Journal InTensions explores state of suspension

The latest issue of InTensions, a peer-reviewed, open access e-journal published biannually out of York’s Fine Arts Cultural Studies Program, takes a look at what it means to be suspended.

“To be suspended is to feel oneself hanging, to be stretched between structured forms and towards the impossible. It is to occupy spaces, times, and/or bodies in between and in transition,” write InTensions co-managing editors Professor Alberto Guevara of York’s Fine Arts Cultural Studies Program in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Elysée Nouvet, a York social anthropology doctoral student and a Toronto filmmaker.

“States of suspension involve a reaching or an impulse towards a different social, without knowing what that difference will or will not do: what or who it will upset, connect, confirm.”

The texts and artworks in the third issue, titled “Suspended”, are animated, motivated and electrified by a sense of tenuous balancing, blurring boundaries, uncertainty and tension.

“This issue of InTensions focuses on the fields of force generated through lives lived in ambiguity,” write Guevara and Nouvet. “The contributors here demonstrate that alongside or pulsating beneath national narratives, expected life-spans, military rules, tourism discourses, program designs, and identity categories, formed are other pushes and pulls, stories, details, desires, situations, opportunities, weights.”

The journal starts with York social anthropology Professor Kenneth Little’s article “On the Nervous Edge of an Impossible Tropics”, which looks at Placencia, Belize, since the rise of tourism and the “troubling state of suspense and suspension that haunts the place and its people.”

It continues with a piece titled “Suspended Selves: Between Female and the Warrior Bond” by Jennifer Kremmer of the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong in Australia. This analyzes Kayla Williams’ 2005 memoir of military service, Love My Rifle More Than You, and touches on Anthony Swofford’s Jarhead in its look at the uses of shunning and "penetrability" in consolidating group warrior bonds at the expense of the female.

David Harris Smith (MFA ’04) of the York & Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture delves into the “Disintegrating Involvement in Second Life” and Sheila Simonson of the University of Manitoba’s Department of English, Film & Theatre tackles “bloodli(n)es: Carnivalizing Narratives of Illness: Breathing Bakhtinian Life into the Compromised and/or Dying Body”. The issue’s final piece, by Anna Agathangelou of York’s Department of Political Science, explores “Imperial (Re)assemblages and Reconstructions: Intimate Terrors and Ontological Possibilities”.

For more information, visit the InTensions Web site.