MIGC15: UNBEARABLE Program of Events

The Tenth Annual Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference (MIGC)

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, February 20th & 21st 2015


Friday 2/20/15


8:00 – 8:30 Registration & Breakfast

175 Curtin Hall


8:30 – 10:00 Panel: Creatures

175 Curtin Hall

Panel Chair: Nigel Rothfels / UWM / Animal Studies

Graduate Student Respondent: Claire Barber-Stetson / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / English


"The World-Against-Us: Horror Between Politics and Ontology"

Quinn Lester / Political Science / Johns Hopkins University


“Singular Creatures: Animality, the Anthropocene, and Our Encounters with Unbearability”

Michael Uhall / Political Science / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


“Who’s Monster? A Re-Telling of the Frankenstein Myth”

Daniel Lovejoy / Humanities / San Francisco State University


“War, Gore, and the Unbearable: Attack on Titan’s Brutality”

Thad Furman / English / University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee



10:15 – 11:30 Panel: Trajectories of Time

175 Curtin Hall

Panel Chair: Ted Martin / Assistant Professor of English / UWM

Graduate Student Respondent: Chase Erwin / English / UWM


“Octavia Butler’s Anti-Utopia: Neoliberalism, the End of History, and Utopian Impulse in the Parable Series”

Chris Carpenter / English / University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee


“Screening the Unbearable: Traumatic Identification with Tom Kalin's Savage Grace”

Laura Stamm / Film Studies / University of Pittsburgh


“Dumpster Babies, Garbage Pail Kids: 'It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,' Samuel Beckett’s 'Endgame,' and Post-Bourgeois Existence in the Trash”

Michael Beebe / English / University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee



12:00 – 1:30 Brown Bag Lunch with Lauren Berlant & Lee Edelman

(bring your own lunch)

Pre-circulated reading: excerpt of  Sex, Or the Unbearable

Reading available here: http://www4.uwm.edu/c21/pdfs/migc/2015/sotu.pdf

(copies also available at registration table)

Center for 21st Century Studies, Curtin Hall 939



1:45 – 3:15 Panel: Illness

175 Curtin Hall

Panel Chair: Kumkum Sangari / Professor of English / UWM

Graduate Student Respondent: Frankie Mastrangelo / English / UWM


“AIDS and Marriage: Rejecting Stealth Heteronormativity”

Robert Lipscomb / English / University of Nebraska – Lincoln


“Dangerous Intimacies: The Transformative Power of the Orisa of Disease”

Fernanda Villarroel / Art History / University of Wisconsin – Madison


“The Unbearable Heaviness of Death: On Sophie Calle Filming Her Mother's Last Breaths"

Giulia Danti / Visual Arts / Università di Bologna, Italy


“Auroratone: Investigating Psychiatric Rehabilitation through Synesthesia”

Alexandra Fine / Cultural Studies / University of California-Davis




3:15-3:30 Break (coffee available)









3:30 – 5:00 Keynote Presentation

Welcome: Richard Grusin/Professor of English & Director of C21/UWM

Opening Remarks: Ali Sperling/MIGC Chair,Ph.D. student, English/UWM

Introductions: Jane Gallop /Distinguished Professor of English /UWM


 Lauren Berlant / University of Chicago


Lee Edelman / Tufts University

“The Unbearable, a Postscript”

175 Curtin Hall



5:30 – 7:00 BREAK

(Dinner served at 6pm before the Creative Showcase – see flyer in program)



7:00 – 9:30 Creative Showcase “UNBEARABLE”

Tamales and beverages served at 6:00pm

@ Microlights (2541 Bremen St., Riverwest neighborhood)

Food @ 6:00pm / Show @ 7:00pm

!!Featuring!! a special screening of the short films of:

Malic Amalya/ MFA University of Illinois at Chicago, MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Art Institute

**filmmaker in attendance**


~But First~ MIGC performances, readings, and screenings by Cassandra Troyan (UChicago), Matt Rossoni (UWM), Katy Rossing (Alabama), Katharine Monger (UWM), Janelle VanderKelen (UWM), Leigh Hellman (University of Illinois at Chicago), Anna Vitale (UW Madison), and Frankie Mastrangelo and Franklin K.R. Cline (UWM),

Host and MC: Ben Balcom


Free and open to the public. Space is limited to first 60 people, so arrive early.



Saturday 2/21/15


8:00 – 8:30: Coffee and breakfast

175 Curtin Hall



8:30 – 10:30:  Panel: Limits of Media

175 Curtin Hall

Panel Chair: Anne Wysocki / Professor of English / UWM

Graduate Student Responder: Kris Purzycki / English / UWM


“Beyond Scarcity and Precariousness: a Report on Brazilian Modding Strategies”

José Carlos Messias / Communication / Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


“Raspberry Pi”  / A Short Video

Allain Daigle / English / University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee


“The Unbearable Experience of the Videogame”

Cameron Kunzelman / Moving Image Studies / Georgia State University



10:45 – 12:15: Concurrent Events


Event One

Lightening Round: A Collaborative Speed Workshop

382 Curtin Hall

Graduate Student Moderator: Ali Sperling / UWM


Kelly Cooper / English / University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Sun Young Lee / Curriculum & Instruction / University of Wisconsin - Madison

Edilene Silva / Information Science / Federal University of Pariaba, Brazil

Katherine Glanz / Political Science / Johns Hopkins University

Daniela Miranda / English / Washington State University

Mark Brand / English / University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Vincent Adiutori / English / University of Illinois at Chicago

Christina Belcher / English / University of Southern California

Corrine Ehrfurth / Curriculum & Instruction / University of Wisconsin Madison

Amelia Hruby / Philosophy / DePaul University

Sun-Ha Hong / Communication / University of Pennsylvania








Event Two

A Roundtable

“How Interdisciplinary Perspectives Can Bring Change and Action

Through Intergroup Dialogue”

A University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Panel

Disability Studies and UIC's Intergroup Dialogue Initiative

175 Curtin Hall

Panel Moderator: Emily Clark / Deputy Director, Center for 21st Century Studies

Graduate Student Responder: Sarah O’Connell  / English


Chloe Gurin-Sands / Public Health / UIC

Opening discourse about lived experiences, power, and privilege is an important part of working with communities to improve health outcomes and address the root causes of health disparities.


