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Conference Programme

to be held at the Conference Centre, Lancaster University, UK


Programme (updated 25 Sept 07)


Thursday 27th September

1.00pm Registration - tea & coffee

2.00 - 3.30pm - opening remarks from Gail Lewis;
Plenary Panels: Chair - Gail Lewis

Dr. Ranjana Khanna, Assoc. Professor, English, Literature and Women’s Studies, Duke University

‘Asylum, political and mental’,

Prof. Veena Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Prof. and Chair Anthropology Dept., John Hopkins University, USA

‘Melancholy as an anthropological affect’,

3.30 - 4.00pm - Refreshments

4.00 - 6.00pm - Workshops

(*Some titles have been abridged)

Feeling States 1

Chair - Imogen Tyler

1 . Lisa Baraitser - Mother Love, Melancholia Unexpected Weeping*
2 . Ann Cvetkovich - Depression and public feelings
3.Daniel Washburn – Melancholia and the Post-Soviet Religious Experience: a bridge between national and religious identity?
4.Andrea Bielli- Political and social implications of pathologized melancholia concept: the Uruguayan response to the epidemic of depression

Architectural States 1

Chair– Gail Crowther

1. Karen Engle - Where has the Melancholy Gone?
2. Veronika Mogyorody - The Search for Lost Ideals: the Melancholic State of Architecture
3. Petra Rethmann - Fantasy Lost
4. Yoke-Sum Wong - The Melancholic Interiority of Modernism

Screening States 1

Chair - Cindy Weber

1. David Barton – Tsai Ming-Liang and'What Time is it There'
2. Rhona O'Brien- Masculinity, Melancholic and Abjection in The Kiss (1998)
3. Kristyn Gorton- Melancholic Desire

6.30 - 8.00pm - Public screening of Roz Mortimer's film, 'Invisible'.
Elizabeth Livingstone Lecture Theatre, Bowland North College. Refreshments will be served beforehand.

INVISIBLE tells the story of how man-made chemicals are building up in our bodies and being passed from mother to child. It is thought that these hormone-disrupting substances are causing havoc with the reproductive systems and neurological health of animals and humans across the planet.

Today scientists cannot find a single woman anywhere in the world who does not have chemicals such as flame retardants in her breast milk.

In this beautiful and thought-provoking film, artist and film maker Roz Mortimer leads us on a hypnotic journey to the high Arctic. Using medieval texts and maps to question hierarchies of knowledge, Mortimer shows us epic scenes of contemporary Inuit life, explores their traditional connection to the earth and stages dramatic tableaux vivant in landscapes of frozen sea.

INVISIBLE is driven by a unique musical score including free-yoik from Sami musician Wimme Saari, live and operatic throatsinging from Inuit artist Tanya Tagaq and an exquisite theremin composition from Michael Kosmides.
Featuring the award winning environmental scientist Theo Colborn; the chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference Sheila Watt-Cloutier; and Inuit mothers who offer emotionally charged testimonies; this provocative film resists the conventions of science documentaries and questions how we live in the world today.

Filmed entirely on Baffin Island, Nunavut, in the communities of Iqaluit and Qikiqtarjuaq.

This event is sponsored by the Centre for Science Studies, Lancaster University. Roz will introduce the 63 minute film and answer questions from the audience afterwards. Roz will present a paper about her work on Friday 28th.

For stills and information about Roz' work

8.00pm - Conference Dinner: Spicy Hut, Lancaster University


Friday 28th September

9.00 - 10.00am - Plenary Panels: Chair - Anne-Marie Fortier

Dr. Roz Mortimer, documentary film maker, Wonderdog Productions,
‘Invisible Losses: Cultural Survival in Face of Environmental Disaster’

Prof. Kavita Panjabi, Prof. and Dept. Head Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, KolKotta
‘Across Borders: Displacement and the Limits of Melancholia in South Asia’

Dr. Gaye Chan, Chair, Dept of Art and Art History, University of Hawai’i
Dr. Nandita Sharma, Asst. Prof, Ethnic Studies and Sociology, University of Hawai’i
‘Good Grief! Recognizing Imposed Identities and Transforming Our Imaginary of Change’

10.30 - 11.00am - Refreshments

11.00 - 1.00pm - Panels

Activist States

Chair – Nandita Sharma
1. Athena Athanasiou – Unthinkable mourning
2.Barbara Korner and Rosemary McKechnie – Activism and the life course
3. Srila Roy – Feminist melancholia?
4. Huang – Mourning the Monogamous Ideal

