Courses description in 2012

Programme Section 1: Queerness, the Political and Community (Lecturers: David M. Halperin, Jelisaveta Blagojević)

This programme subject will try to research, discuss and problematize the complex interweaving of sexuality, politics and community. The lectures and discussion will try to explore the position of sexuality in relation to hegemonic forms of communities, and community, in its Western conception, in general. Thus, some of the core problems that will be addressed include the imaginaries, discourses and institutional practices strategically deployed in communist, as well as nationalist utopian and communitarian projects, in relation to marginal and non-hegemonic sexualities (practices, communities and identities) and non- normative bodies. Further, these communal experiences will be regarded, differentiated or aligned, in relation to the contemporary European communal ideals and inspirations, and will further explore the impact these political apparatuses have on sexual struggles for justice and recognition. Of particular importance will be the exploration of the entanglements of governmentality tactics and biopolitical dispositives and the construction and proliferation of sexual identities, as much as their compliance or resistance to sexual normalizations.

Departing from contemporary political theories and political philosophy’s scholarship, the programme will further investigate the following subtopics: Queerness and the redefinition of the Political; State utopias, justice, jurisdiction and queer sufferings; Community immunization and queer exposures; Homonationalisms and (neo)liberalisms; What is the political in queer politics?, etc.

Programme Section 2: (Queer) Arts, Culture, and Resistance (Lecturer: Marina Gržinić)

The lectures, presentations and discussions covered by this programme subject will try to think about and analyze the multiple cross-cuttings of artistic practices and cultural production with the sexual regimes defining the common, which is to say who belongs and who does not belong to a community?, which emotions and relations are considered as legible?, which bodies are rendered visible and whose statements are registered as audible? Departing from a variety of traditional art practices, through new media deployment, cultural activism, participatory art, different art collectives, performing and video arts, interventionist artistic actions and practices of reclaiming public spaces, artists and cultural workers and activists, we will explore the entire spectrum of tactics and strategies, forms and media, topics and modes of representation deployed and how do they contest and reconfigure the dominant political modes of sexual hierarchy, organization and framing of the common(s) and community. Not only being a medium for representation, art and cultural practices are to be observed as fields for making, instituting and creating, and thus their potential for transfiguring the dominant regimes of sexual visibility and publics will be saliently explored. Besides the actualized capacity for breaking with the existing regimes of relations and making communities otherwise, artworks will be also critically explored in their being the symbolic and cultural apparatus for moral and didactic political and sexual appeal as well as for sustaining current status quo in the dominant modes of communal relations and sexual inequalities. In this regard, a question of particular importance will be how current global position of arts and creative cultures, in relation to neo-liberal and consumerist demands, influence cultural practices and aesthetic regimes of resistance and critique in the field of sexuality.
Furthermore, not only art, but multiplicity of cultural forms and Media cutting through the limits of community, assigning roles and distributing parts, such as pamphlets, billboards, city lights, media and video campaigns, public spaces, social networks etc. will be scrutinized as cultural practices sustaining sexual normalizations, but also as potential tools for undoing sexual hegemonies.

Programme Section 3: Queering the General Strike and the Occupation (Lecturer: Jamie Heckert)

What has emerged as a “movement” – the Occupy Movement – finds itself in a complex existential state: how does a movement define itself in the process its own emergence? How does a leaderless movement addresses society without authority? Occupy bears the mark of radical disidentification which runs both risks – of self-dissolution and conceptual expansionism, just as some 20 years ago queer theory emerged as an “X” which has to be saturated analytically but has been recognized as existential and ontological hybridity. This resemblance has been already noted (for example by Michael Warner) and raises pressing concerns related with the organization of the multitude.

Namely, how radically open is – and could be – the Occupy? How does the notion of occupation change when communal and micropolitical interests are inscribed in it – what makes the occupation queer? Is identity politics deconstructed from within inside Occupy? What is the status of queer – particular, universal, zeroed? – in the collective social choreographies of the general strike and the general intellect? Is Queer too theoretical and closed a concept to be used as theoretical and conceptual strategy of paradoxic principle of self-organizing?

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