Terra CriticaUU Graduate Gender ProgrammeNetherlands Research School of Gender Studies

Wednesday November 3, 2021 @ 15:30-17:00h
Utrecht University, on location

Moderation: Birgit M. Kaiser and Kathrin Thiele (Terra Critica)

Presentation of “Oceanic swimming-writing-thinking for justice-to-come scholarship” by Nike Romano, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Tamara Shefer, University of the Western Cape & Vivienne Bozalek, University of the Western Cape

Our swimming-writing-thinking together emerged out of our engagements with re-conceptualising higher education  in the context of South African post-apartheid challenges and within the larger project of justice and decolonial  scholarship globally. Deeply aware of how normative practices in the neoliberal capitalist, masculinist academy  repeat colonial, patriarchal and humanist logics, we have been working with imaginative, creative, embodied,  processual, relational and affective practices to question and re-think conventional ways of doing academia. We  seek to engage an alternative politico-ethico-onto-epistemological approach and in this case work with oceanic  swimming. Our playful experimental Slow scholarly hydrofeminist praxis embodies post-qualitative methodology  that includes swimming, reading, image-making and writing together while holding in mind the project of doing  ethical scholarship for a justice-to-come. Through these becomings-together, new thinkings bubble up as we take  our thoughts for a swim, their ripple effects, watery, fluid and flowing, opening up possibilities for different ways  of making knowledge. Encrusted with ocean bacteria, shivering with cold, and awash with images of luminescent  underwater spaces, our writings enact further swimmings together, moving us to engage with what matters. Our  relational encounters with more-than-human species have sharpened our response-ability for the damages to the  ocean and larger manthropocentric ecological violences. Our skin porous to fluid temporalities, we confront the  hauntings of apartheid and colonial violences so saturated in the oceans. We swim with the precarities of COVID  pandemic times, entangled with current ecological disasters, embedded in colonial and capitalist extractivism,  while also taking some succour from our swimmings together in times of isolation. In this presentation, we share  some examples of our experiments with becoming sea-swimming-writing-thinking.

Registration is compulsory. Deadline to register is November 1, 2021 at the NOG: nog@uu.nl
There might be a hybrid option for this event. Please specify upon registration how you would like to participate: on location or digitally.

Biographies speakers:

Vivienne Bozalek
​​Vivienne Bozalek is an Emerita Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape, and Honorary Professor in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University. Her research interests and publications include the political ethics of care and social justice, posthumanism and feminist new materialisms, innovative pedagogical practices in higher education, post-qualitative and participatory methodologies. Her most recent co-edited books include Posthuman and Political Care Ethics for Reconfiguring Higher Education with Michalinos Zembylas and Joan Tronto (Routledge, 2021), Post-Anthropocentric Social Work: Critical Posthuman and New Materialist Perspectives, with Bob Pease (Routledge, 2021), Higher education hauntologies: Living with ghosts for a justice-to-come with Michalinos Zembylas, Siddique Motala and Dorothee Hölscher, (Routledge, 2021). She is the editor-in-chief of the open source online journal Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning.

Tamara Shefer
Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of the Western Cape, Tamara’s scholarship primarily addresses youth, gender and sexualities and focuses on reconceptualising higher education. She is currently experimenting with decolonial, feminist, justice scholarly practices, including thinking with wild oceanic swimming, and isT lead researcher on A.W. Mellon funded project New Imaginaries for Gender and Sexual Justice. Most recent co-edited books are The Routledge International Handbook of Masculinity Studies (2019, with L. Gottzén & U. Mellström); Engaging Youth in Activist Research and Pedagogical Praxis: Transnational and Intersectional Perspectives on Gender, Sex, and Race (2018, with J. Hearn, K. Ratele & F. Boonzaier) and Socially Just Pedagogies in Higher Education: Critical posthumanist and new feminist materialist perspectives (2018, with V. Bozalek, R. Braidotti & M. Zembylas).

Nike Romano
Nike Romano is a visual artists who lectures history and theory of art and design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She is interested in the transformative role of art and design teaching and learning practices in building social justice in South Africa. Registered as a PhD candidate at the University of the Western Cape and Utrecht University, her PhD research explores the ethics-onto-epistemological affects generated through critical arts-based pedagogical encounters.