a conference
hosted by the graduate students in the Department of Comparative Literature at
UC Irvine
May 5&6, 2006



PANEL I: Counter States 9-10:30 am, HIB 135                       
Respondent: Jane Newman, Comparative Literature; Moderator: Wendy Piquemal

Nirala’s Pasts and a Romantic Sense of the Colonial Present
Bali Sahota is a research associate in the department of Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago. He works on modern genres of Hindi and Urdu, romanticism in an imperial framework, Orientalism and aesthetic theory. His dissertation thesis tracks the transformation of the classical epic form in modern Hindi and Urdu literatures in the context of romantic aesthetics and late imperial politics. He has written (and published) on topics ranging from untouchability and literature in postcolonial India, Iqbal and the question of identity, and the legacy of imperialism in contemporary literary studies. He has training in Marxism, classical Sanskrit and other languages, and is currently pursuing the study of Persian.

States of Discontent: Ashis Nandy and Indian Experiences of Modernity
Christine Deftereos is in the second year of her studies towards a Doctorate in Philosophy with the Ashworth Program in Social Theory at the University of Melbourne, Australia.  Her research interests are informed by and are largely conducted within the fields of Critical Social Theory and Political Thought and Contemporary Cultural Criticism.  In particular she is interested in questions of cultural identity and political cultures and in the ways in which cultural formations and subjectivities cohere and find expression within contemporary life, especially within postcolonial spaces.  Ms Deftereos’ dissertation is tentatively titled Modernity and its Discontents: Ashis Nandy and the Cultural Politics of Selfhood, which explores the analytic mode undertaken within the work of the Indian political psychologist and public intellectual Ashis Nandy in responding to a series of questions of political culture and identity within the Indian context.  In 2002 Ms Deftereos completed her Masters Degree in Social Theory exploring the growing field of Postcolonial Studies within Western Metropolitan Universities.  Her Masters thesis is titled, Thinking Outside the Postcolonial Canon:  A Critique of the Cosmopolitan Postcolonial Scholar.

Global Visions or the Business of Culture: The Internet Industry in Salman Rushdie’s Fury
Ana Cristina Mendes is a researcher at ULICES (University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies). She is conducting her doctoral thesis in the area of postcolonial studies (Salman Rushdie and the cultural industries). Her current areas of interest are postcolonial literature and film.

PANEL II: Imagistic Collectivities 10:30-12pm, HIB 135
Respondent: Catherine Liu, CL and FIlm and Media Studies; Moderator: Michelle Cho

Angel of Saudade: Tangram and Kaleidoscope in "Konvolut K" and Circle K Cycles
Andrew Leong is a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s department of comparative literature. His primary research interests are in literary modernisms of North America, Latin America, and Japan.

Spectacle and the ‘Other’ A Journey Through the Global Looking Glass
Charlotte McIvor is a first year Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies at University of California, Berkeley. Her research is focused on South Asian performance and transnational and gendered contexts of production.  She is also an active director, dramaturge and performer. Most recently at UC Berkeley, she served as assistant director on Sudipto Chatterjee’s Man of the Heart and Manjula Padmanabhan’s Harvest.   This summer, she will pursue research in Ireland as well as continuing her study of Bengali through the South Asian Summer Language Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  

The Uses of Whales: Orca Whales as Mirrors for the Universal Human Subject
Amanda Moore is an ABD graduate student in the department of anthropology at UC Irvine.  She did thirteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in 2001/2002 about the cultural history and governmental regulation of whales and dolphins on the US/Canadian Pacific border.  Apart from writing her dissertation Whale Stories:  New Forms of Nature, Culture, and Power in the Pacific Northwest,  she supports herself as an adjunct lecturer in local colleges and is working on an article “Who Was Keiko?  The Uneasy Life of New Animal Subjects.”

