ICI Edition

The lesson taught by every historical attempt to construct society in accordance with an idea: where utopia is, wreckage will follow. So we have been told, and do, in large part, believe. The empire of capitalist parliamentarism, sovereign police, and conventional skepticism rises from the ruins of futures past.

This symposium invited four inventive, provocative, and engaged thinkers to reflect upon utopia and its wreckages, to help us understand the valences of realization and ruination, of wreaking and wrecking, within socialist/post-socialist, sovereign/post-sovereign, imperial/post-imperial, feminist, and queer political programmes.


Boris Buden is a writer and cultural critic. He studied philosophy in Zagreb and cultural theory at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Among his many publications are Barikade (Zagreb 1996) and Zone des Übergangs. Vom Ende des Postkommunismus (2009). Among his translations into Croatian are two books of Sigmund Freud.

Bini Adamczak is an unstable alliance of everyday reproduction modes, unwanted heritages, and quarrelsome spectres, such as deconstructivist feminisms and the orthodox critique of value. She’s a performer, visual artist, and independent author of borderlining texts such as Kommunismus. Kleine Geschichte wie alles anders wird (2004) and Gestern Morgen. Über die Einsamkeit kommunistischer Gespenster und die Rekonstruktion der Zukunft (Münster, 2007).

Daniel Loick teaches social and political philosophy at Goethe University Frankfurt. His book on sovereignty, Ironien des Politischen. Elemente einer kritischen Theorie der Souveränität (2011) will be published this fall. He is also co-organizer of the international conference Re-Thinking Marx at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Karen Tongson is associate professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. Her book on race, sexuality, popular culture, and the suburbs, Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries, will appear in August 2011. She is on of the editors of the series Postmillennial Pop and is also co-editor-in-chief of The Journal of Popular Music Studies.



15:00 Welcome

15:30 Introduction

16:00 Boris Buden (Berlin): Dislocation of Utopia. In-between Capitalism and Socialism

17:00 Bini Adamczak (Frankfurt): The Feeling of Revolution. Queer Questions of 1917

18:00 Break

18:30 Daniel Loick (Frankfurt): Post-Sovereign Politics. Lessons from Benjamin

19:30 Keynote: Karen Tongson (Los Angeles): Inland Emperors. Sexuality at the End of the Suburbs

In English

Boris Buden
Bini Adamczak
Daniel Lock
Karen Tongsen

Organized by

An ICI Event organized by Brigitte Bargetz, Ben Dawson, Kit Heintzman, Christine Hentschel, and Gal Kirn

The event, like all events at the ICI Berlin, is open to the public, free of charge. The audience is presumed to consent to a possible recording on the part of the ICI Berlin. If you would like to attend the event yet might require assistance, please contact Event Management.