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«COLLATED ABSTRACTS Tema Genus Linköping University Sweden 2013 ISBN: 978-91-7519-581-0 Keynotes Sara Ahmed Supporting Limbs: On Will, Willfulness ...»

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‘Skin: Maxine’ (2000) Courtesy of Alexa Wright


Tema Genus

Linköping University

Sweden 2013

ISBN: 978-91-7519-581-0


Sara Ahmed

Supporting Limbs: On Will, Willfulness and the Social Body

This presentation asks how some bodies must become willing to be the supporting limbs

of the social body. Bodies that are not willing to provide this support are often diagnosed

as willful. With reflections on how willfulness is attributed to objects as well as bodies, this presentation calls to arms as key to the somatechnics of decolonization.

Biographical note:

Sara Ahmed, professor at Media and Communications, Goldsmiths University of London, works at the intersection of feminist, critical race, postcolonial and queer theory. Her work is concerned with how bodies and worlds take shape; and how power is secured and challenged in

everyday life worlds, as well as institutional cultures. Publications include: Difference that Matter:

Feminist Theory and Postmodernism (1998); Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in PostColoniality (2000); The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2004), Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others (2006); The Promise of Happiness (2010) and On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012). Her next book, Willful Subjects is forthcoming with Duke University Press in 2014. She has begun a new research project on “the uses of use,” and is hoping to write a book Living a Feminist Life, which will take off from the experience of being a feminist killjoy.

Jasbir Puar Bodies with New Organs: Becoming Trans, Becoming Disabled In this paper I historically situate the most current intersectional flavors of the day, “trans” and “disabled,” through their emergence as the latest newcomers to the intersectional fray. I look at how their parallel yet rarely intersecting epistemological constructs—both come into being, or becoming, in the early 90s in the academy as well as in broader political terms and movements—require exceptionalizing both the trans body and the disabled body in order to convert the debility of a non-normative body into a form of social and cultural capacity, whether located in state recognition, identity politic formations, market economies, the medical industrial complex, or subject positioning. I argue that the potential politics of trans disability are seemingly only perceived in terms of the intersectional “trans-disabled subject” or the “disabled trans subject.” Using assemblage theory to advance the relationships between trans and disability beyond an intersectional rubric of subject identification, I elaborate a politics of conviviality through engagements with the medicalization of the body that might de-exceptionalize the transgressive tendencies of trans and disabled in favor of a shared politics.

Biographical note:

Jasbir K. Puar is Associate Professor of Women's & Gender Studies at Rutgers University. She is the author of Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (Duke University Press 2007) winner of the Cultural Studies Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies. The French translated was published in 2012 as Homonationalisme. Politiques queers après le 11 Septembre, (Editions Amsterdam).

Her edited volumes include a special issue of GLQ ("Queer Tourism: Geographies of Globalization") and co-edited volumes of Society and Space ("Sexuality and Space"), Social Text (“Interspecies”), and Women’s Studies Quarterly (“Viral”).

She also writes for The Guardian, Huffington Post, Art India, The Feminist Review, Bully Bloggers, Jadaliyya, and Oh! Industry. Her writings have been translated into Polish, German, Croatian, Swedish, and Danish. Her publications can be found at jasbirpuar.com.

Puar’s major awards include Rockefeller Fellowship, a Ford Foundation grant, and the 2013 Modern Languages Association Gay Lesbian/Queer Caucus Michael Lynch Award in recognition of her years of scholar-activist work. She has also received awards from the Graduate School of Rutgers University and the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools for her graduate teaching.

Her forthcoming monograph, Affective Politics: States of Debility and Capacity (Duke University Press, 2014) takes up questions of disability in the context of theories of bodily assemblages that trouble intersectional identity frames.

Professor Puar is currently the Edward Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut for 2012-13. She will be a Fellow at the Society for Humanities Institute at Cornell University for 2013-14.

Susan Stryker Kaming Mga Talyada (We Who Are Sexy) In this film screening and commentary, historian, filmmaker, and transgender theorist Susan Stryker discusses the operations of transgender and colonial biopolitics that can be seen operating in the 1962 Filipino film Kaming Mga Talyada (We Who Are Sexy). The film features an extended cameo appesarance by the 1950s-era US transsexual celebrity Christine Jorgensen, and it can be read, in spite of its comic tone, as a serious account of how modes of embodiment and categories of identity in colonized locations respond to, resist, and transform colonizing pressures to conform to new forms of embodied personhood that circulate with US privilege. The film revolves around seven siblings who are identified as being "talyada," a euphemism for gender-variant/homosexual, who are pressured by their mother to become transsexual entertainers like Jorgensen.

Biographical note:

Susan Stryker is Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies, and Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona. She is a founding member of the Somatechnics Research Network. She has taken a leading role in the formation of transgender studies as an interdisciplinary academic field, authoring keys texts such as "My Words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix" (1994) and Transgender History2008); organizing the international state-of-the-field conference "Transsomatechnics: Theories and Practices of Transgender Embodiment" (2008); co-directing the Emmy Award-winning film Screaming Queens (2005); and co-editing both volumes of The Transgender Studies Reader (2006, 2013) as well as the forthcoming journal TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly (2014). She has several current projects, including experimental media work on 1950s transsexual celebrityChristine Jorgensen, and a more conventional historical study of cross-dressing at an elite 19th-century men's club in San Francisco.

