DWF 102 Pensiero stupendo – Abstract

Bodies in the public space. Resistance and passions in the crisis. An interview with Judith Butler – Federica Castelli

Judith Butler explains us how to resist and  still be passionate and creative in politics in our times. These are times of crisis, of emergencies, of dispossession: what are the struggles and what are the alliances feminism needs to establish in order to analyze and focus the present times? How do we struggle today? What are the fundamental issues in times of precarity? And what about the role our bodies play in subverting, recreating, redefining the public space of democracy?

Bodies, subjects, alliances. Elastic thought of Judith Butler – Monica Pietrangeli

The article offers a course of reading the works of American philosopher, feminist and queer activist, Judith Butler, who over nearly three decades has questioned the academic realm and political movements, on topics related to issues of gender, feminism and, particularly since the 9/11 attacks in the USA, on issues of vulnerability, that is, the inevitable exposure of the subject to the Other. From questioning the heterosexual norm to the theory of performativity, up to the ethics of non-violence the theoretical path of Butler is articulated through an ongoing dialogue with the major theoretical leading western and nonwestern discourses, offering an original reinterpretation on many of the most significant philosophical and political theories. Subject of this reflection are those living on the margins condemned to oblivion but also the purely political question of strategic coalitions intended as a transformation of the existing status. What emerges is an intellectual figure always ready to take a stand on the most burning issues of the contemporary world.

Posthuman martial artist. A Taijiquan apprentice reads Rosi Braidotti’s “Il Postumano”– Alessandra Chiricosta

Braidotti’s last book, “Il Postumano”, is  presented here in a non conventional way. Rather then offering a  general review  of the text,  this essay  explores some of the issues Braidotti’s  book tackles  (such as  the  Nature-Culture continuum; the “post-human” dimension; post-human feminisms) correlating them to the  reflections on “the force of a female body” of  a feminist philosoper and martial artist.

Technorelatives  of  Donna Haraway – Gabriella Bonacchi

A reinterpretation of the Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century, starting from the fundamental claim that there is nothing about being female that naturally binds women together into a unified category.  The powerful image of cyborgs as a fusion of machine and organism is not new in the Western culture, what is new is the meaning for feminism: no revolution would have been possible without the ‘speculum’! Showing the usefulness of Cyborg Manifesto in the today debate on female bodies, medical practices and ‘fetishistic’ genomics research, Bonacchi retraces the present relevance of  Haraway’s political approach, that feminists should consider creating coalitions based on “affinity” instead of identity.

Diffractions. Donna Haraway’s project of a situated techno-science – Claudia Bruno

In this essay the autor tells about Donna Haraway, one of the theorists who have most inspired contemporary western feminism, well known for her figuration of the cyborg, and explains how she suggests a feminist techno-science based on the situated knowledge. The overcoming of the boundaries is not a problem for Haraway. Her message is very clear – whether we like it or not, the overcoming of boundaries is the reality we live in, denying it would be irresponsible. In other words, nature for her is a hybrid world, this is why she distrusts holistic perspectives and escapes new promises of universal salvation. As she puts it, nature is a system whose resistance threshold painfully includes organisms and machines, humans and non-humans, the dead and the living. In Haraway’s view, nature always is ‘naturculture’. In this system, organic and inorganic matter are not considered separate and each element is treated in terms of disassembly/reassembly. Haraway’s nature is not a holistic system at all but rather a web of differences capable of interacting one with the other. In this case, the cycle is not closed and interaction is not necessarily understood as a perfect swap – there is always a surplus, a waste, an ‘indigestion’. In Haraway’s cultivation of nature, there is no room for ideas of purity and integrity, with the exception of a diachronic comparison with the race discourse, for its desire to bring back the need for the preservation of boundaries to the obsession of purity. This is the reason why she considers the relationship with the other in its most radical form – the meeting between species. As she puts it, this kind of relationship is essential to develop new forms of cohabitation capable of overcoming the heterosexist nuclear family based on the oedipal imaginary which has become “a sterile trap for politics”. She supports the idea that to consider closeness simply as something belonging to familial relationships deletes a whole set of other possible different intimacies. Shifting the focus on the tie between species for Haraway means to understand the relationship as a ‘becoming with’, which inevitably is a practice of what she calls ‘becoming worldly’. It is precisely through this reformulation of togetherness that Haraway comes to conceive a mundane coexistence capable of transforming the being in touch into the being itself – this means the self cannot precede the relationship with the other.