Journal #94 - Natasha Ginwala - Untaming Restraint and the Deferred Apology
Journal #94
October 2018
Journal #94 - October 2018

Untaming Restraint and the Deferred Apology

I sat on the throne
drinking nectar with allah
I got hot and sent an ice age to europe
to cool my thirst
My oldest daughter is nefertiti
the tears from my birth pains
created the Nile
I am a beautiful woman1
—Nikki Giovanni

They Be Witches

In a photograph from the recent protests against tightening abortion laws in Poland, a young woman dressed in a black hoodie and leather jacket, mouth covered with a surgical mask, holds up a poster: “We Are The Granddaughters of The Witches You Couldn’t Burn.”2 Survival strategies repeat and are invented anew as draconian laws perform an incessant loop of generational repression. The bloodlines of female ancestry crisscross, stretching continents, running deep wiring under the skin, and stirring us in the present to rebel with all the force of our guts. Let us remember that the matter at hand is not limited to the question of reproductive freedom and sexual choice, but rather represents, more broadly, yet another instance of the codes of restraint that have colonized women’s bodies and minds for centuries. Before we move the conversation to the topic of glass ceilings, we should take a closer look at the thickness of the walls built through the steady accumulation of “restraining orders” and examine the texture of enclosures that have curbed our freedoms. Combined they have produced a carceral condition, which in turn has normalized over-policing of the most intimate decisions across the spectrum of state forces and interpersonal relations.

Restraint is not purely a physical action. While historically manifesting in medieval instruments of punishment, discriminatory legal codes, torturous social customs, and witch-hunts, it also appears as a psychic framework that erects barricades against self-definition and ways of moving through the world for female-identified and queer subjects. In a similar vein, but describing the experience of colonized Black people in Black Skin, White Masks, Frantz Fanon declared, “in the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself.”3 Within a patriarchal order, the process of “endless self-creation” is governed through control mechanisms that attempt to impose representational symmetry across lines of desire, beauty, class, and race. For those female-identified and queer subjects who refuse this grid of abstract violence, blows are delivered against their efforts to rupture borderlines of the disciplinary regime in alternating currents of hard and soft power, like an encircling heat wave that is felt rather than seen. Undertaking the role of “self-creation” as a means of inventing asymmetrical life codes that are sensible and malleable requires a mutation of governance as a technocratic order—an entrance into queering civic consciousness and heteronormative socio-political systems. As Stefano Harney and Fred Moten have written, “Governance is the new form of expropriation. It is the provocation of a certain kind of display, a display of interests as disinterestedness, a display of convertibility, a display of legibility.”4 Perhaps, for those held illegible under a modality of transparent terror, the refuge for dissent lies in witchery.

The witch is a border dweller and has long been portrayed as a trespasser in normative society. Far from being designated as an apparition, the witch is all flesh—skin and bones dragged through trials and torture, subjected to forms of punishment ranging from enclosure and land dispossession to massacres that remain hidden between historic annals.

While Foucault argues that we cannot choose to enter modern society since we are wholly controlled by its technologies of power, there must be a reckoning with “becoming modern” as part of still-unveiling scripts of structural oppression in which witches expand into other female and closely related characters.5 Among these personages are the heretic, the healer, the midwife, the disobedient wife, the woman who dares to live alone, the obeah woman who poisoned the food of the master and inspired slaves to rebel. Capitalist accumulation, from its origins, persists and combats these witchy figures with fury and terror.6

As Silvia Federici reminds us, we need to “demythologize this figure” and bring back her surrounding historical context to make clear the present-day importance of embracing transgressive potentials of witchery.7 In re-positioning the history of capitalist accumulation and the beginning of the slave trade that brought about a paradigmatic shift in feudal relations, land ownership, and labor power, Federici posits that the witch is, foremost, an anti-colonial rebel body caught in matrices of large-scale persecution—a composite figure evolving from common struggles, incompatible ways of living, and transformative social relations that the established order viewed with terror.8

