Being in Motion

Feminist Preconference

Annual Conference on South Asia

Madison, WI

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Feminist considerations of experience, identities, and power are often considerations of moving bodies.  Sometimes this fact is made explicit; other times it is implicit. In many cases, movement is evoked metaphorically, without consideration of actual bodies in motion.

This conference aims to bring movement and its bodily sites to the center of feminist analysis, and to bring feminist thinking to consideration of bodies in motion.  Focusing on movement’s materiality, that is–not just its use as metaphor–in South Asia, we aim to critique, deepen, and clarify our feminist engagement with such foundational ideas as “agency” and “power,” “discipline” and “performance,” “experience” and “voice,” “body” and “society,” asking how movement can occupy sometimes uncomfortable spaces between binary categories.

We invite papers that include physical movement, broadly defined, in the scope of analysis and think about movement as a feature of social life and expression. This could mean thinking about habituated movements or movements that challenge norms, movements that are considered beautiful or iconic, or movements considered pathological, abnormal, or sick; it could mean thinking about movements as organized and choreographed, as improvisatory and quirky, as violent and rupturing, or as quiet and still. Topics could include space, politics, governance, performance, sexuality, creativity, education, migration, medicine, religion and ritual, trauma, pleasure, labor, social change, law, and nationalism.

We encourage presentations that include and invite movement, and seek a wide representation of disciplines.  We encourage scholars to consider their work in a new way, and invite those working in performing disciplines to engage in an interdisciplinary feminist dialogue.  Works in progress are strongly encouraged, as are “provocations,” presentations summarizing research or intellectual projects and posing questions.

Please submit individual paper/presentation abstracts of no more than 400 words to the conference organizers, Smitha Radhakrishnan and Sarah Pinto, sradhakr@wellesley.edu and sarah.pinto@tufts.edu, by June 5, 2015.  Papers will be selected and organized into panels by the conference organizers, and notifications will be sent in early July.