The Politics and Opacities of Grievability

deadline for submissions: 
July 23, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
College Arts Association

The Politics and Opacities of Grievability Abstract: The question of who constitutes the properly “grievable” subject has never been more important. With the racially and ethnically motivated attacks at the Christchurch Mosque in New Zealand and bombings in Sri Lanka, worldwide refugee crises, along with the #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements in the United States, the global politics of violence is increasingly visible and an important area of intervention. These tragic events remind us that to be regarded as a living being that matters, or what Judith Butler terms a “grievable” life, is predicated on an uneven valuation of victims. For forms of suffering to be recognized, other non-emergent forms are left in abeyance. This panel considers the politics and opacities of grievability, especially how they connect to issues of visibility and representation. We are focused on art practices that seek to acknowledge various forms of violence, suffering, and tragedy that as of yet have remained beyond recognition. We aim to theorize and problematize the role of representation in the valuation of various forms of inflicted violence and anguish. We endeavor to address how artistic practice considers, navigates, and challenges the (in)visibility, legitimacy, and recognition of global violence. In particular, emphasis is placed on topics related to the Global South and parallel spaces of inequity. The panel considers broader ways of understanding the pain of others in an intersectional manner through critical re-evaluations of the grievable and ungrievable subjects of feminism, decoloniality, queer theory, disability studies, and other similar modes of inquiry. Proposals Due 7/23. Send a 250 word abstract to Jamie DiSarno ( and Conor Moynihan ( Accepted participants will have to become a CAA member. More information can be found here: