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Workshop | Körper in Gemeinschaft / Bodies in Communities

Nov 18, 2021 - Nov 19, 2021

Organised by Anna Degler, Lindsey Drury, Simon Godart, Samira Spatzek, Nina Tolksdorf, and Jasmin Wrobel.

The event will be held in English and German

In der zentralen Idee der vom Cluster etablierten ‚Temporal Communities’ ist unausgesprochen auch der Körper immer schon mitgedacht. Zugleich fungiert der ‚Körper’ als ein problematischer Gegenstand wissenschaftlicher Auseinandersetzung. Dieser Workshop fragt nach dem Potential des ‚Körpers’ in Gemeinschaften und verfolgt hierbei eine konzentrierte Auseinandersetzung mit verschiedenen Aspekten kultureller Hervorbringung von ‚Körpern’ über Zeiten und Räume hinweg. Besonders in den Blick genommen werden soll der ‚Körper’ in seinen komplexen Beziehungen zu Bewegung, Sprache, Macht und Ästhetik. Diese Auseinandersetzung wird durch ausgewählte Lektüren von Schlüsseltexten zu ‚Körper’ und Communities bespielt und durch Inputreferate von geladenen Gästen ergänzt. Durch den so entstehenden gemeinsamen Austausch zwischen EXC 2020 Post-Docs und Gästen sucht dieser interdisziplinäre Workshop ‚Körper’ als einen zentralen Untersuchungsgegenstand für die weitere, Research Area-übergreifende Forschungsagenda des Clusters zu etablieren.

Implicitly, the cluster’s core notion of ‘Temporal Communities’ also refers to the body. Simultaneously, the ‘body’ functions as a problematic object of analysis within the larger scientific community. The interdisciplinary workshop “Bodies and/in Communities” thus examines the potentials in explicit address of ‘body’, and explores various aspects of the cultural creation of ‘bodies’ across time and space. Within the scope of the workshop, we pay special attention to the multifaceted and complex relationships of bodies to movement/migration, language, power, and aesthetics. The workshop encourages debate through selected readings of key texts on the relation between 'body' and ‘community,’ which shall be critically supplemented by presentations held by invited guest speakers. By thus stimulating the mutual exchange of ideas between invited speakers, discussants, and EXC 2020 post-docs, this workshop seeks to establish ‘the body’ as a key object of analysis for the cluster’s research agenda and across its five research areas.

We welcome your interest and would like to ask you to register with Jasmin Veeh (jasmin.veeh@fu-berlin.de) by Monday, 15 November. Due to the current guidelines for face-to-face events, unfortunately only a limited number of participants can be admitted.


Thursday, 18. November 2021

14:00 –14:30 | Arrival and Check In

14:30 –16:00 | Panel 1
Georg Dickmann (ZfL Berlin): Digitale und virtuelle Körper
(Talk in German, Discussion in English and German)

Abstract: Traditionally, the digital and the virtual are considered to be immaterial and opposing concepts of corporeality or actuality. However, theorists and artists such as Gilles Deleuze, Paul Preciado, and Legacy Russell conceptualise the digital, the virtual, and cyberspace as specific aspects of bodily interaction, which allows us to rethink the very concept of the body in its relation to media. This section of the workshop will examine the implications of these theories by discussing literary genres such as autofiction and autotheory.

16:00 – 16:30 | Coffee Break

16:30 – 18:00 | Panel 2
Simon Godart (EXC 2020) & Henry Ravenhall (University of Cambridge): Touching Communities. Corpus and Communautée in Jean Luc Nancy

Abstract: Jean-Luc Nancy’s thinking is dedicated as no other to the intersections between a phenomenology of corporal existence beyond the classical European differentiation between body and mind and the theorem of community as ethical, political, aesthetical and even ontological category. According to Derrida, both moments are represented in the general figure of touch as a mode of sharing (partage) that cannot be sufficiently described in the vocabulary of distinct entities. In rearticulating general guidelines from Heidegger’s Time and Being, the fundamental collectiveness of individual existence ontologically coined as Mit-Sein becomes predominant for the description of how being can be understood. Moreover, both in his conception of the body – among other, in Corpus – and his attempts at describing a uncompleted community – most importantly in La communauté désoeuvrée – include the literary as mode of communication between bodies and actors that goes beyond the transportation of signs and meaning between sender and receiver. Between corpus and community, literary communication can better be understood as touching, partage, or construction of communities. In our panel, we want to address this intersection from two different points of departure, taking passages both from Corpus (Ravenhall) and Communauté (Godart), retracing the systematic position the body holds within Nancy’s talk.         

18:00 – 18:30 | Coffee Break

18:30 – 20:00 | Panel 3
Mlondi Zondi: Afro-Pessimism and Decolonial Theory: Connections and Separations
Lindsey Drury: What is the history of the body to decolonization?

20:30 | Dinner 

Friday, 19 November 2021

09:30 11:30 | Panel 4
Berit Callsen (Osnabrück/Freie Universität Berlin), Mariana Simoni (Freie Universität Berlin) & Jasmin Wrobel (EXC 2020): Körper / Grenzen - Fremde / Körper: Migration, Exil und Grenzerfahrung

Abstract: This panel is contextualised in current discussions on the representation of the migrant body that understand the migration process as an "embodied practice" (Mansilla Quiñones/Imilán 2017: 246). In this sense, we conceive migration in a performative way by emphasising both the spaces and bodies produced in migratory experiences, as well as the borders themselves and the dynamic perspectivisations between the inside and the outside, the familiar and the foreign. The notion of border functions as an important tool for the theoretical-methodological framework of our proposal because it allows us to focus on the processes and to conceive difference by making visible indeterminate, interstitial zones of multiple belonging, marked by tacit power structures.

11:30  12:30 | Panel 5
Samira Spatzek (EXC 2020): Fashionable Bodies, Or Notes on the Cultural Work of Whiteness and Fashion
(Talk in English, Discussion in English and German) 

Abstract: In recent years, much scholarly work done in the discursive arena of fashion research and theory has situated fashion both as a post- and decolonial cultural phenomenon, and as a long-active global critical practice. This section of the workshop is interested in the cultural work of racialized fashion discourses and the making of white femininity in nineteenth-century North America. It shall pose a series of questions concerning the making of white feminine subjects/bodies through fashion items and fashion discourse and on how to read these from a critical perspective that stresses the importance of transatlantic slavery and its violent histories and legacies for the making of Western modernity.

Time & Location

Nov 18, 2021 - Nov 19, 2021

Freie Universität Berlin
EXC 2020 Temporal Communities
Otto-von-Simson Straße 15
Room 00.05
14195 Berlin