This essay argues for a transversal posthumanities-based pedagogy, rooted in an attentive ethico-onto-epistemology, by reading the schizoanalytical praxes of Deleuzoguattarian theory alongside the work of various feminist new materialist scholars.
Whether we are said to be living in the Anthropocene, the Capitalocene, or are witnessing the start of the Chthulucene, as feminist science studies scholar Donna J. Haraway (2016) would describe the current post-anthropocentric era, there is a demonstratable need for affective, entangled, transversal forms of thinking-doing today. Writing this editorial almost a year after the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, and that as inhabitants of Belgium and South Africa—countries with complex ongoing capitalist-colonial legacies, socio-political presents, and heavily but also differently hit (...) by said pandemic—we more than ever feel that these are times of entwined crisis, chaos, and hardship, overflowing with cravings for pedagogical-philosophical responses that are affirmative, productive, and future-oriented. Reactions that are moreover part theory, part praxis, counter the nihilistic, and are future-focused while still grounded in the present, as to not defer responsibilities to future times (see Geerts & Carstens, 2019). (shrink)
This chapter touches upon the damaging impact of neoliberal reason on institutions of higher education, and my efforts as a teacher to help turn things around by re-vitalizing the classroom. After a critique of current neoliberal ‘borderline times’, the chapter takes the reader on a journey of diffractive re-imaginings in which I share some of my experiences of co-learning with undergraduates in an American feminist-philosophical classroom. My central argument is that the neoliberalism-induced crisis in education can be affirmatively counteracted through (...) experimentations with various posthuman and new materialist theories, and the Harawayan-Baradian methodology of diffraction in particular. Furthermore, informed by the impression that theory and pedagogical praxis go hand in hand in many contemporary feminist new materialisms, I zoom in on daily acts of resistance against the neoliberal corporatization of the American university, acts that actualized themselves as feminist new materialist pedagogies. Three examples of diffractive pedagogical strategies are then discussed in detail. (shrink)
This article reviews the debate on ‘intersectionality’ as the dominant approach in gender studies, with an emphasis on the politics of representation. The debate on intersectionality officially began in the late 1980s, though the approach can be traced back to the institutionalization of women's studies in the 1970s and the feminist movement of the 1960s. Black and lesbian feminists have long advocated hyphenated identities to be the backbone of feminist thought. But in recent years, intersectionality has sustained criticism from numerous (...) angles within gender studies, ranging from feminist philosophy to applied political research. This article will use the theorization of ‘interference’ as a searchlight to produce an overview of this interdisciplinary debate, culminating in our affirmative answer to the question: should we move from intersectionality to interference? Our answer is based on onto-epistemological reflections, i.e., reflections in which being and knowing are always already entangled. -/- . (shrink)
During the past two decades or so, the emergence and ever-accelerating development of digital media have sparked scholarly interest, debates, and complex challenges across many disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. Within this diverse scholarship, the research on digitality, gender, sexuality, and embodiment has contributed substantially to many academic fields, such as media studies, sociology, religion, philosophy, and education studies. As a part of the special issue “Gender, Sexuality, and Embodiment in Digital Spheres: Connecting Intersectionality and Digitality,” this (...) roundtable consists of a conversation between five researchers from different (inter)disciplinary locations, all addressing matters of methodology, intersectionality, positionality, and theory in relation to the topics of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres. Said roundtable begins with a critical self-positioning of the participants’ (inter)disciplinary and embodied locations using examples from their own research. The conversation then progresses to how these researchers have employed contemporary theories, conceptual vocabularies, methods, and analyses of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres to then conclude with some ethico-political notes about collaborations between scholars and (digital) activists. (shrink)
Gender, sexuality and embodiment in digital spheres have been increasingly studied from various critical perspectives: From research highlighting the articulation of intimacies, desires, and sexualities in and through digital spaces to theoretical explorations of materiality in the digital realm. With such a high level of (inter)disciplinarity, theories, methods, and analyses of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in relation to digital spheres have become highly diversified. Aiming to reflect this diversity, this special issue brings together innovative and newly developed theoretical, empirical, analytical, (...) and critical approaches in the study of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres. By connecting intersectionality and digitality to one another, it adopts an integrated approach that reflects the intricacy and interconnectedness of social categories and markers of difference, privilege, performance, and discrimination. The contributions explore a range of differently situated digital cultural practices, including intimate and sexual experiences with(in) digital media, online self-presentation, expressions of digital resistance, and forms of backlash and online attacks. What connects all these articles, is their critical approach to intersectional inequalities and privileges in relation to digitality, plus their nuanced perspective on gender, sexuality, and embodiment interferentially. The final article is based on a roundtable discussion and aims to encourage interdisciplinary connections and suggests ways of doing research that builds bridges between academia and activism. (shrink)
