Department of Literatures in English Graduate Student Organization (EGSO) Conference 2021: Vulnerability

Wed, 04/07/2021

The Department of Literatures in English Graduate Student Organization (EGSO) announces its 2021 Virtual Conference: Vulnerability, which begins on Friday April 16 and continues Saturday, April 17.

Visit the EGSO Conferences page for full details and link to register.

“Vulnerability,” defined as a sense of exposure or openness, carries multiple connotations. As a source of intimacy in intersubjective relationships, it is associated with care and frequently valorized, evoking trust, honesty, and emotional sincerity. By contrast, vulnerability as a social condition tends to connote negative images —of contingency, precarity, and threat, particularly at the points where economic and political infrastructures begin to fail or decompose. Our various ways of being exposed thus include not only a sense of closeness and dependency, but also an unwilled receptivity and susceptibility to harm. In both cases, however, to be vulnerable, one must not only be open, but also be at risk. The language of risk is inherent to vulnerability, whether deliberate or incidental.  What, then, is at risk when we invoke vulnerability, and for whom? How does the problematic of vulnerability shape our thinking about community, agency and resistance, especially at a time when illness and racialized violence impinge on us? What are the possible affordances, threats, and repercussions of being made open or making oneself open?

Friday, April 16
5:30-6:30 PM: Keynote Speaker, Travis Chi Wing Lau, "Chronic Pains, Chronic Vulnerabilities."
6:30-8:00 PM: Q&A and reception to follow 

Saturday, April 17
9:00 AM-6:30 PM: Panels with Social Hour to follow

Conference participants must create a profile and be approved in advance to access the material.


EGSO Conference 2021: Vulnerability poster