While Foucauldian thought neglected to address the endemic impact of disciplinary power over the female body in modern life, we need only to survey instruments of punishment catering specifically to the female and enslaved body to establish how, on the one hand, active subordination and dispossession efforts are leveled at these so-called “docile bodies” that are vulnerable to perpetual supervision and techniques of management, effectively transposing their everyday lives into a kind of “dressage” that activates the penal domain.9 On the other hand, there is a sense of foreboding in the patriarchal psyche of unleashing the threatening and monstrous aspect of the queer/feminine—leading to a double condemnation.10

In a sixteenth-century instrument for women’s torture and public humiliation, the scold’s bridle (sometimes called a “witch’s bridle”), restraint operated through enforced silencing. This iron cage was deployed as fit punishment for “riotous women,” and fitted over the accused’s head and mouth for acts ranging from spreading rumors to scolding, nagging, or casting spells.11 A metal bit extending into the wearer’s mouth operated much like a horse bridle, but more malevolent: a defiant subject who chose to speak while wearing it could have her tongue sliced in half. One account argued for the bridle’s efficacy by claiming that “a mad woman is like a rough stirring horse, and as he must have a sharp bit, so must she have a sharp restraint.”12 In certain versions of the device, a bell was fitted onto the witch’s bridle to alert the public of her presence so that any movement the witch made in the civic sphere became a shameful transgression—a literal alarm signal to the surrounding society. The person holding the key to the bridle effectively took possession of the tortured subject’s speech; eighteenth-century slave owners, too, used later versions of the witch’s bridle as means of punishment and control over enslaved persons.

Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot
recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.13
—Emily Dickinson

In her epic work Torture of Women (1976), Nancy Spero draws on testimonials, newspaper headlines, Sumerian and Babylonian creation myths, and Amnesty international reports to stitch together an extensive accounting of extreme violence against women. With 125 feet of collaged image and text punctuated by hand-printed and typewritten accounts, Spero composes is an animated “history painting” that condenses vast, bloody chronicles of patriarchal hostility and abuse. There is a way of speaking simultaneously in the singular plural while unveiling the changing lexicon of torture. At times, the figures upon a page are surrounded by blankness, articulating the silences and obliteration surrounding torture as a feedback loop of pain and what Federici might regard as “the great confinement” in which we are still living.

A lithograph of a woman in a branked scold in Joel Dorman Steele and Esther Baker Steele's book A Brief History of the United States (1885). Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.

Wild Zones and Laughter

“Don’t mess with my energy.”14
—Princess Nokia

Combating the patriarchy as daily practice necessitates reaching into the wild zones for relief—requires drawing from internal reservoirs where language is not spoken and heard in the masculine tense. Hélène Cixous addresses the wild self as “the rhythm that laughs you”—where an overflow of desires cannot be dammed by punitive action.15 And, the wild zone operates as that threshold beyond the grasp of the dominating culture, where otherwise muted voices can hold court and narrate their truths. An avalanche of women the world over are choosing now to voice and write through their bodies as a sustained protest against codes of restraint and abuse. Cixous might add, “they must invent the impregnable language that will wreck partitions, classes, and rhetorics, regulations and codes, they must submerge, cut through, get beyond the ultimate reverse-discourse, including the one that laughs at the very idea of pronouncing the word ‘silence.’”16

Laughter is a sense-making device in the darkest phases of restraint, and also a means of self-extension. Bodies in pain and souls in fury are fundamentally transformed in sonorous gradations of mirth. “Isn’t laughter the first form of liberation from a secular oppression?”17 asked Luce Irigaray. Rational terror is pulverized by the Medusa’s laugh—to draw from Cixous’s formulation—an entrapped body given release in her reverberation.

In an interview, Toni Morrison gets at laughter’s—specifically Black laughter’s— rebellious core and entwines it in what is otherwise considered its shadowy opposite: pathos. Morrison notes: “Other people call it humor. It’s not really that. It’s not sort of laughing away one’s troubles ... Laughter itself for Black people has nothing to do with what’s funny at all.”18 In Morrison’s essential work Beloved, laughter becomes the vessel of endurance against systemic oppression of African Americans—a force contrary to the radically negating experience of slavery and its traumatic waves of fallout. Laughter, then, is that counter-hegemonic assurance that flowers reside in the dark passage.19

I imagine Audre Lorde exercising laughter as refusal when, in a 1984 conversation with James Baldwin, she disagrees with him while deliberating their status as “outsiders” to the American dream: “I don’t, honey. I’m sorry,” Lorde says to Baldwin, “I just can’t let that go past. Deep, deep, deep down I know that dream was never mine. And I wept and I cried and I fought and I stormed, but I just knew it. I was Black. I was female. And I was out-out—by any construct wherever the power lay. So if I had to claw myself insane, if I lived I was going to have to do it alone.”20 The question is how this refusal and radical hope may be read in simultaneity when, as Lorde reveals, black women and men live through different nightmares and means of alienation while also striving for joint survival.

