"Death and Its Afterlives: De/composing Boundaries" Conference Day 1


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A drawing of a skeleton hand holding red flowers
Dr. Susana Draper, Princeton University
Participants : 

Opening remarks by Yopie Prins

Panel 1: Lands and Seas

Adeli Block (University of Michigan), Shaken Homes, Shaken Souls: Toward an Amazigh Anthropology
Matthew Fam (University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign), Buried Waters: Land reclamation and hauntings in Singapore's coasts
Kai Ngu (University of Michigan), Monstrous Climate Entanglements and “Superstitious” Fear in Malaysian Borneo
Katelin Mikos (University of Michigan), The Wakeful Sea: Marine Ecological Disaster in Early Greek Poetry

Panel 2.1: Necropower (Rackham Assembly Hall)

Amanda Gvozden (Northwestern University), These Violent Delights: Inescapable Scapegoating of the Death Penalty and Police Brutality in America
Antonia Alvarado Puchulu (University of Michigan), Illness as Resistance: Necropolitics of Care in Lina Meruane’s Fruta podrida (Rotten Fruit)
Mary Selakovich Casey (University of Illinois), A Modern Medea: Reproductive Justice in the Americas
danah alfailakawi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), queerness as/in modernization and petrocitizenship

Panel 2.2: Biopolitics (West Conference Room)

Orven Mallari (University of Michigan), Grains of Humanity: The Biopolitics of Rice in Postcolonial Philippines
Héctor Ricardo Hernández (Princeton University), The Animacy of Color in Arguedas’ The Deep Rivers and Freddy Mamani’s “Cholet” Architecture
Mallory Payne (Georgetown University), The Aesthetics of the Rural American Necropastoral in Marty Cain’s The Prelude
Audrey Miller (Johns Hopkins University), Spectres as Ecocriticism in Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things: A Derridean Deconstruction of Living With Injury

Panel 3: Working Bodies

Respondent: Frieda Ekotto
Deniz Kizildag (Brandeis University), “I Have My Mother’s Mutation”: Narrating the BRCA Positive Self Through Time
Samantha Farmer (University of Michigan), Resurrecting Socialism in Postsocialist Times: Returning A Factory to Its Workers in Robert Perišić’s No-Signal Area (2015) and The Last Socialist Artifact (2022)
Sanjana Ramesh (University of Washington), The Last Will and Testament of Mother
Sofia Tong (Princeton University), Handlanger

Panel 4: Death in the Narratives

Respondent: Supriya Nair
Maria Rossini (University of Michigan), Deathly Identification in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway
Nathan Omprasadham (University of Michigan), The Spectral Time of War: Ghostly Figures and Unruly Temporalities in The Sri Lankan Anglophone Novel
Sarah Lapean (University of Michigan), Remembering What Wasn’t Said: Sexual Assault of White and Black Women in Victorian Literature
Natalie Francis (University of Michigan), ‘Oxford blood for the ghosts’: de/composing Hermes in R.F Kuang’s Babel (2022)

Event Date: 
March 8, 2024
Event Time: 
8:30am to 5:00pm
Rackham Assembly Hall, 4th floor
A drawing of a skeleton hand holding red flowers

From necropolitics to ecological decline, from digital dead links to haunted sites, from the material ruins of late capitalism to the allegorical decay of “late style,” this year’s CLIFF conference seeks to de/compose the boundaries between the living and the dead. We hope to bring together a diverse set of critical interests and disciplines on a terrain where death and precarious (after)lives lay bare the politics of exclusion, the erosion of memory, and the ethical responsibilities that confront us in the face of current crises. Our graduate student-organized conference aims to foster interdisciplinary dialogues; we welcome researchers, independent scholars, and artists to join us in exploring death, rebirth, and the in-between.

For our 28th annual conference, the Comparative Literature Intra-student Faculty Forum (CLIFF) invites 15 minute presentations based in literary analysis, critical theory, history, politics, anthropology, translation studies, and interdisciplinary work. These presentations may take the form of academic papers, creative work, performance, and/or visual media.

Our conference is entirely organized by graduate students of Comparative Literature. This year's organizing members are Arianna Afsari, CC Barrick, Delsa Lopez, and Sanjana Ramanathan.