February 8, 2008 – Elizabeth Povinelli: “The Obligations of Bodies: Carnality, Corporeality, & Neoliberal Governance”
Friday, February 8 / 4 PM / Humanities 210
Elizabeth Povinelli is Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Columbia University, where she is also Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture. She is the author of numerous books and essays, including The Cunning of Recognition: Indigenous Alterities and the Making of Australian Multiculturalism (Duke, 2002) and The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy, and Carnality (Duke, 2006). Currently a senior editor at Public Culture, she has also served as a consultant for several indigenous land and native title claims in Australia.
Professor Povinelli’s talk returns to “the body” as an intersection of matter and discourse. Rather than privilege one understanding over another, the talk assumes that this intersection is a foundational predicament and production of liberal governance. Drawing on the lifeworlds of contemporary indigenous Australians and Radical Faeries, and locating its discussion in the post-9/11 neoliberal world, Professor Povinelli examines how the material conditions and discursive embarrassments of “the body” are differentially distributed across global populations.
Sponsored by the Queer Theory Research Cluster