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Tuesday, April 11th
9:00 AM

Digital Nomads: The New Age of Migrants

Uma Trivede, Whitman College

Reid G02

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

In this age of technology there is a rise in virtual mobility which allows people to connect with one another and their homeland, regardless of their physical location. Since the late 20th century, digital nomads have represented a new classification of migrants who lead a “location-independent” life by moving from place to place, using new media and technology to sustain their livelihoods. My presentation focuses on how new identities are created by digital nomads and what assumptions they represent both in and out of their communities in comparison to existing migrant identities. Digital nomads show a high level of privilege and ability to exercise freedoms that are not as accessible to other categories of migrants. Drawing on anthropological theories of migration, belonging and representation, I propose that digital nomads represent a counterculture based in the mainstream culture they claim to leave behind.

9:15 AM

Enter the Body: Performance, Identity and Body Representation in Contemporary Theatre

Linnea Valdivia, Whitman College

Reid G02

9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

There may be no better place to discuss identity performance than the theatre, one of the most body-oriented art forms. Taking a body-oriented approach, I explore the ways body types and identities are represented on stage, especially with regard to race, body morphology/weight and gender identity (queerness in all forms, but especially in the context of non-binary gender comportment). While representation of “non-normative” body types is based in part on casting practices, it also falls to playwrights and directors to include these types in their works and for producers to support works that do not rely on cis-straight and WASP-oriented plotlines and characters. I explore how modern-day theatre addresses these themes and the ways that practices can be altered to support non-normative performing artists and other individuals.

9:30 AM

Judith Butler: Ethics, Poetics and Freedom

Catherine Fisher, Whitman College
Daniel Whalen, Whitman College
Alex Pitts, Whitman College

Reid G02

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Judith Butler’s significant influence on feminism and queer theory is widely known. However, Butler’s work as a critical reader of the philosophical canon is less widely received. Our presentations explore three essays connecting Butler’s appropriations of philosophical thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Emmanuel Levinas, Friedrich Nietzsche and Baruch Spinoza to real-world problems of ethics, poetics and political rhetoric. Catherine Fisher considers the ethical poetics and political possibilities of Paul Celan’s poetry. Alex Pitts addresses the possibility of ethics in oppressive political situations. Daniel Whalen connects current anti-Semitic rhetoric to a Jewish ethics of non-violence. Together, our presentations argue for the influence of Butler’s work in addressing current, practical problems.

9:45 AM

Framing the Grievable/Ungrievable American Citizen: Visual Representations on Behalf of Katrina Event Survivors

Emma Dulaney, Whitman College

Reid G02

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM

My presentation attempts to make sense of the contested public memory of Hurricane Katrina by analyzing "Telling Their Stories," a curation of 53 news images and an introductory text that convey a specific narrative of the event. The photos are coded into categories of apocalyptic imagery, hypervisibility, citizenship, militarization and class voyeurism to highlight patterns of subjectivity certain bodies are placed within. Judith Butler’s theories of precarity and framing, Nicole Fleetwood’s hypervisibility and iconicity and Wendy Brown’s neoliberalism examine the rhetorical significance of these photos and the public memory they provide for a mediated audience. I argue that the photo collection further embeds iconic visual frames of black precarity and white exceptionalism into the event’s memory through neoliberal rationality.