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1. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Alyson Cole, Kyoo Lee

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essays

2. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Sara Ishii

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In a 1983 interview with Christine Weiland, Gloria Anzaldúa posited that human and nonhuman connectivity exists outside hierarchical arrangements. Some twenty years after Anzaldúa’s interview, the “Speculative Turn” emerged in continental philosophy which critiques anthropocentrism in modern philosophy and reconceptualizes nonhuman subjectivity. While Anzaldúa’s scholarship addresses core issues that are highlighted by the speculative turn, little scholarship exists that places her into conversation with these new trajectories in continental philosophy. In this essay, I aim to contribute to this nascent scholarship and explore the question, How can Anzaldúa’s creative work contribute to and expand scholarship of the speculative turn? I investigate how Anzaldúa’s work can help bridge connections between differing veins of speculative turn thought, specifically Graham Harman’s object-oriented philosophy (OOP) and Jane Bennett’s vital materialism (VM). Conversations between Harman and Bennett demonstrate a split in understanding nonhuman autonomy and relationality and represent incompatibilities between OOP and VM. Interested in these departures, I posit that Anzaldúa’s creative works, such as poetry and drawing, offer ways to challenge problematic human/nonhuman relations and bridge philosophical divides within the speculative turn.
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3. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Marie Draz

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This essay uses Maria Lugones’s account of the colonial/modern gender system to analyze the retro-use of “biological sex” in recent anti-trans legislation. The retro-use of sex refers to the role of sex in legislation that has been widely described by critics as moving the U.S. backward in time, or as a rollback of trans rights. The essay argues that Lugones’s theorization of the sex/gender distinction in the context of colonialism offers a better way of understanding the retro-use of sex in this legislation than white Anglo-American feminist theories. While Lugones does not explicitly engage with this legislation, the essay shows that her racialized material history of the concept of biological sex not only allows for an expanded sense of the pasts that are at work in the present use of sex but also sharpens the need for feminist and trans responses to the retro-use of sex that are explicitly anti-racist and decolonial.
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4. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Elisabeth Paquette

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Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life draws explicitly from the writings of French second-wave feminist Monique Wittig (1935–2003). Given that Wittig’s work has fallen into obscurity in recent years, and that a number of critiques have responded to her theorization of the notion of “the lesbian,” this essay seeks to understand what Wittig has to offer to twenty-first-century intersectional feminist theory, like that of Ahmed. In this essay, I thus offer analysis and critique of Wittig’s discussion of race and slavery found specifically in her philosophical writings. While emphasizing the significance of Wittig’s failure to be inclusive of women of color in these philosophical works, I propose that within Wittig’s literary writings there are potential tools and concepts—specifically multiplicity, interruption, and mutability—that can be fruitful for trans-inclusive and women of color feminist theorizing.
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5. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Caio Yurgel

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If there’s a riddle scholarship has not yet cracked, it is what Clarice Lispector—arguably Brazil’s most notorious writer—meant when she dedicated the entire Chinese nation to a single egg (“To the egg I dedicate the Chinese nation”). Lispector’s infatuation with China, by way of the Daodejing (道德經), the I-Ching (易經), and the work of philosophers such as Lin Yutang (林語堂) has also not yet been suff iciently explored. Following Lispector’s own evocative—rather than overly analytical—writing style, this article posits that her fascination with Chinese philosophy and mysticism is deeply rooted in a (Daoist) distrust toward mundane and forward-looking notions of success, opting instead for embracing failure as a counterintuitive, “proregressive” politics of resistance—or, as Lin Yuntang (he himself a very retro f igure at this point in time) would put it: “the Chinese are cynics and poets only when they have failed.” Drawing from the little-explored Chinese inf luences in her writings, this article sheds light on the Daoist roots of Clarice Lispector’s worldview and the role failure plays in her oeuvre.
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6. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Arina Rotaru

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Considering a series of theoretical perspectives in memory studies, this essay uses the notion of the retrospective glance to pierce through the historical oblivion and selective forgetting to which a minority group, Koryo saram, has been subjected throughout a silence imposed by the Cold War and the historical inertia caused by globalization. The essay raises related questions regarding the meaning of a diaspora in the absence of an origin as well as about the significance of memory as a public and private act. At the core of the retrospective glance deployed in Soyoung Kim’s visual Exile Trilogy, which is devoted to the Koryo Diaspora, lies a quest to illuminate the blind spots of representation as a “standing for the other” and the desire to represent that defies a Western-centric trauma-studies perspective.
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7. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Hunmi Lee

