"This Time is Out of Joint": Post-Temporal

full name / name of organization: 
Patrick Thomas Henry and Shyama Rajendran, The George Washington University

Panel Organizers: Patrick Thomas Henry and Shyama Rajendran

In 2011, we consistently look to tomorrow for something "new," whether it be the release of the next blockbuster film, a new version of the iPhone, or the season's latest fashion. Our understanding of the new is consistently bound up with its imminence, while our understanding of the old is that to which we can never return. The "new" has become inextricable from time, leading us to use the idea of newness, or modernity, to demarcate progress. While not all claims to newness are claims to modernity, understanding modernity as a measure of progress implies newness. Understanding ourselves as modern is how we envision ourselves as progressing, and how we understand history as the past; for this reason, we look at time as linear. Margreta de Grazia describes the divide between the "medieval" and the "modern" as a "massive value judgment, determining what matters and what does not" (453). De Grazia's pithy analysis of the transition from what was once a cyclical recurrence of modernity into an "epochal monolith" echoes the question asked by many: what does it mean to be "modern," and how did the value attached to the concept gain such immense importance? (454). Time is always understood as a forward momentum, leading to the desire to disavow what has already passed, while trying to preserve it, in order to assert the present as new.

De Grazia's position on temporality is echoed across literary periods and theoretical paradigms, ranging from queer theory, Marxism, object oriented ontology, disability studies, and others. This panel, therefore, seeks submissions that explore alternative understandings of temporality and explorations of what "post-" means in relation to time. Further, we seek submissions that transgress the boundaries between literary periods and cultures as they have been institutionally demarcated in order to offer alternative modes of temporality. In doing so, these submissions should pressure the narratives of modernization and progress implicit in the discussion of periodization.

This panel is for participation in the George Washington University's English Graduate Student Association's symposium, "Post-ing: A Symposium on What Comes After." Send abstracts of 300-400 words to both Patrick Thomas Henry (patrickhenry@gwu.edu) and Shyama Rajendran (sraj2404@gwu.edu) with "Post-Temporal" as the subject by November 30, 2013.

For more information please visit the symposium website: http://2014egsapost-ing.webs.com/