PANEL III: Disjunctured Resemblance, Intersubjective Drag 1-2:30 pm, HIB 135
Respondent: Simon Leung, Studio Art; Moderator: Chuan Chen

Dressed up in the Latest Drag: Melancholia, Identification, and Group Formation

Aisling Cormack Aboud received a Master's of Philosophy in Anglo-Irish literature from University of Dublin, Trinity College and is currently working toward a Ph.D. in English at University of California, Irvine, researching Irish and Anglophone literature, psychoanalysis, and discursive communities.

‘You and I’: Surrogate Selves , Yearning Identifications, and the Construction of an Archive in Byun Young-ju’s The Murmuring
Christine Hong is a graduate of UCLA, where she received her B.A. in English and specialization in Women’s Studies, Christine Hong studied Korean at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea, and taught in Katmandu, Nepal, before entering Berkeley’s PhD program in English.  Currently in the final phases of her doctoral studies, Christine is writing a dissertation that addresses the intersection of justice, race, and politics in the U.S.-dominated Pacific Rim during the second half of the twentieth century.  Her dissertation, Legal Fictions: Contemporary Human Rights Literature and the Pax Americana in the Pacific Rim, examines the historical relation of post-1945 human rights literature, as an extra-juridical mode of appeal, grievance, and critique, to the Pax Americana, America’s military “peace” restructuring the Pacific Rim following World War II.  

Sister, Brother, Other, Lover: Identification, Desire, and Mourning in the Work of Lyle Ashton Harris
Jordy Jones is a Ph.D candidate in Visual Studies at the University of California at Irvine, where he is a UC Chancellor’s Fellow. His research interests include the history and theory of photography, psychoanalysis and queer studies. His current research is on self representation of gender and somatic ambiguity in photography, and his dissertation is titled The Ambiguous I: Photography, Gender, Self.

PANEL IV: [Re]Defining Us and Them: Crossing the Line 2:30-4pm, HIB 135
Respondent: Ketu Katrak, Asian American Studies; Moderator: Wendy Piquemal

Ghurub We Shuruq: Inappropriate Desires and Sanctioned (Be)Longing
Rania Mahmoud is currently working toward a Ph.D. in English at the University of Washington.  Her scholarly work examines colonial and postcolonial Egypt.

Global English Ideography and the Pseudo-Polyphony of Hollywood Film
John Williams is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.  He is currently writing a dissertation, provisionally titled Plastic Americans: Mapping the Technologies of American Orientalism, which engages with theories of the posthuman to articulate the variety of ways that Asian Americans have both used and been used by technologies of the body in the U.S. cultural imaginary.

Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Handgrenades: Nearness and Intimacy in the Metaphysics of Cosmopolitan Thought
Jairus Victor Grove is a Ph.D. student in Political Theory and International Relations at Johns Hopkins University. His research interest include the question of materiality in international relations, the effects of nuclear weapons on sovereignty and American presidential power, Sovereignty as a bodily practice, and the various attempts at constructing post-sovereign institutions such as the International Criminal Court. In particular he is researching the slippage between the human and the non-human in events of mass atrocity such as genocide


PANEL V: Politics of Return 9-10:30am, HIB135
Respondent: Lindon Barrett, CL and African American Studies; Moderator: Erin Trapp

Black Pacific Love Calls: Diasporic Longing and Migrant Belonging

Vince Scheitwiler is a graduate student at the University of Washington.

Imagined Empires: India’s Films Confront the Challenges of Diaspora
Faiza Hirji is a doctoral candidate in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She is currently completing a dissertation on nationalism and tradition in Bollywood films, and the way these films may affect identity construction among South Asian youth living in diaspora. Her research interests include ethnicity, migration, popular culture, and uses of media by marginalized groups.

The Past is a Distant Colony
Hong-An Truong is a first year M.F.A. graduate student in the Department of Studio Art at the University of California, Irvine.  Truong’s photographic work has been included in exhibits at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, Chambers Fine Art Gallery, the International Center of Photography, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, all in New York.  Truong was the recipient of En Foco's New Works Photography Award (2001) and two artist grants from the Durham Arts Council (2001 and 2004).  In 2002, she was awarded an artist-in-residency at both the Center for Photography at Woodstock in New York, and at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York.  Her writing is included in an anthology on race called Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America (Seal Press 2004).

