Vulnerability, Precarising Discourses, and Collective Political Responses
This lecture addressed Judith Butler’s stances on precarising discourses. Her analysis on precariousness and precarity are key nowadays, when we are witnessing an unsettling and dangerous rise of fascistic discourses. Vulnerability is, then, a key concept for this project. Cano Abadia reflected on it within the tension that its riskiness implies: on the one hand, it connects us to our fragility; on the other hand, it is related to our power to act, to our political agency, and it allows us to share a powerful bond that enables political stances and transformative actions.
Mónica Cano Abadía obtained her Ph.D. in Philosophical Studies at the University of Zaragoza (Spain) with a Thesis Dissertation on Judith Butler entitled “Identities at Risk of Exclusion. Subversive Strategies of Social Transformation.” She is currently working as an Assistant Professor at the Section of Political Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy (University of Graz, Austria) and is a member of the Research Group “Justice, Citizenship, and Vulnerability” (University of La Laguna, Spain). She has been a fellow at the CAS SEE since September 2017, where she has conducted her research on the project “The Re-Radicalization of Critical Thinking: Toward a Global Social Justice with Rosi Braidotti and Judith Butler.” In addition to lectures and publications focusing on queer theory, she has written on new materialisms, global justice, and posthuman critical theory.
The seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on January 28th, 2019.
Metamorphosis of Labour. The Movement for a Basic Income in the Light of the Modern Paradigm of Labour
Seminar held at the University of Rijeka on May 11, 2018.
“In my talk I will discuss a social and political movement active at an international level, which engages in developing a new paradigm of welfare through the proposal of a universal basic income (UBI). This movement has created an international network – Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) – it has fostered a huge debate and it is advocating a new, radical practice of democracy, social integration and post industrial solidarity. The goal of UBI is mainly to guarantee social rights to whoever lives in a digital society and not only to people who work.
In my talk, on the one hand, I will illustrate the historical origins and the development of this movement within the European framework; on the other hand, I will discuss the ideology which is behind UBI within the contemporary emerging and global metamorphosis of labor (precariousness, flexibility, total mobilization, polarization, inequality, deindustrialization, end of work). In particular, I will try to discuss UBI on the basis of a long term representation of labor and the constitutive ambiguity which exists at the core of the modern notion of work. For its widespread and traumatic consequences, the metamorphosis of labor challenges democracy differently and it has been analyzed in various fields of studies: economics, law, sociology and political science, but also in artistic, philosophical, and literary studies. The increasing interdisciplinary approaches to this topic are a clear signal of the complexity and the relevance of this human experience. Scholars in the humanities engaged with labor issues because the transformation reflects on the everyday life of ordinary people and on their interior world. In particular, the metamorphosis of labor seems to have lost the traditional connection between work and citizenship due to the modern notion of labor. Modern work is a paid activity that allows an individual to participate actively in the social life of his community. The modern conception of labor is based on the idea that only workers belong to social communities; it is based on the idea that labor is the centre of the democratic process of socialization. To work in a modern society means to participate in the public sphere, to be recognized by others and therefore to own a social identity. Personal growth and social integration characterize the ideal horizon of a long series of struggles and social conflicts and in particular the fights for decent working conditions pursued by labor movements, the idea of class and intellectual engagement and the protections and guarantees that the labor law has built since the industrial revolution. The contemporary emerging crisis of labor relations deals on the contrary with: social disintegration, fragmentation, isolation, risk, increasing unemployment, anxious, poverty, confusion. The transformation that we are living obstacles “vita activa” unveiling a new anthropological mutation characterized by the decline of work as the traditional instrument of the Bildung of the self. The idea of “the end of work” is probably the most emblematic consequence of such a crisis.
In this framework, I will focus on the relation between work and social identity and I will analyze the symbolic impact of the Universal Basic Income on this relation and on the notion of social identity. In order to do that I will adopt a humanistic perspective in the belief that we cannot reduce work to an economic or legal relation. I will also take into account the Basic Income Network Italia (BIN Italia), an organization which has been created in 2016 by an interdisciplinary group of scholars and social activists (http://www.bin-italia.org/).”
