Joint Sessions in Feminist Theory, Summer Term 2022
This series of events takes place as part of the seminar »Theory and Figurations of Gender Relations« (Freie Universität Berlin) and the doctoral program in Gender, Culture and Society
(University of Helsinki). It is a cooperation between Esther von der Osten (Peter Szondi
Institute of Comparative Literature, Freie Universität Berlin), Susanne Lettow (Margherita von
Brentano Center for Gender Studies, Freie Universität Berlin) and Tuija Pulkkinen
(Department of Cultures, Director doctoral program Gender, Culture and Society (SKY),
University of Helsinki).
26.04.2022, 4-6pm (CEST) online
Prof. Dr. Christine Daigle (Brock University): Posthumanist Vulnerability. From trauma to flourishing
The intensity of extreme experiences such as rape and war provide us with a good lens through which we can understand our beings as transjective, that is as subjectively and materially radically entangled. Most narratives on trauma focus on the intersubjective relationality of selves and how it is challenged by the trauma and fail to acknowledge the equally important material inscription of trauma. Recognizing this allows us to uncover ourselves as the transjective beings I claim we are. I explain that we are dynamic beings, constantly becoming as the assemblages of experiences, consciousness, affects, materiality, etc. Material feminism is inspired by insights from quantum physics and biochemistry that posit entanglement and porosity and challenge the notions of agency and individuality. The transjective entangled and porous being that emerges from this view is fundamentally vulnerable. I argue that we must embrace this vulnerability if we are to thrive individually and collectively.
Bio: Christine Daigle is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Posthumanism Research Institute at Brock University. Her current research explores the concept of posthumanist vulnerability and its ethical potential from a posthumanist material feminist point of view. She also works on environmental posthumanities and issues related to the Anthropocene, extinction, and posthumanist futures. Most recently, the volume she co-edited with Terrance McDonald, From Deleuze and Guattari to Posthumanism. Philosophies of Immanence, has been published at Bloomsbury. She has also published extensively on the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir (for a full list of publications, see: https://brocku.ca/humanities/philosophy/faculty-and-staff/christine-daigle/ ).
17.05.2022, 4-6pm (CEST) online
Mag. Dr. Dagmar Fink (University of Vienna): Becoming Cyborg. Horizons of Possibilities Unfolding in Feminist Theory and Science Fictions
The idea of the cyborg emerged in the 1960s in the context of military science. The systemic combination of man and machine was meant to transgress the constraints of the human body. Curiously, feminist philosopher of science Donna Haraway took over this technohumanist concept as an imaginative resource for her socialist feminist manifesto, exactly because cyborgs are neither organism nor machine but both at the same time. For the main target of Haraways concept are dualisms: e.g. self / other, mind / body, man / machine, male / female, civilized / primitive, which have been systemic to the logics and practices of domination. Consequently, her cyborg figuration seeks to confuse boundaries in order to lead the way out of the maze of dualisms. To that end, it builds on Black and Chicana Feminisms as well as on ideas elaborated in feminist science fictions. And Haraway particularly works on an ‘écriture Cyborg’ in order to a find language and an imagery that doesn’t reproduce dualisms.
My truly close rereading of Haraway’s work together with certain feminist science fiction stories explores the very configuration of the cyborg and its capacity to destabilize dualisms. It shows the strength as well as the troubles with Haraway’s concept and engages in (re)writing the cyborg – also with queer_feminist and afrofuturist science fiction.
Bio: Dagmar Fink is an independent literary and cultural critic. She graduated in American Studies, political sciences and sociology at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt / Main (Gerrmany), Ph.D. in Gender Studies from the University of Basel (Switzerland). She published widely on cyborgs, queer_feminist and afrofuturist science fictions, representation, feminist technosciences and queer femininities. Since 2000, she lectures in Gender Studies and on academic writing at various universities in Austria and Germany. She is the chairperson of the Gender Studies Association Austria (oeggf.at) and a founding and board member of the association of feminist scholars in Austria (vfw.or.at). In addition, Dagmar Fink translates academic texts from English to German, since 1996 with the queer_feminist collective gender et alia (genderetalia.net). And she is the co-director of QUEERTACTICS. Queer_feminist_filmfestival Vienna.
Her talk is based on her book, Cyborg werden. Möglichkeitshorizonte in feministischer Theorien und Science Fictions. Bielfeld: transcript 2021.