PANEL VI: Contesting Colonial Inscriptions 9-10:30am, HIB 341
Respondent: Adriana Johnson, Comparative Literature; Moderator: Michelle Cho

Viva Costaguana: Communities, Languages, and Neo-colonialism in Conrad’s Nostromo

Robert Colson got his M.A. in English from UC Irvine in 2004. His primary research interests include Modernism, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, and the Novel in the Twentieth Century.

The Kiểm Thảo and the Uses of Disposable Time in the American War in Vietnam.
Duy Nguyen is a third year student in the Comparative Literature Program at UCI.  His main area of study is Vietnamese colonial and neo-colonial literature and history.  His other interests include Marxian critical theory and theories of social space.

A Taste of Aloha: Postwar Hawaii’l and Neo-Colonial Statehood
Amy Reddinger is a doctoral student in the English Department at the University of Washington. She is currently working on her dissertation Domestic Perversions, Domestic Interventions: Mapping Postwar Formations of Home, School, and Family. Amy is also interested in connecting the university to the communities in which it is situated, and has recently developed a reading group for homeless women and teens at a shelter in Seattle.

PANEL VII: Queer Be/Longings 10:30-12pm, HIB 135
Respondent: Annette Schlichter, CL and Women’s Studies; Moderator: Anna Cavness

Queering Home: South Asian Diaspora and Sexual Identity Politics in Stephen Frears’ and Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette
Rahul Gairola is a doctoral candidate in the joint English and Theory & Criticism program at the University of Washington, and holds an MA in English (with Distinction) from Rhode Island College. He has also studied at the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University, and the University of Cambridge (UK), where he served as the 2003-4 Pembroke Fellow. He has published pieces in myriad scholary journals and edited volumes, and is now writing his dissertation, which re-thinks the notion of "home" through non-heteronormative sexualities and spaces that manifest at contrasting cultural sites in the wake of decolonization.

Archives of Humor: Homoerotic cinematic Spaces in Karan Johar’s Kal Ho Na Ho
Neetu Khanna is a graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA working in the intersections of theories of empire, critical race studies, queer theory, and women of color feminisms.

Corps Étranger: Mona Hatoum and Queering the Body
Robert Summers is completing his PhD in art history at UCLA.  He was a Cota Robles Fellow, A Research Fellow, and a Dickson Fellow recipient.  Currently, he is working on his PhD dissertation, which is tentatively titled Un-Becoming Art History: Queer Archives, Autobiographies, and Memories.  He has an essay titled “Vaginal Davis Does Art History,” in Dead History, Live Art, Jonathan Harris, editor, and an essay titled “From A to Me and Back Again: Andy Warhol’s Autobiographies,” in Post WWII Culture and American Taste, Patricia Morton, editor.  He is also archiving Ms. Vaginal Davis’s Bricktops—a weekly performance and experimental club, in which he was the “resident art historian and lecturer.”  Bricktops was held every Friday—for over two years—at the Parlour Club on Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angles; the archive will be housed at the One Institute, Los Angeles, the largest lesbian and gay archive in North America.

PANEL VIII: Affective Capital 10:30-12pm, HIB 341
Respondent: Eyal Amiran, CL and Film and Media Studies; Moderator: Tim Wong

Capital Cynicism
John Conley is a graduate student at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where he has immersed himself in both the cold and Antonio Negri. This paper is the beginning of his dissertation project on cynicism in America. He is, however, not a cynic.

Labors of Statelessness in Francisco Goldman’s The Ordinary Seaman
Angela Naimou is a PhD candidate at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and a Mellon Graduate Fellow at the Society for the Humanities this year at Cornell.  She’s currently working on a dissertation project that considers figurations of stateless labor in U.S. literatures since the 1930s.

