For Hélène Rytman.

June 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Some of us came to theory through the back door. Some of us had our formal education introduced to us by Marxists. (This is not a rally against Marxists, though we did have some fucked up blood in the mix in our previous life aka project one.) By male feminists. This is not a joke. This is serious. When one of us whose work has been dedicated to murdered and missing indigenous women only found out last year that Althusser killed his wife, this is a serious problem.

We want to thank you all for such a joyous and sorrowful project this summer. We concluded, as promised, in a sauna. Laura Diski had a line somewhere about getting women naked together in the sixties. That there was something important about the scene unfolding, of naked female bodies, and such. We spent a large portion of this project discussing how women, not men, had trained us to be jealous. One of the most riveting moments was how we did not focus solely on raging against a woman who may or may not have stolen our man, but the competitive spiteful raging between women.

Hélène Rytman was murdered by a man. In his memoir he makes reference to massaging her neck; he makes reference to saving her from being interpolated by the State. Against the will. He laments. He treats ideology like God; there is no outside for him. There is no outside for her because of him.

We have to end on this note, as painful as it may seem at first: Many of us did not know that Althusser killed his wife. And many of us did not know that men in our circle are rapists. How do we make these conversations in our supposed circle more obvious and transparent than they initially pretend to be? The white elephant is a cop-out at best. We don’t want to be as bad as the male-feminist who has figured out how to properly check himself on paper, but can’t pull through in real life, can only pull out.

A call for submissions will be forth coming.

In love and solidarity,

D&A

FINAL MEETING

June 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

​Our previous meeting was more of a casual encounter with the texts.

Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner draw on “Clintonian familialism” and other legislative forms in the 1990’s that worked toward creating a hegemonc sex public — one that promotes heterosexual family values, while non-reproductive forms of sexuality are deemed “offensive” and “obscene.” They argue that although queerness does not necessitate a particular relationship to sex, policing of the sex industry creates a dispersal of the gay community as a concerted effort by the State, as it has historically been from these centres that political rallying around gay rights have arisen.

Another favourite point: the heterosexual couple-form is bound-up with property, e.g. the “his” and “hers” labelling of objects and of each other. And it is this relation to property that takes us to the subject of “jealousy.” It is here where we had trouble separating our real somatic experiences with our rationalisation of an internalised ideology of property-relations, especially since some us had to be trained by other women to feel jealous.

For our next and final meeting, we will be discussing:

Geraldine Finn – “Why Althusser Killed His Wife” & “Reason and Violence: More than a False Antithesis – A Mechanism of Patriarchal Power” from Why Althusser Killed His Wife: essays on discourse and violence

De Machina – A letter to Chris Kraus: ‘Kiss me,’ ‘Fuck me,’ or ‘Rape me’

Kate Zambreno – Heroines (excerpt)

(The readings will shortly be scanned and available here.)

Robyn has graciously offered to host at her place, where we will be able to have access to a sauna:

“The sauna is hosted by us but owned by the BC Mobile Sauna Society. They accept donations from sauna goers for propane and sauna upkeep. This is by no means obligatory, but it helps us keep the sauna running. (We have public sauna on Sunday evenings.) Also, please bring a water bottle (no glass) and a towel!”

We have been discussing going to a sauna together as a group for some time, and we are very happy that it is in this way that we will be ending this Summer Session.
D&A

Week FOUR: Mothers from Hell

June 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

Last session was our most exhilarating and polemic to date. After some consideration, we started our discussion with Lee Edleman’s No Future (to which a few of us read the whole fucking book instead of the clearly noted chapter on the schedule) to set the stage. We found that this text provides a polarized model with which to work. It presents a *somewhat* impossible project whereby the notion and/or practice of “queerness” (referenced repeatedly in fairly broad terms) is used to oppose opposition. While Edleman often equates queerness with other activities that are outside of sex, we were not willing to assume that it is something to be appropriated if one does not (or not yet) self-identify as queer. We also noted how the possibility of queer resistance is quite estranging as it is solely told through the purview of the male. We began to think how closely related Edleman’s “queerness” could be paralleled alongside “lesbianism” as a political position, which was mentioned in the first two texts we encountered this project.

How does “queerness,” then, complicate or gloss over racialized and marked bodies as painfully considered by Hortense Spillers’ Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book? The transmission of trauma as experienced by the flesh of the slave onto living (and strangled) black bodies necessitates a chronology. We feel like this text shatters Edleman’s argument. On the transference of affect that sits thick in classrooms, streets, bedrooms (etc.), don’t you dare say fuck Quvenzhané Wallis. First pronounce her name properly.

While the project description ends with a one-liner on finding a way to have relationships with our mothers, in all seriousness, we have to pose this question: how do we reconcile our mothers’ past experiences of trauma and their material conditions with how that trauma projects onto us? And, considering we’re all bad mothers-in-training, how do we reconcile the necessity of futurity for any political project, with our desire to “never have babies.”

Now we’re onto jealousy and/or casual sex.

Jenny Diski – “Body Work” from The Sixties

Emma Goldman – “Jealousy: Causes and a Possible Cure”

Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner – Sex in Public

When: Wednesday, June 3 @ 8pm. See email for address.

Love and solidarity,

D&A

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