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Double Philosophy and Public Affairs Colloquium with Penelope Deutscher (Chicago) & Daniel Loick (Amsterdam) | Title Daniel Loick’s paper: Affective Privilege | Title Penelope Deutscher’s paper: Paradoxes of Reproduction, Grammars of Power | Daniel and Penelope will comment on each other’s papers

Event details of Affective Privilege & Paradoxes of Reproduction, Grammars of Power
Date 12 May 2021

Penelope Deutscher: Paradoxes of Reproduction, Grammars of Power

Traditionally, those who bore political rights were not women. Nor were reproduction and child-raising regarded as political activities. But the rise of biopolitical governmentality and its interest in the optimal administration of the life of populations gave a new political relevance to women’s reproductive capacity and conduct — while not automatically converting their pre-political status. Instead, this double status (prepolitical and biopolitical) encompasses (at least) two different understandings of power, both of which, arguably, have carried over to cohabit with a third status as rights-bearing. This redoublement produces an oscillating grammar within which reproductive choice is challenged or defended. It can swing strategically between the languages of rights, and concern. The oscillations between rights and health within modern debates over reproductive justice concern more than alternative languages. These are also oscillations between alternative bodies: between the rights bearer, and the metasomatic individual whose embodiment enfolds a collective present and future. 


Penelope Deutscher is Joan and Sarepta Harrison Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. She is the author or editor of a number of books, including Foucault/Derrida Fifty Years Later (2016) and Critical Theory in Critical Times: Transforming the Global Political and Economic Order (2017), both from Columbia University Press. She specializes in twentieth-century and contemporary French philosophy, and in gender and sexuality studies. Current projects are focused on the intersections of biopolitics, reproductive futurism, and the genealogy of gendered rights claims. Her most recent publications are Foucault’s Futures: A Critique of Reproductive Reason and two co-edited collections, Foucault/Derrida: Fifty Years On (co-edited with Olivia Custer and Samir Haddad) and Critical Theory in Critical Times (co-edited with Cristina Lafont), with Columbia University Press. 



Daniel Loick: Affective Privilege. Toward a Standpoint Theory of Emotion 

Throughout history, oppressed groups have described their respective practices as being accompanied by intense feelings of joy, solidarity, transgression, or solace – the misery of their material living conditions notwithstanding. According to the self-description of such groups, they were able to unfold these feelings not despite, but because of their subaltern positions. How can this be explained? In this talk, I will try to lend plausibility to the notion of “affective privilege.” I argue that counter-communities – that is, oppositional communities of excluded, oppressed, exploited, or marginalized subjects – have access to “better” affects than their oppressors and exploiters. Dominant groups, according to this thesis, have more social power but worse emotions, they are economically or politically superior but affectively inferior. 


Daniel Loick is Associate Professor of Political and Social Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and Associated Researcher with the Institute for Social Research Frankfurt. His main research interests are in political, cultural, legal and social philosophy, in particular abolitionist theories on state-inflicted violence and theories of counter-communities. Among his publications are four books, Kritik der Souveränität (Frankfurt 2012, English translation as A Critique of Sovereignty, 2018), Der Missbrauch des Eigentums (Berlin 2016), Anarchismus zur Einführung (Hamburg 2017), and most recently Juridismus. Konturen einer kritischen Theorie des Rechts (Berlin 2017).