Sexual Politics, the Law, and the Question of Representation

event seriess, diverse locations in Hamburg, spring 2007

Sexual politics are highly controversial and impact social, political, and legal conflicts – abortion, HIV/Aids prevention and medical care, lesbian and gay parenting and adoption rights, drag king shows, the so-called homo memorials in Vienna and Berlin, or struggles to acknowledge the medical treatment of intersexual persons as a human rights violation are just a few current examples. What is the role of media and cultural representation as well as the arts in upholding as well as transgressing hegemonic knowledge and habits?

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sexual politics, torture, and secular time

Judith Butler
May 18, 2007, University of Hamburg

In the talk Butler asks us to consider the ways in which sexual politics has become bound up with state coercion and state-induced forms of abjection, with immigration politics, with anti-islamic racism, and even with torture.

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Mourning Derrida

Janice Perry
multimedia performance, October 25, 2007, ICI Berlin

Performance artist Janice Perry brings us a video “dialogue” with the father of Deconstructionist philosophy, Jacques Derrida.

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Sexuality and Economy

research group (Berlin), 2007-2010

The research group focuses on thinking about the entire range of relationships that link sexuality, gender, and economics. How are the histories of capitalism and sexuality interconnected? Are changes in what Foucault calls the deployment of sexuality overlap with the development of capitalism? A historical perspective provides a framework for further questions: How can a queer theoretical critique of heteronormativity contribute to the critique of capitalism? How can we resist the dominance of capitalism and the heteronormative structuring of gender and sexuality? Which alternative models and queer (economic) utopias are thinkable – and liveable? In 2007 a two-day workshop discussed these questions extensively. The workshop built on outcomes from regular meetings that took place prior to the event in order to come up with ideas for an international conference. Major topics included: Rethinking capitalism from a monolithic concept into heterogeneous capitalisms; the role of desire in upholding or transforming capitalist relations; the promise and problems of pleasurable identification with labour relations under neoliberal conditions.

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queer and the human rights discourse
– a sceptical approach, including transgender and intersex politics

series of seminars and events, hamburg, october 2006 – march 2007

The events will focus on transgender, intersex, sexual human rights, and the “subject” of politics. With contributions by Antke Engel, Jannik Franzen, Ulrike Hennecke, Ulrike Klöppel, InsA Kromminga, and Tuija Pulkinnen.

LGBTIQ*-movements, are likewise to like feminist movements, are fighting for human rights. Informal groups, international organizations, and activists from the Global South state posit ‚‘sexual human rights’ using the term concept of dignity as well as the legal claim of to sexual freedom and integrity. At the same time, the critique of the human rights discourse points to western Western values, Eurocentrism, and androcentric conceptions of the human. Queer theory sharpened this critique. Does this critique guide lead to renouncing the human rights discourse? Or does the discourse provide special possibilities opportunities to bring a charge charges against violations and fight violence?

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Queer critique of neoliberal governmentality and economy

research group (Hamburg/Bremen), 2006-2008.

Questioning the heterosexual norm still provokes political and social resistance and rejection. Nevertheless, late modern societies are experiencing a proliferation of genders and sexualities. Representations of sexual and gender diversity pervade everyday culture, medial spaces, and to a certain degree even official politics. What does it mean to analyse this “new openness” as a moment of neoliberal governmentality and economy? Is there an alliance between neoliberal forces and sexual lifestyles or politics? If so, what is the price, who profits, and which kind of new hierarchies develop? The research group investigates the ambiguity of promise and coercion issued by the neoliberal demand for individualization. We strive for an up-to-date understanding of the relation of sexuality and economics. How does the precarisation of working and living conditions involve the sexual and connect it to other moments of social differentiation? Which new kinds of norms and hierarchies organize late modern sexualities?

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