Tiziano Toracca graduated in Law (Pisa, 2005) and in Italian Language and Literature (Pisa, 2011). He got a Joint PhD in Italian Studies, Comparative Literature and Literary Studies (Perugia-Ghent, 2017).
He coordinated the Jean Monnet Project I work therefore I am European (http://www.iworkthereforeiam.eu/) at the Department of Philosophy and Education Sciences of the University of Torino. Currently he is research fellow at CAS SEE in Rijeka with a project on the universal basic income in relation with the conception and representation of modern labour. His research focuses on the Italian contemporary narrative, Modernism and Neomodernism, Law and Literature with specific attention to the issue of Labour. He is member of the Center for European Modernism Studies and of the Italian Society for Law and Literature and he is editor of «Allegoria». Since 2012 he teaches humanities in the high school and a course of creative writing in a psychiatric center.
Emancipatory Learning: Reframing Situatedness and the new Cartographies of Belonging
Seminar was held at the University of Rijeka on May 10, 2018.
“In this paper we will discuss the first part of The Emancipatory Learning Project, a long-term art-based-research-journey I have embarked within decolonial (Mignolo, Souza Santos, do Mar Castro Varela, Spivak, Vasquez) and post-anthropocentric discourses (Abram, Haraway, Shiva, Braidotti) – while searching for transformative and emancipatory pathways towards the ambitions notion of Earth Citizenship. This research has identified a variety of learning spaces that are playing a decisive role in the construction of a post-colonialist, post-patriarchy, post-capitalism and post-anthropocentric society: learning communities of thinking-feeling and thinking-acting grounded in a deeper notion of Buen Vivir (living in plenitude), that are cross-fertilizing in the globe. The long list includes free- and anti-universities, ecoversities, communities of concern and communities of care, eco-villages, grass-roots social and educational enterprises, socially-engaged artistic projects, happy labs, open platforms, collaborative networks, “autonomous zones” and so on and so on.
In this paper we will discuss how some of these spaces are transforming coexistence and belonging through empowering practices and inclusion. This paper is therefore divided in three sections: The first is a general reframing of emancipation within epistemic diversity, by highlighting the concepts of response-ability and situatedness (Haraway); the second is a definition of dis-othering and unlearning as basic movements towards a form of radical openness that can enable societal transition; and the third section is an examination of these Living Learning Environments as the (new) schools or flourishing habitats where new forms of belonging – emancipated from biological and cultural separations among native and invasive species, re-imagined beyond identity politics within selective inclusions and exclusions – is taking place. A variety of counter-hegemonic gestures of resistance and/or liberation that are enabling small shifts for social change: towards relational and responsive forms of belonging within a more-than-human world.”
Daniela Brasil has initiated and coordinated various transdisciplinary and participatory projects that use playfulness and radical imagination as exercises for active citizenship and tools for people’s empowerment. Her research interests lie mainly on pedagogic, artistic and spatial practices that focus on horizontal forms of exchanging/creating knowledge and know-how; while searching for ways to (un)learn colonized thoughts, behaviours and representations. She studied Architecture and Urbanism in Rio de Janeiro, Environmental Urban Design in Lisbon and Barcelona, Social Sculpture in Oxford and received her PhD and her Master of Fine Arts in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. For the past 6 years, she was Assistant Professor and Researcher at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Graz University of Technology, and from 2011-14 she was a member of the ADRIART consortium for the creation of the Master of Media Arts and Practices in the Universities of Rijeka, Croatia and of Nova Gorica, Slovenia. Daniela is based in Graz, Austria, where she works as an artist and researcher in collaborative settings, especially with the Daily Rhythms Collective on feminist actions and with Studio Magic on experimental architecture since 2013.
The Re-Radicalization of Critical Thinking. Toward a Global Social Justice with Judith Butler and Rosi Braidotti
“The research project The Re-Radicalization of Critical Thinking: Toward a Global Social Justice intends to carry out a diffractive reading on Rosi Braidotti and Judith Butler. A diffractive reading is a methodology that tries to read important insights though one another. What Braidotti has called the ‘transatlantic disconnection’ shows that they belong to different traditions within post-structuralist feminist philosophy. Nonetheless, I would say that their (dis)connections can be seen more as a fruitful exchange –as Butler proposes in Undoing Gender– and an interesting overlapping of perspectives that enables thinking about social justice.
