Spanish 280.2: Feminisms/Potentia/Life

W 3-6P, DWINELLE 210 | Instructor: Brizuela | CCN: 30912

Units: 4

In seminar we will explore the specific ways that today’s new intersectional feminisms, as they have emerged in Latin America over the past decade, offers a “practice theory”. That is, feminist practice of theory where theory is understood as a state of rebellion, and as an embodied method. This theory is the outcome of a vital engagement, a form of argumentation that emerges through the body-in-rebellion to make its claim on life. More than a shared program of demands, or strategies, these feminisms take on the demand for life, for an unbridled life, a limitless desiring life beyond the established political languages and theories – those which acknowledge the existing forms of power and diminished democracy. The demand for life is an exercise which resists the subordination of its practice to valid and legitimating theories, a practice that asserts itself as theory. Analyzed this way, these feminisms are the exercise of life and of the body through a practice that becomes theory, while refusing to be the “theorization” of any past practice or future practice, a refusal of life of any external rationalization. We will think with critics Veronica Gago, Andrea Giunta, Raquel Gutierrez Aguilar, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, and Suely Rolnik; follow Spinoza’s writings on life and potentia and see these categories re-emerge in late 20th century philosophy; and traverse literary and artistic work by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, Clarice Lispector, Rosana Paulino and Teresa  Margolles among others.