Troubling Psyche[s] - Affects and Struggles in the Pandemic

Lecture Series 21/22

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Lecture Series

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Review of auf "Troubling Psyche[s] – Affects and Struggles in the Pandemic".

The pandemic is an epoch-defining incident. The spread of the Corona virus and the containment measures have strongly exacerbated other crises. This is also accompanied by massive social and psychological rifts: worldwide, "psyche[s]" have been thrown into intense turmoil. The omnipresence of the virus attacks both individual and collective social mechanisms of suppression that are supposed to cover the visibility of death from everyday life. Resilience strategies are becoming fragile, vulnerabilities are becoming visible and the phantasmatic character of the patriarchal-colonial-capitalist property subject is becoming clear. The continuing of the “business as usual” unmasks the moral discourse: It is a destructive business, one that can only be had at the price of rigorous exclusion and a continued lack of empathy and social bonds.

The pandemic rupture also gives impetus to the desire to turn away from the "old normality". It strengthens the search for new political fantasies. Instead of transforming all living things into property, the future could be about striving for bonding and relationships, for reciprocity, justice and diversity. Is the pandemic thus also an opportunity as changed forms of subjectivities awaken the longing for life-sustaining, solidary and emancipatory politics?

The lecture series will explore global politics of affect and psychosocial struggles for health and justice in pandemic times. The series of events takes a global look at new subjectivities. It asks what the pandemic has done to "us". Who will "we" have become? At the same time, it is about the differentiation of this "we" and the extremely different forms of subjectivation in a patriarchal, postcolonial and unequal world.

Lectures overview

8 November 2021 16 December 2021
Vulnerability and fear. Revolution against life.
[Originally scheduled for Nov. 08, moved to Dec. 16, 2021 due to technical turbulence]

The pandemic has been able to spread not least because a large part of the world's population is denied or deprived of protection and security. The unleashing of neoliberalism has also been a revolution against life that has eroded existing systems of protection and solidarity to the maximum. With the pandemic, fears and despair flood societies - fears of the virus, hunger, patriarchal violence, the police, the future.

Speakers: Rita Segato [ARG], Mpumi Zondi [ZA]


15 November 2021
Loneliness, defence, confusion - affective dynamics in the digital public sphere.

The pandemic reinforces the isolation of the subjects inscribed in capitalism into loneliness. This can only seemingly be bridged by the digitalisation of social life. At the same time, the longing for contacts and relationships becomes the profitable data raw material of surveillance capitalism –one of the big winners of the pandemic. Which affective dynamics emerge in public spheres controlled by algorithms? Which approaches of a new digital activism enable local and transnational alliances between the excluded?

Speakers: Koketso Moeti [ZA], Tobias Matzner [GER]


29 November 2021
Every life counts? Grief & rage.

The pandemic exposes the unevenly distributed experience of vulnerability: People who have to live under precarious conditions are much more affected than those who believe themselves to be in secure circumstances. In the crisis, the primacy of the economy is revealed, and in its wake the hierarchisation of life and its grievability. All the experienced losses do not remain without psychosocial consequences. Resistance and protest are forming globally: The Black Lives Matter movement, organised struggles of domestic workers or global patent campaigns are breaking the silence of an all too often indifferent public.

Speakers: Djamila Ribeiro [BRA], Vanessa Thompson [GER]


13 December 2021
Against patriarchy and powerlessness and fear: for life

The "shadow pandemic" of patriarchal violence affects women* and queers across all classes and borders. Its most visible expression is fem[ni]icide. Wom*n and Queers stand in solidarity across continents against the danger of being killed and the powerlessness. stand in solidarity across continents against the danger of being killed and the powerlessness. In the face of what Rita Segato calls "femigenocide", which denotes the exploitation and killing of feminised bodies and nature alike, practices of self-defence and attack are beyond necessary.

Speakers: Verónica Gago [ARG], Elsa Dorlin [FRA]

17 January 2022
Care against exploitation

Patriarchal and gendered structures of living and working conditions are once again intensified in the pandemic while progress fought for over decades is unceremoniously reversed. Subjectivations as "system-relevant" meet exploitation and intensification of patriarchal violence. The event explores new recognitions of agency and central strands of current feminist economic critique.

Speakers: Clemencia Correa [MEX], Cinzia Arruzza [USA] Unfortunately, Cinzia Arruzza had to cancel her participation. Julia Dück [GER] will speak in her place.


31 January 2022 rescheduled to February 28 due to illness
Longing for the revolution for life

A longing for a new world emerges from spaces of care and resistance. The pursuit and desire for bonding and solidarity is like a revolution for life that fights for counter projects across continents.

Speakers: Eva von Redecker [GER], Nadia Mahmood [IRQ]

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