2015 CFP

Radical Kinship
Keynote Speaker: Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley
Conference Date: October 16, 2015

Kinships that cross boundaries often entail radical decenterings of family, community, or subjectivity. What happens when Yellow Peril supports Black Power in Ferguson? When Jean-Paul Sartre and Frantz Fanon discuss the relevance of existentialism to liberatory movements? When Maggie Simpson holds up a “Je Suis Charlie” sign?

Can we undomesticate kinship?

The 2015 Tufts Graduate Humanities Conference invites paper submissions from across the humanities that address the topic of “Radical Kinship.” Building upon contemporary scholarship—from Queer Theory to Indigenous Studies, from Afro-Futurism to Disability Studies—that investigates ways of being and belonging together across differences, “Radical Kinship” calls for a rethinking of both radicality and kin. In a world defined by violence on both the local and global scale, we need to reimagine traditional distinctions of nation, community, and family. This conference aims to explore the potential of radical kinship by considering its sociopolitical, aesthetic, and conceptual consequences.

Some questions to consider:

  • Does radicality engender a kinship for which we have neither terminology nor epistemology?
  • In what ways do creative works rewrite or redefine families and/or social units?
  • What are the limitations of relying on the idea of “family” to define kinship?
  • How are aesthetic movements not only influenced by sociopolitical actions, but also an influence on such actions?
  • Do new models of kinship offer a new paradigm, or do they risk simply reproducing older models in a new form?
  • Are there historical or literary models that exceed traditional attempts at delineation, and thereby gesture to an idea of radical kinship?
  • In what ways can we politicize kinship between aesthetic movements? What is the difference between kinship and appropriation?

We welcome papers from all disciplines and fields whose works engage in framing radical kinship. Please send your abstract of no more than 300 words, along with a short bio, to  tuftsgradhumanitiesconference@gmail.com by May 7, 2015.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

Queer Theory
Queer of Color Critique
Disability Studies
Science Fiction
Anticolonial studies
Diaspora Studies
Gender Studies
Indigenous Studies
Transnational Feminism
Marxism and Labor Studies

Keynote Speaker

Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley is an associate professor of African and African diaspora studies at The University of Texas at Austin and the author of Thiefing Sugar: Eroticism Between Women in Caribbean Literature.

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