Moving States 1

Chair - Michaela Fay
1. Meeta Rhani Jha – Bombay Cinematic Song Practices and the British Asian Diasporic Melancholia
2. Poonam Arora – The 'Afghan Girl, The Nat. Geog. Photographer*
3. Thomas Strong – Structural Loss Papua New Guinea*

Performing States 1

Chair - Jackie Stacey
1. Kartina Amin – Acting Out Racial Melancholic in Jean Genet's the Blacks
2. Carl Lavery – Against Melancholic Spectrality*
3. Kate Whittaker – The History Boys
4. Marta Zarzycka – Performing sadness: the figure of a clown in visual arts

1.00 - 2.00pm - Lunch: Nuffield Theatre - Lubaina Himid Screening of Earth Life Seen From The Moon -

2.00 - 3.30pm - Plenary Panels: Chair - Imogen Tyler

Judith Keshet, writer and activist
‘In Search of (A) Lost Time: Mourning Innocence in Occupied Palestine’

Dr. Ayse Gul Altinay, Asst. Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Sabanci University, Tuzla, Turkey
‘Melancholic Exchanges: Remembering Ottoman Armenians in Contemporary Turkey'

Prof. Cindy Weber, Professor of Politics, Politics Dept. Lancaster University
'Melancholic US Citizenship'

3.30 - 4.00pm - Refreshments

4.00 - 6.00pm - Workshops

States 2

Chair– Nina Held
1. Imogen Tyler- The Immigration Industry*
2. Shirley Tate –Black Beauty and Melancholia*
3. Jermaine Singleton - The Melancholy which is Not Her Own & Blueswomen*
4. Simone Brito - Living after Auschwitz and Adorno*

Screening States

Chair - Rhona O'Brien
1. Lindsey Moore- Memory, Melancholia and Mourning Arab Women*
2. Melissa White – Cosmopolitics as Melancholic Promise*
3. Jackie Stacey - Post-oedipal reproductions*
4. Paolo Palladino – Death, mourning and melancholia*

Performing States 2

Chair – Shirley Tate
1. Jermaine Singleton – The Melancholy which is not her own*
2. Elisavet Pakis- Between a rock and a hard place*
3. Marta Zarzycka – Performing sadness, clowns and visual art*


6.30 - 7.30pm - Optional visit to the Judges' Lodgings Museum in Lancaster City Centre to view 'Swallow Hard: The Lancaster Dinner Service', an exhibition by conference participant Lubaina Himid.

Lubaina writes, 'Swallow Hard: The Lancaster Dinner Service' is an intervention, a mapping and an excavation. It is a fragile monument to an invisible engine working for nothing in an amazingly greedy world. It remembers slave servants, sugary food, mahogany furniture, greedy families, tobacco and cotton fabrics but then mixes with British wild flowers, elegant architecture and African patterns'. This is a show about 'what makes Lancaster the complicated place it is'. It is part of Lancashire Museums' ABOLISHED? project on slavery.

We will be catching buses from the university together and the museum is opening specially for us. Entrance costs £2 per person. There will be plenty of time to get into town and see the exhibition before going on to dinner in town (everyone is invited to join us for dinner at the Borough, which is 5 mins walk from the museum).

For more information

8.00 - Dinner: Borough Restaurant (optional)


Saturday 29th September

11.00 - 1.00pm - Workshops

Depicting States

Chair– Maureen McNeil
1. Rosemary Betterton – Melancholy sex, abortion and Tracey Emin*
2. Can Yalcinkaya - Turkish Arabesk Music & Society*
3. Lubaina Himid – Inside the Invisible meets Naming the Money

4. Anna Klamecka – Women & Melancholia: women’s art in Poland*

Memory States

Chair– Anne Whitehead
1 . Holly Prescott - Photographing Abandoned Technologies*
2. Nayanika Mookherjee - The Dead and their Double Duties*
3. Elina Pentinnen – Melancholy of the Incomplete: Surviving Genocidal Violence through Self-healing
4. Patrick Hagopian – Mourning, melancholia, and memories of the Vietnam War

1.00 - 2.00pm - Lunch: Nuffield - Lubaina Himid Screening of Earth Life Seen from the Moon

2.00 - 4.00pm - Plenary Panels: Chair - Nayanika Mookherjee

Prof. David Eng, Dept. of English, University of Pennsylvania
‘Melancholia and Racial Reparation’,

Prof. M. Jacqui Alexander, Fuller-Maathai Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Toronto
‘Pedagogies of the Sacred’

Closing remarks from Conference Organiser.


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