New Issue: Contamination from Above 2(2)


We're thrilled to announce the long-awaited publication of a new issue of Writing from Below. Departing from the broad theme of “Contamination from Above,” this issue interrogates what comes from above when we write from below, the unruliness and contamination of words, ideas, and bodies.

  • Carolyn D’Cruz revisits and extends her earlier critique of the empirical and theoretical violence of binaries and oppositional pairs – above/below, lawful/criminal clean/contaminated – in the eponymous article “Contamination from Above”;
  • Full of misreadings and unexplained absences, dreamlike and hallucinatory, Virginia Barratt’s “Skiptoend” is a rich and dense work of queered theory exploring the vicissitudes of memory, spectral remembrances crawling out of the gutters and rusty skips of inner-urban Melbourne, or lying dormant as slumping archives under sagging empty beds;
  •  “RXP” by Ros Prosser and Greta Mitchell performatively interrogates what happens when your text is constantly interrupted by the eruptions, concessions, responses, deletions, and crossings-out of another, producing new modes of textual assembly;
  • Cynthia Troup reflects on a new work for theatre titled “Undercoat: A Parafoxical Tale”—a supernatural tale of encounter with the Australian wilderness, in which the wilderness ‘answers back’ as a provocative (and failed) chorus of three red foxes—to uncover the shape-shifting powers of language in performance and subvert the obstructive dualisms of an anthropocentric worldview;
  • Angelica Stathopoulos and Jayne Desmond explore an alternative conceptual framework for silence, distinct from its relegation to minor pause between more meaningful units of speech and its association with oppression and privilege, hoping to recast silence as both subversive strategy and ethical position in the dialogue “Disruptive Silence/Inhabiting Near-Inaudibility”;
  • Margaret Mayhew, Azizeh Astaneh, and Sririhan Ganeshan present the collaborative memoir “Writing on drawing: the life class in detention: a triptych,” thinking and breathing between English, Perglish, Tamilish, as queerness and asylum and refuge flow, breaking through the desperation of marginal existence, bare life and PTSD in detention. 
  • And finally, Barratt returns with “Monstering the Logos,” an excerpt from an in-progress experimental poetic work called Discarnate Intertextualities, employing cut-ups, fragmentation and the exquisitely cadaveric, a spacious piece, with gaps in meaning and syntax, the work stuttering, falling, as it writes about and performs the extraordinary eros of writing.

This issue also features Helen Flavell reviewing Mud map: Australian women’s experimental writing, Amaryllis Gacioppo on the literary personas and private selves of Kathy Acker and McKenzie Wark in their correspondence I'm Very Into You, and Hannah McCann on queer reading, re-thinking the ordinary, and going gaga in J. Jack Halberstam’s Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal.