Archiving Feminist Futures – Temporality and Gender in Cultural Analysis

Deadline: 30/03/2018

Throughout the recent German electoral campaign, affective invocations such as “Now is the Time!”, “Return to the Deutsche Mark”, and “Rehabilitate Democracy” were repeated continuously. As is so often the case with political events like these, one could observe how time was employed both as an idea and a resource. Images of a “fair future” stood alongside a “golden past”, and a present that—characterized by many as having gone haywire—was positioned as the main political target. Drawing upon concepts of time lies at the core of political campaigns that employ a strong request for action and change, be this progressive or reactionary. In future thinking as well as in a fixation with the past aimed at defending the status quo, time and temporality create powerful cultural orders and initiate processes of inclusion and exclusion as well as of collectivization and subjectification.

The conference “Archiving Feminist Futures” builds on current debates around “feminist futures” and “queer temporalities”, which encourage us to consider temporality from an intersectional perspective. Time, in this sense, is regarded as a gendered phenomenon. The conference theme thereby also refers to the persistent discussion within cultural anthropology about the nexus of “time and the other” (Fabian 2002). How are time and temporality being practiced, narrated, placed, and made tangible? Specifically, we aim to investigate the very parameters of power and inequality that arise from these constellations. The academic practices of ethnography and archiving include an important anticipatory element, as they always assume and imagine a future for which we describe, archive, and pass on. In this sense, we would like to approach the everyday, political, and methodological dimensions of time and temporality.

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