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This article analyzes the documentary film Goodbye My Love, North Korea: Red Youth (2017) directed by Soyoung Kim. By representing the lives of North Korean students who defected to the Soviet Union in the late 1950s, the film evokes a forgotten North Korean diaspora, whose memories were suppressed in the national history of the two Koreas during the Cold War. Reflections on the theme of “situated identities” in the modern life frequented with migration and immigration are persistent in the works of Kim, from Koryu: Southern Women (2000) to the recent Exile Trilogy. Kim’s quest expands to her interests in the Others who remain alien in their own homes and the alienated from the national history. In “Goryeo Arirang”(2016) and “Goodbye My Love, NK,” Kim approaches the entities of the diaspora through the means of cultural actions of the diaspora, by finding songs, literature, and films of ethnic Koreans in the former Soviet Union and inserting and positioning them into documentaries. However, in the latter film, the sentiment of nationalism is more prevalent, in the fraternal solidarity of the former North Korean male artists and the process of the ethnic Korean community in Central Asia in creating their work in the Korean language. As a result, the film has an inherent risk of turning into a criticism of the North Korean regime—all so familiar in South Korea—and into a history of ordeal of a nation. As a critical input, I attempt to use the concepts of “diaspora space” and “homing desire” by Avtar Brah to read into the post–Cold War changes in the positionality of diasporic subjects hidden in the film.
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8. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Hye Young Kim

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By retelling the story of Kim Alex, one of the Koryo Saram, based on the documentary film Kim Alex’s Place: Ansan-Tashkent by Kim Soyoung (aka Kim Jeong) and the fundamental ontology of Martin Heidegger, this article actualizes storytelling as a phenomenological method of existential understanding and reframes the structure of existential understanding intersubjectively, in which the Other is a necessary condition of existence and understanding.
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9. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Earl Jackson

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The essay analyzes the first two of the three films comprising Soyoung Kim’s Exile Trilogy. Through examining the consequences of the mass forced immigration of Koreans from Far Eastern Russia into Central Asia in 1937, I consider the modes of survival that the descendants have accomplished and the dialogic relation between the director and her subjects. The essay explores historical memory, mourning, and recommitment to a historically informed present and future. This essay is also experimental in that it combines standard academic distance from the subject with the author’s memories of personal involvement with the project and the issues raised.
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10. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Ran Ma

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Looking at Soyoung Kim’s Exile Trilogy (2014–2017), three documentaries centering on ethnic Koreans in Central Asia (formerly USSR) and specifically the use of archival footages and soundtracks in Sound of Nomad, Arirang (2016), this article considers Kim’s works an organic contribution to the image archive of/about/by the global Korean diaspora while seeking to interrogate the politics of “retro” by turning to what Catherine Russell has approached as “archiveology.” Foregrounding the representation of the transgenerational divas from the “Arirang Ensemble” of the Koryo Theater in Almaty, Kazakhstan, this piece highlights how the divas’ personal stories reconstructed via images, oral accounts, sound recordings, and so forth need to be grasped as an assemblage of affective flows that has complicated the teleological narrative about the Korean diaspora and problematized the Soviet state’s ideocultural representations of the Koryo people.
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11. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Erica Hunt

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12. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Mieke Bal

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These three short pieces are the second offerings in an alphabetically ordered series of entries that together will constitute a non-subject-centered autobiography. Professional memoires are merged with personal ones. To underline the fragmentary nature of memory, I call these pieces “vignettes.”
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13. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Fanny Howe

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14. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Tongo Eisen-Martin

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15. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Legacy Russell

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16. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Abby Chen, Hoi Leung

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This essay is from two exhibitions on We (我們 Women) curated by Abby Chen (2012) and Hoi Leung (2021) at the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco.
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17. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Alpesh Kantilal Patel

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Martinican-born poet and theoretician Édouard Glissant suggests that a shift to “archipelagic thinking” can allow one to see the world metaphorically as a collection of islands connected to each other. Foregrounding the body and affect, I will consider the exhibition WOMEN我們, organized by Abby Chen, that traveled from Shanghai (2011) to San Francisco (2012) and Miami (2013) through what I refer to as “archipelagic feeling.” WOMEN 我們 explored queer Chinese feminism, and in a nod to cities in which the venues were located, the curators expanded the checklist at each leg of the tour. In this way, the curators aimed not to essentialize or center queer Chinese feminism but productively connect it to (for example) Latinx subjectivities and Asian-American feminist concerns. In so doing, I suggest this exhibition offers a new framework for thinking about the transnational through both queerness and creolization.
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18. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Lauren O’Neill-Butler, Arthur Ou

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Artists’ texts from an exhibition curated by Olivia Shao with an introduction by Lauren O’Neill-Butler and Arthur Ou.
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19. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Omar Berrada

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Recent trans-Saharan migrations have reawakened older imaginaries of travel and trade across the Sahara. Several years ago, I set out to study the history of these imaginaries as a step toward understanding contemporary racial dynamics in North Africa. Little did I know how structuring trans-Saharan slavery had been for Moroccan society, or how my own family was implicated in it. This essay is an attempt at articulating the web of questions that arose from that process.
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20. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1/2
Kyle Dacuyan

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