Michelle Huang (Humanities Initiative Dissertation Awardee)
Humanities Initiative Dissertation Awardee
Ph.D. Candidate, English & Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Ecologies of Entanglement in Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being
Ruth Ozeki’s 2013 novel A Tale for the Time Being traces the transpacific circulation of flotsam and jetsam—both visible, like plastic bags, and invisible, like nuclear fallout from the 2011 Tohoku tsunami. Thinking through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as well as the knotted narrative form of the novel, this talk will advance a framework that reconstitutes the subject/object divide on the molecular level by attenuating the boundaries of the human and foregrounding the bonds between us and the world with which we interact. A more complex understanding of how the world comes to be mattered extends Asian American literary criticism by reconceptualizing responsibility and agency as ontological, material relationships.
Light lunch at 11:45 a.m. Presentation starts promptly at 12:00 p.m.