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CANCELED: Devaleena Das: Thus Spake Kali’s Erratic & Queer Body
WhenTuesday, Apr. 14, 2020, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Campus locationCommunications Building (CMU)
Campus room202
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsCo-sponsored by Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies


In the last two decades, Global North feminist thinkers have been expanding the theoretical paradigm of what is known in the academic world as Body Studies. Yet, not enough critical attention is drawn towards indigenous and non-western perspectives of queer corporeal generosity, conjoined bodies, working class pregnant bodies, suicide bombers’ bodies, black and brown lynched bodies, gendering of cancer bodies, subaltern intercorporeality in surrogacy and organ transplant, and homeless corporeography of bodies of refugees and disabled individuals. Analyzing transnationally various 21st century feminist and queer creative strategies of representation of deviant and unapologetic bodies in literature, visual art, and dance, Devaleena Das proposes a queer corporeal theory developed from the subaltern black goddess Kali’s corporeal possibilities. This talk is an extract from her current book project entitled Anatomophilia: A Transnational Approach to Liberation of the Body where Das reflects on non-docile bodies and their strategies of resistance to standardization of corporeal schemas and cultural inscriptions.  Offering a constellation of transdisciplinary learning about how to honor, listen and regard marginalized bodies, this book aims to contribute to medical humanities by emphasizing that art, literature, and music could provide an alternative healing and therapeutic restoration in contrast to pathologization of bodies in clinical practice.

A transdisciplinary corporeal theorist, Dr. Devaleena Das, is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at University of Minnesota, Duluth campus. Her research explores how and why we need to move beyond corporeal paradigms of fragmentation versus wholeness; biology versus technology; and individual versus collective cultural identity of the body. Her latest edited anthology Unveiling Desire: Fallen Women in Literature, Culture, and Films of the East challenges Western feminist Orientalisms related to corporeal existence and agency of fallen women in the East. She serves as the editorial Board Member of the leading Australian feminist journal Hecate: An interdisciplinary Journal of Women's Liberation.

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