We were pleased to welcome Prof. Jack Halberstam (Columbia University) at the Cornelia Goethe Center and the GRADE Center Gender on January 15 and 16. Jack Halberstam held a lecture as part of our Cornelia Goethe Colloquia on ‚Trans*Formations* and led a workshop for GRADE Gender.
Lecture: On Dereliction and Destitution
For so long we have proposed considering the politics of this or the politics of that – the politics of transgender, the politics of sex, the politics of performance, the politics of resistance – what if politics itself, as a concept and a framework is not the solution but the problem. In other words, what if this need to legitimate everything via the political as we currently understand politics (activities associated with governance) is part of the problem in that it leads to certain kinds of projects and it disallows others – the propulsive projects that engage making, doing, being, building, becoming, knowing, declaring, proposing, dealing, moving and so on.
Wildness is a great category with which to think. It references all at once the opposite of civilization; the idea of unsorted relations to knowledge and being; nature after nature; queerness after and before nature, and life as an encounter with both the bio-political forces of being and the necro-political forces of unbecoming. We will start by locating wildness as a disorderly and disordering discursive frame and then move to the topics of decolonial bewilderment, race and sexuality, anarchy and destitution, animal politics.
Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of six books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and, most recently, a short book titled Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press). Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality and the built environment. Halberstam is currently working on several projects including a book titled WILD THING: QUEER THEORY AFTER NATURE on queer anarchy, performance and protest culture the intersections between animality, the human and the environment.