Politics, Affect, and Performance Strategies

Self-Guided online conference


Dr. Johanna Braun (Stanford University / University of Vienna)
Introducing #masshysteria: Politics, Affect, and Performance Strategies

Johanna Braun, is an artist, scholar, and Principle Investigator of the postdoctoral research project “The Hysteric as Conceptual Operator” [J 4164-G24], sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund [FWF], and situated at the University of California, Los Angeles, Stanford University and the University of Vienna (2018–2020). Her academic and artistic research focuses on (new) hysteria, disability and performance studies. She published most recently the edited volumes Performing Hysteria: Image and Imaginations (Leuven University Press, 2020) and There is a Method to this Madness: Hysteria and the Arts (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2020). Together with Professor Jennifer DeVere Brody, she is the organizer of the self guided online conference #masshysteria. Politics, Affect, and Performance Strategies (October 2020). For more information please visit: www.johannabraun.com and www.performing-hysteria.com



Professor Erica Edwards (Rutgers University)
Terror, Contagion, and the Psychopathology of Empire

Erica R. Edwards is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where she holds the Presidential Term Chair in African American Literature. She is the author of Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership, which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Prize, and The Other Side of Terror: Black Women and the Culture of U.S. Empire, forthcoming with NYU Press. She is the co-editor of Keywords for African American Studies, published in 2018 by NYU Press. Her work on African American literature, politics, and gender critique has appeared in journals such as differences, Callaloo, American Quarterly, American Literary History, and Black Camera.



Professor Kathleen McHugh (UCLA)
Hysterical Intersections: Projection, Conversion, Rage

Kathleen McHugh (Professor, UCLA, English and FTV) is the author of Jane Campion and American Domesticity: From How-To Manual to Hollywood Melodrama. She co-edited South Korean Golden Age Melodrama and special issues of Signs, Biography, and Television and New Media on Film Feminisms, Collaborative Life Narratives, and Transnational Female Detectives, respectively. She has published on transnational film feminisms, global melodrama, experimental autobiography, domesticity, and celebrity in Signs, Camera Obscura, Cultural Studies, Jump Cut, Screen, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Velvet Light Trap. She is currently researching mental illness and anger in contemporary genres.

If possible we ask kindly to watch the following clips ahead of the presentation:
Click On Detroit. "WATCH: Kamala Harris questions Brett Kavanaugh." Youtube video, 5:09. September 27, 2018.
Los Angeles Times. "Sen. Kamala Harris Goes After Atty. Gen Jeff Sessions | Los Angeles Times." Youtube video, 6:51. June 13, 2017.
Cooper, Sarah. "How to medical." Youtube video, 00:49. April 24, 2020.



Professor La Marr Jurelle Bruce (University of Maryland)
Ms. Lauryn Hill Sings Truth to Power in the Key of Madness

La Marr Jurelle Bruce, Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary humanities scholar, cultural and literary theorist, black/Black studies devotee, and Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He studies Africana literature and performance, queer theory, psychoanalysis, disability studies, mad studies, radical love, and the art and aesthetics of quotidian black life. Winner of the Joe Weixlmann Award from African American Review, Dr. Bruce has also published in American Quarterly, The Black Scholar, GLQ, Social Text, and TDR. His first book, How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind: Madness and Black Radical Creativity (forthcoming from Duke University Press), is a study of black artists who mobilize madness in radical self-making, art-making, and world-making. His second project, The Afromantic, will generate a cultural history, critical theory, and existential expression of black joy and love amid antiblackness.



Professor Therí A. Pickens (Bates College)
Being Black Mad :: Mad Black; or New Decade Not-So-New-You

Therí Alyce Pickens, PhD authored of Black Madness :: Mad Blackness (Duke, 2019) and New Body Politics (Routledge, 2014). She also edited the special issue of African American Review dedicated to Blackness and Disability (Summer 2017), Arab American Aesthetics (Routledge, 2018), and the forthcoming special issue of College Language Association Journal dedicated to Blackness and Disability (2021). You can find her on Twitter (@TAPPhD) or on her website (www.tpickens.org).



Professor Ann Cvetkovich (Carleton University)
Public Feelings in a Time of Pandemic

Ann Cvetkovich is Director of the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies at Carleton University.  She was previously Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of English, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, and founding Director of LGBTQ Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.  She is the author of Mixed Feelings:  Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism (Rutgers, 1992); An Archive of Feelings:  Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures (Duke, 2003); and Depression:  A Public Feeling (Duke, 2012).  For additional info, see: www.anncvetkovich.com

This lecture/workshop is the result of monthly writing salons during this time of pandemic on topics that you the listeners can work from as well.  It draws inspiration from graphic artist Lynda Barry’s pandemic diary, which uses list-making and spiral drawing in response to the question:  how did then become now?


The video features four segments with Cvetkovich’s responses to the following prompts:
What are your pandemic keywords and/or your pandemic feelings?
What performances have you watched during the pandemic?
What has been your experience of cultures of protest during this time?
What is your earliest memory of black feminisms?