Ungendered Flesh: A Feminist Politics Of Refusal

deadline for submissions: 
February 27, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
The 11th Graduate Conference in Literature, Politics, and Aesthetics at Binghamton University Hosted by the Department of Comparative Literature
contact email: 

The 11th Graduate Conference in Literature, Politics, and Aesthetics at Binghamton University Hosted by the Department of Comparative Literature:

Call for Papers

Ungendered Flesh: A Feminist Politics Of Refusal

Keynote: Dr. Joy James, Williams College

April 8-9 2022

The theme of our conference is conceptualized as a gesture toward a radical feminist politics that confronts, displaces, and destroys colonial logics of being. As many radical feminists before us have done, we are attempting to develop a lexicon that speaks to a feminist refusal to arrest “ungendered female flesh” (per Hortense Spillers) in its supposed objecthood, and to a concomitant refusal to be conscripted into white feminist aspirations. This conference will center critical and literary works that recognize the failure of language, grammar, and modes of representation to capture other ways of knowing, being, and doing inherent to a feminist politics of refusal. Ultimately, the conference is an experimental effort toward improvising a different register of being.

Collectively, we will consider the work of black radical feminists, decolonial, native and indigenous feminisms, and women of color feminisms more broadly, reaching beyond, through and across disciplinary and aesthetic boundaries. We owe the inspiration for this conference to the late Professor Maria Lugones whose absence is felt deeply by her students in the department, and whose last year was spent in conversation with Hortense Spillers’ work, from whom we’ve adapted the theme of the conference. 

Questions we hope to address throughout the conference include (but are not limited to):

-           What modes of disruption are offered by the figure of the ‘captive maternal’?

-           How might we begin to theorize a new Science of the Word, or a new genre of the Human?

-           What openings emerge from the abandonment of gendered ascriptions and commitments?

-           How might a radical feminist ethic move us toward the difficult work of being in company, coalition, and relationality?

-           How do these feminisms emphasize land sovereignty and relations to non-human life (plant and animal nations, etc)?

-           What could we learn from societal formations, past and present, that do not conform to the patriarchal-form?

Contributions that focus on key issues of violence, captivity, slavery, colonization, femicide, land sovereignty, indigeneity, critique, performance, feminist insurgency, and feminist praxis, are encouraged. 

The conference will be held on April 8-9, 2022. Submit abstracts of 300 words including 3 keywords describing your paper and a brief bio of 150 words to bingcoligso@gmail.com by February 27, 2022.