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  • Coeditors' IntroductionOn/Of/For/By/With an X
  • Alyson Cole and Kyoo Lee

Having made that first "transContinental" turn in 9.1, in 9.2 we present four essays that further demonstrate the spirit of critical and creative feminist theoretical interventions philoSOPHIA seeks to promote. Although our editorial selections were not guided by any particular topics or concepts, a network of themes emerges in this assemblage: the preclusion, excision, abjection, and resuscitation of an X in affective circulation, what persists, even sediments, through such repeated flows, akin to what Namita Goswami calls "ontograph."

In "A Question of Personhood: Black Marriage, Gay Marriage, and the Contraction of the Human," Roderick Ferguson shows how the law "contractually" limits or narrows the contours and the very possibility of human agency and sociality by using "the circumstances of black intimacies in the nineteenth century." This example of the legally systematic exclusion of racial and sexual minorities in recent history resonates with the case of the continuous, "caste-based tribal exploitation" of human subjects "from antiquity to globalization," as we move onto Namita Goswami's "Amongst Letters I am the Vowel A: Spivak, "Draupadi," and Anagogizing the Political," which discloses the feminist and postcolonial import of Mahasweta Davi's story, "Draupadi," while highlighting the literalized metaphoricity of the A of "a terrifying singularity that disrupts the socio-political logic of gender," its ideologically excised affectivity. Jennifer Purvis turns to the affectivity of "abject" shame in "Confronting the Power of Abjection: Toward a Politics of Shame," which provides a psychoanalytically inflected rendering, highlighting the complex "elements of fluidity and ambiguity" that [End Page iii] "contribute to restructuring the terrain of politics beyond a simple conversion of shame to pride." Such categorically critical attention to the transitory dynamics in political history, ontology, and affectivity is also exemplified in Mariana Ortega's article, which raises the question of how such a terrifying singularity at once absent and excessive, equally disruptive and disintegrating, can be phenomenalized at all. Her impassioned analysis of the corpse in "The Incandescence of Photography: On Abjection, Fulguration, and the Corpse" exposes the haunting materiality of the excessively absent presence of the traumatized body by using the conceptual lens of "photographic incandescence" as a way to access the post-traumatic, transhistorical mechanism of re-membering and survival.

This issue's tranScripts open with archives in transition featuring two miniarchival narratives on artistic activism and activists, herstories in store, so to speak: one on the "first generation" Korean feminist photographer cum cultural activist Youngsook Park (b. 1941), and the other on Belladonna* (b. 1999), a feminist avant-garde poets and writers collective based in New York City with a mission "to promote the work of women* and feminist writers who are adventurous, experimental, politically involved, multiform, multicultural, multigendered, impossible to define, unpredictable, and dangerous with language … and the work that reaches across the boundaries and binaries of literary genre and artistic fields, and that questions the gender binary."1 First, in "Throw Like YSP: On the Wild*Feminist Photography of Youngsook Park," in homage to YSP, a widely recognized "godmother of Korean feminist art," Kyoo Lee introduces, contextualizes, and celebrates the wild womanly "projects" of YSP in light of her long-overdue first retrospective in 2016 and upcoming show in Spring 2020. Second, in "Radical Feminist Poetics: Belladonna* at Twenty Years," James Loop, Rachel Levitsky (founder of Belladonna*), and Rachael Guynn Wilson introduce the experimental work of Belladonna*. Their narrative features an excerpted transcript from "Epic Voices: Bernadette Mayer & Stacy Szymaszek on the Long Poem & Daily Writing" (Poets House, March 09, 2019), which shows, albeit briefly, how and why Mayer's legendarily quotidian, "lesbian" poetics remains groundbreaking. These living archives in transition, both locally based and celebratory, testify to the site-specific longevity and vitality of feminist art-making. This issue's translators' notes introduce the words of Chun-Mei Chuang and Mary Ann Caws, who demonstrate unique ways of inhabiting language as they live "Variously!" (Caws) and "molecularly" (Chuang). And, of course—needless to say, but just to say it again—as Margaret Carson, Alta Price, and Susan Bernofsky note in transpiration, the structural sociopolitical challenges of the "gender gap" and...


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