Laughter also unleashes another wild zone, one that bridges a gap between the lone woman and her community. In Sri Lanka, an archaic 1979 law was briefly amended this January; after six decades, the decision would permit women over the age of eighteen to purchase alcohol legally and work at bars.21 Women reacted with a mixed response to the paternalistic state: while acknowledging the long-overdue legal reform in a social environment that has persisted in supporting deeply sexist and discriminatory laws against women, a campaign by the intergenerational local group A Collective for Feminist Conversations in Colombo sought to tackle the embedded patriarchy that put men in charge of lifting such a ban in the first place.22 Before long, though, the Buddhist clergy and hard-line conservatives began protesting the reform, and, just days after it was lifted, president Maithripala Sirisena meekly reinstituted the law as an apparent return to controlled “normalcy.” In response to these stifling and illegitimate moves, the feminist and queer community created a hashtag directing ire at the president.23 The hashtag #SirisenaHoldmyGlass accompanied imagery of satiric alcohol labels featuring “organic bigotry” and a brand of “locally sourced sexism” in a bottled formula, pointing to the patriarchal state mechanism’s obsolete power structures insisting on moralizing the codes that govern women citizen’s civic behavior. Laughter from below developed as a spontaneous strategy against the bewildering and frustrating statist agenda that remains resolute in levying forms of collective restraint against women.

To generate a language of transgression, as Cixous has encouraged— one that does not operate “within” the male discourse—women must communicate with one another to build alliances, construct new mythologies that survive beyond the forces of historic erasure, and cement claims for justice as a mode of solidarity, since “in one another we will never be lacking.”

A campaign response on the reimposing of the Sri Lankan ban on women purchasing alcohol (January 2018) by A Collective for Feminist Conversations. Design: Thilini Perera. Image courtesy: A Collective for Feminist Conversations and Subha Wijesiriwardena.

The Erotic as Power

I will crumble and weed and paw
At your feet. Unbraid and emote,
walk faceless from the brink;
If you spit, I will drink.

I will grow heavy and silent
and sick. I will strip you right down
to the bone. I will take your name.
I will take your home

and wake dark with a song
on which you finally choke;
my black hair furring thick
in the gawk of your throat.24
—Safiya Sinclair

In Audre Lorde’s invocation of the erotic as power, we are encouraged to examine the erotic as a tectonic resource that provides “energy for change.” As a structure of feeling, eroticism often remains suppressed and distorted—embedded information that is often either deemed suspect or unrecognized. In the face of its active devaluation and self-cancellation, Lorde relates how to celebrate the potency of the erotic as deeply borne knowledge, and as a fullness of doing that explodes mediocrity. Further, she shows that the erotic wrestles with hegemonic handbooks of oppression within society that govern bodies.25

As part of consciousness, Eros is intimately bound to the ways of remaining affected. It gains strength in every aspect of life and in the active prevention of disaffection in our times—from negativity implanted under the skin to rebellious performances of radical love. Lorde writes,

When I speak of the erotic, then, I speak of it as an assertion of the life force of women; of the creative energy empowered, the knowledge and use of which we are now reclaiming in our language, our history, our dancing, our loving, our work, our lives.26

Indian Dancer and choreographer Chandralekha centralized the body-in-dance as an instrument of resistance, devising ways to express the corpus’s inner needs, limits, desires, time-relations, and laboring prowess.27 Meanwhile Chandralekha, who lived from 1928 to 2006, led her life with utmost freedom in her intimate partnerships, charted an international network of artistic collaborations, used poetry and printmaking to conceive feminist narratives and human rights campaigns, and spread infectious laughter in the face of conservative judgement. She authored a transformative vocabulary for modern dance in India—reinterpreting classical dance traditions but equally drawing from martial art forms, yogic principles, sacred philosophy, and ancient science. In my view, her last choreography, Sharira (2000) harnesses the uses of the erotic, realigning bodies as planetary entities and revealing the inner workings of desire on a corporeal and conceptual plane. Her choreographer’s note reads:

