Rosi Braidotti

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Rosi Braidotti is Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University.

Braidotti, who holds Italian and Australian citizenship, was born in Italy and grew up in Australia, where she received a First-Class Honours degree from the Australian National University in Canberra in 1977 and was awarded the University Medal in Philosophy and the University Tillyard prize. Braidotti then moved on to do her doctoral work at the Sorbonne, where she received her degree in philosophy in 1981. She has taught at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands since 1988, when she was appointed as the founding professor in women’s studies. In 1995 she became the founding Director of the Netherlands research school of Women’s Studies, a position she held till 2005. Braidotti is a pioneer in European Women’s Studies: she founded the inter-university SOCRATES network NOISE and the Thematic Network for Women’s Studies ATHENA, which she directed till 2005. She was a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College in 2005-6; a Jean Monnet professor at the European University Institute in Florence in 2002-3 and a fellow in the school of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1994. She was founding director of the Centre for the Humanities from 2007 until September 2016.

Braidotti’s publications have consistently been placed in continental philosophy, at the intersection with social and political theory, cultural politics, gender, feminist theory and ethnicity studies. The core of her interdisciplinary work consists of four interconnected monographs on the constitution of contemporary subjectivity, with special emphasis on the concept of difference within the history of European philosophy and political theory. Braidotti’s philosophical project investigates how to think difference positively, which means moving beyond the dialectics that both opposes it and thus links it by negation to the notion of sameness. This is evidenced in the philosophical agenda set in her first book Patterns of Dissonance: An Essay on Women in Contemporary French Philosophy (1991), which gets developed further in the trilogy that follows. In the next book, Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory (1994; 2nd ed., rev. & exp., 2011), the question is formulated in more concrete terms: can gender, ethnic, cultural or European differences be understood outside the straightjacket of hierarchy and binary opposition? Thus the following volume, Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming (2002), analyses not only gender differences, but also more categorical binary distinctions between self and other, European and foreign, human and non-human (animal/ environmental/ technological others). The conclusion is that a systematic ambivalence structures contemporary cultural representations of the globalised, technologically mediated, ethnically mixed, gender-aware world we now inhabit. The question consequently arises of what it takes to produce adequate cultural and political representations of a fast-changing world and move closer to Spinozist notions of adequate understanding. The ethical dimension of Braidotti’s work on difference comes to the fore in the last volume of the trilogy, Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics (2006). Here she surveys the different ethical approaches that can be produced by taking difference and diversity as the main point of reference and conclude that there is much to be gained by suspending belief that political participation, moral empathy and social cohesion can only be produced on the basis of the notion of recognition of sameness. Braidotti makes a case for an alternative view on subjectivity, ethics and emancipation and pitches diversity against the postmodernist risk of cultural relativism while also standing against the tenets of liberal individualism. Throughout her work, Braidotti asserts and demonstrates the importance of combining theoretical concerns with a serious commitment to producing socially and politically relevant scholarship that contributes to making a difference in the world. Braidotti’s output also included several edited volumes. Her work has been translated in more than 20 languages and all the main books in at least three languages other than English.

Influenced by philosophers such as Gilles Deleuze and especially “French feminist” thinker Luce Irigaray, Braidotti has brought postmodern feminism into the Information Age with her considerations of cyberspace, prosthesis, and the materiality of difference. Braidotti also considers how ideas of gender difference can affect our sense of the human/animal and human/machine divides. Braidotti has also pioneered European perspectives in feminist philosophy and practice and has been influential on third-wave and post-secular feminisms as well as emerging posthumanist thought.

In 2005, Braidotti was honored with a Royal Knighthood from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands; in 2006 she received the University Medal from the University of Lodz in Poland and she was awarded an Honorary Degree in Philosophy from Helsinki University in 2007. In 2009, she was elected Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Degree in Philosophy from Linköping University, Sweden. (2020)

Publications[edit]

(in English unless noted otherwise)

Books[edit]

  • Patterns of Dissonance: An Essay on Women in Contemporary French Philosophy, Polity, 1991; 2nd ed., 1996.
    • Beelden van de leegte: vrouwen in de hedendaagse filosofie, Kampen: Kok Agora, 1991, 319 pp. (Dutch)
    • Riitasointuja, trans. Päivi Kosonen, et al., Tampere: Vastapaino, 1993, 296 pp. (Finnish)
    • Dissonanze: le donne e la filosofia contemporanea : verso una lettura filosofica delle idee femministe, Milan: La Tartaruga, 1994, 286 pp. (Italian)
  • Kvinner, miljø og bærekraftig utvikling: mot en teoretisk syntese, trans. Anne Kristine Haugestad, Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1994, 320 pp. (Norwegian)
  • Madri, Mostri e Macchine, ed. & postf. Anna Maria Crispino, Rome: Manifestolibri, 1996, 114 pp; repr., exp., as Madri, Mostri e Macchine. Teratologie cyber, Rome: Manifestolibri, 2005, 143 pp. (Italian)
  • Braidotti, et al., Baby Boomers: Vite parallele dagli anni Cinquanta ai cinquant’anni, Firenze: Giunti, 2003, 191 pp. (Italian)
  • Op doorreis: nomadisch denken in de 21ste eeuw, Boom, 2004. (Dutch)
  • Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics, Polity, 2006.
    • Trasposizioni: sull'etica nomade, ed. Anna Maria Crispino, Rome: Sossella, 2008, 343 pp. (Italian)
    • Transposiciones: sobre la ética nómada, trans. Alcira Bixio, Barcelona: Gedisa, 2009, 414 pp. (Spanish)
  • Egy nomád térképei: Feminizmus a posztmodern után, trans. Vándor Judit and Agárdi Izabella, Budapest: Balassi, 2007, 136 pp. (Hungarian)
  • La philosophie ...là oú on ne l’attend pas, Paris: Larousse, 2009, 286 pp. (French)
  • The Posthuman, Polity, 2013, 180 pp.
    • Il postumano: la vita oltre l'individuo, oltre la specie, oltre la morte, Rome: Derive Approdi, 2014, 220 pp, PDF. (Italian)
    • Posthumanismus: Leben jenseits des Menschen, Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2014, 214 pp. (German)
    • Insan Sonrasi, Kolektif Kitap Bilişim ve Tasarım, 2014 (Turkish)
    • Po człowieku, trans. Joanna Bednarek and Agnieszka Kowalczyk, forew. Joanna Bednarek, Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 2014, 389 pp. (Polish)
    • Lo posthumano, trans. Juan Carlos Gentile Vitale, Barcelona: Gedisa, 2015, 253 pp. (Spanish)
    • Le posthumain, Paris: Post éditions, 2015. (French)
    • Hou ren lei [后人类], trans. Gencheng Song, Zheng zhou: He nan da xue chu ban she, 2016, 364 pp. (Chinese)
    • Postumanul, trans. Ovidiu Anemţoaicei, Bucharest: Hecate, 2016, 296 pp. (Romanian)
  • Per una politica affermativa: itinerari etici, ed. & trans. Angela Balzano, Milan: Mimesis, 2017, 162 pp. (Italian)
    • Politik der Affirmation, Berlin: Merve, 2018, 104 pp. (German)
    • Por una política afirmativa: itinerarios éticos, Barcelona: Gedisa, 2018, 190 pp. (Spanish)
  • Les discutides posthumanitats a debat / The Contested Posthumanities, ed. CCCB, trans. Ferran Ràfols Gesa, Barcelona: Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), 2017, 105 pp. (English)/(Catalan)

Edited volumes[edit]

Selected essays

Interviews[edit]

Literature[edit]

Links[edit]