Mónica Cano Abadía

Call for Papers: Feminist Responses to Populist Politics

Special Issue 25, European Journal of English Studies

Guest editors: Mónica Cano Abadía (University of Graz), Sanja Bojanić (University of Rijeka), Adriana Zaharijević (University of Belgrade)

‘Populism’ is as slippery a term as the political soil it rhizomes in. During the last decade, it has been tested in political reality on numerous occasions and with varying outcomes. The distinction between right and left populisms has also become a staple in everyday academic, policy, and civil society discourses. On the left or the right, populisms often act as a bogeyman, as a threat to politics as usual, and as a sure sign that the world is, yet again, out of joint.

But are these misgivings of any substance? Perhaps the world is actually disjointed. It may be that populisms, left or right, fill in the cracks and fissures that have been lain open for only a short period of time, one that coincides with decades of sustained feminist efforts to change the world for the better. Despite the gains, much of what has been won is now being brought to a halt – and it seems that populisms play their share in this stoppage. It is therefore vital to ask what feminist responses to populisms could be. Can the answer to this question be reduced to the issue of political allegiance, or is it a matter of needing to adjust to new political realities? Would this imply then embracing these realities as well? What is the role that populisms now play in shaping the relationship between radical and mainstream feminisms? If we claim that feminism has always been populist to a certain extent, then we have to have a clear notion of the populus at its core. Alternatively, we might categorically posit that feminist populism is a contradiction in terms and therefore also reject the possibility of left populist feminisms.

This special issue addresses feminist visions of politics as a different answer to populisms’ challenges. We wish to mark ambivalences and name conceptual reasons for why it is insufficiently daring or even reactionary to place feminist emancipatory strategies close to politically divisive contemporary tendencies. Instead, we call for a return to notions of feminist resistance and resilience – notions that put an emphasis on agency, change, and hope in the face of the grave challenges we are faced with around the world. The following topics may be addressed:

  • What does ‘feminist populism’ refer to?
  • To what does feminist resistance to populism refer?
  • How does feminist resilience function?
  • What are the consequences, challenges and possible solutions that feminist resilience can bring about in civil society and institutions?

Detailed proposals (up to 800 words) for full essays (7,500 words), as well as a short biography (max. 100 words) should be sent to all of the editors by 31 December 2019: Mónica Cano Abadía (monica.cano-abadia@uni-graz.at), Sanja Bojanić (sanja.bojanic@uniri.hr), Adriana Zaharijević (zaharijevic@instifdt.bg.ac.rs).

Spring – Autumn 2019 CAS SEE Fellowship Recipients

The Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe (CAS SEE) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Spring – Autumn 2019 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards at the University of Rijeka. The purpose of the CAS SEE Fellowship Programme is to further the research and creative work in the fields of the humanities and humanistic social sciences in the Balkans. Fellows will present their work within the CAS-Collegium, creating an intellectually heterogeneous atmosphere and fostering a productive self-examination or even friction, which may lead to new and unexpected ideas and innovation.

Please join us in congratulating the following CAS SEE Fellowship Awards, University of Rijeka recipients:

Bojan Baca (York University, Canada)

Project – title: “Digitalization of the Marketplace of (Reactionary) Ideas: The Alt-Right as a Political Ideology, Social Movement, and Counter-Culture”

Monica Cano Abadia (University of Zaragoza, Spain)

Project – title: “New Materialist Cartographies of Patterns of Exclusion in Digital Environments”

Guglielmo Feis (University of Milan, Italy)

Project – title: “Channeling Social Justice through the Blockchain? A Critical Review of the Potentiality of Distributed Ledger Technology (DTL) in Reducing Financial Inequalities and Improve the Access to Financial Information”

Ivan Flis (Utrecht University, Netherlands)

Project – title: “Open Science as a Movement of Digital Disruption”

Greta Favara (University of Milan, Italy)

Project – title: “Normative Political Theory and the Public Role of the Theorist”

Natasha Jankovic (University of Belgrade, Serbia)

