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Mel Chen: Agitation as a Form of Conduct

Date and Time: 
Monday, April 30, 2018. 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
Feminist/Queer Colloquium
Meeting Description: 

I will share work in progress that considers agitation in relation to embodiment and political gesture, particularly around the ways that it participates in the theater of contemporary security. This is part of a larger project on chemical intimacies that I'll give an overview of, which focally engages questions of disability, sexuality, and race from the nineteenth century to today.

Mel Y. Chen is associate professor of gender and women's studies at UC Berkeley and director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Culture. Professor Chen’s 2012 book, Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (Duke University Press, winner of Alan Bray Award from Modern Language Association’s GL/Q Caucus), explores questions of racialization, queering, disability, and affective economies in animate and inanimate “life” through the extended concept of “animacy.” A second book project concerns the relationships among the conceptual territories of “toxicity” and “intoxication” and their involvement in histories of the shared interanimation of race and disability. With Jasbir K. Puar, Chen coedits a book series entitled “Anima,” highlighting scholarship in critical race and disability post/in/humanisms at Duke University Press. Chen served a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Society for Disability Studies, ending in 2016.

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