Know Justice: Filling in the Gaps: Reflections on Queer Memory & World-Making

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Discuss queer stories through what is missing.

You can attend this program online or in person. To take part online, register at Masks are optional at all in‐person library events.

This presentation traces the relationships between care, grief, and midrash – a Jewish rhetorical genre and method that attends to gaps, lapses, and silences through stories. Dr. Cassandra Hall will position midrash as a queer grieving practice that honors those structurally forgotten within dominant historical narratives through a close read of Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

Following Vuong, how do stories – including those positioned as fictional – reveal deeper meanings within traumatic and systematically forgotten memories? How do fiction and other creative genres attend to historical and other gaps in ways that reveal messier, whole-making meanings? Vitally, how might midrash and other creative methods allow us to grapple with the ongoing impacts of these gaps, lapses, and silences and enable more livable queer futures?

After the program, there will be time for a group reflection using the questions and prompts provided by Dr. Hall here:

Cassandra Hall is a queer, feminist scholar and full-spectrum care worker whose research and activist interests include disability justice, Jewish rhetorics, reproductive justice, and feminized genres, including romance and memoir. Cassandra holds doctoral and MA degrees in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Queer Studies minor) and a graduate certificate in Certificate in College and University Teaching from Oregon State University. Cassandra is currently located in Portland, OR, and works as an instructor at Portland State University.

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