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Reclaiming Joy as Political Visibility (MLA 2024, New Orleans)

Reclaiming Joy as Political Visibility (MLA 2024, New Orleans)

Publié le par Marc Escola (Source : Michèle A. Schaal)

MLA 2025 (9-12 January, New Orleans.) - WIF Guaranteed Session:

"Reclaiming Joy as Political Visibility"

Bearing the brunt of intersecting forms of oppression, fiction and non-fiction by underrepresented authors have often focused on and highlighted the grimmer aspects of living in the margins or facing systemic and institutional violence. However, as feminists of color such as bell hooks, Audre Lorde, or Sarah Ahmed have underlined, reducing BIWOCs (Black, Indigenous, Women of Color) to hopeless victimhood utterly denies them agency and power, even when the latter is limited. Such an analysis can be extended to the experiences of communities that are shaped by intersections such as gender, sexual identity, age, race, disability, migrant or refugee status, and socioeconomic class.

This explains why it has been critical for these communities to reclaim and assert joy: the joy of finding and bonding with peers, the joy of articulating resistance, the joy of asserting selfhood (including in writing and other forms of narrative or visual expression), the joy found in activism, etc. However, there is a necessity to acknowledge that joy and pain occupy a symbiotic and tenuous place for marginalized groups; one does not exist without the other. How have French-speaking authors, across borders, identities, eras, and media used and reclaimed joy as resistance? How is queer, Black, radical, or feminist joy represented in French-speaking cultural productions (literature, film, podcasts, graphic novels, etc.)? 

These are a few questions that this panel seeks to investigate in its discussions on the visibility of joy and/as resistance.

Please send 250-word proposals in English or French to Adrienne Angelo ( and Michèle A. Schaal ( by March 20, 2024.

Presenters will need to confirm their Women in French North America membership status by January 1, 2025.