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Extra/Ordinary: 2024 MESAAS Grad Conference

General Programming

dateApril 18–19, 2024 locationColumbia UniversityVarious locations across Columbia University and Barnard College locationVirtual Event
  • This links to the full schedule that provides various registration for in person and virtual attendance.

  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Institute for African Studies
  • Institute for Comparative Literature and Society
  • Middle East Institute
  • South Asia Institute
  • Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
email address [email protected]
Children running after a soccer ball (out of frame)

This conference is a space for graduate scholars, activists, artists, and others to think through colonial systems and confront complex questions of politics, ethics, history, language, and solidarity.

Our conference this year aims to investigate the Extra/ordinary as a category and rhetoric of socio-political, historical and cultural thought. What makes a particular event, invention, time, war, crisis, or phenomenon extraordinary? On the contrary, what is relegated to the realm of the ordinary? During a time of multiple compounding crises, where must we look, focus and thoughtfully respond? Is it helpful to highlight the multiplicity of crises, or is our crisis-ridden world best understood through an overarching analytical framework?

In order to pursue these questions, we must also ask what we mean by the extraordinary and the ordinary and excavate the powers that construct these categories across various settings: academic, artistic, practical, etc. In what ways does the extraordinary contrast with the ordinary, what does each position offer, and what possibilities are opened and foreclosed by reorienting from one to the other? Does the classification of a time as ordinary mask persistent everyday violence?

Keynote Address
April 18, 2024 at 7:00 PM
Waving the Magical Wand: On the Facade of the Post-Colonial and International Law

delivered by Ardi Imesis, Assistant Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University.

Full schedule and individual registration links here.