The Center for Gender and Politics of the Belgrade University (Political Science Department), Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers of the State University of New Jersey, and the Department of Gender Studies of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest are pleased to announce the next annual postgraduate course in
“Feminist Critical Analysis: Science, Bodies and the New Materialism.” The course will be held at the Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik (www.iuc.hr) from May 28 to June 1 (2012).
The course is co-directed by Dasa Duhacek, Center for Gender and Politics, University of Belgrade, Ethel Brooks, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, Rutgers University and Anna Loutfi, Gender Studies Department, Central European University (CEU).
The course is built on the intellectual dialogue among a diverse body of scholars from different geographical locations and the participating faculty is drawn from different universities.
The seminar invites discussion of a key issue currently bringing together disciplines from across the humanities, social, physical and life sciences: the nature of materiality. What are the significant philosophical and theoretical contributions to materialism – past and present? Why does it become necessary for political or social theory to engage with particular ideas of materialism or materiality at certain historical junctures? What does it mean to speak of the social, cultural, political and historical meanings of natural or material concepts? How might the ‘natural sciences’ incorporate social theories of ontology and agency, and how might the ‘social sciences’ incorporate issues around materiality as they surface in, say, neurobiology or physics? How can knowledge help situate and make sense of embodiment and lived experience?
We encourage explorations of ecological frameworks that challenge reductionist, mechanistic, and exclusively molecular approaches to life and living systems. We encourage reading and debate around the work of contemporary thinkers in the fields of biopolitics who interrogate ‘the politics of life itself’ (Giorgio Agamben, Robert Esposito, Paul Rabinow, Nicholas Rose, Achille Mbembe). We also invite discussion around the work of ‘the new materialists’. This is a rich field that takes on a wide range of modern philosophical traditions. These include, but are not confined to, ‘vitalistic’ theories (e.g. Hans Driesch, Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze), neo-Marxian materialisms (Bourdieu, Balibar), phenomenological accounts of agency and materiality (Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger), theories of psychic power as a materialist force in the world (Nietzsche, Freud), feminist re-engagements with materiality, lived experience and biology (Moira Gatens, Elizabeth Wilson, Coole and Frost, Elizabeth Grosz), as well as social scientific investigations of problems in the neurosciences, such as the problem of consciousness or the mind-brain relation (Fernando Vidal).
IUC courses are conducted at a postgraduate level. All postgraduate students interested in the topic may apply for participation. Participants should seek funds from their own institutions to cover travel and accommodation costs. Limited financial support is available for participants from Central and Eastern Europe. All meetings are conducted in English.
A short narrative (up to 250 words) explaining your interest in the topic and your C.V. with your current complete contact information should be submitted by e-mail;
Final deadline for applications is 1 March 2012
Please send your applications to the Department of Gender Studies, Central European University, Budapest at Zotterj@ceu.hu, with Dubrovnik 2012 in the subject heading.