Tomorrow Eryn and I are going to her second conference! Veiled Constellations is intended to:

problematize the prevailing discourses surrounding the veil while exploring its subversive potential.

Ooooh… how I love subversion. But I do! Subversion challenges the “norm” and forces it to critically analyze itself. We wouldn’t have law if we didn’t have crazy “heretics” running around subverting normative standards and forcing the “orthodoxy” into creating protective laws. And it’s a little fun.. like blowing a great, big, fat raspberry in the face of whatever pisses you off, puts you down or holds you back.

For example, in French and Turkish universities, it’s been reported that muslim women who veil,  subvert the anti-hijab laws by wearing wigs on top of their hijabs, or simply shave their heads in protest.

The conference started today and runs until Saturday. Tomorrow we’ll be checking out:

  • Seductive Piety: Faith and Fashion Through Lipovetsky and Heidegger
  • The Spiritual is Political: Metaphysical Reflections on the Nature of (Un)Veiling, Agency and Embodiment
  • Is Punk Music Haram?: Reflections on the Veil in Taqwacore

That’s if she doesn’t get all freaked out over the crowd, or wants to play and sing. I’m not sure how a baby babbling will go over with the academic circle. So hopefully we won’t spend the session wandering the halls, catching tidbits when we can, like we did for the Canadian Muslims conference.

There are too many great sessions to choose from. Apparently today the majority of the speakers used Lacanian psychoanalysis to discuss the hijab as a phallic semblant. From the abstract:

…the veil proscribes the jouisaance (“pleasure principle” – orgasm+enjoyment. There’s no word for it in English) of woman as a phallic mask that covers over her sexuality, her gaze, her lips, sometimes even her voice. Insofar as the veil is meant to calm the effect of drives (the real) within the symbolic, it is an emblame of women being placed outside the symbolic, on the side of the real. What is woman’s object, the veil asks, she herself being man’s object?

Youch. Maybe I’ll try to unpack that tomorrow after seeing what people have to say.