Center for Humanities Research A Transdisciplinary Research Center for Advanced Study
This year’s annual theme calls for literary, cultural, historical, philosophical, artistic, linguistic, anthropological, religious, and archival engagements with the question of disposability.
Forms of disposability have been characteristic (or even constitutive) of modes of social and political life, past, present, and in envisioned futures: the dispossession, relocation, and annihilation of local populations; the forced transportation of enslaved and bonded persons; the migration of refugees escaping war, violence, oppression, famine, and environmental and climate crises; the rule of a necropolitics in various spaces beyond the rule of law (whether within, between, or beyond the boundaries of states); the tyranny of oppressive majorities in majoritarian democracies; the violation of the voiceless and of those whose voices have been suppressed or silenced in public and private spheres; the effort to erase cultures or communities, to plunder and destroy ecosystems--these and other forms of rendering people and places "disposable" haunt and hound the world we live in. To what extent are historical and contemporary political systems dependent on forms of disposability, precarity, and extraction? In what ways are democratic modes of governance bound up with the disposability of human and non-human life? Could democracy offer possibilities for resistance, reparation and repair? We are interested in work that interrogates the intersections of disposability, democracy, capitalism, and environmental and social justice, past and present. How might these issues be illuminated by approaches drawn from the critical humanities including feminist, queer, indigenous, transnational, decolonial, post-humanist, dis/ability, and antiracist theories and methodologies?
Image: "EXILE = Exiled, Persecuted, Rooted" 2016 sculpture by artist Beata Rosta on Hungarian refugees.
The CHR is inviting applications for summer funding from Mason doctoral students who are working on their dissertations and who do not already have Mason summer funding. Each student awarded a fellowship will receive a stipend of $8,500.