Sharira explores the body as a transformative field for ascending feminine force, to evoke the condition within which the “self” can experience the world. Sharira celebrates the living thing in which sexuality, sensitivity and spirituality co-exist—acknowledging no limit, borders, boundaries.28

The erotic knowledge in dance—and its inseparability between the spiritual and the political—gravitates bodies away from binary posturing into constellations of truly multivalent being.

Dancers Tishani Doshi and Shaji K. John in Chandralekha production's Sharira (2001). Photo: Wolfgang Kirchner

Sharira was first created with dancer-choreographer Padmini Chettur and continues to be performed by writer-dancer Tishani Doshi and Shaji K. John, a practitioner of the South Indian martial art form kalaripayattu. In the beginning, Doshi appears alone onstage in semi-darkness—only acquiring mobility after dwelling in stillness and meticulously probing the extreme reaches of her body. Constellations that are otherwise cosmic and meditative diagrams (Yantra) become embodied diagonals. There is a resolute slowness to the piece that echoes with the dhrupad rhythms and deep chords in vilambit aalap from the Gundecha Brothers’ live composition.29 When the body is inverted, it becomes eerie and more beastly. Doshi slithers like a snake and raises one leg as a scorpion readying to sting. At times the duo appears as two swimmers pushing through an ocean of sand, and then re-emerge, now arched like the crescent moon in an overcast night sky. The two take possession of the space between separation and union with erect fingers, pressed abdomens, and a steady gaze. Legs take the shape of a plough—their weight is pulled by a circling motion of the hands and the determined will of the spine. Like the Achilles heel, various unidentifiable convulsion points become fields of conjoined vulnerability.

Two beings are retreating from combat, piercing open decades of armor that has sedimented onto their bodies with the upward twist of a mountainous neck placed between curved knees. Tishani Doshi notes, “there is a point in the production when we both stand on our heads for a few minutes. In the sunlight of our theatre, it is the moment I feel most like an oak tree, rooted to the ground, branches rippling softly in the breeze.”30 As the singers chant “jwalamukhi” (meaning volcano), their anchored joints and tense shoulders implode into a volcanic plateau and there is a brief, glistening calm.

I asked Doshi about the experience of restraint and the transgressions of gendered bodies in her work. In an email, Doshi responds:

Restraint is an interesting word—because in some ways I suppose I consider myself being quite free—most of my life, I’ve never felt shackled or made to fit into something. In fact, Chandra always said that the reason she was interested in working with me was because of the openness of my body. For her technique was secondary but this openness was all—so that was there from the beginning. Chandra used the word femininity—whether it was women’s or men’s bodies—she was interested in harnessing that principle of femininity within the body.
But, as a dancer working for over fifteen years on one project, Sharira, my move has been beyond gender. I’m very aware of the male / female, purusha / prakriti, Shiva / Shakti, lingam / yoni parameters we were working within, but what I loved most about working with her was her quality of abstraction. And, personally over the years the labels fell off and I was experiencing something like bliss while performing precisely because I could leave my notions of femininity and masculinity at the door. What I was experiencing was pre-gender. An amoeba like feeling of being one of those first creatures coming from the sea to the land—an experience of body that was beyond gender—and of course, I use my body in order to arrive here, and that is a decidedly female body. But I am also transcending that body—through the dance.31

An iPhone screenshot of a meme ridiculing Tony Blair’s apology for supporting the invasion of Iraq, launching the second Gulf War.

