New World Academy Reader, 5: Stateless Democracy (2015)

2 April 2017, dusan

New World Academy, an alternative learning platform for art and politics established by artist Jonas Staal and BAK has entered its fifth sequence. Developed together with the Kurdish Women’s Movement as a nomadic platform that unfolding throughout 2015, the fifth sequence of the New World Academy explores—from artistic, activist, and scholarly perspectives—the proposition of delinking democracy from the nation-state: the notion of “stateless democracy.” On this occasion, the fifth reader of the New World Academy, titled Stateless Democracy, has been published.

If initially the Kurdish struggle, led by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), had aimed to establish an independent state, since the 1990s PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, together with the Kurdish Women’s Movement, have turned to questioning the patriarchal and capitalist nature of the very concept of the nation-state itself. Within this process the Kurdish revolutionary movement developed an alternative model called “democratic confederalism” or “stateless democracy” that invoked a confederate composition in which gender-equality, self-governance, secularism, cultural diversity, communal economy, and social ecology form key pillars.

Since 2012 this proposition has been put fully into practice in Rojava, Western Kurdistan in Syria, in alliance with the peoples of the region. New World Academy Reader #5: Stateless Democracy provides key texts that offer an overview of both the political and cultural dimensions comprising what has now come to be known to history as the Rojava Revolution. The texts in the reader are as much an introduction to the model of stateless democracy practiced in Rojava, as a potential political paradigm through which to confront the many related crises in politics, economy, and ecology that we face across the world.”

With contributions by: Kajal Ahmed (poet and journalist), Ahmet Hamdi Akkaya (political and social scientist), Janet Biehl (writer, editor, and graphic artist), Murray Bookchin (libertarian socialist author), Dilar Dirik (researcher and representative of the Kurdish Women’s Movement), Zîlan Diyar (Kurdish guerrilla fighter), David Graeber (anthropologist), Havin Güneşer (journalist and spokesperson of “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan – Peace in Kurdistan”),Joost Jongerden (sociologist and anthropologist), Gönül Kaya (journalist and representative of the Kurdish Women’s Movement), Abdullah Öcalan (founder and leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)), Pinar Öğünç (journalist), Jonas Staal (artist and writer), and Hito Steyerl (artist, documentary filmmaker, and writer).

Edited by Renée In der Maur and Jonas Staal in dialogue with the Kurdish Women’s Movement (and in particular Dilar Dirik, Kurdish activist and a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge)
Publisher BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2015
ISBN 9789077288221
256 pages
Out of print, now open access

Publisher
WorldCat

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Lucie Vágnerová: Sirens/Cyborgs: Sound Technologies and the Musical Body (2016)

6 November 2016, dusan

“This dissertation investigates the political stakes of women’s work with sound technologies engaging the body since the 1970s by drawing on frameworks and methodologies from music history, sound studies, feminist theory, performance studies, critical theory, and the history of technology. Although the body has been one of the principal subjects of new musicology since the early 1990s, its role in electronic music is still frequently shortchanged. I argue that the way we hear electro-bodily music has been shaped by extra-musical, often male-controlled contexts. I offer a critique of the gendered and racialized foundations of terminology such as “extended,” “non-human,” and “dis/embodied,” which follows these repertories. In the work of American composers Joan La Barbara, Laurie Anderson, Wendy Carlos, Laetitia Sonami, and Pamela Z, I trace performative interventions in technoscientific paradigms of the late twentieth century.

The voice is perceived as the locus of the musical body and has long been feminized in musical discourse. The first three chapters explore how this discourse is challenged by compositions featuring the processed, broadcast, and synthesized voices of women. I focus on how these works stretch the limits of traditional vocal epistemology and, in turn, engage the bodies of listeners. In the final chapter on musical performance with gesture control, I question the characterization of hand/arm gesture as a “natural” musical interface and return to the voice, now sampled and mapped onto movement. Drawing on Cyborg feminist frameworks which privilege hybridity and multiplicity, I show that the above composers audit the dominant technoscientific imaginary by constructing musical bodies that are never essentially manifested nor completely erased.”

