Jack Halberstam Jack Halberstam

Keynote Speaker
On Destitution, Dereliction, Depreciation and Dispossession
May 23, 2021

Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Department of English and Literature
Columbia University

Key Note Address Description | Unbuild the World!

For so long we have proposed considering the politics of this or the politics of that – the politics of transgender, the politics of sex, the politics of performance, the politics of resistance – what if politics itself, as a concept and a framework is not the solution but the problem. In other words, what if this need to legitimate everything via the political as we currently understand politics (activities associated with governance) is part of the problem in that it leads to certain kinds of projects and it disallows others – the propulsive projects that engage making, doing, being, building, becoming, knowing, declaring, proposing, dealing, moving and so on are encouraged but unmaking projects are swept aside. This talk lingers with ideas of unbuilding, collapsed architectures, bodily refusal and the end of queer politics as we know it.

Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of six books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and, most recently, a short book titled Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press). Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality and the built environment. Halberstam just finished a book titled WILD THINGS: THE DISORDER OF DESIRE and is currently working on a companion volume titled: THE WILD BEYOND: ART, ARCHITECTURE AND ANARCHY.

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