Bellamy Mitchell is a poet and PhD candidate at the University of Chicago in the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of English, holding a joint fellowship in the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. Bellamy researches and writes about literature of the Americas, and is currently examining a poetics of apologies, considering structurally apologetic subject positions and “manic” apologetics alongside more classically understood gestures of contrition and confession.
Authors | Bellamy Mitchell
Articles on Amodern by Bellamy Mitchell
or, The Indexical Present of Apology in the Performance Artwork of Adrian Piper and Dr. Vaginal Davis
This paper traces how the procedural contours of the genre of the apology serve the socially critical and investigative projects of two performance artists who use apologies to navigate, resist, and make politically productive their experiences of being interpolated into white discomfort. I read Adrian Piper’s “Calling Cards” (1986-1990) as procedural texts at the intersection of apology and command, which activate postures of deference and aggression in those who receive the cards, and relate these performances to an apology delivered by Vaginal Davis. I draw out an account of the apology as an indexical genre that brings forms and fictions of relating into relief, and that activate emotions around senses of individual and collective responsibility.