This dissertation, located at the crossroads of Continental political philosophy, feminist theory, critical theory, intellectual history, and cultural studies, provides a critical cartography of contemporary new materialist thought in its various constellations and assemblages, while using diffractive theorizing to examine two Continental terror(ist) events. It is argued that such a critical cartography is not only a novel but also much needed undertaking, as we, more than almost two decades after the Habermas-Derrida dialogues on terror(ism), are in need of a Zeitgeist-adjusted (...) conceptual framework, and, thus, a revitalization of philosophizing as such, that could lead to an analysis of the complex ontological, epistemological, and eco-ethico-political entangled aspects of global crises, and, specifically, terrorist events, the actual terror they produce, and the bio-/necropolitical repercussions they often engender. -/- Using the new materialist methodologies of critical cartography and diffraction, this project’s first part explores what it means to “theorize from the ground up” in a feminist manner, while furthermore offering a situated critical cartography of new materialist thought. Within the contours of this Deleuzoguattarian mapping exercise, new materialist thought is shown to be grounded in foregoing materialist philosophies, transversal and trans(/)disciplinary, and, moreover, a revitalizing ever-evolving philosophical strand of thought with crisscrossing, transcontinental roots and a strong foundation in (post-)Foucauldian poststructuralist thought. Particular attention is paid to what in this project are called “critical” new materialisms, or those new materialist philosophies that take the necessity of critical power analyses seriously, and could be said to be “eco-ethico-political” in nature. This cartography is furthermore accompanied by a digital critical cartography that can be utilized for pedagogical means. -/- The second and final part of this dissertation, preceded by an excursus that accentuates the importance of Harawayan ecophilosophical thought for critical new materialist philosophies, consists of one chapter that puts the idea of diffractive theorizing into practice; subsequently exploring theorizing on terror(ism), the Habermas-Derrida dialogues with regard to 9/11, and the Paris 2015 and Brussels 2016 attacks as affect-inducing events of “feeling-thinking-through.” This chapter ends with a diffractive rereading of Habermas, Derrida, Benjamin, and also partially Levinas, on the subject of the contemporary democratic state, terrorism, and the legitimacy of lockdowns and emergency state declarations. By doing so, this final chapter anticipates on this dissertation’s epilogue, in which the need for an up-to-date critical new materialist eco-ethico-political model of justice and responsiveness-as-response-ability, is highlighted. (shrink)
This intra-view explores a number of productive junctions between contemporary Deleuzoguattarian and new materialist praxes via a series of questions and provocations. Productive tensions are explored via questions of epistemological, ontological, ethical, and political intra-sections as well as notions of difference, transversal contamination, ecosophical practices, diffraction, and, lastly, schizoanalysis. Various irruptions around biophilosophy, transduction, becomology, cartography, power relations, hyperobjects as events, individuation, as well as dyschronia and disorientation, take the discussion further into the wild pedagogical spaces that both praxes have (...) in common. -/- . (shrink)
Recent new materialist and posthumanist research in curriculum and pedagogy studies is focusing more and more on the intertwinement between social justice, fairness, and accountability, and how to put these ideals to use to create inclusive, consciousness-raising canons, curricula, and pedagogies that take the dehumanized and the more-than-human into account. Especially pedagogical responsibility, often rephrased as ‘response-ability’ to accentuate the entanglements that this notion engenders versus forgotten or forcefully eradicated knowledges, and between teacher and student as intra-active learners, is highlighted (...) in this ethico-political turn. In this chapter, a critical pedagogical cartography of response-ability is sketched out to philosophically expand on—and also better anchor—the above turn. This critical cartography is put together at the backdrop of critical new materialist reflections with regards to the COVID-19 crisis; a crisis demanding a pedagogical but also ethico-political reorientation toward the hauntological powers of past-present-future injustices, the thick material present, and a more response-able engagement with the world. (shrink)
