“Palestine(s) in the Sky: Visionary Aesthetics of Flight, Freedom, and Fantasy on the Frontiers of U.S Forever War,” by Dr. Ronak Kapadia
Friday March 6th, 5 PM
FAC Museum Education Studio
This talk advances queer, feminist, decolonial, diasporic, and indigenous modes of thinking about the futures of Palestine. It will argue that a contrapuntal queer feminist analysis of visionary aesthetics in the work of London-based Palestinian visual artist Larissa Sansour provides an alternate perceptual regime through which to understand the “facts-on-the-ground” of contemporary US/Israeli security policing and warfare. By closely reading her science fiction film trilogy series as a form of sensuous knowledge and critique, this talk will question what architecture, outer space, and Arab futurisms together might yield for thinking Palestinian sovereignty otherwise. Bringing together scholarship on the affective, legal, and spatial dimensions of both contemporary Israeli security regimes and the Palestinian struggle for liberation with critical works in Arab/American studies, Black studies, Native studies, and queer studies, this paper further identifies fugitive alliances and radical forms of insurgent political consciousness between Palestine and Indigenous/Native futurisms and Afrofuturisms in the US/North America. In so doing, this research not only contributes to the transnationalization of American studies but also probes the field’s outer-planetary and cosmic dimensions too.
Dr. Kapadia is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and affiliated faculty in Art History, Global Asian Studies, and Museum & Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War (Duke University Press, 2019) which theorizes the queer world-making potential of contemporary art and aesthetics in the ongoing context of US war and empire in the Greater Middle East. His broader research and teaching fields include critical ethnic studies; race radical and transnational feminisms; queer of color critique; Arab, Muslim, and South Asian diasporas; national security and surveillance; critical prison and military studies; visual and performance studies; affect and new materialisms; and US Empire.