After analyzing feminist practices of inheriting and archiving the past, the 2016 Dubrovnik course devotes its attention to feminist engagements with the future, which the first decade of the new century has already exposed to an extraordinary vastness of acts of expropriation: recent natural and political catastrophes – epochal displacements, widespread migrations and wars, social engineering, assault on community values, security and freedom, the dramatic curtailment of civil liberties, increase of global military capabilities, the license for the preservation of massive privilege and inequality, unemployment, precarity, austerity measures, financial cuts in education, failure of the welfare state, increased violence against women, children, minorities, the other…
The aim of the 2016 course is to discuss how to intervene both in the ways we inherit the past, and open up towards the future, not so much in order to emphasize temporal categories, but to mobilize past and present existential and material dispositions for a future that resonates with a feminist agenda: a more hospitable Europe and a more collaborative world, a different university, other forms of sisterhood and care. In these and other fields of its ethical, political, sociological, philosophical and aesthetic interventions, the 2016 Dubrovnik course will try to propose an open, differential, eventuating matrix for feminist (re)thinkings of history through the discursive resistance to all – past and future – dogmatisms and forms of despair.
The future is a sensitive zone of contestation. On the one hand, the materiality of contemporary and absolute danger is compromising our sense of the future, producing a global refusal and denial of what might appear on the horizon of the unexpected. On the other, the already-constituted norm/ality of generalized lack, fear, anguish, threat, precarity and unpredictability, cannot but reveal the ghost of a radical futurity that keeps haunting the present. This course will try to reconsider to what extent feminism has historically been, and proves to be a precious form of defiance and insurrectionary power, capable of producing new figurations of the future.
We invite contributions which study, discuss and promote the forms of feminist engagements that reclaim (or even ex-claim) both past and present visions of the responsibility for the future. We welcome reflections which envisage a whole range of feminist practices, decisions, actions, critical and artistic interventions that care for what comes from/as/in the future, from a new future, from the future-to-come.
We welcome not only papers, but also new formats and methodologies of sharing knowledge. The main points of discussion, among others, will be:
- how to confront and transform all ‘foreclusionary structures’ (no future, the end of history)?
- are there neglected or insufficiently explored feminist legacies and utopias, be they philosophical or
artistic in nature, be they explicit or implicit?
- how to relate differently to the concept of time, by transforming and working on the notion of another
temporality from the vantage point of difference (sexual and any other)?
- how do contemporary feminists formulate and fulfill the task of hospitality to the other? what texts
(verbal or visual, past or present) can be read as exploring the issue of hospitality in line with a feminist
- what could be the distinctly feminist concepts and practices of democracy and justice for the future?
- what is the feminist stance on a new international law and the sustainability of basic life processes?
- what is the future of feminist theory, activism and/or criticism?
- gender, modernity and technology: what are the lessons from the past and prospects for the future,
given the forms of sociality ensured by virtual worlds?
The invited guest for the 2016 course is Elizabeth Bronfen, co-editor, with Misha Kavka, of the book Feminist Consequences: Theory for the New Century (New York, Columbia University Press, 2001). This publication has proved foundational in revisiting the history of feminism (in psychoanalysis, representation and theory), in investigating the ethics of affect that touches women (in response to colonialism and to the
question of pain, proposing specific forms of feminist metaphors and narratives), in vindicating the pleasures of agency (redressing, contingencies, activism), in interrogating the gift of difference of a feminist future (unfolding, becoming, reclaiming sexual difference, the future as justice). The proceeding of the 2016 course will be published in an edited volume together with the papers presented at the 2015 course.
IUC courses are conducted at postgraduate level. All interested postgraduate students may apply to participate, although the course targets young scholars and postgraduate students with a defined interest in women’s studies, transnational studies, philosophy, sociology, literary and cultural studies, postcolonialism, or anthropology. The course will be limited to 25 participants (15 students) in order to provide sufficient space for discussion, seminar work and student presentations. Participants must seek funding from their own institutions for the costs of travel, lodging and meals. Limited financial support is available for participants from parts of Eastern Europe and some third countries (please see http://www.iuc.hr/iuc-support.php). The IUC requires a payment of 40 EUR for the Course fee. The working language of the course is English.
Please submit a proposal consisting of a short narrative describing your interest in the topic and your CV. Place all current contact information at the top of your CV. Send submissions by e-mail to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use the subject: IUC Dubrovnik 2016. The proposal deadline is extended to March 1st 2016.