Thursday, May 12, 2005

Fleshy politics of recognition and respect

Boy and Cat are acting as if heatstroke were imminent in our house, but I think the temperature's kinda nice. Plus, it's supposed to drop to zero tonight and I'm more wondering if that'll hurt the tulips, which reminds me that I didn't make it to the fashion show last weekend, and I like the dresses as much as the flowers.

In any case, it makes it a good day for thinking about my submission to the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies conference : Insides, Outsides and Elsewheres.

There are two themed sessions - one on unfinished projects and the other on comics - that really intrigue me, but I'll be sticking with my doctoral project for Rob's Ritual Virtualities, Performative Materialities session:

"This session considers the contribution that an understanding of the virtual can bring to an analysis of cultural intangibles. After Proust, the virtual is ‘ideal but not abstract, real but not actual’. To what extent can the cultural be understood as a dialectic of the material and virtual, mediated by ritual forms and performativity? What are the losses and risks in this move to a set of theorists including Deleuze, Merleau-Ponty, Butler and Whitehead? What are the ethical and aesthetic gains and how might this contribute to a fleshy politics of recognition and respect? Papers combining both theory and a strong sense of embodiment(s) within the everyday are welcomed."

Of course, it was the "fleshy politics of recognition and respect" bit that instantly seduced me. Lots of social anthropologists - including me - make fun of cultural studies, but they're the only people I know who ask these kinds of questions and that's all good by me. (Plus, Rob's my advisor and one of my favourite humans and I know I'll have fun.)

Oh, and since I've had a wicked crush on negative politics of late (you know, captivated by anti-fascism, anti-realism, anti-essentialism, etc.) I think writing this abstract might lure me back into a politics of hope.


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