Several are the differences between Butler and Braidotti, and both have addressed them in many occasions. In this presentation, I will diffractively outline some of the points of friction that are of the most importance for me in order to think –with and through them– about global social justice –namely, questions about the decentering of the humanist subject, negativity and lack, vulnerability, agency, relationality, or activism.
Both highlight the necessity of calling for action towards social transformation. Thus, I will argue that their recent scripts are of the most importance to analyze the agents of new thinking within a contemporary Critical Theory beyond neoliberalism.”
Mónica Cano Abadía, current CAS SEE fellow,obtained her Ph.D. in Philosophical Studies at the University of Zaragoza. She wrote a Thesis Dissertation on Judith Butler entitled “Identities at Risk of Exclusion. Subversive Strategies of Social Transformation”. She has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Zaragoza (Spain), and is a member of the Research Group Justice, Citizenship, and Vulnerability (University of La Laguna, Spain). In addition to lectures and publications focusing on queer theory, she has written on new materialisms, global justice and posthuman critical theory.
The coming year will mark three decades since the publication of Immanuel Wallerstein’s and Etienne Balibar’s seminal work Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities. The book, characterized by a specific ”dialogical” structure, has become influential in the study of racism and in the interdisciplinary school of cultural studies. The publication of the work was preceded by a series of Wallerstein’s and Balibar’s debates at the Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris between 1985 and 1987. In the course of these encounters, the two authors developed the unique dialogical method, the ”practice-of-theory”, which consisted in the gradual elaboration and intertwining of the three fundamental concepts – race, nation and class – through simultaneous historical-empirical and theoretical analyses.
Wallerstein and Balibar formulate in this study a complex analysis of the roles that the classificatory schemes of race, nation and class played in the process of the genesis and global spreading of capitalism, above all their role in legitimizing the extreme social inequalities that capitalism produces and deepens. Upon the analysis, the authors’ central theoretical claim is that one can identify fissures, ruptures and contradictions in the fabric of the conceptual and empirical inter-imbrication of the three categories, suggesting that any strategy of resistance to forms of social domination grounded in the race-nation-class nexus must identify and exploit these contradictions. The authors finally draw our attention to the fact that the race-nation-class constellation is constantly being reinforced in global capitalism, which also requires constant reflection about new strategies of resistance.
The seminar at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory aims to comprehensively reflect on the relevance and heuristic value of Wallerstein’s and Balibar’s study for the present day. Within its temporal limits, the seminar will try to employ the ”practice-of-theory” method of the book in its analysis and attempts at re-actualization. The participants are invited to engage in forms of critical reconstruction, either of particular aspects of the book or its whole, and to explore avenues for the possible application of Wallerstein’s and Balibar’s perspective in analyzing manifold ways in which the fundamental categories of race, class and nation are (individually or synthetically) today used to legitimize or challenge capitalism, globally as well as in the region of former Yugoslavia.
Time: December 18th 2017 at 14:30
Venue: Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (address: Kraljice Natalije 45, 4th Floor)
14:30 – 14:40 | Welcome Word – Petar Bojanić (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)
14:40 – 15:00 | Introductory Remarks – Manuela Bojadžijev (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Berliner Institut für empirische Integrations-und Migrationsforschung, BIM)
15:00 – 15:20 | Regional Reception – Marjan Ivković i Djurdja Trajković (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)
15:20 – 15:35 | Coffee break
15:40 – 19:00 | Reflections on the Book
Rastko Močnik (University of Ljubljana and Faculty for Media and Communication, Singidunum University, Slovenia and Serbia), Gordan Maslov (Center for Social and Humanities Research, Croatia), Valida Repovac Nikšić (Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Nataša Sardžoska (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Vedran Džihić (University of Vienna, Austria; Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Petar Bojanić (IFDT), Marjan Ivković (IFDT), Srdjan Prodanović (IFDT), Djurdja Trajković (IFDT), Jelena Vasiljević (IFDT), Adriana Zaharijević (IFDT), Carlo Burelli (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Mónica Cano (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Davide Pala (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia)
Petar Bojanić (Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy; Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)
Djurdja Trajković (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)
Marjan Ivković (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade
Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe (CAS SEE), University of Rijeka
Seminar is supported by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKV), Berlin
Robert D. Kaplan visited Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe on April 21, 2017 and gave a talk about how technology is making geography and geopolitics smaller, more anxious and claustrophobic, so that all of Eurasia is coming together as a single conflict system, even while Europe divides from within. Precisely because globalization leads to integration, it also leads to increased interactions across regions and this intensifies conflict and instability. Kaplan also reflected on the European crisis, in all its aspects, with thoughts and questions about how it looks from the viewpoint of Rijeka, Central Europe, and the former Yugoslavia. Robert D. Kaplan was joined in discussion with Giacomo Scotti, Vanni d’Alessio and Ervin Dubrović.
