On the Verge: Experiments in Extinction


LAC Burkhardt


English and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies


For residence at the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia University during academic year 2019-2020


“On the Verge” analyzes transnational queer and feminist engagements with the threat of human extinction through interpretations of performance art, sculpture, craft, video, film and literature. This diverse body of work offers surprising, counter-intuitive responses to our species extinction: While acknowledging the verge of human extinction as a moment of looming disaster, these artistic texts also represent this verge as an orientation and a vantage-point from which human life itself might be reimagined and reinvented as we face our own ends. Reading across this artistic archive and toward alternative styles of pedagogy, this project summons us to teach, learn, and live differently as ethical and political subjects on the verge of extinction.