27th Annual Comparative Literature Intra-Student Faculty Forum (CLIFF)

March 10-12, 2023

The Comparative Literature Intra-Student Faculty Forum (CLIFF) is a conference organized by Graduate students in Complit. 
This year’s theme is Insurgent Research: Practice and Theory. We will spotlight research that aspires to function as counter-counterinsurgency, offering models for materially resisting and challenging capitalism, colonialism, militarism, racism, the destruction of the environment, mass incarceration, policing, and so forth. 

Our panelists are graduate and undergraduate students, independent scholars and researchers, faculty, as well as activists from across the country and beyond. 

We are excited to have Dr. Joy James as our keynote speaker for the 27th CLIFF. James is a scholar, author and activist, and the Ebenezer Fitch Professor of Humanities at Williams College. Their academic work and public engagement address police and prison abolitionism, political imprisonment, radical feminism, and diasporic anti-Black racism. James will speak on Saturday, 3/11 at 10 am in the Rackham Assembly Hall on the 4th floor.
Join us to learn about scholarship that takes the leap from theory to practice, from discourse to action, from critique to insurgency!

All events are open to the public. Registration is recommended for Joy James’ book signing on Friday, 3/10 at 5:30 pm at Third Mind Books.


You can find an overview of our schedule below. 

Friday, March 10th Location: Haven Hall, Room 5670, 5th floor
10 am - 10:30 am. Breakfast
10:30 am - 10:45 am. Opening remarks by Frieda Ekotto

10:45 am - 12:15 pm. Panel 1: Counterinstitutional representations

Presenters: Morinade Stevenson (Grad student, Emory University), Abigail Cowan (Grad student, Pennsylvania State University), Basmah Arshad (Grad student, University of Michigan)

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm. Lunch
1:15 pm - 2:45 pm. Panel 2:  Spain, Mexico and Pakistan: lessons from the international insurgent past

Presenters: Bruno Renero-Hannan (Assistant Prof. of Anthropology, SUNY), Peter Gelderloos (Movement participant and writer), Shehryar Qazi (Undergrad student, Cornell University)

2:45 pm - 3 pm. Coffee Break
3 pm - 4:30 pm. Panel 3: Tech-tics and theories of insurgency and counterinsurgency

Presenters: Mike (Activist), Max Segal (Undergrad student, University of Pittsburgh), Samriddhi Agrawal (Grad student, New York University)

5:30 pm - 7 pm. Book signing and reading with Joy James // Location: Third Mind Books


Saturday, March 11th
Location: Rackham Assembly Hall, 4th floor

9:30 - 10 am. Breakfast
10 am - 11:15 am. Keynote address by Joy James
11:15 am - 11:25 am. Coffee Break
11:25 am - 12:45 pm. Panel 4: Writing the revolution: theses and rhymes

Presenters: Tom Nomad (Researcher, Institute for the Study of Insurgent Warfare), Cheryl Emerson (PhD, SUNY at Buffalo), 

12:45 pm - 1:45 pm. Lunch 
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm. Panel 5: Part I  Fugitive pedagogies: human and nonhuman bodies

Presenters: Raechel Anne Jolie (Researcher, Cleveland Sex Workers Alliance), Sue McRae (Grad student, University of North Texas)
2:45 pm - 2:55 pm. Coffee Break
2:55 pm - 4 pm. Panel 5: Part IIFugitive pedagogies: practices from the Undercommons

Presenters: Emmanuel Orozco Castellanos (Alumn, University of Michigan), Parker Miles (Grad student, University of Michigan)

4 pm - 5 pm. Closing remarks and reception
5:30 pm - 7 pm. Conversation with Joy James and local activists// Location: Bridge Community Café (Ypsilanti)


Katherine Tapia, Amitai Ben-Abba, Luiza Duarte Caetano, and Qingyi Zeng

CLIFF 2023 Organizing Team