Robert D. Kaplan is the bestselling author of seventeen books on foreign affairs and travel translated into many languages, including Earning the Rockies, In Europe’s Shadow, Asia’s Cauldron, The Revenge of Geography, Monsoon, The Coming Anarchy, and Balkan Ghosts.
He is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a senior advisor at Eurasia Group. For three decades he reported on foreign affairs for The Atlantic. He held the national security chair at the United States Naval Academy and was a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. Foreign Policy magazine twice named him one of the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.”
Mapping of spatial memory in limitrophe cities: border-landscapes and border-bodies
“My project draws on limitrophe cities and interzones within border-zones landscapes and deserted places where abandon, detachment, twisted memory and emotional representation shape the place as liminal and as ontologically uncertain. I argue border passages, which are today spaces deprived from meaning, or rather Phantomgrenzen, such as former Schengen crossings, such as empty and forgotten architectures of the post-Yugoslavian period, where space is under continuous reconfiguration and, at some point, becomes politically critical and artistically relevant. Thus, those spaces, although deprived from substantial phenomenological nexus, are impregnated with the emotional memory of a place that no longer exist; in this sense, they are not places where something ends and something else begins its existence, but rather places where something starts its presencing (to name few actions which gain their semantical denomination at the border crossing itself: smuggling, trafficking, exile, homelessness, expatriation etc.).
I elaborate political meanings of borders, which are perpetually blurred and shifted in tidal geography, the cultural mummification, the erasure of preexisting maps and the revival of “quick sand” porous boundaries. I focus on the production of flows of non-targeted displacements and dislocations, indeterminate journeys and nostalgia for a lost space instigated by the political shattering. I will, therefore, present the border-artwork of Sara Salamon, visual artist from Rijeka, who is disintegrating, misplacing, reinventing and questioning the invisible phantom-border passage between Gorizia and Nova Gorica, unveiling interrelations of cultural mutation processes from former spatial memory towards transitory emotional memory. The goal is to rethink the interconnected mappings, which have become marginalized and diasporic but at the same time a center and a nucleus of cognitive anxiety proliferating movements and unpredictable spatial trajectories. The question I am tackling is: is it so important to draw boundaries, charts and maps when the world has turned culturally liminal, flow and creolizing?”
Natasha Sardzoska was born in Skopje in 1979. Researcher, interpreter and translator (IT, FR, EN, ES, PT, MK, SR), Italian language professor, poet, writer, journalist and cultural manager, she has been living and working in Paris, Milano, Stuttgart, Brussels, Lisbon, Belgrade, Heidelberg, Bergamo and Skopje. She holds a Bachelor in Italian language and literature and comparative literature from the University Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje. With the Erasmus Mundus fellowship from the European Commission she has obtained a Master in media and cultural studies from the New University of Lisbon, the University of Perpignan and the University of Bergamo and a PhD in cultural anthropology from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, University of Bergamo and Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris.She has taught at Schiller International University in Heidelberg, the University for Tourism in Skopje, the University of Bergamo and the South-East European University “Max Van der Stoel”. She is part of the research group Phantom Borders at the Humbolt University in Berlin. She has been working as interpreter for the Senate of the Italian Republic, the Italian Ministry of Justice, the Italian National Antimafia Bureau, the International Organization for Migration, IBF Consulting, the Macedonian Ministry of Defense, the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Prosecutors and the European Commission and as expert in the French National Agency for Higher Education Evaluation AERES. She was editor of the official magazine of the Erasmus Mundus Association, where she was serving as Public Information Officer, and has interviewed well-known politicians amongst which Marielle De Sarnez.
