KONF: Nonidentity. Current Configurations in Critical Theories and Poetics, New York (28.4.-29.4.2022)

Julia Landmann's picture

April 28-29, 2022

Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference at the Department of German, NYU in cooperation with the Department of Comparative Literature, NYU

Guest Speakers: Romy Opperman (New School), Anna Parkinson (Northwestern), Mark Christian Thompson (JHU), Robert J.C. Young (NYU)

Organized by Alexander Braunegg, Ioanna Kostopoulou and Julia Landmann

Can we mobilize concepts of nonidentity as resources for current configurations of resistance and disfiguration in critical theories and poetics? Our conference traces this question by connecting the emergence of nonidentity in the Frankfurt School with Postcolonial, Indigenous, and Black Studies. Focusing on contemporary entanglements of critical theories and poetics, we seek to provide answers on how postcolonial theories and the Frankfurt School enunciate concepts liminal to conceptualization.

According to Adorno/Horkheimer, the identity principle serves to dominate nature by subsuming particulars under universal concepts. An “ur-form of ideology”, the identity principle correlates with the compulsion towards identification with authority. In continuations of the normative and historically contextualized reflection of critical theory throughout the last decades however, certain notions of identity have been discussed as political tools to counter structural violence: identity politics started with analyses of forms of oppression of particularities by the governing concepts to reclaim the previously stigmatized accounts of social groups (Combahee River Collective) and has been critically reconfigured in postcolonial theorems like the third space (Bhabha). For both, the Frankfurt School and postcolonial theories, the relation between identity and nonidentity was intricately mediated.

Our conference seeks to discuss current reconfigurations of nonidentity in literary texts, in transformations of critical theory in Decolonial Theory, Black Studies, Indigenous Studies, as well as involvements with the Frankfurt School, that mediate between critiques of capitalism, colonialism, and racialization. We want to ask whether nonidentity can serve as a resource for resistance within the entwinement of thought and the economic and social sphere under the present political conditions.

Further information and registration links for in-person and virtual attendance may be found at https://as.nyu.edu/german/events/spring-2022/call-for-papers--nonidentity.html.

Thursday, April 28th

9.30-10.00: Introductions

10.00-11.15: Panel 1: Gaps, Exteriorities: Between dissociation and complicity

Marcus Döller, Erfurt

Non-identity as produced silence – Theodor Adorno with Stuart Hall and James Baldwin

Claire Tranchino, Buffalo

Undoing the Human: Dawn Lundy Martin and Theodor Adorno’s Lyric Critique

Moderator: Wendy Lotterman, NYU


13.00-14.15. Panel 2: Global entanglements of negative dialectics

Philipp Sperner, Munich / Vienna

Ambedkar, Adorno and a Global History of Nonidentity

Clara Funk, Frankfurt/Oder

Identical Dialogue? Theodor W. Adorno and Bolívar Echeverría on identity

Moderator: Eesha Kumar, NYU

14.30-15.45. Panel 3: Ambivalences and double binds as forms of critique

Adrian Guo Silver, Columbia

Anonymity in Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro

Julia Landmann, NYU

Transgressions of Critique between Theodor W. Adorno and Sylvia Wynter

Moderator: Aviv Hilbig-Bokaer, NYU


16.15-17.15. Keynote: Anna Parkinson, Northwestern

Contrapuntal Humanism: German Notes from a Jewish Diaspora

Response: Jay Garcia, NYU

Moderator: Alexander Braunegg, NYU

Friday, April 29th

09.30-10.45. Panel 4: (Non-)identical radicalizations: Irrationality and tabula rasa

Gianluca Cavallo, Frankfurt

Identity Thinking and the Authoritarian Personality

Saniya Taher, Berkeley

Un/Being: Ruminations on the Eschatological in Frantz Fanon “Colonial War and Mental Disorders” (1961) and Etel Adnan “To be in a Time of War” (2005)

Moderator: Rahel von Minden, NYU


11.00-12.15. Panel 5: Kinship issues: Erosions of (anti-)authoritarianism

Christina Chalmers, NYU

Non-identity against the family

Andrew Schlager, Princeton

Avunculars: Baldwin, Adorno, Sedgwick

Moderator: Ioanna Kostopoulou, NYU


13.00-14.15 Panel 6: Queering the limitations of nonidentity

Sophie Holzberger und Philipp Hohmann, Mainz / Bochum:

“An Army of Housewives Cannot Lose.” Nonidentity between women’s film and queer/feminist media practice

Levi Hord, Columbia:

What is the “Non” of “Non-Binary”? Indifference, Universalism, and Trans-of-Color Critique

Moderator: Arne Sander, NYU


14.30-15.45 Panel 7: Nonidentity in processes of signification

Philip Campanile, Berkeley:

Specious Species: the disidentification of Japanese knotweed

Noraedén Mora Méndez, USC:

Catachresis and nonidentity: Venezuela or how to read poetry [¿cómo leer la poesía?]

Moderator: Iván Hofman, NYU


16.15-17.15 Roundtable Discussion

Romy Opperman, New School

Mark Christian Thompson, JHU

Robert J. C. Young, NYU

Moderator: Julia Landmann, NYU



Redaktion: Constanze Baum – Lukas Büsse – Mark-Georg Dehrmann – Nils Gelker – Markus Malo – Alexander Nebrig – Johannes Schmidt

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Mark-Georg Dehrmann] betreut – editorial-germanistik@mail.h-net.msu.edu

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