On_Culture Vol. 09 (2020)

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    Caring like a State: Politicizing Love, Touch, and Precarious Lives in the Time of COVID-19
    (2020) D´Aoust, Anne-Marie
    This essay builds on the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to tease out some of the ways in which love has been played out politi-cally in relation to migration. In Canada, as elsewhere in the world, the pandemic suddenly rendered visible the oft-invisible care work traditionally performed by women, and now increasingly so by women of color and asylum seekers. Building on queer theorist Sara Ahmed s understanding of immigration policies as a form of con-ditional love, I investigate various processes of (de)politicization that occurred when love and care became politically mobilized in response to the health crisis. I use the love-body-care constellation as working points to tease out some disciplining and transformative possibilities brought about by love. After discussing Lauren Berlant s and bell hooks reflections on love, I then examine how the pandemic unexpectedly made visible, and sometimes challenged, the politics of touch, love, and care between state-sanctioned hierarchized bodies. While so doing, I notably unpack the guardian angel metaphor that was mobilized to speak of those doing care work, and especially those working as continuing care assistants for the elderly overwhelmingly asylum seekers and women of color in Quebec. Running through the discussion lie lingering existential, political questions: who cares (in both the practical and emotional under-standings of the term), and how do we care about each other with what political consequences?
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    Of Animal Love and Abuse: Exploring Ambivalent Human-Animal Relationships in Tiger King (2020) during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (2020) Bauer, Liza B.
    On March 20, 2020, Netflix launched a new hit. The true crime documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness became the streaming provider s most successful show to date and served as one of the most popular distraction measures for people locked up in their homes due to the corona pandemic. This contribution examines the controversial show through the critical lens of human-animal studies. While primatologist Jane Goodall flags the pandemic as a wake-up call to change our relationship to animals, the show painfully exemplifies what is at stake when human and nonhuman animals cohabitate. Despite its shortcomings from an animal and human ethics perspective, I argue that Tiger King s ambivalent staging of human-animal relationships offers fruitful insights into how animal love can go awry and cross the line to becoming animal abuse. Particularly as exotic pet-keeping and roadside zoos might embody the wet markets of the US, I wonder whether the show s mass appeal could benefit the perception of animals as it highlights human-animal kinship, entanglement, and relatability. In the light of COVID-19 as a zoonosis that intensifies the discrepancy between human-animal distancing and attempts at human-animal bonding, questions on how to challenge anthropocentric thinking to live well together grow louder.
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    An Erotic Re-Imagination of Human/Nature Relationality: Ecosexuality and the Legacies of Coloniality in Love and Sex
    (2020) Türer, Pinar
    In this paper, I set out to uncover the legacies of coloniality in our understandings of love and sex by looking at ecosexuality as a conceptual framework. I argue that sex and love as defined and categorized by the logic of Western modernity stand in the way of imagining a manner of otherwise relating to others (both humans and non-human beings or matter). To imagine love and sex differently and to uncover their intertwined complexity within the pervasive discourses of coloniality, I base my approach on trans-corporeality, which problematizes relation as understood in terms of subject/object binary. In the first part of this paper, I give an overview of how ecosexuality is defined and how it proposes a change in the way we see the earth from as mother to as lover. After reflecting on the logic of modernity and Western coloniality to criticize the category of the human in opposition to nature, I think with Stacy Alaimo s work on queer animals. Attempting to expose the anthropocentricism in our understanding of sex acts, I engage with the implication of likeness to dissect the ecosexual idea of having sex with nature. Finally, in a discussion of the entanglement of sex and love and their rootedness in modernity, I bring forth both the pitfalls and the potentialities of ecosexuality for a reimagining of love and relationality.
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    "Alle Apparate abschalten." Conceiving Love and Technology with Heidegger And Kittler
    (2020) Winkler, Robert A.
