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Proposed Title: Promises, Performativity, and Precarious Futures after Mass Violence I 
Brigittine French (Grinnell College)
Victoria Sanford (CUNY)
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Brigittine French (Grinnell College)
Victoria Sanford (CUNY)
Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), 03/006B
Tuesday 26 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel examines survivors’ discourses and embodied experiences of past violence in relation to hopes for more peaceful futures during uncertain times. It does so by interrogating multiple affective stances, which guide human action toward a horizon of possibility that is collectively imagined.

Long Abstract:

Since the horrors of the Holocaust, agents of international human rights efforts and survivors of genocide have proclaimed emphatically “never again.” Despite such commitments and hopes initiated at the end of World War II, the 20th and 21st centuries have been plagued by genocides and on-going political violence in which civilians have been 90 percent of all fatalities (Lutz 2002:729). How then are we to understand the hopes for possible new futures when such atrocities become relegated solely to histories of the past (Nora 1989)? The papers in this panel seek to engage that question through analyses of survivors’ discourses and embodied experiences of past violence in relation to collective hopes for futures that are more peaceful. In so doing, the papers interrogate the notion of hope as one of many possible affective stances social actors hold about the future and consider others like anticipation, expectation, speculation, potentiality, and destiny that guide human action in the present toward a horizon of possibility (Bryant and Knight 2019). They also recognize and consider Berlant’s insight that “all attachments are optimistic, meaning the force that moves you out of yourself and into the world” (2011: 1), in ways that may produce unintended consequences. In so doing, the papers collectively challenge commonplace frames of “reconciliation” and “healing” to enumerate alterative possibilities of justice, reparation, and memory. Papers pay particular attention to intersectional notions of collective identity and non-linear notions of temporality in the articulation of imagined futures by survivors, witnesses, activists, and scholars.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -