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Terrains of Relationality. Property and Sexuality

Project leader:
Tyna Fritschy

2 years

Funded by:
Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)

Tyna Fritschy, Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies
Duration: 1.7.2022 – 30.6.2024

In the desire for caring ecologies and anti-hierarchical modes of togetherness, the concept of relationality has proven to be a critical resource for feminist theorizing in the past two decades. The affinity for relational and vulnerable ontological configurations draws its force from the fact that these allow imaginations beyond the colonial-masculine figuration of autonomy. Terrains of Relationality. Property and Sexuality provides a demystification of an ahistorical feminist ethics of relationality; the genealogical reconstruction in the first part of the study shows how relational modes of domination are inscribed in the colonial violence of property in early modernity and identifies the liberal idea of autonomy emerging at the same time as a powerful fantasy that seeks to conceal the inherent fragility of the modern subject. In the early modern constellation of property and sexuality, the sexual regime of binary sexuality is both a condition and an effect of the profound transformations.
Within the conceptual framework that determines relationality as fundamentally ambivalent, oscillating between authoritarian-dominant and solidary-collectivizing, Terrains of Relationality. Property and Sexuality explores different terrains of relationality. They are terrains of appropriation and dispossession – after the violence of property and sexuality: in them, history of violence and resistance, woundedness and healing, privatization and collectivization remain intertwined and relate continuously to each other.

Keywords: sexuality, property, relationality, body politics, violence