Lor, Prathna. "Daydreaming Transgender in Cemetery of Splendor." Trans-in-Asia, Asia-in-Trans, special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, edited by Howard Chiang, Todd A. Henry, and Helen Hok-Sze Leung, vol. 5, no. 3 (2018): 394-403.
Lor, Prathna. "Everybody's Poetry." Emergent Precarities and Lateral Aesthetics, special issue of the minnesota review, edited by Elizabeth Adan and Benjamin Bateman, 85 (2015): 153-161.
“Unthinkable Subjects: Postmortem Poetics in Modernity” investigates the status of the dead in theory and the avant-garde at the limits of race and sex. Bringing together queer theory, critical race studies, psychoanalysis, and contemporary experimental writing, the thesis suggests that the dead animate these fields as a site for ethical and political inquiry. If oppressive rhetoric murders by castigating nonnormative others beyond the sphere of the common—as sick, infected, contagion, dying, or already dead—the thesis examines the risks of reclaiming such murdered and murderous bodies. Since fatality invigorates queer theory and critical race studies, the first part of the thesis considers the murderous subjectivities that compose these fields. In this section, the thesis critiques the “murderous jouissance” of the antisocial thesis in queer theory, which offers the most extreme version of self-annihilating fantasy as an ethos of being in the world. Given that the antisocial thesis is most often articulated through psychoanalysis, the thesis goes on to historicize questions of psychoanalysis and race in Frantz Fanon, arguing that for racialized subjects a condition of murderousness registers the violent logic of racism as a psychotic aberration. The rest of the thesis offers readings of contemporary experimental texts working along axes of race and sex, troubling both queer theory’s self-assured fantasy and the apparent inescapability of racialization as a psychically damaging prison. The writers in this study—Wilson Harris, Gail Scott, and Renee Gladman—paradoxically respond to the murderous language of oppressive rhetoric with texts that demonstrate how language not only murders but is itself murdered. Murdered language is registered by the experimental poetics that claim unbecoming, decay, attrition, severance, and violence as their form, resulting in narratives of “in-existence”—texts that formally dwell in and meditate on ambivalence, refuse narrative wholeness, solicit poetic enigma, and traverse the antagonisms of language. Each author’s investment in murder, self-murder, self-annihilation, or self-removal paradoxically offers nonaggressive forms of undoing, ravishment, and coming undone as that which occasions novel ways to claim ontological murder at the scintillating and ecstatic limit of fatal language.
University of Toronto
Special Topics in Postcolonial, Indigenous, and Transnational Literature: Grief: Lessons in Weltliteratur (Spring 2021)
Narrative (Spring 2020)
Effective Writing (Fall 2019; Spring 2020)
Bad Romance (Fall 2019)
Poetry and Modernism (Fall 2018)
Modernist Poetry (Summer 2018)
How to Read Critically (Fall 2020)
Narrative (Fall/Spring 2015-16; Fall 2020)
Critical Approaches to Literature (Spring 2019; Summer 2019)
Literature for Our Time (Fall/Spring 2016-17; Fall/Spring 2017-18; Spring 2019)
The Bible and Literature I (Summer 2020)
Effective Writing (Summer 2020; Fall 2020; Winter 2021)
Literature and Film for Our Time: Visions and Revisions (Fall 2018)
Diasporic Literatures of Toronto (Summer 2016)
Postcolonial and Transnational Discourses (Summer 2015)
Queer Writing (Fall/Winter 2013-14; Fall/Spring 2014-15)
Twentieth-Century American Literature (Summer 2014)