The Hypothetical Mandarin
Eric Hayot is associate professor of English at the University of Arizona, and a fellow (for 2005-2007) at the UCLA International Institute. He is the author of Chinese Dreams: Pound, Brecht, Tel quel (Michigan, 2004), and of articles on topics ranging from poetic modernism to digital culture, which have appeared in such venues as Comparative Literature, Postmodern Culture, and PMLA. He is the co-editor of two forthcoming collections of essays, The EverQuest Reader (Wallflower, 2007) and Sinographies: Writing China (Minnesota, 2007).

PANEL IX: Interstitial Subjectivations 1-2:30pm, HIB 135
Respondent: Dina Al-Kassim, CL; Moderator: Anna Cavness

The Theory of Guilt: A Supplement to the Theory of Sovereignty

Marc Lombardo is an American philosopher who attempts to draw consequences pertinent to the present situation by interpreting the acts of revelation that are the works of John Dewey. The goal being pursued in this gambit is a way of doing philosophy which is wholly consumed by neither philological speculation nor ontological obsession, though, at times, it may be informed by each.

Transnationalizing the National Family: Narrativizations by Transnational Adoptees and the Decentering of the “Salvation Narrative”
A native of Kansas, Rose Jones is a Ph.D. candidate in German, with emphases both in Critical Theory and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her dissertation project seeks to bring together W. G. Sebald's Austerlitz, whose eponymous protagonist confronts the defining event of his life--being sent away in 1939 from family, country, language, etc. via the Kindertransport, and the narratives of transnational adoptees, who number well over 200,000 worldwide, in order to theorize identity and subject formation, and traumatic ruptures to it, in an ever-increasingly globalizing context.

ID Cover
Ayhan Aytes is a Visual Media researcher with a special focus on ethno-cultural interfaces. His recent project Remembrance of Media Past explores various interaction models for alternative cultural representations in new media, influenced by visual analysis of pre-modern media such as illuminated manuscripts, maps and miniature books. His photography and multimedia works are recently exhibited in a joint project, Reading the City of Signs: Istanbul: Revealed or Mystified. He holds a master’s degree in Communication Design, taught graduate level courses at Istanbul Bilgi University Visual Communication Design Department and currently a doctoral student at University of California San Diego, Department of Communication.

PANEL X: Remote Control 1-2:30pm, HIB 341
Respondent: John Smith, German; Moderator: Tim Wong

Remaking Sovereignty: States of Desire and Security in Kosovo

Fatmir Haskaj is a student at City University of New York and a participant in the Global States Conference.

Biological Threat Construction: Fear, Security, and Surveillance in the U.S.
Gwen D’Arcangelis is a PhD student in the Women’s Studies Program at the University of California at Los Angeles.  Her research lies at the intersection of feminist studies and science studies.  Currently, she is working on her dissertation, which focuses on how emerging discourses of biological threats shape the regulation of the bodies of U.S. citizens differently.  As an undergraduate, D’Arcangelis was interested in biological
mechanisms of behavior, and has a B.A. in Neurobiology.  After four years of working in neurobiology and genetics laboratories, her career and scholarly interests shifted to feminist and gender politics and social studies of science.

Morgan Adamson is a fourth year PhD student in the department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. Her current research interest is in the intersection between the avant-garde cinema cultures of France and Latin America in the late 1960’s.

PANEL XI: Global Hauntings 2:30-4pm, HIB 135
Respondent: Rei Terada, CL; Moderator: Erin Trapp

The Sexual and Racial Fantasy of the Abu Ghraib Tortures: Notes for an Investigation
Simón V. Trujillo is a graduate student in the English department of the University of Washington.

Unusual Encounters: Hauntings in Contemporary Colombian Culture
Luis Ramos is a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Spectre of Comparisons in Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost
Su-ching Wang was born in Taiwan. She received her MA in Foreign Languages and Literature from Tsing-hua University in Taiwan in 2005. She is now a first-year Ph.D. student in English at the University of Washington, focusing on postcolonial studies and Asian-American diasporic studies.