Project – title:Rijeka: an experimental field of concrete utopia”

Nilay Kilinc (University of Surrey, UK)

Project – title: “Highly-Skilled Turkish Migrants’ Search for Alternative Diaspora Spaces in Europe: How They Build (Digital) Social Networks Beyond the ‘Culture of Rejection’”

Dragana Kovačević Bielicki (University of Oslo, Norway)

Project – title: “Mapping the anti-migrant protests in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina through their online media coverage (2015-present)”

Massimo Leone (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

Project – title: “Democracy and Trolling in Internet Threads (DETROIT)”

Andrey Menshikov (Ural State University, Russia)

Project – title: “Unequal Distribution of Religious Freedom in the Discourse on Human Rights”

Valentina Moro (University of Padova, Italy)

Project – title: “Deconstructing Languages of Rejection: a Political Theory Analysis of Feminist Discourses and Methodologies”

Sabino Paparella (University of Bari, Italy)

Project – title: “Political Disintermediation in the Digital Era”

Roberto Roccu (LSE, London, UK)

Project – title: “Comparative Political Economies of Lost Hope: Subaltern Trajectories of Inequality, Transformation and Rejection from the Arab Uprisings to Crisis Europe”

Oszkar Roginer (University of Graz, Austria)

Project – title: “Cultures of Rejections – (self)perception of minorities and knowledge production”

Francesca Rolandi (University of Milan, Italy)

Project – title: “Doš’o sam u grad iz pasivnog kraja. Internal Migration, Settlement Dynamics and Social Practices in post-World War II Rijeka”

Snezana Vesnic (University of Belgrade, Serbia)

Project – title: “Positive European Futures: Creating New Concepts for the Transformation and Redefinition of Digital European Values Case study: Rijeka Between Analog and Digital”


 

Mónica Cano Abadía

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.

CAS SEE Fellows at the „Engagement for Social Change: Moving beyond Resistance“ conference

The current, 7th generation of CAS SEE fellows participated in the „Engagement for Social Change: Moving beyond Resistance“ conference held in Belgrade, 19-21 April, 2018.

Francesca Forle presented her paper Rythmòs in Acting Together. A Tool to Improve Stability and Orient Power Hierarchies“ at the “Thinking of Engagement” panel of the first day, together with Olga Nikolić, Igor Cvejić, Sotiria Ismini Gounari and Jelena Vasiljević at the University of Belgrade Rectorate.

During the second day of the conference, current Fellow Polona Sitar presented her paper „Menstrual Movements and Feminist Spirituality: The Red Tent Case Study“ at the “Yes, We Can(‘t): Women’s Engagement” panel with Anna Bednarczyk, Kathleen Zeidler and CAS SEE non-resident Fellow, Monica Cano Abadía presenting her paper on „Risking Vulnerability in Feminist Activism: The #metoo Case“.

The workshop on the book „Where did revolution go?“ by/with Donatella della Porta chaired by Gazela Pudar Draško (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory) also hosted current Fellows Barbara Turk Niskac, Tiziano Toracca and Filip Milacic, together with researchers from the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory; Jelena Vasiljević, Srđan Prodanović, Marjan Ivković and Irena Fiket.

 

RULES WITHOUT WORDS

An Interdisciplinary Seminar on Non-Verbal Normativity

Date and Venue: February 8, 2018 at Društvo arhitekata Rijeka (DAR)

Organization: CAS SEE & DAR

Non-verbal normativity surrounds us. In design and architecture practices, the visual communication and the built environment transmit rules and shape behaviour in a variety of, arguably, understudied ways. Signalization, political and lifestyle propaganda in various media, nudging images, technical drawings of city plans, ideologies articulated through architectural choices and propagated through artistic practices – are among the most prolific bearers of norms in the society.