She has attended international conferences and published in international reviews. She cooperates with the reviews Doppiozero, Nuova Prosa, Milan and Transmidia, Rio de Janeiro. She has published several poetry books, essays and literary translations (Saramago, Carducci, Pasolini, Tabucchi, Carneiro, Carvalho, Tavares, Bojunga, Couto, Bufalino, Braga, Collodi, Piperino) from Portuguese and Italian language. She collaborates with Radio Capodistria for the in-depth analysis program Il Vaso di Pandora, in Italian language. She has founded the Argentinian tango association in Macedonia promoting Argentine culture in the Balkans.
“Public discourses now usually describe the new anti-liberal and anti-globalist politics as “populist”. The term is problematic in many ways. It is pronounced from aloof and entails the suggestion that politics is a matter of expertise, not to be soiled by the people. Consequently, the implied position of uttering contradicts the explicit utterance-contents that presents itself as classically liberal. The term provides a hasty pseudo-solution to what should be examined as a problem: the mass appeal of those politics. By suggesting that politics is a matter of rhetorical adroitness, mainstream discourses legitimate and reproduce the presently dominating political practices in the Euro-Atlantic region that may be one of the causes for the massive discontent, which, in turn, offers social support to the new anti-liberalism. – Within the processes and practices that resulted in the destruction of Yugoslav socialist federation, an important, maybe decisive component were the politics that retroactively appear as an anticipation of the present extremist tide, and whom some of us described at that time as “fascist”. Again, this description seems problematic. As an anachronistic analogy, it may miss the specificity of the present situation. To avoid this trap, we shall look for systemic features, which now generate the familiar elements that have in the past combined into historical fascisms, but which may instead form new patterns in the present.”
Rastko Močnik, sociologist, literary theorist, translator and political activist is a retired professor at the University of Ljubljana and a visiting professor at the Faculty of Media and Communications, University Singidunum, Belgrade. He teaches and publishes in critical social science, theory of symbolic formations, epistemology of the humanities and social sciences. Co-chair of the International Board of Directors of the Institute for Critical Social Studies, Sofia and Plovdiv. Doctor honoris causa at the Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski” (2005).
“In my presentation I’ve shared with colleagues and participants the current stages of my research project. I divided the presentation into three parts, namely the three point of views of my approach to the issue of the wall.
The first one is an ontological point, and I consider it the very theoretical grounding of the entire research. The wall is something that exists in the world, so it concerns with the ontology, the science of the being. But at the same time the wall is an artifact, an object existing in a social world, and its existence depends from the human hand that modifies a natural object. Thus, one of the privileged points of view for better understanding the issue of the wall is the social ontology. Therefore, I’d like to provide a clear definition of “political wall” based on the concept of “artifact”, discussing arguments and positions of authors such as Maurizio Ferraris, Diego Marconi, John Searle, Barry Smith.
In the second part of the presentation, I showed how and why such a research should deal with the political issue of the wall. Indeed, the increasingly growing of material borders all over the world shows us that walls are a global phenomenon that merit a careful and deep analysis. For this reason, french scholars Florine Ballif and Stephane Rosiere coined a neologism, teichopolitics (from the ancient greek teichos, the wall of the city) in order to define the politics of building walls at the statal borders for various security purposes. In this part of the presentation I’ve focused on the fundamental working principles of contemporary teichopolitics, namely the materialization of borders as a visible persistence of statal power (as Wendy Brown argues in his famous book Walled States, Waning Sovereignty), and the problem of the “regime of mobility”, which is a new global hierarchy based of different mobility potentialities.
In the third part, I have argued that a teichopolitical regime can work only through a specific cultural discourse on the “other” as a dangerous figure. Indeed, the teichopolitical logic is complementary to what, for instance, Ronen Shamir has defined the “paradigm of suspicion” and Ulrich Beck a “risk society”. In order to deconstruct the teichopolitical logics and its cultural “condition of possibility”, we need to rethink our political categories, and especially the fundamental figure of our time: the migrant.
At the end of the presentation, I have sketched out some possible next stages and developments of the research.”