Workshop “Intra/ Sections: Post-Anthropocentric Concepts of Multiplicity”

24. and 25. March 2022

ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry
Christinenstr. 18-19, Haus 8
10119 Berlin

Jenny Haase (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

Kathrin Thiele (Universiteit Utrecht)

This workshop has the aim to open the theme of the DFG-Network “Dispositiv der Menge” towards approaches of ‘Menge’ as multitude or multiplicity. Rather than holding on to and re-presenting a clearly delimited and substantiated entity as ‘Menge’, this workshop wants to address phenomena related to more fluctuating and in/ determinate intra/sections of collectivities in order to transform the image of ‘Menge’ from an in-divi-dual-ized ‘One’ into a mani-fold multiplicity. Such (in the singular plural) multiplicity is characterized by movement and motion, fragmentation and friction, ongoingness and inherent contestability.

Moving towards multiplicity, we also find it essential to un-work a persistent conceptual anthropocentrism in how agentiality is conceptualized and imagined. We look towards more dynamic relations with/in a variety of agencies (human, animal, plant, things, propositions) that can be seen as intra-active. And yet, while we approach the thematic horizon of ‘Menge’ in such Anthropos-critical sense, a turn towards ecological and relational co-existence is not a turn away from violent asymmetrical relations of power and the continued flexibilization and hierarchical re-ordering of global social structures.

The workshop aims to sound out conceptual and phenomenal resonances between what in western academic discourses in the last decade has become known as different strands of ‘new materialisms’ and the long tradition of (but also always newly emerging) indigenous and decolonial epistemologies. As organizers, we see a lot of potential for intra/sections in-between posthuman(ist) and indigenous/decolonial thought-practices, and in the workshop we would like to explore together how such intra/sections can be concretized. We hope for a dialogue between more western-oriented approaches – such as for example actor-network-theory (Latour), the figures of the cyborg and companion species (Haraway), vital materialism (Bennet), un/limited ecologies (Kirby) or agential realism (Barad) – and alternative indigenous cosmologies and ethical praxes such as ‘buen vivir/sumac kawsay’ (Acosta/Gudynas), Amerindian perspectivism (Viveros de Castro), partial connections (Strathern/de la Cadena) or shape-shifting border/lands (Anzaldúa).
The workshop invites us all to diffract heterogeneous ways of thinking and doing multiplicity. Collecting insights from literary and cultural studies, natural sciences, sociology, non-western cosmologies or religion, this workshop hopes to produce a vision of how a post-anthropocentric perspective can enrich an understanding of world as a plurivocal worlding process.

The workshop will be framed by two invited keynote speakers:

Thursday, 24 March, 19:00

Marília Librandi (Princeton University / Universidade de São Paulo)
A Multiplicity of Holes: The Net from the Perspective of Fish

Friday, 25 March, 15:00

Ewa Domańska (Uniwersytet im. Adama Mieckiewicza w Poznaniu / Stanford University)
Animism as Relational Epistemology and Ontology

Please register at the ICI Berlin for the keynote talks as the number of visitors will be limited. More information on the event as well as a public livestream (no prior registration) will also be available at the ICI website: www.ici-berlin.org

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