This seminar gathers a number of Autumn 2017 CAS SEE Fellows investigating the non-verbal normativities in a variety of approaches and disciplines and the practitioners of design and architecture to open the discussion about the nature, relevance and effects of the “rules without words” in the contemporary normative landscape, where climate change is reframing the discussions on globalization, the illiberal governments are slowly and persistently changing the fundamentals of the discourse on governance and freedom, and the vast digital realm floods the international social life with innovations in social coordination as well as informational and affective strategies of uncontrollable quality and intent.


◌ PROGRAM ◌

17.00 | Olimpia Giuliana Loddo and Davide Pisu: The Architect’s Normative Drawings

17.30 | Carlo Burelli: Art, Power and Propaganda: Lessons from the Roman Empire

17.50 | Mónica Cano Abadía: The Non-Verbal Normativity of Gender Performativity

18.10 | Discussion

18.40 | Davide Pala: A Moral Framework for Assessing Hostile Architecture

19.00 | Milorad Kapetanović: Regulation of Informal Construction in Rijeka in the Anticipation of European Capital of Culture Rijeka

19.20 | Nataša Janković: Architectural terRI[s]tories: Mapping the Process of City Transformation.

19.40 | Gerrit Wegener: Johnnie meets Jackie in Rijeka. In between the lines of Normativity and Individuality

20.00 | Discussion

MONICA CANO ABADIA

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.

Fellows at the “TESTIMONY. POETRY. LANGUAGE.” Conference

The conference investigated the concept of testimony, notably war testimony, from different perspectives, i.e., literature, philosophy, sociology and political activism.

The first day of the conference and a roundtable on the third day were entirely devoted to the analysis of the holocaust poet Paul Celan through the contributions of Sue Vice, Pajari Räsänen, Matthew Boswell and Nina Čolović. A philosophical analysis of Celan’s poetry was provided by Petar Bojanić, while Bertrand Badiou was a key figure, providing testimony of Paul Celan’s poetry and biography.

The second day, with panels chaired by CAS Fellows Mónica Cano Abadía and Olimpia Loddo, focused on the role played by poetry in the testimony of the Yugoslav war. A first-hand testimony was offered by the Bosnian writer Asmir Kujović, while Lidija Dimkovska, a Macedonian writer based in Slovenia, paid a moving tribute to a long list of writers that are the voice of a post-Yugoslav languages. Andrijana Kos-Lajtman analyzed the influence of Dadaism on Manifest Mlade Bosne by Darko Cvijetić. Senadin Musabegović described the role played by poetry in testifying the real face of nationalism.

In the panel “Rhetoric, Politics and Poetry after Yugoslav Wars,” Jay Surdukowski showed how Radovan Karadžić used poetry to justify his war crimes. In her presentation To War or to Write, Elizabeta Šeleva described poetry as a means to redesign reality through the creation of an alternative “literary ought.” Goran Lazičić described the rhetoric and politics of testimony in the novels of the Serbian writers Svetislav Basara and David Albahari.

During the third day of the conference, with panels chaired by CAS Fellow Davide Pala, Olivera Marković-Savić showed the use and misuse of the term ‘veteran’ after the end of the Yugoslavian war, and she stressed the legal misrecognition of veterans by the Serbian state. Šeherzada Džafić talked about poetry focussing on war as a powerful form of both testimony and ethical learning, while Selma Zilić Šiljak presented the clash between dominant narratives of war and the horizontal and private accounts of it in Velika Kladuša.

In the first panel of the fourth and last day, chaired by CAS Fellow Mišo Kapetanović, Cornelia Grabner gave voice to the Movement for Peace in Mexico, while Robert von Hallberg focused on the relationship between testimony and poetry in the US. Danijela Majstorović shared her research on the construction of the Yugoslav new woman and the role of the Women’s Antifascist Front (AFŽ). Marzuq Al Halabi talked about Mahmoud Darwish, the prophet of the Palestinian revolution who created a bridge between Palestine and other international movements.

The last panel, chaired by Marco Abram (Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso), revolved around memorial sites in Rwanda (Matthew Boswell) and the role of women poets in the peace process in Colombia (Cherilyn Elston). Afterwards, Djurdja Trajković moderated a roundtable in which the role of poetry as a form of testimony was discussed. A poetry reading about conflicts in peripheral capitalism closed the conference.