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

What happiness for us who are omitted, brushed aside at the scene of inheritances;
we inspire ourselves and we expire without running out of breath, we are everywhere!
From now on, who, if we say so, can say no to us? We’ve come back from always.
—Hélène Cixous32

Rather than struggle to untie the longer trajectory of imperial guilt and continuum of heteropower’s planetary scales of rational violence, let us study the nature of apology. The apology in its true spirit is a break in the regulated composition of time. In that, it is the opposite of restraint, because it involves a sense of movement that may be called reckoning. This movement is not a forward motion; instead, it is a unique variety of suspension in which two or more beings become jigsawed together as interdependent entities. There is something inherently rhythmic about the apology. It is not a stable condition, but rather a fluid metamorphosis—corporeal and soulful. The apology is an improvisation. As Moten and Harney might put it, there is an attempt for shared language to inhabit and speak “from the cracks.”33

However, the patriarch has been indoctrinated against apology; even retreat and self-destruction are more alluring options. There may be a pileup of repentance and subterranean angst without the articulation of apology. Since the apology is construed as ultimate defeat, a slow violence assembles in the shape of an impasse—a chasm that prevents us from moving beyond hierarchy and assumed roles—a curb in the way of equal speech. The lack of language stretches into a frozen lake like the taut skin of unspoken thoughts. In his Black Existentialist response to Kanye West, philosopher Lewis Gordon spoke of narcissism as a veil of self-protection.34 The blockage of an apology as a continual affirmation of restraint is the non-acceptance of a vulnerable existence that entails repeated falling and failing—in other words, being prone to misguided judgment. We are not speaking in tongues; an apology is not for the asking, yet without an emancipatory politics of articulation it remains the unspoken and unsettled legacy that denotes the longest of silences.

On numerous occasions in the geopolitical arena, the apology is delayed until it becomes redundant and, moreover, makes a mockery of past violation. Take for instance the non-apology apology that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair made for leading Britain into war in Iraq in 2003 as part of the US-led coalition. While still rejecting many findings of the Chilcot report, Blair stated: “For all of this, I express more sorrow, regret, and apology than you may ever know or can believe.”35 In contrast, when whistleblower-activist and former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning was asked in an ABC news interview soon after her release, “Do you feel as though you owe the American public an apology?,”her response begins by bearing responsibility instead of an admission of declarative regret. “No one told me to do this.,” she confirms. “Nobody directed me to do this. This is me. It’s on me ... Getting all this information, death, destruction, mayhem, and eventually, you just stop. I stopped seeing just statistics and information and I started seeing people.”36 With relationships with truth collapsing across nation-state regimes, one must reckon with the individual role of recognition and misrecognition amid multiplying crises of ethics. The force of the corrupted apology as a major thread in right-wing escapist politics is a messy business that thrives inside unfinished international warfare. bell hooks insists that the capacitation of counter-hegemonic cultural practice lies in upholding language as a place of struggle and the margin as a site of radical possibility.37 That latter unbound place is principal in transforming the colonizing mentality and motion beyond modes of expression that re-inscribe captivity of the human subject. A true apology is restorative when it becomes a discovery through which you are no longer the same as before. It cannot, therefore, take effect until there is a dis/ordering of the general terms of survivance and complicity. Ferreira da Silva explains how the Black feminist position performs its double refusal: the refusal to disappear and the refusal to comply with the racialized categories of otherness and objecthood.38 In order to find a common cause toward a fight that is bound by mutuality, we must know what kind of world we wish to build.39 The complex dynamic between restraint and apology could come unknotted by the activation of an embodied lexicon of justice, such that this act of worlding is reimagined as a more equitable exercise springing from creative sources in the face of racist patriarchy and an anti-erotic society.40

×

Eternal thanks to my defiant sisters, to Jan Ramesh de Saram for wild laughter, and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung for bringing me poetry.

Natasha Ginwala is a curator and writer. She is Associate Curator at Gropius Bau, Berlin and Festival Curator, COLOMBOSCOPE (2019), Colombo. Ginwala has curated Contour Biennale 8, Polyphonic Worlds: Justice as Medium and was Curatorial Advisor for documenta 14, 2017. Other recent projects include Arrival, Incision. Indian Modernism as Peripatetic Itinerary in the framework of “Hello World. Revising a Collection” at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, 2018; Riots: Slow Cancellation of the Future at ifa Gallery Berlin and Stuttgart, 2018; My East is Your West at the 56th Venice Biennale, 2015; and Corruption: Everybody Knows… with e-flux, New York, 2015. Ginwala was a member of the artistic team for the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2014, and has co-curated The Museum of Rhythm, at Taipei Biennial 2012 and at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2016–17. From 2013–15, in collaboration with Vivian Ziherl, she led the multi-part curatorial project Landings presented at various partner organizations. Ginwala writes on contemporary art and visual culture in various periodicals and has contributed to numerous publications. Ginwala is a recipient of the 2018 visual arts research grant from the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

© 2018 e-flux and the author
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Notes - Untaming Restraint and the Deferred Apology
1

Nikki Giovanni, “Ego-tripping (there may be a reason why)” in The Women and the Men (Harper Perennial, 1979).

