On the notion of the political in postmarxist theory.

Lectures

06.12.2012
Miguel Abensour
Is there a proper way to use the voluntary servitude hypothesis?

05.12.2012
The Transformation of Structural Causality in Late Modernity 

Propositions on Subject and History

05.06.2012
Filippo del Lucchese
The symptomatic relationship between law and conflict in Spinoza 

Jura communia as anima imperii

06.05.2012
Warren Montag
Althusser and the Question of Origin
Hegel sive Spinoza

06.10.2011
Jacques Rancičre
On the political and theoretical effects of Althusserian Marxism
Althusser's Lesson

24.05.2011
Michael Löwy
Romanticism and Zivilisationskritik
Walter Benjamin

08.04.2011
V. Desclaux, K. Diefenbach M. Dolar, D. Hoens, A. Kukuljevic,
Deleuze, Guattari, Lacan II
The impossible encounter

07.04.2011
Michaela Ott
Reading Spinoza with Nietzsche
Deleuze's affective “thinking with”

07.04.2011
Emiliano Battista, Vanessa Brito, Jack H. Fischer
Book presentation
Becoming major, becoming minor

04.03.2011
Sara Farris, Peter Thomas
Counter-politicisation of the non-political
The theory of politics in the young Marx

08.11.2010
Lars T. Lih
The Unifying Theme of his Political Career
Lenin's Scenario of Class Leadership

05.10.2010
Rodrigo Nunes
The politics of Badiou and Deleuze/ Guattari
Subject, event, separation

04.10.2010
Rodrigo Nunes
Politics, poetics + popular culture in Brazilian cinema 1962-1979
'Stronger are the powers of the people' I

08.04.2010
Thomas Seibert
Reading Badiou with and against his postmarxist contemporaries
Politics unbound

05.03.2010
Kathrin Thiele
Nietzsche with Deleuze II
The thought of becoming

03.12.2009
International conference
Becoming-major, becoming-minor

02.12.2009
Marina Gržinić
Global capitalism, necropolitics and contemporary art

01.12.2009
Roberto Esposito
The dispositif of the person

09.10.2009
International Conference
Encountering Althusser

09.10.2009
Conference material: schedule, abstracts, articles
Encountering Althusser

03.09.2009
Antke Engel
Queer/ing Images of Sexuality and Economy
The Surplus of Paradoxes

02.09.2009
Matteo Mandarini
Negri's encounter with Guattari: the elision of Lenin
Communists like us

01.09.2009
Ruth Sonderegger
A cinematic diagnosis of biopolitics
The cinema of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

16.06.2009
Christian Kerslake
The specter of an unsolved problematic
The Meanings of Immanence in Deleuze's Philosophy

19.05.2009
Luca Basso, Vittorio Morfino
A French Marx
The singular, the trans-individual and the common

07.04.2009
Pier Vittorio Aureli, Andrea Cavaletti, Katja Diefenbach, Mark Purcell, Miguel Robles-Duran, Lukasz Stanek, Roemer van Toorn, Peter Trummer, Sven-Olov Wallenstein
State-space symposium no. 1
Biopolitics of scale

09.03.2009
Paul Hegarty, Vanessa Theodoropoulos, Jean Louis Violeau
Against the economic: Reading Baudrillard with Bataille, Lacan, Marx, and Debord
A Workshop on Baudrillard

03.02.2009
Lecture of Tom Rockmore at the International Institute for Research and Education, Amsterdam
Is Marx a Fichtean?

04.12.2008
Martin Saar
Negri on Power
Political Spinozism

03.11.2008
Steve Wright
The Refusal of Labor
Tronti's Legacy

05.06.2008
Massimo De Angelis, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Anne Querrien
The production of commons, subjectivity and space
Communists like us

05.12.2007
A. Auerbach, K. Diefenbach, S. Dillemuth, M. Vishmidt
The politics of bohemia

08.11.2007
Maria Muhle
From Foucault to Rancičre
Politics, police and power

07.11.2007
Manfred Hermes
Narrative strategies of subjectivisation in Fassbinder’s "Berlin Alexanderplatz"
In the figurative sense

05.10.2007
Serhat Karakayali
On political hegemony and militant becoming: Gramsci and Deleuze
The poetics of knowledge

29.06.2007
Ruben Martinez, Jaron Rowan, Marina Vishmidt, Katja Diefenbach
The cultural producer as model of the post-fordist worker
In the mood for work

05.04.2007
Grahame Lock
The actuality of Althusser's thinking
Dictatorship of the proletariat as political science

04.04.2007
Judith Hopf
The imposition of creative work
Hey production!

08.03.2007
Raul Zelik
Notes on asymmetric warfare and governance
Sovereign police

Antke Engel

Queer/ing Images of Sexuality and Economy
The Surplus of Paradoxes

Is there an intimate relation between sexual freedom and market freedom? Images of dissident sexualities and gender ambiguity can be found in commercial advertising as well as in art and in sexual subcultures. Around the topoi of sexual diversity and the multiplicity of desire a discursive overlap develops – queer perspectives in commercial and neoliberal perspectives in queer discourses. This discursive overlap is the terrain of cultural politics. According to Lisa Duggan (2003) the “success” of neoliberal politics depends to a large degree on cultural politics and the way certain sections of marginalized groups have been invited into an alliance with hegemonic forces. Or, to put it the other way round, in refraining from cultural politics traditional left strategizing misses the chance to oppose neoliberal transformations by intervening into processes of cultural imaging, imaginary, and knowledge production. Therefore, I would like to point towards, and indeed strengthen, those tendencies in queer theory and politics, which make use of their own entangling with the discourses they want to oppose.


In my contribution I will focus on the figure of the paradox. I will analyze it as a figure that is on the one hand central to processes of neoliberal transformation while on the other hand also functioning in queer politics and representation as destabilizing rigid binaries. I will argue that the paradox holds the potential to ground a “queer politics of paradoxes”. Rather than striving to overcome paradoxes by translating them into “proper antagonisms” or by harmonizing them into coherence, I will show how the neoliberal deployment of paradoxes can be turned against itself. My thesis is that from a queer perspective paradoxes do not have to be read as symptoms of depoliticization, but on the contrary inspire an understanding of politics and the political that supports heterogeneity and opens up the field for alterity.
To this end I will propose a queer reading of a collage by Ines Doujak from the series “Victory Gardens” (2007). While in neoliberal cultural politics paradoxes are deployed for harmonizing contradictions and for activating the individual to find personal solutions for socio-politically induced problems, Doujak’s work can be understood as undermining exactly these functions. In reading the image and reflecting on the overlap of queer and neoliberal discourses, my aim is to argue that what I call “queer politics of paradoxes” support a understanding of “queer” that is attentive to its own involvement in power relations, inequalities, and injustice rather than simply propagating multicultural diversity.


Antke Engel is director of the Institute for Queer Theory situated in Hamburg and Berlin. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy at Potsdam University (Germany) in 2001 and held a visiting professorship for Queer Theory at Hamburg University between 2003 and 2005. The focus of her work is on feminist and poststructuralist theory, on conceptualizations of sexuality and desire, and on the critique of representation. From 2007 to summer 2009 she was a research fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI) in Berlin, working on the relation of sexuality and economy and asking for possibilities of queering neo-liberalism. Recently she published the book „Bilder von Sexualität und Ökonomie. Queere kulturelle Politiken im Neoliberalismus“(Bielefeld: transcript, 2009).