For full details about the conference, please visit hastac2023.org
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Thursday, June 8 • 5:00pm - 7:00pm

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This work is located on the 2nd floor corridor between the Main Building and East Building, down the hall from Main 212.

This is an installation of an actual closet that you can enter, sit inside, and explore different items. It speaks to some immigrant experiences, evokes childhood memories, and makes space for reflections.

We are aliens. According to the law, we are non-resident aliens. We find ourselves alienated from land, kinship, and familiar epistemologies, that are suppressed or selectively extracted. To be ourselves, we must find and (un)make a space of refuge that will nourish us.

A closet can be this place of refuge for many, including us, aliens. We invite you to sit in solidarity in the anonymity of the closet and share our joys and grievances: fill out the book of complaints, map your geography of displacement, smell the air, touch the clothes, and hear waves washing over us.

After our immigration, we find ourselves smashed between non-belongings - to the hypernationalism we left behind geographically and to the hegemonic empire we inhabit. A closet is our spatial belonging outside of nationalisms.

For this work, we draw on the ideas of Eve Sedgwick (Epistemology of a Closet), Sara Ahmed (Complaint as Queer Method), Matt Brim (Poor Queer Studies), Eve Tuck (Biting the Hand that Feeds You), Fred Moten & Stefano Harney (The Undercommons), bell hooks (All About Love, Teaching to Transgress), David Graeber (Utopia of Rules), Laozi (Tao Te Ching), la paperson (A Third University is Possible), Sara Berman's Closet, and many others.


1. Maria Ryabova

PhD student, University of Pittsburgh

2. Abhishek Viswanathan

University of Pittsburgh

Thursday June 8, 2023 5:00pm - 7:00pm EDT
East 2nd Floor Corridor