Heritability and the Ancestral Present
Elizabeth A. Povinelli

Elizabeth A. Povinelli quadrat
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Thu 11.11.21 18:30 Uhr

This talk presents a series of parallel moments in the ancestral present of two clans in order to probe the relationship between Indigeneity and white nativism in the context of settler colonialism. It approaches a turn in the politics of difference by tracking how two sets of clans have moved through historical forms of the ancestral present, namely, changing imaginaries of social form, time, and heritability; and how these imaginaries emerge from and materially sediment into human bodies and the more-than-human world. The clans are, on the one hand, the Simonaz clan, patronym, Povinelli, and Bartolot clan, patronym, Ambrosi from Carisolo, Trentino; and, on the other hand, the totemic clans of the Karrabing that stretch along the coastal region of Anson Bay, Northern Territory, Australia. Each set has been absorbed into monarchical empires and liberal nationalisms; each has moved through forms of settler colonialism and white nativism. Neither are reducible to a national form, but nor are their relations to settler colonialism the same. Thus both continue my interest in the dynamics between colonialism and liberal governance—how the European conquest of the western Atlantic and Pacific continues to transform modes of liberal governance long after the first colonial fleets disgorged their armies, explorers, and settlers.

HTA online lecture series winter term 2021/21 - (Un)settled. Performance, protection, and politics of insecurity

In the radical self-care, anti-discrimination and anti-racist body-based practices of conflict management and healing, settling the body is one of the primary aspects to begin the process of coming back to the body. Settling the body is a crucial moment in working with the body in performative and dance practices as well.
These practices of settling the body, as private and intimate as they might appear at first glance, bear a micropolitical meaning. They also disclose body-based connections between artistic, social and activist practices. The possibility of settling down is unequally distributed, so that some bodies are forcefully dispossessed of their basic capacities to maintain themselves: to breathe, to be attentive, to settle in the space and time, etc. From this perspective, the practice of settling the body as an embodied and visceral process shows to be connected to the political and social field. It appears to be the battlefield of several current conflicts around the protection and security of the bodies, where some bodies become systematically unsettled through continuous violence, agitation and aggression (social, economic, environmental); while to the others, the capacity to settle is offered in excess.
The lecture series inquires into different aspects and dimensions of settling in (in the world, in the community, in relations, in environments) as well as different modalities of unsettling the bodies (by lack of protection, because of racism and sexism). It examines the consequences of denying the possibility to move through coercive detention or internation, in order to outline the functioning of current politics of insecurity by its operating on an intimate and visceral level.
Departing from this socio-political background the lectures will also address questions about the role of artistic practices. Can art and performance challenge such body-based inequality and unequal distribution of the capacity to be/have a body? What does it take to maintain a body, to settle in the body, and, also in light of experiences of exposure and disintegration, to sustain it through relating to other? How can performance not only contest the normativity and hierarchy of embodiments, but also makes us more attuned and sensitive, and settled for the experience of bodies?

This edition of the HTA lecture series is connected to Bodies, un-protected, the International Program on Bodies, Art and Protection at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, running from October 2021 till June 2022.
Organisers: Prof. Dr. Bojana Kunst, Institute for Applied Theater Studies, JLU Giessen; Prof. Dr. Sandra Noeth, HZT-Inter-University Center for Dance, Berlin; Prof. Dr. Francesca Raimondi, Art Academy Düsseldorf, Anna Wagner, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt a.M.



Elizabeth A. Povinelli is a critical theorist and filmmaker. Her critical writing has focused on developing a critical theory of late settler liberalism that would support an anthropology of the otherwise. This potential theory has unfolded across five books, numerous essays, and thirty-five years of collaboration with her indigenous colleagues in north Australia including, most recently, six films they have created as members of the Karrabing Film Collective. Her recent books Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism was the 2017 recipient of the Lionel Trilling Book Award and The Cunning of Recognition was a Art Forum Best Book of the Year.

More info (and reservation options)

For the zoom link click here.
Meeting-ID: 821 9266 1889
Kenncode: 025612

Ticket price
free admission

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