How is Emancipatory Change Possible?

Long-Term Postdoc Horizon

This long-term research plan conceptualizes radical ameliorative and emancipatory change amidst grave persistence, particularly regarding gender. It does this by developing new integrations of critical existential phenomenology and complex systems theorizing.

The project proceeds in three subprojects, each comprising a plan for 1 to 5 years respectively, and each with its own independent aims, goals, and potentials.

Oriented towards the desire to understand material socio-cultural change, the project takes a close look at three challenging sites: material forms of the distribution of difference (on the case of reconceptualizations of sexual difference); normative challenges of how symmetric and piecemeal socio-cultural changes relate to radical and emancipatory ones (comparing cases in gender and music practices and platforms); and understanding social movements on this basis beyond models of unity, mass, multitude, or network.

The Reconceptualization of Sexual Difference

On the case of sex-gender, the first leg of the project accounts for new developments in life science, medical, and technological knowledge about elements of distinction and entanglement between our biology and our agency. I study this with a narrow focus on the current conceptual renegotiations of sexual difference in medical and life science research. More…

Normative Change in Ordinary Critique: Constitutive Critique and Musical Practices

This planned subproject will investigate how emancipatory (critical) changes can relate to the ordinary (critical) changes that are constitutive of our lives anyway. Focusing on the phenomenon of amelioration as a link between ordinary and emancipatory change, the project compares select cases of gender practices and musical practices.

Socio-Cultural Movements

The third subproject will integrate the results of the previous ones to understand large scale social developments and possibly democratic social movements in the context of ‘solidarity from below’ (Featherstone 2008; Zheng).