Ongeveer vijf weken na de start van de jacht op Jürgen Conings, de Belgische beroepsmilitair gezocht omwille van het bedreigen van viroloog Marc Van Ranst en andere prominente doelwitten, vond men zijn stoffelijk overschot terug in het Dilserbos, Dilsen-Stokkem. Ook na zijn dood – Conings overleed hoogstwaarschijnlijk door zelfmoord – blijft de zaak Conings het Belgische sociaal-politieke landschap beroeren en de publieke opinie verdelen: de mate van steun die Conings de afgelopen weken kreeg, toont nog maar eens aan dat extreemrechts (...) een serieus maatschappelijk probleem is in België, waarvan de reikwijdte bovendien maar al te vaak miskend wordt. (shrink)
Sinds de opmars van het Foucaultiaanse poststructuralisme – vaak opgepikt door feministische denkers die Michel Foucaults (1976) (le) pouvoir-savoir of de verstrengeling van macht en kennis wel konden appreciëren – zijn er verschillende post-poststructuralistische filosofieën bijgekomen die inzoomen op wereldlijke entiteiten en hun verhoudingen. Naast deze door Foucault opnieuw belichte verhoudingen, en de epistemologische manieren waarop wij kennis kunnen verkrijgen over de subjecten en objecten die achter deze door macht gekenmerkte relaties schuilgaan, bekritiseren deze stromingen ook een ander, door Foucault (...) aangestipt, Verlichtingsthema: het moderne antropocentrische wereld- en mensbeeld. (shrink)
Quantum leaps happen in texts, too. This reading of the role of the quantum leap in Karen Barad's agential realism is necessary, because arguing that the diffractive reading strategy proposed by Barad's ethico-onto-epistemology mirrors the physical phenomenon of diffraction would indeed be representationalist. Reviewing how Barad—in her own oeuvre—has transformed diffraction into an innovative reading methodology that could not only potentially challenge the epistemological underpinnings of the canonization process that is at work in feminist theory, but could also radically change (...) the canonization practice of feminist oeuvres itself, our article embarks on a detailed examination of the ways in which the oeuvres of Simone de Beauvoir and Luce Irigaray have been mistakenly categorized and canonized in a hierarchical and Oedipalized manner. This conflict-based narrative has not only paralyzed the oeuvres of Irigaray and Beauvoir, but also has had a negative impact on the canonization of sexual difference philosophy as a whole in feminist theory. By (re)reading the oeuvres diffractively, this article brings the feminist philosophies of Beauvoir and Irigaray together by invalidating the idea that the feminist canonization process always has to run along the lines of discontinuity, Oedipalization and dialectization. (shrink)
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made explicit what many of us already knew and some of us are constantly made to feel: good health and the abilities of our bodies & minds1 are fluid and uncertain. We can only ever hold them precariously (Butler, 2004; Scully, 2014). In the end, we are all vulnerable beings. And, yet, vulnerability, perhaps especially in times of crisis, can never be fully universalised, nor is it distributed equally: the value and definition of what our (...) bodies & minds can do, what they mean, and how they are expected – and often pushed – to function, are intrinsically unstable, as they depend on the socio-cultural, political, and economic context. This is perfectly echoed by the title Rosi Braidotti (2020) gave to one of her recent articles on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the current posthuman predicament: ‘“We” Are in This Together, But We Are Not One and the Same’. (shrink)
Though the concepts of diversity and inclusion are still widely used in the contexts of management, policy-making, and academic research, the notion of superdiversity is becoming increasingly popular. First articulated by social anthropologist Steven Vertovec (see Vertovec, 2006; 2007; 2012), superdiversity has been described as a concept and theoretical tool that enables us to study our ever-evolving, globalising social reality in great detail by taking the enormous amount of diversity that exists within different groups in societies around the world into (...) account as well, in addition to differences between different groups. Superdiversity is mainly linked to the growing ethnic and cultural complexity of Western European societies, and is therefore often associated with the rise of so-called majority-minority- cities, such as Amsterdam, Brussels, and London, to name a few – all cities in which ethnic minority groups are about to replace (or have already replaced) the ethnic majority group (see, e.g., Crul, Schneider, & Lelie, 2013; Crul, 2016; Geldof, 2015). (shrink)
Emancipatie en integratie, nationalisme, machtsonderdrukking en privileges, (super)diversiteit en erkenning. Het zijn slechts een paar van de beladen termen waar we tegenwoordig veel mee geconfronteerd worden, en dat in de context van persoonlijke identiteitsvorming als in debatten omtrent groepsidentiteit, de vraag naar minderheidsrechten en de gepercipieerde conflicten met de zogenaamde democratische Westerse Verlichtingsidealen die daar vervolgens uit voortkomen. Heel veel van deze politieke discussies die momenteel gevoerd worden binnen de politiek en de media draaien om ‘identiteit’, waardoor dit concept helaas (...) tot een gepolitiseerd en polariserend begrip verworden is. (shrink)
This article addresses the Conings case – a Belgian soldier, currently wanted for threatening Belgium’s top virologist Marc Van Ranst and the illegal possession of weapons in a terrorist context. It moreover argues for a more situated analysis of Belgium’s far-right extremism by looking at its complex political climate.
