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Deterritorialising Death: On Feminist Biophilosophy as a Queer(ing) Methodology
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, The Department of Gender Studies. (The Posthumanities Hub)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8520-6785
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper stems from a larger project, set against the backdrop of contemporary discursive and material unfoldings of the environmental crises as well as their accompanying cultural and scientific imaginaries.

In the project, I ask what happens when contemporary art (especially body, eco- and bioart) – in a dialogue with feminist materialist philosophies – is mobilised in order to challenge the conventional (i.e. anchored in the Western tradition of the autonomous (exclusively) human subject) understandings of death, and assess multiple vulnerabilities and power differentials that form part of the materialisations of ecologies of death in the context of the Anthropocene.

In other words, the project examines how contemporary art read through the lens of feminist materialist philosophies (e.g. Colebrook, MacCormack, Grosz) may – and do – queer, that is, unsettle, subvert and exceed binaries, given norms, normativities, and conventions that frame and govern the bodies and processes constitutive of death, extinction and annihilation, especially in the given environmental context.

In order to do so, we need an adequate set of tools. In the present paper, I argue for a tripartite methodology that queers the traditional human-exceptionalist concept of death: (1) feminist biophilosophy as an examination that does not search for an ‘essence’ of life, but instead focuses on the processes that take life beyond itself; (2) ‘the non/living’ (Radomska 2016) as a way to conceptualise death/life entanglement; and (3) queer vitalism as a ground for aesthetics (Colebrook 2014). By discussing each of these components and employing them in the analysis of select artworks (e.g. by Australian artist Svenja Kratz), I hope to open up a space for discussion on this queer(ing) methodology’s potential for mobilising a novel feminist-materialist understanding of both ontology and ethics of death.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
biophilosophy, gender, methodology, the non/living, queer vitalism, death, queer death studies
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-161786OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-161786DiVA, id: diva2:1369033
Conference
Trans in Transit: Gender Studies in Finland Conference, 22-24 November 2018, Turku, FI.
Projects
Ecologies of Death:Environment, Body and Ethics in Contemporary Art
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-00467Available from: 2019-11-10 Created: 2019-11-10 Last updated: 2019-11-10

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf