Reflections from Rutgers

Every talk (in a room) has a slightly different mood and tone that builds to different lines of conversation and consideration. What was most provocative for me from the conversation I had with people at Rutgers were several contributions about the style of my talk, or perhaps I should say my “show.” Here are the questions they asked for the next stop, Occidental College, in Los Angeles:

  • Do all voices want a body?
  • How does the delivery of Alex’s lecture in our room challenge us to rethink the use of form in scholarly praxis?
  • Does all (feminist?) scholarship need an aesthetic?
  • Why does Alex call her talk a “show,” rather than a performance, or a lecture?

While the first question continues to push me in a direction I am familiar with (and working on) about the contextual powers of invisibility or mobility rather than anchoring or warranting, the others push new considerations about self-reflexive style, form, and even aesthetics by bodies in rooms. It seems, our lived engagements with others must themselves be built as carefully and self-consciously (but perhaps without as much control) as is the architecture of a built (online) environment. These participants wanted to think about my talk as a refunctioning and refashioning of academic work closely aligned to the online LFYT project.