One of the most enduring legacies of the Enlightenment is a desire to divide all knowledge into groups and categories. These categories, meant to simplify knowledge and learning, have the disastrous side-effect of disenfranchising those people, places, and things that fall through the cracks. On the other hand, the “in-between,” as assessed by Jacques Rancière, can be a place in which the multiplicity of subjectivities inherent in individuals overlap and become enmeshed with one another, exposing both the ambiguity and the possibility of identity. Thus the in-between allows us to engage in reflection upon relations between self and other, consider moral and ethical questions, and contemplate sexuality as a mode of human relationality. This thread examines about how relations are formed, shaped, reflected upon, and it also deliberates on the nature of connections and how they are sustained. It is necessarily interdisciplinary, spanning such fields as cultural history, musicology, literary studies, indigenous studies, political philosophy, and queer studies, among others.
The In-Between focuses on the ways in which the Enlightenment has shaped our understanding of intersectionalities, hybridities, and relations between the human and animal or the human and non-human world. We also explore the evolution of social relations, legacies of political formations, utopian or dystopian enterprises.
The group image is from an article here.
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Jenny Martinez argues that the foundation of the movement that we know today as human rights was a product of one of the nineteenth century's central moral causes: the movement to ban the international slave trade.
Argues that political realism is a utopian belief and proposes that the true meaning of politics is based on the organization of dissent, or the righting of wrongs. Rancière offers "le politique" (the masculine form of a feminine noun - la politique) as the stage upon which "la politique" or the process of emancipation, meets "la police" or the machinations of democratic governments in an attempt to render all people equal.
Nealon explores the (liminal yet significant) role played by concepts of vegetable life within biopolitical discussions of life in the humanities today. Where Nealon, following Foucault, suggests that modernity has been primarily invested in an animal model of life, he argues that plants-- and the modes of being associated with them (nonindividuated, lacking in "world")--need to be accounted for in our debates around life under late late capitalism, and in the face of global climate change. A brilliant reconsideration of the importance of plant life for contemporary theory.
A ground-breaking consideration of the social history of gender in the Enlightenment. As well as an invaluable source on the social history of the Enlightenment overll, this study gave rise to a meaningful and revaling debate about the lack of consideration of gender in 18th-century French studies.