After the conference, the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory of Belgrade hosted one workshop and two lectures. The workshop consisted in a critical discussion of the important book “Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities” by Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein. Fourteen commentators highlighted different aspects of it, e.g., the relation between race and nation (e.g., Carlo Burelli, Davide Pala), on the one hand, and the link between race and gender, on the other hand (e.g., Mónica Cano Abadía). Djurdja Trajković closed the workshop by stressing the strict historical connections between nationalism, racism, and classism. The first lecture, given by Manuela Bojadžijev and entitled “Is (neo-)racism a form of violence of the past?”, provided a conceptualization of the distinctive features of racism and a great overview of the main literature analyzing racism from the 50’s onwards. The second lecture, given by Sanja Milutinović Bojanić and entitled “Rhetoric of Emancipation vs. Rhetoric of Misogyny”, showed the central traits of the rhetoric of both emancipation and misogyny and illustrated them through the analysis of several historical occurrences of both emancipation and misogyny.

– CAS SEE Fellows

“Race, Nation, Class’: Ambiguous Identities” international seminar with CAS SEE fellows

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)

Program

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

Participants

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)

Organizing Committee

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)

Partners

Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe (CAS SEE), University of Rijeka

Support

Seminar is supported by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKV), Berlin

FEMINIST SELF-DEFENCE WORKSHOPS

The Center for Advanced Studies has initiated a feminist self-defence workshop organized in collaboration with the Center for Women’s Studies (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences), taking place at the Academy of Applied Arts at the University of Rijeka. The course will last until the end of the winter semester with guidance of current CAS SEE Fellow, Mónica Cano Abadía.

“Against sexist aggressions it is necessary to learn a series of both physical and psychosocial strategies. Self-defence is a defence against prior aggressions to safeguard our physical and mental integrity. The right to self-defence against harm or danger is entirely legitimate. In the case of women, many of the aggressions that we suffer on a daily basis come from structural misogynist violence. Therefore, we speak of feminist self-defence,  as  we  defend  ourselves  against  the  violence  of  both  the  particular aggressors and the patriarchal system.

Feminist self-defence goes beyond learning physical techniques. It tries to reinforce the autonomy of women in the public and private space enhancing our physical, emotional and social security. It is also a way of life that requires mechanisms of prevention, critical analysis of our gender-biased social practices, and the creation of networks of sorority to encourage active personal and collective defence.” – Mónica Cano Abadía

Maximum number of participants: 15

Aimed to: All women (no matter their age or physical condition)

Venue: Ul. Slavka Krautzeka 83, HR-51000, Rijeka

Workshop applications at: cas@cas.uniri.hr

 

AUTUMN 2017 CAS SEE FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENTS

The Center for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe (CAS SEE) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Autumn 2017 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards at the University of Rijeka. The purpose of the CAS SEE Fellowship Programme is to further the research and creative work in the fields of the humanities and humanistic social sciences in the Balkans. Fellows will present their work within the CAS Collegium, creating an intellectually heterogeneous atmosphere and fostering a productive self-examination or even friction, which may lead to new and unexpected ideas and innovation.

Please join us in congratulating the following Autumn 2017 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards, University of Rijeka recipients:

Mónica Cano Abadía (Zaragoza, Spain) The Re-Radicalization of Critical Thinking: Toward a Global Social Justice.

Gerrit Wegener (Berlin, Germany) Continuous architecture. The most living act of memory.

Olimpia Giuliana Loddo (Cagliari, Italy) Investigation on the Ontology of Normative Pictures.

Nataša Janković (Belgrade, Serbia) Architectural terRI[s]tories: Mapping the process of city transformation.

Davide Pala (Torino, Italy) World Poverty, Radical Inequalities and Neo-Republicanism.

Carlo Burelli (Milano, Italy) A Theory of Order.