tired bodies, tired worlds

an interdisciplinary graduate student conference

Department of English, University of Chicago

November 15-16, 2018

The Franke Institute for the Humanities

Conference Program


To protect our colleagues with chemical sensitivities, we are asking for your cooperation in helping create a scent-free environment.

Thursday, November 15


9:30-10:15: Conference registration

10:15 – 10:30: Opening Remarks

10:30 – 12:00pm: Refusal and Recuperation

Chair: Dr. Sophia Azeb, Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in English

  • Garments Against Women’s Noninformational Lyric
    Dandi Meng: PhD Student, Department of English, UCLA
  • Black, Blue, Blur: Reading the Ellipsis in John Keene’s “Blues”
    Rebekah Waalkes: PhD Student, Department of English, Tufts University
  • “Rising out of a pile of trash”: Economy and Disposability in Eric Gansworth’s Smoke Dancing
    Andy Lindquist: PhD Student, Department of English, University at Buffalo

12:00 – 1:00pm: Lunch (provided)

1:00 – 2:30pm: Structuring Exhaustion and Exhausting Structures

Chair: Jordan Pruett, PhD Student, Department of English

  • Suspended Declension: Dead Labour, Monumentality, and Automation
    Devin Wangert: PhD Student, Visual & Environmental Studies Department, Harvard University
  • Overworked and Overfitted: Algorithmic Exhaustion in Computational Aesthetics
    Gary Kafer: PhD Student, Department of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago
  • One-Dimensional Exhaustion: Marcuse and the Economism of Thought
    Nica Siegel: PhD Candidate, Political Theory, Yale University

2:40 – 4:10pm: Endurance and the Politics of Chronicity

Chair: Tien-Tien Jong, PhD Student, Department of Cinema & Media Studies

  • Illness and Labor in Bob Flanagan’s The Pain Journal
    Adam Mitts: PhD Student, Department of English, University at Buffalo
  • Bad Habits Die Slow: Numbing and Exhaustion in Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and “Dear Mama”
    Xindi Li: PhD Student, History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz
  • Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying
    Taraneh Fazeli: Curator-in-residence, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art

4:10 – 4:30pm: Coffee break

4:30 – 6:00pm: In the Era of Exhaustion: Political Undercurrents and Critical Hope

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Macarena Gómez-Barris

Chairperson of the Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies and Director of the Global South Center (GSC) at Pratt Institute.

6:00 – 7:00pm Keynote reception (light refreshments provided)


Friday, November 16


8:00am: Twenty Minute Still: morning meditation at Bond Chapel

*meeting place and time to be announced

9:00 – 10:30am: Archives of Absence and Loss

Chair: Bellamy Mitchell, PhD Student, Committee on Social Thought and Department of English

  • Her Black is Woman, Her Story Untold: Narrative Displacement as Ethical Absence in Maryland Police Reports
    Gabrielle Bozarth: Legal Assistant, White and Case LLP 
  • Despair, “The Awakening,” and Environmentalism in The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah and Amour by Marie Vieux-Chauvet                Zach Torp: PhD Student, English Literature and Media Arts, USC
  • Disposable Fictions in Jamie Berrout’s Incomplete Stories and Essays
    Tony Wei Ling: PhD Student, Department of English, UCLA

10:45 – 12:00pm: Laboring Imaginations

Chair: Steven Maye, PhD Candidate, Department of English

  • Made Future: William Blake’s Political Ecology
    John Patrick James: PhD Student, Department of English, UC Berkeley
  •  Dispossession and Reproductive Labor in Helena María Viramontes’s Under the Feet of Jesus
    Robert Mendoza: PhD Student, Department of English, UCLA

12:00 – 12:45pm: Lunch (provided)

12:45 – 1:45pm: Self-care: an untapped value proposition

A workshop moderated by Julie Edwards, Director of Health Promotion and Wellness and Rachel Kyne, Postdoctoral Humanities Teaching Fellow in English

2:00 – 3:15pm: Faculty Roundtable

Benjamin Morgan, Associate Professor of English at the University of Chicago; Director of Undergraduate Studies

Kelly Wisecup,  Associate Professor of English at Northwestern; Director of Undergraduate Studies; Co-Director of Northwestern’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research

Corey Byrnes, Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese Culture at Northwestern University; Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Environmental Humanities Workshop

3:15 – 3:45pm: Coffee break

3:45 – 5:15pm: Choreographies of Release and Relief

Chair: Evan Pensis, PhD Student, Department of Music

  • Survival as Nightlife: The Awakening Glamour of Kia LaBeija
    Hilary Rasch: PhD Student, Department of English, Brown University
  • “I need to tire my body”: Exhaustion and the Political Economy of Nightlife in Lagos (Nigeria)
    Chrystel Oloukoï: PhD Student, African and African American Studies (primary field: Anthropology, secondary field: Critical Media Practice), Harvard University
  • Dancing through Exhaustion: How NIC Kay’s ‘GET WELL SOON’ Seeks Wellness in White Spaces
    Rosalia Lerner: PhD Student, Critical Dance Studies, UC Riverside

6:00pm: Graduate student pizza party

Contact us at exhaustion.uchiconference@gmail.com