Mimetic Inclinations: Gender, Philosophy, and Politics with Adriana Cavarero

November 18, 2021 - November 19, 2021
Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven


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The Gendered Mimesis project in collaboration with the ERC-funded Homo Mimeticus Project (Institute of Philosophy / Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven; http://www.homomimeticus.eu/) is pleased to announce a two-day international conference on the subject of “Mimetic Inclinations” in the work of the Italian feminist philosopher and political theorist Adriana Cavarero.

Cavarero is one of the most influential voices in contemporary feminist philosophy today.  Her protean work in political theory, continental philosophy, literary theory, ethics, aesthetics, and feminism does not restrict mimesis to a representational/ bad copy model. Cavarero troubles the autonomous subject, placing into crises the commitment that philosophy has to a vertical metaphysics.  In doing so, she urges new generations of feminist theorists, critics, and artists to explore the theoretical and creative potential of what we call “mimetic inclinations,” including imitation, mimicry, identification, simulation, empathy, and affective contagion, among other manifestations of what the ancients called, enigmatically, mimēsis. Our wager is that thus reframed, mimesis is internal to a relational conception of subjectivity inclined toward alterity that informs the entirety of Cavarero’s thought and has remained largely unexplored so far. The aim of this conference is to bring a plurality of mimetic inclinations  into dialogue with Cavarero, who will be participating in this symposium.

Furthering a mimetic turn (or re-turn) of attention to an embodied, intersubjective, and affective conception of mimesis internal to the Homo Mimeticus project, and now supplemented from a specifically gendered perspective, we welcome proposals that explore subjects, disciplines, and perspectives as diverse as:

Ø  Mimetic inclinations, Cavarero, and gendered insubordination (de Beauvoir, Irigaray, Butler, Ahmed….)

Ø  Mimetic inclinations, Cavarero, and political theory (Plato, Hobbes, Arendt, Honig…)

Ø  Mimetic inclinations in spite of the history of philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Kant…)

Ø  Gendered mimesis, intersubjectivity, and homo mimeticus

Ø  Democratic inclinations and the emotion of being plural

Ø  Mimetic inclinations, literary studies/theory and relating narratives

Ø  Mimetic inclinations and critical phenomenology, phenomenological perspectives

Ø  The pluralities of mimetic voices and bodies

Ø  Inclinations and the aesthetics of mimesis

Ø  Mimetic inclinations and the ethics of sexual difference

Ø  Gendered mimesis, racial mimicry, and decolonial perspectives

Ø  Mimetic theory, queer theory, gendered mimesis

Ø  Queering mimesis with LGBT

Ø  (New)fascist inclinations / democratic aspirations

Ø  Mimesis, mass, power

Ø  Mimetic inclinations during Covid-19

Ø  Mimesis, natality, the newborn…

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