Moving Normativity – Agency between Contestation and Confirmation

May 11, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Graduiertenkolleg "Normativity, Critique, Change", Free University, Berlin

Studio 14

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In recent years, new ways of engaging with action and agency have emerged. In humanities, social sciences and artistic practices, much intellectual work has focused on the emancipation of historically marginalized subjects. We witness a provincializing of classical frameworks and a redefinition of rights around the embodied categories of sexuality, race, and class. The normativity of individual agency has expanded and condensed under these conditions. Even the category of agency itself, classically understood as a form of activity, has come under scrutiny: Theory and artistic practice have explored the generative potential of passivity, paralysis, and rest. The interdisciplinary Graduiertenkolleg “Normativity, Critique, Change” hosts a conference to investigate agency as the site of a tension between contestation and confirmation across a range of disciplines in the arts, law, and humanities. According to a general premise of our research, action is based on norms on the one hand, and only possible through a distance from norms on the other. In this understanding, critique is inherent to normativity. The conference sheds light on the various sites of tension inherent to agency, normative action and critique in four panels.

Speakers: Sarah Colvin, Ana Deumert, Bojana Kunst, André Lepecki, Daniel Loick, Sumi Madhok, Fiona McGovern, Jessica Ullrich, Francesca Raimondi, Giulia Sissa, Massimiliano Tomba, Tim Wihl

The conference will be preceded by artistic interventions on May 9-10:   Artists: Gulzat Egemberdieva, Choy Ka Fai

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