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Future Ancestors, Ancestral Futures: The Aesthetic Enactment of Feminist Imaginaries

  • Hilton Hotel Atlanta Georgia (map)

Olivia Michiko Gagnon, NYU
Patricia Nguyen, Northwestern
Lilian Mengesha, Tufts

Mimi Thi Nguyen, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne
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This panel turns to performances and artistic productions that interrogate and propose feminist visions of and for the future. Building upon and indebted to scholarship on feminist and queer temporalities and historiographies, as well as performance studies-inflected work on history, embodiment, and the archive, this panel insists that feminist future imaginaries are deeply implicated in the question of the longue durée (Braudel [1958] 1980) and deep time (Lane 2010). The panel therefore traces forms of transmission as extended practices of making time for ongoing processes of generational passing on and along, ones that knit together webs of transhistorical sociality, or what Leanne Betasomasake Simpson (2017) might call “[ecologies] of intimacy” (8). The papers on this panel engage artworks––and in some cases personal histories and art-making practices––that ask us to conceive of the past not only as entangled with the present, but as vital material for the imagining and enactment of other, more livable feminist futures. Pivoting away from temporalities of revolution and emergency, each paper illuminates practices of passing on and along that propose other ways of being in, with, and across time(s) that are stretched out, expanded, or distended. Together, the papers hail a vision of the world in which to remember is also to dream, longing is a double movement, and futures are constellated out of the affective and material traces of history.