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2

“Mass protests in Poland against tightening of abortion law,” The Guardian, March 23, 2018

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3

Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (Pluto Press, 1967 (reprint)), 229.

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4

Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, “Policy and Planning,” in Social Text (Fall 2009): 185.

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5

See Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (Penguin Books, 1977 (reprint)).

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6

Verónica Gago, “Witchtales: An Interview with Silvia Federici,” Viewpoint Magazine, April 15, 2015

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7

See

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8

Sutapa Chattopadhyay, “Caliban and the Witch and wider bodily geographies,” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 24 (2017) 160–73.

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9

Foucault, Discipline and Punish, 137.

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10

Angela King, “The Prisoner of Gender: Foucault and the Disciplining of the Female Body,” Journal of International Women’s Studies, vol. 5. no. 2 (March 2004): 30.

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11

Ethan H. Shagan, The Rule of Moderation: Violence, Religion and the Politics of Restraint in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2011), 65.

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12

Shagan, The Rule of Moderation, 65.

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13

Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (Little, Brown, 1924).

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14

See

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15

Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa,” in New French Feminisms, ed. Elaine Marks and Isabella de Courtivroin (Universtiy of Massachusetts Press, 1980), 252.

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16

Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa,” 252.

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17

Luce Irigaray, This Sex Which is Not One (Cornell University Press, 1985), 163.

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18

Jacqueline A. Bussie, The Laughter of the Oppressed. Ethical and Theological Resistance in Wiesel, Morrison, and Endo. T & T Clark, 2007, 167.

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19

Bussie, The Laughter of the Oppressed, 169.

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20

“Revolutionary Hope: A Conversation Between James Baldwin and Audre Lorde,” originally published in Essence Magazine, 1984. See:

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21

“Sri Lanka Reimposes Ban on Women Buying Alcohol Days after it was Lifted,” The Guardian, January 14, 2018

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22

See

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23

I’m also referring here to Ovul Durmusoglu’s presentation “Who Will Love Us to The End of Time?” as part of the Speaking Feminisms series curated by Elena Agudio, Federica Bueti, and Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro at SAVVY Contemporary, November 15, 2016

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24

Safiya Sinclair, “How To Be A More Interesting Woman: A Political Guide For the Poetess” in Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016).

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25

Audre Lorde, “Uses of the Erotic as Power” in Sister Outsider (The Crossing Press, 1984).

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26

Lorde, Sister Outsider, 341.

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27

Rustom Bharucha, Chandralekha: woman, dance, resistance (Indus, 1995).

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28

Ananya Chatterjea, Butting Out: Reading Resistive Choreographies Through Works by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Chandralekha (Wesleyan University Press, 2004).

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29

Malini Nair, “The rediscovery of Chandralekha, the dancer who didn’t want a legacy,” Scroll.in, December 30, 2016

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30

Tishani Doshi, “Remembering Changralekha on her 11th death anniversary,” The Hindu, December 30, 2017

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31

Tishani Doshi, e-mail conversation with the author on May 17, 2018.

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32

Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa,” in Signs, vol. 1, no. 4 (Summer, 1976): 875­–93.

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33

Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (Minor Compositions, 2003).

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34

Paula Erizanu and Lewis Gordon, “A Black Existentialist Response to Kanye West,” iai news, May 8, 2018

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35

Haroon Moghul, “It’s Ludicrous that Tony Blair and the West Still Refuse to Apologize for the Iraq Debacle,”

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36

Alex Ward, “Chelsea Manning on why she leaked classified intel: ‘I have a responsibility to the public,’” Vox, June 9, 2017

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37

bell hooks, “Choosing The Margin As a Space of Radical Openness,” Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, 36 (1989):15–23.