Madina Tlostanova From bio-politics to body-politics of knowledge: gender, race, corporeality and global decoloniality One of the devastating consequences of modernity is a cultivation of a global coloniality of being, of power, and of knowledge. Throughout the last five hundred years the West/North has determined the single norm of humanity, including gender and corporeal models, while all other people have been classified as deviations, dismissed to alterity or subject to improvement to make them closer to the west. M. Foucault’s by now classical “bio-politics” is rethought in decolonial option from the transmodern position of exteriority, to give birth to the idea of body-politics of knowledge which stresses locality as not merely a geo-historical location of the knowing subject, but also an epistemological correlation with the sensing body, percepting the world from a particular locale and specific local history. A crucial role here is played by various forms of feminist discourses aiming at decolonizing gender and body as markers of difference that have been treated through dehumanizing “misanthropic skepticism” (N. Maldonado-Torres) and a square division into “anthropos” and “humanitas” (N. Osamu). Today decolonial feminist activism, art, social movements and theoretical models flourish in various parts of the world including the previously unknown and silent Eurasian borderlands with their specific configuration of bio- and body-politics of knowledge. It is already possible to speak of the decolonial “community of sense” and a global decoloniality of being, gender and corporeality.

Biographical note:

Madina Tlostanova is a professor of Philosophy at Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (Moscow). She has authored 8 scholarly books and over 190 articles on contemporary culture and art, non-Western gender and feminist discourses, social theory, alter-globalism, postcolonial studies and decolonial option, many of which were published in Europe, Latin America and the US. The most recent books are Gender Epistemologies and Eurasian Borderlands (New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and Learning to Unlearn: Decolonial Reflection from Eurasia and the Americas (co-authored with Walter Mignolo, Ohio State University Press, 2012). Currently she is working on a book on decolonial aesthetics and contemporary art.

Catherine Waldby Rentier Reproduction: the surrogacy industry in India and the globalisation of in vivo service labour Reproductive outsourcing (the purchase of third party fertility) is profoundly entwined with the post-Fordist reorganisation of other kinds of feminised labor, and the rendering of formally domestic, privatised aspects of household reproduction as service labor, itself often transnationalised. It has gained dramatic momentum from multilateral economic developments like the WTO promotion of global trade in human services. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a mechanism that facilitates cross-border trade in feminised forms of production, precisely because it creates the conditions for intimate, bodily care and real time exchange to take place between parties formerly separated in space. The ostensible focus of GATS in the medical domain is hospital services and the globalisation of clinical research and expertise. Nevertheless, it opens out the possibility of transnational access to low cost in vivo services, and dramatic escalation in the forms and scale of clinical labor as a means of employment for the less educated populations of the developing world. This presentation will examine the gestational surrogacy industry that has developed in India over the last decade, and make some comparisons with the clinical trial sector. It will also consider the ways that the contractualisation of gestational surrogacy constitutes the surrogate’s uterus as an asset, a form of property rented into the global fertility market, while also setting up the conditions for the woman to be dispossessed of the child.

Biographical note:

Catherine Waldby is Professorial Future Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Sydney University, and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Biomedicine and Society, Brunel University, London. She researches and publishes in social studies of biomedicine and the life sciences. Her books include AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference (1996 Routledge), The Visible Human Project: Informatic Bodies and Posthuman Medicine (2000 Routledge), Tissue Economies: Blood, Organs and Cell Lines in Late Capitalism (with Robert Mitchell,

Duke University Press 2006) The Global Politics of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Science:

Regenerative Medicine in Transition, (with Herbert Gottweis and Brian Salter, Palgrave 2009) and Clinical Labour: Tissue donors and Research Subjects in the Global Bioeconomy (with Melinda Cooper, Duke University Press, forthcoming). She is the director of the Biopolitics of Science Research Network http://sydney.edu.au/arts/biopolitics_science and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. She has received national and international research grants for her work on embryonic stem cells, blood donation and biobanking.

Alexa Wright Signs of Monstrousness: bodies, images and imaginings In this presentation, visual artist and writer Alexa Wright will discuss some examples of human monsters from her soon-to-be-released book, ‘Monstrosity, the human monster in visual culture’. She will then show a selection of her audio and visual artworks that interrogate the perceived boundaries between self and other. For example, the audio installation, ‘Killers’ (2002) examines individual and collective perceptions of self and monstrous 'other' via autobiographical monologues spoken by individuals who have committed murder, whilst the more recent photographic series, ‘A View From Inside’ (2012) represents some personal experiences of people with psychosis. In the first part of the presentation Alexa will show some earlier images of human monsters that demonstrate how all sorts of perceived ‘otherness’ has historically been manifested in bodily form. But if, as Michel Foucault has argued, modern monstrosity is a monstrosity of behaviour that is no longer visually evident in the body, how can we situate what is monstrous in the place of the ‘other’? If monstrous ‘others’ exist to reinforce the norm, to reassure us about who and what we are by manifesting what we are not, what if the body of the monstrous ‘outsider’ appears consistent with social ‘norms’? What happens when difference has no visible markers to keep it in place?

Biographical note:

Alexa Wright is an artist working with photography, video, sound and interactive digital media.

Working across the domains of art and science, she has collaborated with several different medical scientists. Many of her projects also involve working with people with medical conditions or with disabilities.

Alexa's work is exhibited, published and critically acclaimed Internationally. Recent exhibitions include: View From Inside in 'Digital Aesthetic 3', Preston (2012), Cover Story in DaDaFest International, Liverpool (2010); After Image in 'The Definition of Self', 21_21 Design Sight Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2010); Alter Ego in 'Locate Me', Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2010); Conversation Piece in 'International Symposium of Electronic Art', Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast (2009);Alter Ego in 'El cuerpo (con)sentido’, Centro the Historia Zaragoza, Spain; 'Amber 08', BM Suma Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2008); 'FILE ‘07', SESI Art Gallery, Sao Paolo, Brazil (2007) and Opera Interna in the International Women Artists’ Biennale, Incheon Arts Centre, Korea (2007).

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