Antke Engel is director of the Institute for Queer Theory (iQt) in Berlin. She holds a PhD in Philosophy (Potsdam University, Germany, 2001). In her first monograph, published under the title Wider die Eindeutigkeit (Against Unambiguity) (Campus 2002) she argues that queerness is not about diversifying or overcoming gender and sexual categories, but about pursuing a strategy of equivocation or undisambiguation (Strategie der VerUneindeutigung).
Engel has published widely and held numerous talks on queer theory and non-normative genders and sexualities. Since 2000 she has been teaching internationally as lecturer and guest professor of queer theory, poststructuralist political philosophy and intersectional gender studies. Discourse analysis and cultural critique – with a particular focus on art and visuality – function as interlinking methods when she is studying concepts of sexuality and desire, neoliberal economy, social inequality and conflict, and the interplay of power, domination, and violence. As director of the iQt, Engel organizes events that bridge academic, activist and artistic approaches, while conceptualizing and implementing new formats for conferences, lecture series and workshops. She runs working groups and colloquia, and mentors young scholars and cultural practitioners.
From 2007 to 2009 Engel was fellow at the ICI Berlin, where she pursued a research project on imagery of pluralized genders and sexualities under conditions of neoliberal economy. It was published under the title Bilder von Sexualität und Ökonomie. Queere kulturelle Politiken im Neoliberalismus (transcript 2009), and proposes a queer politics of paradox (engl. 2013), which subverts neoliberal deployments through initiating an endless dynamic of circular tension that can be either strategically accentuated into antagonism or softened into ambiguity. This is also spelled out in the co-edited volume Hegemony and Heteronormativity: Revistiting ‘The Political’ in Queer Politics (Ashgate 2011).
At the ICI Berlin, Engel co-organized the international conference Desiring Just Economies – Just Economies of Desire (Berlin 2010), which led to the co-edited volume Global Justice and Desire: Queering Economy (Routledge 2015) and also inspired her book project The Sexual Political – an exploration of the potential of queer notions of desire for reconceptualizing the political (forthcoming 2019).
Images of Sexuality and Economy
ICI Project 2009
The book project ‘Queer/ing Neoliberalism?’ proposes readings of visual representations that allow examination of how sexuality and the economy are currently interrelated in social and cultural practices. Asking for the conditions of the recent pluralization of genders and sexualities in late modern societies, the book project focuses on a specific field of tension, namely those between neoliberal economic transformations and diverse movements in sexual politics (October 2007-December 2008).
The follow-up conference project ‘Desiring Economies – Economies of Desire’ proposes to look at economy through the lens of desire.