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38

Denise Ferreira da Silva, “Hacking the Subject: Black Feminism and Refusal beyond the limits of Critique,” philoSOPHIA vol. 8, no. 1 (Winter 2018): 19–41.

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39

Pierre Chaillan, “Thinking in Alliance: an Interview with Judith Butler,” Verso Blog, April 2, 2018

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40

Lorde, Sister Outsider.

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Nikki Giovanni, “Ego-tripping (there may be a reason why)” in The Women and the Men (Harper Perennial, 1979).

“Mass protests in Poland against tightening of abortion law,” The Guardian, March 23, 2018

Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (Pluto Press, 1967 (reprint)), 229.

Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, “Policy and Planning,” in Social Text (Fall 2009): 185.

See Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (Penguin Books, 1977 (reprint)).

Verónica Gago, “Witchtales: An Interview with Silvia Federici,” Viewpoint Magazine, April 15, 2015

See

Sutapa Chattopadhyay, “Caliban and the Witch and wider bodily geographies,” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 24 (2017) 160–73.

Foucault, Discipline and Punish, 137.

Angela King, “The Prisoner of Gender: Foucault and the Disciplining of the Female Body,” Journal of International Women’s Studies, vol. 5. no. 2 (March 2004): 30.

Ethan H. Shagan, The Rule of Moderation: Violence, Religion and the Politics of Restraint in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2011), 65.

Shagan, The Rule of Moderation, 65.

Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (Little, Brown, 1924).

See

Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa,” in New French Feminisms, ed. Elaine Marks and Isabella de Courtivroin (Universtiy of Massachusetts Press, 1980), 252.

Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa,” 252.

Luce Irigaray, This Sex Which is Not One (Cornell University Press, 1985), 163.

Jacqueline A. Bussie, The Laughter of the Oppressed. Ethical and Theological Resistance in Wiesel, Morrison, and Endo. T & T Clark, 2007, 167.

Bussie, The Laughter of the Oppressed, 169.

“Revolutionary Hope: A Conversation Between James Baldwin and Audre Lorde,” originally published in Essence Magazine, 1984. See:

“Sri Lanka Reimposes Ban on Women Buying Alcohol Days after it was Lifted,” The Guardian, January 14, 2018

See

I’m also referring here to Ovul Durmusoglu’s presentation “Who Will Love Us to The End of Time?” as part of the Speaking Feminisms series curated by Elena Agudio, Federica Bueti, and Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro at SAVVY Contemporary, November 15, 2016

Safiya Sinclair, “How To Be A More Interesting Woman: A Political Guide For the Poetess” in Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016).

Audre Lorde, “Uses of the Erotic as Power” in Sister Outsider (The Crossing Press, 1984).

Lorde, Sister Outsider, 341.

Rustom Bharucha, Chandralekha: woman, dance, resistance (Indus, 1995).

Ananya Chatterjea, Butting Out: Reading Resistive Choreographies Through Works by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Chandralekha (Wesleyan University Press, 2004).

Malini Nair, “The rediscovery of Chandralekha, the dancer who didn’t want a legacy,” Scroll.in, December 30, 2016

Tishani Doshi, “Remembering Changralekha on her 11th death anniversary,” The Hindu, December 30, 2017

Tishani Doshi, e-mail conversation with the author on May 17, 2018.

Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa,” in Signs, vol. 1, no. 4 (Summer, 1976): 875­–93.

Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (Minor Compositions, 2003).

Paula Erizanu and Lewis Gordon, “A Black Existentialist Response to Kanye West,” iai news, May 8, 2018

Haroon Moghul, “It’s Ludicrous that Tony Blair and the West Still Refuse to Apologize for the Iraq Debacle,”

Alex Ward, “Chelsea Manning on why she leaked classified intel: ‘I have a responsibility to the public,’” Vox, June 9, 2017

bell hooks, “Choosing The Margin As a Space of Radical Openness,” Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, 36 (1989):15–23.

Denise Ferreira da Silva, “Hacking the Subject: Black Feminism and Refusal beyond the limits of Critique,” philoSOPHIA vol. 8, no. 1 (Winter 2018): 19–41.

Pierre Chaillan, “Thinking in Alliance: an Interview with Judith Butler,” Verso Blog, April 2, 2018

Lorde, Sister Outsider.

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