cary wolfeThe Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies in cooperation with the Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP) at Utrecht University organises the sixteenth round of the DOING GENDER Lecture Series. These lectures stress the importance of doing gender work combined with an active involvement in the practice of gender theory and research. The concept of DOING GENDER supports a hands-on approach to gender issues in the sense of social and political engagement with the new forms of gender inequalities that are taking shape in the world today. The lecture series wants to give space to the new generations of gender theorists and practitioners and to perspectives that innovate the field and do gender in new ways. Key is the notion of doing gender: what is the state of the art definition of gender? How do contemporary scholars and activists utilise this definition?

On Thursday June 9, 2016 Professor Cary Wolfe will give a Doing Gender Lecture on ‘(Auto)Immunity, (Bio)Politics, and Posthumanist Social Theory’

Abstract of the lecture:
This lecture sets out from the premise that the immunitary paradigm is the fundamental logic of biopolitical formations—a contention made by Roberto Esposito in his reading of Michel Foucault’s work, a contention that draws on the work of Niklas Luhmann, Jacques Derrida, Donna Haraway, and others. Yet Esposito’s rendering of the relationship between immunity and community is problematic, and evades the very consequences that a more rigorous investigation of the systemic logic of immunity in terms of systems theory reveals. We will explore the consequences of this fact for thinking “the political” within a requisite theory of social complexity, and will explore its relations to theories of “control society” which also share the assumption that human beings are not the constitutive elements of either the social or the political.

Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English and Chair of the English Department at Rice University. Cary Wolfe’s books and edited collections include Animal Rites: American Culture, The Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (Chicago, 2003), the edited collections Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (Minnesota, 2003) and (with Branka Arsic) The Other Emerson (Minnesota, 2010), and, most recently, What Is Posthumanism? (Minnesota, 2010) and Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in a Biopolitical Frame (Chicago, 2012). He has also participated in two recent multi-authored collections: Philosophy and Animal Life (Columbia, 2008), with philosophers Cora Diamond, Ian Hacking, Stanley Cavell, and John McDowell, and The Death of the Animal : A Dialogue (Columbia, 2009), with philosophers Paola Cavalierii, Peter Singer, Harlan Miller, Matthew Calarco, and novelist J. M. Coetzee. He is founding editor of the series Posthumanities at the University of Minnesota Press, which publishes six books per year by noted authors such as Donna Haraway, Roberto Esposito, Isabelle Stengers, Michel Serres, Vilem Flusser, and many others. He continues to publish widely in areas such as animal studies and posthumanism, systems theory and pragmatism, biopolitics and biophilosophy, and American literature and culture, and he has written numerous pieces on art, music, architecture, and other kinds of non-literary culture. He is currently working on a book project to be called Wallace Stevens’ Birds: The Poetics of Extinction, and, as of July 2012, will be founding director of a new center at Rice devoted to theoretical study across the disciplines.

Lecture details:

Thursday June 9, 2016: Prof. dr. Cary Wolfe (Rice University, USA)

  • Lecture: (Auto)Immunity, (Bio)Politics, and Posthumanist Social Theory
  • Time: 15.30-17.00 hrs
  • Location: Utrecht
  • Chair: Dr. Kathrin Thiele
  • Respondent: Prof. Rosi Braidotti (Centre for the Humanities, UU)
  • In cooperation with: Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (UvA), Center for the Humanities (UU), Institute for Cultural Inquiry (UU), School of Liberal Arts (UU), Society for the Study of Biopolitical Futures (Rice University, Syracuse University)

The Doing Gender Lecture Series takes place in Utrecht and is free of charge.
Registration is compulsory: