2019 | Come to Pass

Keynote Speaker – Neferti X. M. Tadiar

Professor and Chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Barnard College | Columbia University

Call for Papers

What is coming to pass? How do we experience that which is passing us everyday?

From coastal vantages, friends and lovers wish safe passage with the wave of a hand. In the berths of ships, this security is furnished both through documents of passage — visas, tickets, logbooks — as well as the logistics of oceanic travel and maneuvers of the ship.

Yet transversal, identity, and its mediations sometimes run athwart of each other. After failed attempts, user and password meet interface as impasse. Students get caught lulling in the hallway without a pass only to face the fury of administrators. No, safe passage is not guaranteed. It is a matter of strategy and planning. Taking on the clothes, haircuts, language, and gestures of gendered, sexualized, or racialized normativity, we inhabit forms of passing only to reject them in more familiar community.

Saying passage is a matter of survival is to point to both the quotidian and the crisis. One moment, we’re occupying the ethics of the sociality. Someone says, “Pass the salt.” And the next, that someone has “passed on”. Passage directs us from one register to another, from one world to another. These are not merely euphemisms. Our rituals, rites of passage direct us forward. They are not something we can pass up.

The 2019 Postman Graduate Conference invites graduate students, artists, and independent scholars to submit projects that attend to passage and acts of passing. Recognizing the mobility of the concept, the selection committee welcomes interdisciplinary responses, artist’s talks, and academic presentations which meditate on passing and its possibilities as modes of inquiry and survival.

Possible topics include (but are by no means limited to):

  • Temporalities of passage
  • Borders, nation-states, securitization, and migration
  • Strategies of trespassing
  • The experience and aesthetics of passing
  • The materialities and measurements of sensation
  • Gendered and/or racialized performativity as “passing”
  • Risk, speculation, and logistics
  • Blackness and the Middle Passage
  • Debility, capacity, and technological mediation
  • Surveillance and policing of affect
  • Modes of evidence and witnessing
  • Biopolitics, necropolitics, sovereignty, and capital
  • Forms of political violence
  • Rites of passage and passage as religious motif
  • The passage and literature
  • Translations across languages, ontologies, and epistemologies

Conference Schedule – November 1, 2019

8:45 AM | Coffee + Meet and Greet
9:25 AM | Welcome by the Conference Organizers
9:30 AM | Passing and Dwelling as Geopolitical

Passages Between the U.S. and the Middle East: Racialized State Violence and Predictive Algorithms – Ozgun Eylul Iscen, Duke University

Algorithmic Trespass: Digital Gatekeepers as an apparatus of interpellation and compliance in neoliberal China – Neil Ripley, Head of Communications at Comscore

Bodies of Water: Remembering and Forgetting the Itinerant After Viet Nam – Ellie Tse, University of California, Los Angeles

Computability of the Flesh: Primitive Accumulation and Biometric Computation – Rebecca Uliasz, Duke University

11:30 PM | Passersby — Machinic Subjectivities and Socialities

The academic and the artist: Marking self-deaths through institution and individual – Mel Keiser, Artist

Fantasy fulfilled: The role of speculative dance in constructing logistic infrastructure – Manion Kuhn, New York University, Tisch

Swipe Left to Pass: The Community of Lovers under Techno-Capitalism – Claire Y. Song, New York University, Comparative Literature

2:00 PM | Rerouting — Other ways of passing, archiving, assembling

Temporalities and Temperature: The Timing of Climate Change – Adam Boffa, Independent scholar

The Living Corpse as Archive and Repertoire – Benjamin Nicholson, University of Southern California

Towards a Crip Necropolitics – Iseult Gillespie, University of Wisconsin-Madison

3:30 PM | Passing x Being — Tactics and Survival

Ain’t that ‘Bout a B*tch: The Use of Podcasts in Creating Black Feminist News Spaces – Chelsea Peterson-Salahuddin, Northwestern University

“I” as Mind, “I” as Embodied: (De)Gendered Activist/Survivalist Experiences of Selfhood by those Passing Through Extreme Violence in Mustafa Khalifa’s The Shell and Nawal El Saadawi’s Memoirs from the Woman’s Prison – Queenie Sukhadia, The City University of New York

Asian American Identity Negotiation Under Affirmative Action: How the SFFA v. Harvard Suit Uncovers Mechanisms of Passing – Gabriella Lee, Independent scholar

5:15 PM | Keynote “Thresholds, Of Urban Life”  Neferti X. M. Tadiar
6:30 PM | Reception

Conference Organizers

Anna Stielau is a second year PhD candidate in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU. Her current research centers on race, redress and representations of the future in South Africa.

Aaron Doughty is a second year PhD student in the department of Media, Culture and Communication. His work address video games through a mixture of phenomenology, aesthetics, and critical race studies.

Ian McKenzie is a second year PhD candidate in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU. He did his BFA and his MA at Pratt Institute. His current research focuses on the techniques and technologies of communist transition, with a specific interest in economic cybernetics, land redistribution, and the relation of reparations in the US to both communism and transition.