Vortrag
11.10.2017 · 19.00 Uhr

Emily Apter (New York University): Theorizing in Untranslatables. The Geschlecht Complex

Ort: ZfL, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, Trajekte-Tagungsraum 308

Öffentliche Abendveranstaltung der 7. Internationalen Sommerakademie des ZfL 2017
Genealogien der Diversität. Kontexte und Figurationen eines umstrittenen Konzepts

Drawing on Barbara Cassin and Etienne Balibar’s critical praxis of »philosophizing in languages,« the talk will experiment with »theorizing in untranslatables,« looking closely at how key terms shift culturally and politically across languages, or resist translation. The »Geschlecht Complex« is defined with a focus on the relation among difference, differences, différance, and sexual difference; definitions of sexual difference in feminism and trans theory, new ontologies of the subject in relation to gender trauma, sexual violence, and wounded subjectivity. Derrida’s three essays on the concept of Geschlecht - an especially dense term in German whose meanings extend across sex, genre, gender, species, race, kind, human/nonhuman - have bearing on debates around the neuter status of Heideggerian Dasein and expansive notions of the human or the species as an »order of animacy« (see Mel Chen).A related, underlying objective will be to put critical pressure on gender/genre distinctions (as in the weird question of »what genre are you?«) in the context of gendered or degendered pronoun grammars. Topics for discussion will include the politics of how to call or name difference in the workplace and the academy, and the affective challenges posed by inventing a gender-inclusive language, 'or a subjective ›safe space,‹ both highly volatile issues in the North American academy.

Emily Apter ist seit 2002 Professorin für Französisch und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaften an der New York University. Nach ihrer Promotion an der Princeton University lehrte sie unter anderem an der UCLA und der Cornell University, darüber hinaus ist sie 2017–2018 Präsidentin der American Comparative Literature Association. Zu ihren vielen Forschungsinteressen zählen die Übersetzungstheorie und -praxis, Sexualität und Gender und die Philosophie von der Kritischen Theorie bis zum Poststrukturalismus.

Publikationen (Auswahl):

  • Unexceptional Politics: A Glossary of Obstruction, Interference, the Impolitic (im Erscheinen, Verso 2017)
  • Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability (Verso 2013)
  • The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature (Princeton UP 2006)
  • Feminizing the Fetish: Psychoanalysis and Narrative Obsession in Turn-of-the-Century France (Cornell UP 1991)
  • Continental Drift: From National Characters to Virtual Subjects (University of Chicago Press 1999)