Postanthropozentrische Konzepte der Vielfalt
The DFG-Network ‘Dispositiv der Menge’ (= crowd, mass, multitude) is based on the recognition that ‘the crowd’ has been constituted, classified, regulated, or dispersed throughout history in various, heterogenous, conflictual ways, which make it impossible to hold onto any understanding of the crowd as a clearly delimited and substantiated entity or to the forms in which it is represented as such. This workshop extends this approach by taking ‘the crowd’ itself as a multitude or multiplicity. It will address phenomena related to more fluctuating and in/determinate intra/sections of collectivities in order to transform the image of ‘the crowd’ from an in-divi-dual-ized One into a mani-fold multiplicity. Such a multiplicity in the singular plural is characterized by movement and motion, fragmentation and friction, ongoingness and inherent contestation. By focusing on this multiplicity, the workshop seeks to un-work a persistent conceptual anthropocentrism of the ways in which agentiality is conceptualized and imagined, instead searching for more dynamic relations with/in a variety of agencies (human, animal, plant, things, propositions) that can be seen as ‘intra-active’. Yet, while ‘the crowd’ will be approached from a critique of anthropomorphism, the turn towards ecological or relational co-existence cannot be a turn away from the violent asymmetrical relations of power and the continued flexibilization and hierarchical re- ordering of global social structures.
The workshop sounds out conceptual and phenomenal resonances between what in Western academic discourses has of late become known as ‘New Materialism’ (in its different strands) and the long tradition of (but also always newly emerging) indigenous and decolonial epistemologies. The idea is to look for ways to concretize the potential for intra/sections in-between posthuman(ist) and indigenous/decolonial thought-practices, hoping for a dialogue between more Western-oriented approaches — e.g., actor-network theory (Bruno Latour), the figures of the cyborg and companion species (Donna Haraway), vital materialism (Jane Bennett), un/limited ecologies (Vicky Kirby), or agential realism (Karen Barad) — and alternative indigenous cosmologies and ethical praxes such as ‘buen vivir/sumac kawsay’ (Alberto Acosta/Eduardo Gudynas), Amerindian perspectivalism (Eduardo Viveiros de Castro) or shape-shifting border/lands (Anzaldúa).
The workshop invites its participants to diffract heterogeneous ways of thinking and enacting multiplicity. Collecting insights from literary and cultural studies, natural sciences, sociology, non-western cosmologies, or religion, it hopes to produce a vision of how a post- anthropocentric perspective can enrich an understanding of ‘world’ as a plurivocal worlding process.
In English and German
Özgün Eylül Işcen
Veronika von Wachter
The workshop will take place on Thursday, 15:00-21:00 and on Friday, 9:00-17:00.
Organized by Jenny Haase and Kathrin Thiele as part of the DFG research network ‘Dispositiv der Menge’ in cooperation with ICI Berlin, Universität Siegen, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, and Utrecht University
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