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Anthropocene necropolitics and Queer-Eco-Cultures

The CEU Campus
Thursday, September 27, 2018, 5:30 pm

The Department of Gender Studies

Public Lecture Series 2018-2019

With a point of departure in Lykke's current research on cripping of mourning, and queering of cancer from posthuman, and postcolonial perspectives, the lecture will discuss the intertwinement of necropolitics and biopolitics in the Anthropocene, against the background of a notion of dual governmentality of making live and letting die. Lykke shall introduce the concept of Anthropocene necropolitics as an analytics, useful for a critical understanding of the current global cancer epidemics, but also engage in the discussion of the Anthropocene-concept’s lack of potentials to go beyond critique. Instead, she tries out Donna Haraway’s proposal to complement the Anthropocene-concept with the figuration of Chthulucene, calling for a shift of ethical stance and position of enunciation from the sovereign (white, western) ‘I’, waging ‘war’ on cancer to a ‘we’, based on a planetwide kinship of vulnerable bodies. Underlining that this shift can also commit to alternative modes of writing, she shall also explore the ways in which she uses autophenomenographic and creative writing methods as part of her research, situating it in the entanglement of political, ethical, theoretical and personal passions, brought about by her process of mourning his life partner’s cancer death. 


Nina Lykke  is Professor Emerita of Gender Studies with special reference to Gender and Culture, Unit of Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden. She  has since the 1970s been active in building up Gender Studies in Nordic and European contexts. After her formal retirement in 2016, she has co-founded the International Network for Queer Death Studies, and the International Network for ECOcritical and DECOlonial Art and Research. Current research: queering of cancer; death, dying,  mourning and spirituality in queerfeminist materialist, decolonial and eco-critical perspectives; autophenomenographic and poetic writing. Most important recent publications: Academic Feminisms: Between Disidentification, Messy Everyday Utopianism, and Cruel Optimism (Feminist Encounters.  2017:1(1)); When death cuts apart (Juvonen & Kohlemainen: Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships. Routledge, New York  2018); Rethinking socialist and Marxist legacies in feminist imaginaries of protest from postsocialist perspectives (Social Identities. Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture.  2018:24 (2)). She is a member of several scholarly advisory boards, among others for Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.