New European Identities and Mediated Cultures: Revisiting the Politics of Location
The notion of the politics of locations is one of the epistemological foundations of feminist theory and gender knowledge. It has developed over the last twenty years from a political slogan into a fully-fledged methodological framework, which encompasses several theoretical variations. One of the most relevant aspects of this notion is that it explores the parameters for the kinds of subject positions that have become available as a result of changing gender roles in society.The politics of location, however, also works at the macro-level as a tool by which global power relations can be assessed in the light of feminist politics and gender concerns. This has led, among others, to discussions about the transnational nature of feminist subjectivity and to intersectional methods of analysis, which account
simultaneously for a variety of axes of marginalization: gender, class, race, ethnicity, age, and sexuality.
This two-week course will present a cartography of these new subject positions within a European perspective, with special emphasis on the power relations that construct them. Very inter-disciplinary in orientation, it presents approaches from the humanities (history, literature, the arts), the social sciences (sociology, political theory, anthropology) and philosophy. Great emphasis will be placed on the construction of locations at the micro as well as the macro-levels, and thus on memories, genealogies and the impact of cultural products in both institutionalising and propagating certain forms of remembrance. Equal weight will be given, however, to the material and social context within which identities and locations are negotiated. Empirical data on Equal Opportunities will be provided and discussed within the context of the European welfare states and their re-structuring. Throughout this debate, cross-references will be made to the new technologies, and their overwhelming impact upon issued related to gender identity and to the status of women and other minorities in contemporary societies