GWSS at NWSA's 2016 Conference

2016 NWSA Conference: Decoloniality -- November 10-13, 2016 -- Montréal, Québec

Faculty in attendance:           

  • Priti Ramamurthy, Professor/GWSS Chair
  • Shirley J. Yee, Professor
  • Amanda L. Swarr, Associate Professor
  • Kemi Adeyemi, Assistant Professor
  • Bettina Judd, Assistant Professor

Graduate Students in attendance:

  • Sean Jarvis
  • alma khasawnih
  • Jiwoon Yu Lee
  • Elizabeth Ramirez Arreola
  • Jey Saung
  • Shuxuan Zhou

 GWSS Graduate Student Presenters at NWSA 2016

Sean Jarvis Biometrics and the Speed of Intimacy: Queer Citizenship and Surveillance Technology
In Event: Managing Suspect Bodies: National Belonging and Queer Governmentality
In “Biometrics and the Speed of Intimacy,” I take as my object of inquiry the data that are collected and interpreted in the process of immigration proceedings. By looking at the role of technology in immigration governance, I analyze the relationship between bureaucracy and self-narration, especially as it relates to the rise of queer identity as a category salient to the nation-state. Reading the specific case of Boutilier v. INS (1967) as a conduit between the Cold War and the War on Terror, I elaborate on the continuity between suspect bodies in two of empire’s more recent modes.

alma khasawnih I Was Joking!: Condoms, Morality, and the Street
In Event: Online and Offline Spaces: Creative Resistance and Community Building since the Egyptian January 25th Revolution
On January 25, 2016, the 5th anniversary of the January 25 2011 Revolution and Police Day, two actors Shadi Abu Zaid and Ahmed Malek went to Tahrir Square with condom balloons and distributed them to unsuspecting police officers. A video of this was posted online, within a day it was viewed more than 1.4 million times and received an array of responses, including reactions that describe this act as a breach of public morality. This paper examines the relationship between resistance performed through claiming the street and morality as the shrinking of it.

Elizabeth Ramirez Arreola Hablemos Claro: Acts of Violence Committed in Mexico and U.S. Soil Against Central American and Mexican Women & Children Refugees
In Event: Decolonial Praxis and Desiring Knowledge from the “Global South”
This paper examines the complex immigrant narratives of multiple acts of policing and state-sanctioned violence that criminalize and control the bodies of displaced women and children from Central America and Mexico, in the long-standing humanitarian crisis of the United States’ southern border. Author Linda Smith says “testimonio is a narrative of collective memory; is a form which the voice of a witness is accorded space and protection”, I then look at the use of testimonio as decolonial praxis; as feminist methodology exerting immigrant’s rights through individual’s narratives. A political strategy reinserting stories left out, of the U.S. immigration debate.

Jey Saung Reproduction of the Nation-State: Post-Disaster Media Coverage of the Nepal-Israel Surrogate “Gaybies” Extraction
In Event: Managing Suspect Bodies: National Belonging and Queer Governmentality
This paper takes up the Nepal-Israel surrogate “gaybies” pipeline which emerged in mass media following the 2015 Nepal earthquake to explore gay-hired surrogacy and its potential role in the building of the nation-state. As a nation-state, Israel is constantly under what could be conceptualized as a “demographic threat” (Prainsack 2006). Engaging with homonationalism and how “some homosexual subjects are complicit with heterosexual nationalist formations” (Puar 2007), I argue that media support for the Israeli “gaybies” airlift from Nepal and subsequent push for the legalization of gay-hired surrogacy in Israel inadvertently upholds the continuation of a colonialist project.

Jiwoon Yu Lee De/reifying Japanese Colonial Order in “Comfort Women” Struggle
In Event: Decolonial Praxis and Desiring Knowledge from the “Global South”
The lived experience and narratives of “comfort women” are becoming an ever more present battlefield of militant contestation between transnational activist groups and the postcolonial national authorities -South Korea, Japan, and the US. This paper examines the indexes of colonial biopolitics and articulation of sexuality, ethnicity, gender, and class under Japanese imperial war economy (1910-1945). Critically reading the discourse of “authentic” colonial subjects constructed through historical “facts,” I propose a decolonial reading of the indexes of reified subjects - particularly “sex slaves” and “factory women” - as intersectional categories through which the colonial order is maintained, fueled, and reproduced.