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Contamination from Above (Submissions Due February 2, 2015)
full name / name of organization:
Writing from Below
"What if there were, lodged within the heart of the law itself, a law of impurity or a principle of contamination?"
When Carolyn D'Cruz gave the keynote at La Trobe University's Gender, Sexuality and Diversity Studies Symposium in December last year, she stated that "rendering legible a founding violence in the acquisition of meaning, including the meaning of experience, is one way of minimising the kind of violence that can occur when we maintain that the categories of a binary opposition, such as heterosexual and homosexual, are mutually exclusive, and naturally hierarchically ordered as it they were outside of history or metaphysics. In recognising that the ‘groundless grounds' of metaphysics makes possible the historical foundation of an opposition, we learn that neither side of an opposition can function without its other".
Her challenge was direct. Binaries are tempting and neat, hierarchies so efficient and exact; the sense they offer for sense-making is almost inescapable. Presence/absence, speech/writing, self/other, homo/hetero, black/white, good/bad, well/sick, inside/outside, lawful/criminal, above/below: this is a list that could never end. When we write from below, staking out a discursive space for the voices or the marginalised and unheard (or just the very, very quiet), we are marking lines, looking for something that is not that thing. And as soon as we do that, as soon as the page accepts its mark, we are saying here, not there, and this, not that. And so when we write from below, or from the side, or from underneath, or from not quite where we are, we must always consider the strange and uncertain ways in which we are contaminated from above.
§ Impurity, contamination, autoimmunity and infection
You will be peer reviewed. Your work will be respected.
Let us write from below about contamination from above and find out where it is that we meet.
All submissions should be made online at http://www.writingfrombelow.org.au