Apostolos Lampropoulos (University Bordeaux Montaigne)
Fellow in Research Area 1: "Competing Communities"
May – July 2022
Critical Intimacy: Questioning Community in Contemporary Literature, Art, and Cinema
The project Critical Intimacy introduces the homonymous concept, forging a new role for intimacy in contemporary cultural and gender theory, as well as drawing on a number of disciplines and practices, mainly literature, art and curating and film. It sees critical intimacy as a perpetually evolving political concept; as a common denominator of personal, intellectual, social and political bonds; as a manner of establishing and performing proximity across and alongside disciplinary, geographical, ideological and other divisions; and as a way to understand and question, build and reconfigure community across ethnical, gender, linguistic, or other borders.
The issues that the project investigates range from the following: How was intimacy construed during the various phases in the development of contemporary theory? What place does it occupy in recent literary and artistic creation? What does contemporary thought have to gain from its preoccupation with intimacy and what role can intimacy play in the humanities today? To what extent does intimacy facilitate the mingling of literature, art, curating, theory, and critique with regards to explicitly political issues? How do forms and representations of intimacy contribute to community building? How do they reproduce traditional forms of connectedness? How do they experiment with innovative, or even unheard-of, understandings of being-together? Under what conditions can distinct practices of intimacy lend themselves either to convergence or to conflict between communities? In which cases are they instrumentalised to serve political purposes, explicitly or implicitly? More broadly, how does intimacy relate to representations and theorisations of the body? How does it act from an intersectional perspective?
The project is organised along five axes: Autobiographical and testimonial intimacy in/as critical writing; Critical intimacies in field literature; Critical curating of intimacy; Critical intimacies, community, hospitality; Critical representations of digitally mediated and painful intimacies. All of them relate to issues of gender, sexuality, and queerness, and they all have a strong Greek component. Given that many works on intimacy are expected to appear in the post-pandemic period, the corpus will be completed and enriched accordingly.
Apostolos Lampropoulos is Professor of Comparative Literature and Vice President delegate for International Relations – Research at the University Bordeaux Montaigne. He has taught at the University of Cyprus for several years; he has also been visiting professor at the Freie Universität Berlin (2010), Stanley J. Seeger Fellow at Princeton University (2003-2004), and a Marie Curie Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania (2014). He has published the monograph Le Pari de la description (L'Harmattan, 2002) and is currently completing the monograph Gastrotopies: Athens 1990-2010. He has co-edited the special issues “Configurations of Cultural Amnesia” (with V. Markidou; journal Synthesis: An Anglophone Journal of Comparative Literary Studies, 2010) and “Learning from documenta” (with E. Rikou and E. Yalouri; journal FIELD: A Journal of Socially Engaged Art Criticism, 2021), as well as the volumes States of Theory. History and Geography of Critical Narratives (with A. Balasopoulos; Metaichmio, 2010; in Greek), AutoBioPhagies (with M. Chehab; Peter Lang, 2011), Textual Layering: Contact, Historicity, Critique (with M. Margaroni and Ch. Hadjichristos; Lexington Books - Rowman & Littlefeld, 2017), Écriture littéraire, écriture musicale dans la littérature et les arts (with B. Bloch and P. Garcia; Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2017), Value (with E. Rikou and E. Yalouri; Nissos, 2019 ; in Greek) and Débordements. Littérature, arts, politique (with J.-P. Engélibert and I. Poulin; Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2022). He has translated into Greek A. Compagnon’s Le Démon de la théorie (Metaichmio, 2003), J. Culler's On Deconstruction (Metaichmio, 2006) and, with E. Pyrovolakis, the volume Jacques Derrida by Jacques Derrida and Geoffrey Bennington (Nissos, 2019). He co-curated (with P. Rehberg) the exhibition Intimacy: New Queer Art from Berlin and Beyond (December 2020 – August 2021) at the Schwules Museum in Berlin. He is currently working on a new book around the notion of critical intimacy.