Within the context of its queer reconceptualization, desire can be conceived as a capacity to go beyond what is thinkable. On the one hand, there is traditional ‘western’ model of thinking understood as the rational/dialectical thought which, in its circular manner, can only repeat what is already known. On the other hand, queer reconceptualization of the notion of desire understood as the capacity to go beyond what is thinkable opens a space for the unthinkable and unpredictable ways of thinking (for example, a thought of the outside in Foucault, a non-thought in Deleuze and Guattari, a notion of the happenstance in Nancy, etc.).
In this talk, Blagojević uses the notions of love and jealousy in order to point to the ways in which the western, self-possessive, self-reflexive, and self-affective subject has constructed itself; also, she will use Jean-Luc Nancy’s concept of singular being to propose a sexually differentiated yet non-oppositional concept of ‘woman’ – which nonetheless can serve as another name for the multiplicity of sexes that corresponds to the multiplicity of desires.
Jelisaveta Blagojević teaches at the Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University (Belgrade) and has served as the university’s dean of academic affairs since 2006. She has also worked at the Belgrade Women’s Studies and Gender Research Center as a coordinator and lecturer since 2001. Since 2003 she has been a visiting lecturer at the Gender and Politics Program at the Political Science Faculty, Belgrade University. She has taught as a visiting lecturer at universities across Southeast Europe. She has published three books: Politics of the Unthinkable: Introduction to Antifascist Life (2014); Hieroglyphs of Jealousy (2008); Zajednica onih koji nemaju zajednicu [Community Without Community], (2008), and many more book chapters and articles. Her research interests include contemporary (political) philosophy, media studies, queer studies, and gender studies.
An ICI Berlin event, in collaboration with the Insitute for Queer Theory
The lecture is part of the Lecture Series Desire’s Multiplicity and Serendipity, a collaboration of the Institute of Queer Theory and the ICI Berlin. Desire, wandering about and forming assemblages, might be accompanied by serendipity or mate with jouissance or the power of the erotic, even as it fails to reach its presumed aim. Instead of running on a single track, we take desire to be functioning in a multiple manner. We call on desire’s serendipity to grasp its illogical, contingent modes as a figure of fortunate errans. The lecture series Desire’s Multiplicity and Serendipity looks for queer reconceptualizations of desire, its cultural articulations and lived realities. The key question is how to get from the critique of desire as a hierarchizing and normalizing force to the heterotopias of desire. What would it mean to understand or experience desire as opening up to alterity, undermining its own involvement in structural inequalities and normative violence?
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