In this paper, I looked into the debate between feminism and multiculturalism via the works of Susan Moller Okin, Will Kymlicka and Martha C. Nussbaum. After analyzing Susan Okin's position in "Is Multiculturalism Bad For Women?", I tried to locate Okin's problematic stance towards multiculturalism in her specific form of feminist comprehensive liberalism, whilst defending Nussbaum's less problematic version of political liberalism.
In this paper, I tried to bring two domains of thought together, namely postcolonial theory and feminist theory, by doing a comparative analysis of the concept of mimicry in the works of Homi K. Bhabha and Luce Irigaray.
Finishing this essay exactly one year after the official arrival of the SARS-COV-2 virus in Belgium and the Netherlands—where the cartographers of this essay are currently located—it is safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has immensely impacted our day-to-day lives. The pandemic has not only forced us to question various taken-for-granted existential certainties and luxuries provided by a capitalist system out to destroy the earth but has also re-spotlighted post-Enlightenment critiques of the human subject. If these pandemic times are (...) indeed more-than-human, then the clock is ticking for the discipline of philosophical anthropology to face these post-anthropological facts and receive what feminist science studies scholar Donna J. Haraway has aptly called a thorough dose of “epistemological electroshock therapy” (1988, p. 578). Taking Haraway’s foregoing call and the idea of thinking-with the (end of the) Anthropocene seriously, we construct a critical cartography of Emmanuel Levinas’ take on philosophical anthropology in dialogue with other major philosophical anthropologists and feminist new materialists while arguing for a post-anthropology for the Chthulucene. (shrink)
In this paper, I tried to analyze a couple of Kristeva's ideas and concepts. I tried to engage myself in the debate on whether Kristeva's semiotic politics could be seen as subversive enough to be feminist. I have claimed that some of her basic concepts can be read in a feminist manner, nonetheless Kristeva's oeuvre is packed with all sorts of ambiguities and ambivalences, which makes it hard to define her position towards feminism. At the end of this paper, I (...) also try to supplement Irigaray's conceptualization of the chora to the one of Kristeva, in order to stress that the latter's semiotic politics are feminist and subversive, but maybe a bit too 'maternal' instead of feminine. (shrink)
In this paper, I tried to sketch out Luce Irigaray's ambiguous relationship with the tradition of western psychoanalysis. -/- I evaluated her critiques on Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, and defended the idea that she succeeds at transcending the many feminist evils of psychoanalysis as a tradition, by feminizing the psychoanalytical practice.
In this paper, I evaluate Elizabeth Grosz's corporeal feminism and ontology of sexual difference(s), by moving through her Derridean and Irigarayian conceptual heritage. The question here is asked whether Grosz succeeds at deconstructing feminism's enemy; biological determinism, and if she deconstructs binary dichotomizes or in the end reinforces them. Grosz's Darwinian ontology of sexual differences is then analyzed via these two leading motives, and through the perspectives of Derrida and Irigaray.
In this paper, two theories of feminist liberalism (Okin and Nussbaum) are evaluated from a multicultural-feminist perspective. This paper argues that Ayelet Shachar's multicultural feminism offers us a better theoretical philosophical model to cope with gender and multicultural issues than feminist comprehensive liberalism and political liberalism do.