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Feminist Methodologies. Two Lectures

Event Label
Organisational Units
Education in the Arts
Location Address (1)
Schillerplatz 3
Location ZIP and/or City (1)
1010 Vienna
Location Room (1)
Anatomy Hall

As part of the Feminist Methodologies symposium, Athena Athanasiou and Elena Tzelepis will give two talks on queer feminist knowledge production and issues of the wake, and on the dimension of the political in art and the tragic as situated knowledge.

Athena Athanasiou
Queer feminist knowledge production in the wake: Moments and movements

In this lecture, I will take critical poetics of mourning and agonism as a way to attend to the question whether and how the contingencies of vulnerability are taken up as situated knowledges of queer feminist political imagination. To do so, I propose to probe the question of being in the wake as a queer feminist method for critical presents. Thus understood, the wake bears connotations of fragility, vulnerability, the aporias of solidarity, and collaborative practices of critical caretaking connected with intersectional thought and struggles. Indeed, it involves fragility as method. I ask: what accounts of brokenness, care, and repair do practices of wake offer in these critical times of rising neofascisms, anti-feminisms, and enduring colonial capitalist injustices, but also terfisms, feminist transphobia and gender-critical feminisms? I will reflect on the implications of mourning, care, and (un)breathability in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and the global mobilization against gendered violence by deploying Antigone’s decolonial feminist instantiations in the context of contemporary activisms.

Athena Athanasiou is Professor of Social Anthropology and Gender Theory at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Athens, Greece). She is Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Director of the Laboratory of Anthropological Research. Among her publications are the books: Agonistic Mourning: Political Dissidence and the Women in Black (Edinburgh University Press, 2017); Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (with Judith Butler, Polity Press, 2013); Crisis as a ‘State of Exception’ (Athens, 2012); Life at the Limit: Essays on Gender, Body and Biopolitics (Athens, 2007). She has been a fellow at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, at Brown University, and at the Center for the Study of Social Difference, at Columbia University. She has been serving on the editorial or advisory board of several international journals (Critical Times, Feminist FormationsPhilosophy Politics and Critique, Journal of Greek Media and Culture, and others).

Elena Tzelepis
(The) political (in) art: Tragic acts as situated knowledges

There is a long and variegated line of situational and translocal re-appropriations of Antigone that implies a heterogeneous and multilayered legacy which includes the voices and silences of subaltern and oppressed groups. Such readings present eccentric, mobile, postcolonial and anticolonial reconfigurations of the classic canon and the tragic element on the theatrical stages and social scenes of the contemporary world. These re-appropriations compel us to range across European thought from the “global South” to provide a critical assessment of thinking (with) Antigone in differential configurations of democratic agency and beyond pretenses of universalism. Addressing this performative plurality as a new form of knowledge production, the lecture considers the dynamically dissonant gesture of reappropriation: a move that attends as it unsettles. In this analytical frame, the question that is raised is how to deploy Antigone’s multifaceted performative and philosophical genealogy in order to grasp the present historical moment and its conditions of displacement, political violence, neoliberal de-democraticization, and border securitization.

Elena Tzelepis completed her doctoral studies in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research, New York City. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece. She has taught at Columbia University, New York City, and as a visiting faculty at various universities in the world. She has been a research affiliate and collaborator in the context of research institutions as the Center for Research on Social Difference at Columbia University, The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London, and the International Consortium of Critical Theory at the University of Berkeley. She has published on critique, deconstruction, and social change, on the intersections of politics and art, on the politics of difference, on vulnerability and embodied resistance, on the political and the psychical, and on nomadic cartographies, subjectivity and power. She is the Principal Investigator of a research on contemporary decolonial and ex-centric AntigoneS and embodied resistance with regard to contemporary conditions of political violence, biopolitics, otherness, and displacement funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation.