While disclosure is often defined in terms of divulging information and sharing secrets, it also evokes hidden, withheld, or disavowed knowledge(s). Disclosure can serve as a destabilizing act or influence in a range of contexts, from sharing “forbidden” information on the internet (à la Wikileaks) to confiding difficult truths to a caregiver. As disclosures erupt into existing discourses, narratives, and epistemological landscapes, alternative topographies emerge: ideas about what can be known, what may be hidden, and what must be shared become mutable. Disclosure therefore suggests transformation; it prompts a (re)evaluation of the multiple contexts and positionalities that give shape to the ways we understand our worlds.
We invite papers and proposals that consider disclosure in from perspectives that are literary, theoretical, and interdisciplinary. Questions to consider include but are not limited to:
- Power and/or Truth: Disclosure prompts questions of power, accessibility, legibility, legitimacy and agency. Who has access to knowledge, and what counts as legitimate, or real, knowing?
- Embodiment and/or Affect: If disclosure can be a voluntary act, it can also be involuntary; what do we reveal via our gestures, our features, our bodies? How does disclosure interrupt or improve our abilities to engage with, or care for, others?
- Foreclosure, Enclosure, and/or Borders: Disclosure can cause ruptures between borders. How do we imagine borders, including disciplinary boundaries? How do disclosures serve to disrupt normative discourses and recuperate repressed or disavowed narratives, histories, and knowledges. How might disclosure work to reify asymmetrical relations of power?
- Translation and/or Transmission: What concealed knowledge can translation across linguistic or cultural boundaries disclose? In what instances does the act of translation facilitate disclosure? In what instances does it impede it?
This conference seeks to create generative, interactive, and even improvisational spaces for graduate students to share their research and to engage in scholarly discourse. The panel formats have been chosen to encourage rich discussions across disciplinary boundaries. Panel formats include, but are not limited to:
Traditional Panels—Panelists will have 15 minutes to present a prepared paper.
The “Usual Suspects” Roundtable—Panelists from different disciplines will read short, preselected works by some of the “usual” theorists and discuss at least one of these theorists’ influence on their research. For this roundtable, we have selected excerpts from Judith Butler's Precarious Life, Michel Foucault's The History of Sexuality, Vol. 3: The Care of the Self, Gayatri Spivak's A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present, and Slavoj Žižek's “Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange: Our New Heroes.” Panelists may employ the “usual” theorists in unusual ways and/or may introduce “unusual” theorists that problematize the selected works.
Closure Roundtable—What has this conference meant? What have we learned? All conference attendees are invited to participate in this reflective conversation.
Please submit abstracts and proposals of 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, March 31, 2014 at midnight.