Ewa Domańska

Methodologies in American Studies 14.02.2013
Prof. Ewa Domańska

Plenary Lecture: The Posthumanist Subject

Reading list

Optional reading:

Harry Garuba. “On Animism, Modernity/Colonialism, and the African Order of Knowledge: Provisional Reflections.” e-flux. http://www.e-flux.com/journals/ 36 (7/2012): n.p.

Graham Harvey. Preface. Animism: Respecting the Living World. Columbia University Press, 2006.

The lecture is a modest contribution to the ongoing debate on – as Bruno Latour says – “how to live together” and “to compose a world that is not yet common.” As one of its challenge the paper proposes to discuss the problem of the “posthuman/ist subject.” I locate my considerations within the interpretative framework of ecoposthumanities understood here as a non-anthropocentric and post-Western paradigm and treat an animist (or animistic) turn as the significant contribution of its development. Following recent works by anthropologists and archaeologists such as Nurit Bird-Rose, Philippe Descola, Graham Harvey, Tim Ingold and Viveiros de Castro, I will treat new animism as a source of theory of subjectivity and an interesting platform that allows discussing the problem of personhood. New animism will be also treated as an alternative (relational) ontology, a constructive and decolonizing analytical concept, a counter-hegemonic discourse, that allows rethinking the problem of matter and agency that goes beyond human exeptionalism and embraces non-humans.

Ewa Domańska is Associate Professor of theory and history of historiography in the Department of History, Adam Mickiewicz University at Poznan, Poland and since 2002 Visiting Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Stanford University. Her teaching and research interests include comparative theory of the human and social sciences, history and theory of historiography, posthumanities and ecological humanities. She is the author of 4 books, recently Existential History. Critical Approach to Narrativism and Emancipatory Humanities (in Polish, 2012); History and the Contemporary Humanities (in Ukrainian, 2012) and editor and co-editor of 13 books including recently published: French Theory in Poland (with Miroslaw Loba, 2010, in Polish) and Theory of Knowledge of the Past and the Contemporary Humanities and Social Sciences (in Polish, 2010).