Hello all, I am sharing my talk at From Trauma to Catharsis: Performing the Asian Avant-Garde, a symposium hosted by the MFA Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2014.
The talk is titled "Trauma of the Avant-Garde and Intercession of the Waters: A Future Possible." (On Academia.edu; on Humanities Commons CORE)
In 2014, my research focused on the poetics of speech stemming from indigenous/earth-based traditions I was studying and engaged with. This talk arose from the tension I experienced while negotiating with the alienation and skepticism embedded in most understandings of the avant-garde. (Many strategies of the avant-garde have, of course, been coopted from indigenous contexts, after conveniently trimming away the complexity of the worldview within which these gestures live.) My burning question then was: Could the western avant-garde come in conversation with non-western, sacralizing ways of seeing?
This was a couple of years before the vision I had of the ancestresses changed the trajectory of my research. But you will find in this talk some of the same borderlands concerns animating the later work, which utilized Anzaldúan frameworks. I believe a couple of sentences from here also make their way into the methodological discussion in my doctoral dissertation, "Claiming Voice, Vitality, and Authority in Post-secular South Asian Borderlands."
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