Cult J: “Borders (No), Boundaries, Transfigurations”

Melis Umut (Stony Brook University) Mary (Polly) Gannon (NYI Academic Director of Critical Cultural Studies)

Our seminar will look at the ways we experience, participate in, and refuse border regimes of various kinds, and the ways we cultivate boundaries that hold and protect us. Our investigations will view these matters through the lenses of film, poetry and literature (broadly conceived); and, as always in NYI, our point of departure will be lived, embodied experience. Some of the issues we will engage in our discussions are: sexualities and the semiotics of textiles (“fig leaves and birthday suits”), ableism/disability, agism, migrant justice and carceral regimes (prisons/gulags), desires and bewilderments, the human and more-than-human world (plant thinking, animal rights, earth justice), imperial expansion and the nationstate, and, inevitably, war and peace.

Our agenda is emancipatory, anti-carceral, feminist, interdisciplinary, and transformative. And, finally, we endorse and embrace (we hope) a practice of compassionate listening. 

All that you touch you change.
All that you change changes you.
The only lasting truth is change.
God is change.

Octavia Butler\Earthseed Tenet