PhD Dissertation
Publisher Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, 2016
Advisor: Ellie M. Hisama
242 pages

Publisher

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Walter D. Mignolo: Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking (1999)

30 September 2016, dusan

“This book is an extended argument on the “coloniality” of power by one of the most innovative scholars of Latin American studies. In a shrinking world where sharp dichotomies, such as East/West and developing/developed, blur and shift, Walter Mignolo points to the inadequacy of current practice in the social sciences and area studies. He introduces the crucial notion of “colonial difference” into study of the modern colonial world. He also traces the emergence of new forms of knowledge, which he calls “border thinking.”

Further, he expands the horizons of those debates already under way in postcolonial studies of Asia and Africa by employing the terms and concerns of New World scholarship. His concept of “border gnosis,” or what is known from the perspective of an empire’s borderlands, counters the tendency of occidentalist perspectives to dominate, and thus limit, understanding.

The book is divided into three parts: the first chapter deals with epistemology and postcoloniality; the next three chapters deal with the geopolitics of knowledge; the last three deal with the languages and cultures of scholarship. Here the author reintroduces the analysis of civilization from the perspective of globalization and argues that, rather than one “civilizing” process dominated by the West, the continually emerging subaltern voices break down the dichotomies characteristic of any cultural imperialism. By underscoring the fractures between globalization and mundialización, Mignolo shows the locations of emerging border epistemologies, and of post-occidental reason.”

Publisher Princeton University Press, 1999
Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History series
ISBN 0691001405, 9780691001401
xix+371 pages

Interview with author (L. Elena Delgado and Rolando J. Romero, Discourse, 2000)
Author on pluriversality (2013)
Review: Serge Gruzinski (Annales, 2002, FR).
Commentary: Linda Martín Alcoff (CR, 2007).

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

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Diary of a Conference on Sexuality (1982)

13 September 2016, dusan

Diary of a Conference on Sexuality is a conference program booklet designed by Hannah Alderfer, Beth Jaker, and Marybeth Nelson and published in conjunction with the ninth “Scholar and the Feminist” conference, “Towards a Politics of Sexuality,” held at Barnard College on April 24, 1982. Better known as the Barnard Sex Conference, the conference was a key event in the feminist sex wars of the 1980s. Organized by Carole Vance to explore the politics of sexuality, the conference was picketed by antipornography groups. While these protesters focused their objections on issues of pornography, S/M, and butch/femme, the conference addressed a much wider array of questions about women’s experiences of sexuality, some of which are represented here.

No ordinary conference program, the Diary included Vance’s invitation to presenters, a coauthored “Concept Paper” that described the conference’s aims and guiding questions, a list of speakers and schedule of events, as well as minutes from planning meetings, bibliographies of suggested reading, and a page devoted to each workshop. The Diary was, as Gayle Rubin later wrote, “intended to be something of an archival document.” Each speaker created a page in the Diary to represent her workshop; many of these included a “postcard” featuring some image that she found meaningful personally or in the context of the workshop. These images added to the visual impact of the program. With its striking images, its combination of politics, scholarship, and personal reflection, and its moments of insight, polemic, and humor, the Diary remains a compelling record of feminist collaboration.

In the days leading up to the conference, members of antipornography groups contacted the Barnard administration and issued a warning about what they saw as the “antifeminist” nature of the proceedings. In response, Barnard administrators confiscated 1,500 copies of the Diary two days before the conference. Despite subsequent reprinting, the Diary remains exceedingly rare.” (Heather Love, 2011)

Edited by Hannah Alderfer, Beth Jaker, and Marybeth Nelson
Publisher Faculty Press, New York, 1982
72 pages
via Dark Matter Archives

Commentary: Carole S. Vance (1984), Gayle Rubin (GLQ 2011).

WorldCat

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See also conference proceedings (Pleasure and Danger, ed. Carole S. Vance, 1984, 462 pp)

Beatriz Colomina (ed.): Sexuality & Space (1992)

25 June 2016, dusan

The first book-length publication dedicated to a comprehensive discourse on sexual identity within the discipline of architecture. Based on a symposium held at Princeton University School of Architecture in March 1990.

Publisher Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1992
ISBN 1878271083, 9781878271082
389 pages
via Dubravka

Reviews: Elizabeth Wilson (Harvard Design M 1997), Nadir Lahiji & D.S. Friedman (AA Files 1999).
Commentary: Samuel Ray Jacobson (master’s thesis, 2013).

WorldCat

PDF (9 MB)

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