KABK Research Club: Close Reading & Discussion with Mijke van der Drift
Wednesday 12 May 2021, 17:00-19:00, Zoom
For access to the full article contact m.jager@kabk.nl

The Lectorate Design would like to invite you to join the next edition of the KABK Research Club: a monthly informal online setting for tutors, (research) staff and PhD candidates from the KABK and Leiden University to discuss their research, make connections, exchange ideas, raise questions, and offer advice.

We are delighted to share that philosopher Mijke van der Drift will join us for a close reading and discussion of their article, 'Management and Rights Amidst Plural Worlds', just published in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy from Penn State University Press.

We propose that we all read the text in advance and bring our questions and responses to the meeting. The article is written with precision and rewards careful reading. It reframes some important theoretical concepts concerning power, control, and alignment in the institution and introduces generative provocations concerning resistance, collectivity, pluralism and the opening of worlds. Such ideas may resonate with those in the KABK community currently grappling with how this particular institution might re-constitute or re-compose around ethics, values, and relations that allow for non normative and plural modes of flourishing .

Using Sylvia Wynter's conception of Eurocentric and colonial cognitive closure as a starting point, Van der Drift explores how this style of thought suffuses the institution. While Foucault focused his attention on the ways that disciplined subjects are panoptically scrutinized, Van der Drift inverts the gaze back upon the surveillers—the managers—and how their efforts to create order lead to a contraction of perception that Philomena Essed and Isabel Hoving have termed 'smug ignorance'. Van der Drift goes on to argue that what is needed to counteract the stasis and narrowness of such institutional alignment is a combination of alternative models of relationality and collectivity, a pluralist ethics and an approach to worlding practices in which, as Arturo Escobar has put it, 'many worlds fit'.

If you haven't yet encountered Mijke van der Drift, a tutor in Master Non-Linear Narrative here at KABK, you are in for a treat! They bring the wisdom of lived experience, a powerful engagement with theory, and a generous, listening humility to the current situation at KABK, which is much appreciated. Van der Drift's research is multi-disciplinary and uses ethics to probe the possibilities of social transformation. In addition to their role at KABK, Van der Drift is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, as part of the Revolutionary Papers project, in collaboration with the London School of Economics and the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town. Their book chapter 'Radical Transfeminism: Trans as anti-static ethics escaping neoliberal encapsulation', co-written with poet Nat Raha, is included in New Feminist Studies: Twenty-first-century Critical Interventions, ed. Jennifer Cooke.

This will be the main focus of the May KABK Research Club meeting, but we will reserve some time at the end for a more general discussion.

We're looking forward to see you!

Please contact m.jager@kabk.nl for access to the full article.