Raffia Li Rong: The Under-sign: Languages as sites to be with, as they are


Advisor: Rachel O'Reilly

August 2021


This thesis is a slow dialogue-invitation with many pauses and question marks meditating through/into the flesh, body and holes of languages, developing a poetics that antagonises nominalism, ableism, identity politics, and assumed sovereignty in the notion of “doing things with theory.” As a post-ableist multilingual writing experiment, the thesis itself is a practice to study and theorize with the presence and absence of my/their/our/your body and languages, where witnessing and moving/moved happen from inside/outside the lines, growing through being with the Chinese sign language art collective Shape of Language, postcolonial art education, Protactile language and principles, Daoist literature, autistic perspectives, disability theory, intimate friendships during pandemic in multi-modal ways of being.