What is the relationship between purity and power? The normative valuation of purity may be rooted in religion. In fact, purification rituals and instruction that link purity to transcendence come close to a universal feature of religiosity. Yet purity or “purism” is also thoroughly political, as Alexis Shotwell shows in her book Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times. Shotwell’s analysis shows that purity legitimates the disavowal of complicity in ecological, colonial, and other systemic crimes. Purity attends conceptions of various identities, including caste, class, race, gender, and sexuality, inheres in constructions of deviant to moral behavior, and activates disgust as a politically mobilizing agent.
Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is one of the most frequently taught texts—it appears on syllabi for American literature, African American literature, American history, life writing, and gender or women’s studies courses. It is taught in high schools as well as in colleges and universities. Yet, very few resources are currently available for instructors.
Call for Papers
Touring Travel Writing: Between Fact and Fiction
Venue: NOVA FCSH, Colégio Almada Negreiros (Campus de Campolide)
Date: December 5-7 2019
The Projector is developing a special issue for research articles that examine industrial and institutional developments in film, television, streaming, and/or gaming. The research, which will illuminate production and/or reception factors, could consider changes or events in the US market, national/regional sectors, or the global domain.
The political economy and/or reception studies research will not focus on interpretation or ideological assessment of an individual text. However, the research projects could effectively incorporate critical race theory, postcolonial studies, research on Hollywood hegemony, or other scholarship concerning social realities and identity politics.
In today’s neo- and illiberal nations affects of hate and indignation become a potent force in creating an axiological us and them. Such exclusionary structures of feeling are instrumental in forming nationalist ideologies and sustaining hegemonic discourses on immigration, homeland security and geopolitical conflict. Because nation states often rely on the construction and sustainment of antagonistic affects to naturalize existing power relationships, emotions should be considered an important manifestation of current illiberal crisis. Many of today’s intolerances seem to be embedded in a populist sentiment that feeling is a force more immediate and “pure” than reason.
While the research of our invited keynotes and plenary speakers mostly gravitates around the issues of labour and precarities, decolonizing knowledge and the refugee “crisis” in the Mediterranean, the conference is open to all topics relevant to Cultural Studies. Suggested topics, drawing on the work of our invited keynote, plenary and spotlight speakers, and on more general themes in Cultural Studies research, include:
(Anti-)consumption and everyday life
Borders and mobilities
Critical and cultural theory