desiring politics

Let’s assume that every desire holds political dimensions and every form of politics is desirous. But what do we actually mean by desire? In what way is desire entangled in power structures? To what extent is it defined by heteronormativity and other normative, oppressive, or exploitative regimes? Under which conditions does desire turn out to be a transgressive force that exceeds the limits of (hetero-)normative sociality and hence unsettles allegedly stable sexual identities?

Are there queer forms of desire that undermine appropriation, inequality, and violence? Do we have to overcome the subject/object logic, which subordinates the object of desire in order to grant agency to the desiring subject? Would we first need to desire another desire, before desire may inspire queer politics? Which are the politics we desire? Is queer a movement searching for utopias, creating utopias, and experimenting with them? Or does queer sign into a nihilistic-deconstructive mode and declares punk-like: No Future?

Alternatively, why not refer to the feminist credo that the private is political? This hints at the fact that we are affectively bound to power dynamics, we support them and push them even further. Political rule or governance may very well depend on this binding force. Power permeates modes and practices of desire. Hence, from a micropolitical perspective, the question arises, how and in which settings desire gets regulated, while it simultaneously takes on normalizing functions.

Yet, sexuality and desire are not to be reduced to subjectivity and intimacy. When trying to think and live beyond the existing economies of desire, this may imply reflecting how political and socio-economic transformations are impacted. From a macropolitical perspective one may ask how formations of desire and sexuality operate on the level of state politics and economy. Which are the contexts where desire functions as a socially stabilizing force? How and where does it develop politically mobilizing or transformative effects? Thus, how one may actually value sexuality is a highly contested field of socio-political negotiations.

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The prospect of being queerly social and cared for is associated with the promise of belonging. Belonging beyond heteronormativity and coercive normalcy. Yet social relations, however queer they are, are never devoid of disinterest, conflict, or violence. A_sociality names sociality as being entangled with indifference, aggression, and violence. Embracing a_sociality means figuring out the potential and risk of aggression in striving for nonviolence. How does awareness relate to a_sociality?

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Queer Theory Videos

Bodies, Figurations, Worlds. Three Video Introductions to Queer Theory by Antke. A. Engel and Filmfetch (Tali Tiller und Magda Wystub). On Friday March 12, 4:30-6:30 pm the videos will be presented online as part of FernUni Hagen’s Gender Days.
In an artistic and experimental academic form these videos invite a wide public to encounter queer theory as a critique of structures of domination. Thinking difference through dynamics of power and desire they reflect on sex_gender and sexuality, the power of language, and modes of resistance to planetary inequalities and histories of violence.

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