Keynote Speakers

Asma Abbas is Associate Professor of Politics and Philosophy, and Emily H. Fisher Faculty Fellow, at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. She is director of Hic Rosa, an art, education, and politics collective, and associate faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.   A transdisciplinary political theorist interested in the history of forms of political existence, she thinks and works in between politics, aesthetics, poetics, and ethics, addressing how these domains and their demands shape the tasks of study and struggle, knowledge and subject production, in a global postcolonial and neo-fascist context. Holding those questions together that are often severed from each other—politics from ethics, politics from aesthetics, imperialism from identity, matter from spirit, reading from writing, speaking from listening, capital from colony, or the feminine from the political—she cultivates a practice in decolonial and materialist politics and a commitment to de-provincialising marginalized ways of thinking, being, and knowing in order to channel their emancipatory potential. Her ongoing curiosities all find a home in a method of inquiry and avowal that conduces to its objects instead of commanding them. 

She is the author of Liberalism and Human Suffering: Materialist Reflections on Politics, Ethics, and Aesthetics (Palgrave Macmillan 2010), which presents a critique of the political economy of injury as it obtains most acutely in discourses and practices of redress in law, representation, and inclusion. It makes a feminist, materialist, and historical argument for radically rethinking the subjectivity of sufferers and the place of our ordinary experience of the world in struggles of justice. She is currently completing a book project, Another Love: A Politics of the Unrequited that triangulates love, time, and terror to speak to a materialist anti-colonial and anti-fascist politics, and commencing a project on the politics of betrayal, translation, and misreading, titled In the Ninth Circle of Hell. Her writing has been published in several edited volumes, and in journals such as  Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Theory & EventPolitics & Culture, and Journal of Politics. She lives in Richmond, Massachusetts and goes „back home” to Karachi, Pakistan which still furnishes most of the affective and historic abundances that drive her vocation.


Joanna ZylinskaJoanna Zylinska is Professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. The author of five books – including Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene (Open Humanities Press, 2014; e-version freely available), Life after New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process (with Sarah Kember; MIT Press, 2012) and Bioethics in the Age of New Media (MIT Press, 2009; Polish translation 2013) – she is also a co-editor of the JISC-funded project Living Books about Life, which publishes online books at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences. Her translation of Stanislaw Lem’s philosophical treatise, Summa Technologiae, came out from the University of Minnesota’s Electronic Mediations series in 2013. Zylinska combines her philosophical writings with photographic art practice and curatorial work. She is a curator of the online platform Photomediations Machine, while in 2013 she was Artistic Director of Transitio_MX05 ‚Biomediations’, the biggest Latin American new media festival, which took place in Mexico City.
Bracha Ettinger is the Marcel Duchamp Chair and Professor of Psychoanalysis and Art at the European Graduate School. She is a groundbreaking theoretician working at the intersection of feminine sexuality, psychoanalysis, and aesthetics, an artist, a senior clinical psychologist and a practicing psychoanalyst.

Her major theoretical impact is the forging of a new –”matrixial”–theory and language that has major aesthetical, analytic, ethical, and political implications. Theoretically exploring the possibility of shared affect and emergent expression across thresholds of identity and memory, Ettinger moves „through Lacan’s late works, the anti-Oedipal perspectives of Deleuze and Guattari, as well as object-relations theory to critique the phallocentrism of mainstream Lacanian theory and to rethink the masculine-feminine opposition. She replaces the phallic structure with a dimension of emergence, where objects, images, and meanings are glimpsed in their incipiency, before they are differentiated. This is the matrixial realm, a shareable, psychic dimension that underlies the individual unconscious and experience.”

Ettinger is author of several books and more than eighty psychoanalytical essays elaborating different aesthetical, ethical, psychoanalytical and artistic aspects of the matrixial. She is co-author of volumes of conversation with Emmanuel Levinas, Edmond Jabès, Craigie Horsfield, Félix Guattari and Christian Boltanski. Her book Regard et Espace-de-Bord Matrixiels (essays 1994–1999) appeared in French in 1999 (La lettre volée), and has been published in English as The Matrixial Borderspace (2006, University of Minnesota Press, edited by Brian Massumi and forwarded by Judith Butler and Griselda Pollock). The journal Theory Culture & Society dedicated an issue to her work [TC&S, Vol.21, n.1] in 2004.
Ettinger’s artworks, mainly paintings, drawings, artist’s notebooks, and photographs, have been presented in group and solo exhibitions at major museums of contemporary art. Some recent exhibitions include the 14th Istanbul Biennial [Saltwater, 2015), Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (In the Heart of the Country., 2013–2014),The Pompidou Centre (elles@centrepompidou, 2010–2011).