Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research (SCSR)

Past Events

States of Cohabitation - In Need of, and Inspired by Queer Cultures of Conflict

Tuesday 19 March 13:00 until 14:00
Arts C333
Speaker: Antke Engel
Part of the series: Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research events, Spring 2019

SCSR Research Café

All faculty and PhDs welcome for informal discussion and collaboration around issues of conflict and cohabitation.

Bring your lunch!

What do I mean by states of cohabitation? How would conditions (states) of cohabitation relate to the state form, to forms of stateliness? Why and how would states of cohabitation gain from queer cultures of conflict? Cohabitation cannot be conceptualized as depoliticized multicultural diversity. Rather, it refers to social heterogeneity, where heterogeneity necessarily bears conflicts. If we agree that conflicts are inevitable but also a potential motor of change, then nonviolent ways of dealing with conflicts, maybe, even of fostering conflicts and embracing them, becomes a task of cohabitation. Judith Butler draws on Hannah Arendt when she defines cohabitation 'not as a choice, but a condition of political life. We are bound to one another prior to contract and prior to any volitional act. […]we are already living on the earth with those we never chose and whose language is not the same as our own.' (Butler 2012: 23f.) I will affirmatively relate to Butler’s definition, I will point out the limits of the ‘politics of translation’ she proposes as a mode of dealing with conflicts, but above all I would like to sketch what I call queer cultures of conflict. I will present three dimensions of queer cultures of conflict that I suggest are vital for developing states of cohabitation, and would like to discuss them during this lunch café.

Bio: Antke Engel, Asa Briggs Fellow at UoS, is director of the Institute for Queer Theory in Berlin and currently guest professor for Queer Studies at TU Darmstadt. She received her PhD in Philosophy at Potsdam University in 2002. She works in the fields of queer, feminist and poststructuralist theory, political philosophy, and visual cultural studies. Engel has published numerous essays, the monographs Wider die Eindeutigkeit (2002) and Bilder von Sexualität und Ökonomie (2009), and she co-edited Hegemony and Heteronormativity (2011) and Global Justice and Desire: Queering Economy (2015).

Download the poster: States of Cohabitation—In Need of, and Inspired by Queer Cultures of Conflict [PDF 2.98MB]


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By: Martin Wingfield
Last updated: Friday, 8 March 2019