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Minor Movements: How to Create Space for Personal and Political Change?

Seminar Series 2022-2023

Location: Utrecht
Dates: 8 sessions from October 2022 to June 2023
Time: 15:00-18:00 (Thursdays)
Organisers: Niels Niessen and Jeroen Boom (Radboud University)
Credits for PhD candidates and rMA students: 2 ECTS for Fall 2022 / 3 for Spring 2023
Register: jeroen.boom@ru.nl

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Introduction: How to Think Change?

This year-long seminar creates a space to become more conscious of how the small movements of body and mind are shaped by intersecting power structures. How does capitalism determine our daily habits? How do online platforms like Google re-orient people’s desire? And how does patriarchy affect the ways we love? At the same time, the seminar thinks through tactics to achieve social and political change: the minor movements to resist power. How do groups like Extinction Rebellion interrupt our burn-out routines? How does MeToo expose a culture of sexual violence? And how does the Left—as a minor movement in populist times—reinvent itself in the face of Big Everything (Big Tech, Big Bank, Big Pharma, Big Oil, etc.)? Our understanding of movement and change is inspired by the 1960s feminist rallying cry “the personal is political.” Resistance starts with consciousness and consciousness start with collective analysis of how we are moved as subjects. We imagine this seminar as a collective living room to think small and indeed personal about the large questions of our times.

We meet eight times between October 2022 and June 2023, mostly in Utrecht (because of its centrality), sometimes in Nijmegen (because of this seminar’s affiliation with the Critical Humanities group at the Radboud Institute for Culture and History). Each of the seminars is structured around the encounter between a cultural object and a number of theoretical texts. The objects range from literary novels to media streams, and from a documentary on the climate crisis to essay films on migration. In dialogue with these objects and the texts (sometimes from seemingly clashing traditions) we will engage the question that stands central that day: How to… ? If this “How to?” questions convokes a self-help discourse, that is exactly the intention. After all the goal is to become more critical subjects.

For the full program and information on how to join follow this link. (pdf, 1 MB)