    This article explores Friedrich Kittler´s conception of the intersection of love with modern technology and illustrates the theoretical insights gained by considering Spike Jonze´s film Her (2013). The German media theorist Friedrich Kittler (1943 2011) was among the first to study the discursive and material implications of modern technologies. Recent scholarship has stressed Kittler s indebtedness to Martin Heidegger´s philosophy of technology. Accordingly, Kittler thinks through the latter´s contention that it is in and through modern technology that human beings are possibly confronted with truth events, in which the particular time-specific self-unconcealment of being takes place and this unconcealment would not least materialize in the realm of love (Gumbrecht 2013; Kittler 2014; Weber 2018).In this article, I focus on the theoretical examination of Heidegger´s philosophy of technology in general and the concomitant notion of enframing in particular to shed further light on Kittler´s reflection on love that pervades the latter´s entire oeuvre. The article then interrogates whether, and under what circumstances, modern technology might foster said truth events by focusing on: first, love among human beings, second, love among technological beings, and, third, love between human beings and technological beings. Thereby, Spike Jonze´s critically acclaimed science-fiction drama Her, depicting a romantic relationship between a human being and a computer operating system, serves as a reference point in illustrating Kittler´s multifaceted conception of the nexus of love and modern technology.
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    Turkey´s Pioneering Psychoanalyst: Izeddin Sadan´s Disquisition on (Homosexual) Love as Sickness
    (2020) Kilic, Gözde
    Izeddin Sadan, considered to be among the pioneers of psychoanalysis in Turkey, published a series of essays in 1936 titled Eros (Ask) Ile Mücadele [ Strife with Eros (Love) ] in the popular magazine Yeni Adam. He hailed these essays as a landmark in the scientific endeavor to objectively lay out the true nature of love. In them, he described love as a volatile microbe constituting sickness with its origins in Christianity; however, by inverted logic, he projected the same sickness onto Islam, in particular Sufism, which he disparaged as homosexual debauchery. This article looks at how Sadan´s pathologizing of Sufi love of beardless boys as sexual perversion is itself a symptom of pathology, pointing towards a fundamental change in the gen-dered/modernized/Orientalized subject´s relationship with the other and itself.
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    Bringing Intimacies into the Discussion: On the Relevance of Addressing Intimate Relationships in a Migration Context
    (2020) Röhm, Mona
    Topics such as gender, sexualities, and intimacies, recently experienced processes of instrumentalization and culturalization in European public and political discourses on migration matters. Culturalization is particularly the case when it comes to questions of integration where the cultural Other is contrasted to European values to legitimate political objectives. Romantic love as a marker of living a morally right intimate relationship is in this regard implicitly used to illustrate an incompatibility of Muslim migrants to European ideals of intimacy. Based on conceptual thinking and literature review, this theoretical paper highlights the relevance of addressing intimacies, practices, and intimate ideas within current migration debates in Europe and Austria in particular. It is illustrated that there is a need to link the rising research stream on mobile intimacies to recent Anti-Muslim developments in European discourses. With the concept of belonging, the paper provides a possible approach to understand processes of exclusion and inclusion based on intimate ideas and shows their negotiable character. Further, this paper emphasizes the importance of thinking about Euro-Centric precategorizations and encourages micro-sociological inductive research to grasp the diverse understandings and practices of intimacies.
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    Love as Practice of Solidarity: Of Peripheral Bodies, Embodied Justice and Associated Labor
    (2020) Majstorovic, Danijela
    The essay is a feminist auto-ethnographic exercise in which I reflect upon my activist and academic life in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and migrant life in Germany as situated knowledges (Haraway 1988), aiming to provide a basis for solidarity among various, power-differentiated communities. BiH has become Europe´s ´dumping ground´ for non-European migrants but also a ´waiting room´ for its own citizens who are leaving as workforce to the EU. I juxtapose social protests and the post-2015 migrations from the Western Balkans to Germany by which I was affected and now direct my research with the Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian migrations to the EU via BiH analyzing exclusion across the board from racial profiling in the US to the EU securitization practice of pushbacks, and Bosnian authorities racism towards ´migrants´ as well as clientelism towards its own population leading to their migration.Reshuffling the chronotopes of here/there and now/then destabilizes the center/periphery and individual/collective dichotomies as does affective vocabulary of bodies hurt or denied justice through wars, policing, privatizations, isolation, and violence. While going beyond identity politics as a mere counting and classification insistent on difference, I understand love as a fusion of a migrant s affect, as a particular, translatable consciousness about bodies, and justice as ´the form in which and through which love performs its work´ (Tillich 1954: 71). While Black Lives Matter slogan ´no justice, no peace´ or BiH protesters´ shout justice for David and D enan´ signal an acute lack of justice globally, I conjoin these disparate struggles metaphorically through associated labor (Kardelj 1978) urging for love as a practice of solidarity in the post -Corona world.