Stephanie Hicks /Educational Policies Studies / UIC

The opportunity to develop and implement critical pedagogy that moves students and educators to build more just society is what drives her participation in the Dialogue Initiative.


Liz Thomson / Disability Studies / UIC

Draws from the mantra, “Nothing about us; without us” and the inherent interdisciplinarity to inform their perspective on dialogue.




12:15 – 1:15 A Provided Lunch

Free lunch from Beans and Barley for all conference registrants, respondents, panel chairs, and Hosts

Sponsored by The Graduate School and the Office of Research

368 Curtin Hall



1:15 – 2:30 Panel: The Body on Screen

Curtin 175

Panel Chair: Carl Bogner / Department of Film / UWM

Graduate Student Respondent: Ben Balcom / MFA in Experimental Film / UWM


“The Unbearable origin of Human Sexuality: A Philosophical Analysis of Teorema”

Andrea Nicolini / Philosophy, Psychology, Education / University of Verona, Italy


“What is Lost in Cohesion: Guilt & Shame in David Cronenberg’s ‘Maps to the Stars’”

Toby Wiggins / Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies / York University, Canada


“All About Overload:” Hysterical Literature and the Ethics of Distraction”

Gordon Sullivan / English / University of Pittsburgh


Q & A


A Live Performance with Video Component: “Untitled”

Neil Gravander / Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres / UWM


Q & A



2:30-3:00pm Installation Artist Walk-and-Talk (coffee also available)

Please take the time to visit the installation artists by their work


Phyllis Schlessinger / University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Ceramics Installation: “Broken, Target, Guns Don’t Kill, People Do”


Corinne Ehrfurth / University of Wisconsin – Madison

Photography: “By Dint of a Secret Heliotropism”


Sarika Gongalla / Missouri Western State University

Acrylic on Canvas: “Nostalgic Memories”


Vanessa Carlisle / University of Southern California

“Revolutionary Greetings: A Participatory Installation”


Sunny Reddy Medapati / Missouri Western State University

Digital Projection: “Pixel Art”


Mike Hodzinski / University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Side Room, Curtin 175a

Participatory Sound Installation:

“germanPlayfulSistersGroup: readOnly[1-1-1] 120 bpm”




3:00 – 4:15 Panel: Against the State

175 Curtin Hall

Panel Chair: Ivan Ascher / Assistant Professor of Political Science / UWM

Graduate Student Responder: Kal Heck / UWM / English


“Unbearable Silences: Violence, Art, and Interpretation in Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje”

Sylvia Wolak / English / University of Illinois


Creative Non-Fiction: “hungry ghosts” (part II)

Leigh Hellman / English / University of Chicago


“Loving the Unbearable Archive, Repair in the Unbearable Present”

David Seitz / Human Geography, Women & Gender Studies, Sexual Diversity University of Toronto


“I Can’t Breathe:” Notes on a Somatic Mode of Critique

Jean-Thomas Tremblay / English / University of Chicago



4:30 Closing Reflection

Curtin Hall 175


~Dinner on your own~


8:00 – 10:00pm: AFTER PARTY/ cash bar /

**featuring Prescott Sobol, DJ Fuzzy Logic**

@ Allium

2101 N. Prospect Ave.

Free and open to the public: Please join us!


































A Warm Thank You:


The 2015 MIGC Board

Ali Sperling, Chair

Kris Purzycki, Vice-Chair

Shawna Lipton, Events Coordinator

Jessica Johnston, Hospitality Liaison


Our Generous Sponsors

The Vilas Trust

The Center for 21st Century Studies

The Division of Student Affairs

The College of Letters and Sciences

The Graduate School

The Office of Research

The UWM Department of English

The Year of the Humanities


Book Display

People’s Books Co-Op


Host & Support of Creative Showcase

Ben Balcom


Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival


The Center for 21st Century Studies

Richard Grusin

Emily Clark

Annette Hess

John Blum


Faculty Panel Chairs

Graduate Student Respondents


Poster Designer: Purr Drumey


MIGC Volunteers and Hosts           

Sarah O’Connell

Ahmed Teleb

Frankie Mastrangelo

Chris Carpenter

Chris Williams

Bridget Kies

EJ Basa

Bob Bruss

Kizzy Fay

Caitlin Scarano

Tobias Wray

Kristi Prins

Geoff Kinzer

Jeremy Carnes

Allain Daigle

Natalie Goodman

Paul Gagliardi

Eric Herhuth

Kalling Heck

Mary Clinkenbeard

Chase Erwin

Ching-In Chen

Molly McCourt

Justin Schumaker

Franklin K.R. Cline

Kristen Ravel
Anne-Marie Blanchard

Thad Furman


Program Designers:

Eddie Chapman

Mike Hodzinksi