session 4: Pain and Pleasure in the Racial Dimensions of Affect and Desire

Father Madden, Carr Hall, St Michael’s College

Chair/Présidence : Christina Chung

Nael BHANJI, York University, “Trans Necropolitics: Terrorism, Vigil/ance, and the
Affective Geopolitics of Transsexual Memorialization”
Natalie KOURI-TOWE, Thorneloe University at Laurentian University, “Nationalism and
the Affective Life of Terror in the Case of Omar Khadr”
Sarah Stefana SMITH, Pennsylvania State University, “Regarding Beauty: Mickalene
Thomas’s Tête de Femme and the Search for the Sublime in Difference”

Weaving between three different projects on the racial dimensions of affect, this panel considers the pleasurable and painful circulation of affects in contemporary arts and politics. While affect theory invites us into the corporeal and emergent experiences of sensation, the aesthetic and political landscapes of contemporary race discourses usher the ephemeral into the convergent spaces of violent encounters (detention and torture, racial violence, racial profiling, counter-terrorism) and anticipatory hope (bafflement, reconciliation, memorialisation). Between the desire for disruption in the aesthetics of beauty to a desire for security in the nation state, the pain and pleasure of race remakes both the victims of racial violence and the witnesses to such violence. Queering the feelings of pain and pleasure, the panel asks us to consider how the horizons and circulation of affect inform these racial encounters.

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Black Like...Conversations on the Writings of Rinaldo Walcott
9:30am 9:30am

Black Like...Conversations on the Writings of Rinaldo Walcott

In 1997 Insomniac Press published Black Like Who?: Writing Black Canada by Rinaldo Walcott. Black Like Who? explores cultural politics inside and beyond Canada, delineating how black communities navigate and creatively attend to unbelonging and diaspora. The book theorizes the work of a range of writers, filmmakers, cultural critics, poets, historical figures, and novelists, while also insisting that these black intellectuals open up alternative ways to imagine blackness. These alternative imaginings, in part, illuminate Walcott’s radical vision: to forge collaborative connections and engender uncomfortable conversations that refuse crude plantocratic democracies…to imagine black life as always already enunciating new forms of humanity.

These conversations will celebrate 20 years of Black Like Who?: Writing Black Canada, while also centralizing Walcott’s fantastic (in the Richard Iton sense) oeuvre of writings on black studies, queer theory, diaspora studies.

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3:00pm 3:00pm

Black Affect[s], Queer Sensibilities: Corporealities of Contestation in Ayana V. Jackson and Zanele Muholi’s Photographic Work

Black Portraitures III: Reinventions- Strains of Histories and Cultures

Panel: Moving in Time

C3. Moving in Time
Moderator: Melvina Lathan (Artist; New York)
Panelists: Ileana Selejan (Wellesley and NYU) Evidencia de que aquí estamos / Evidence that we are here: Photography and the Nicaraguan Caribbean; Chike Frankie Edozien (New York University) The Picture Doesn’t Fit the Frame; Annika Finne (Yale University Art Gallery) Manet Harrison Fowler Paints Manet Helen Fowler; Sarah Stefana Smith (University of Toronto) Black Affect[s], Queer Sensibilities: Corporealities of Contestation in Ayana V. Jackson and Zanele Muholi’s Photographic Work  

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Works in Progress Series and African American Studies

Black Affect[s], Queer Sensibilities: Corporeality of Contestation in Black Diaspora Visual Art

How might a consideration of affect[s] of blackness or black affect shape feeling visuality? What components of feeling through the visual disrupt the order of knowledge that marks blackness as one that measures pain, often at the expense of pleasure? It is through consideration of the performativity of black visuality—one that is conditioned by a myriad of other performances, encounters, and interpellations—that this talk considers contemporary photographic art, aesthetics, and visuality in the work of Ayana V. Jackson and Zanele Muholi. 

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