Jack Halberstam, "After All: on Dereliction, Destitution and Dispossession"

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 7 - 8:30pm

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Gordon Matta-Clark's Day's End - photo by Alvin Baltrop

Gordon Matta-Clark's Day's End - photo by Alvin Baltrop

Watch Jack Halberstam's Spring 2020 Intra-Disciplinary Seminar lecture, recorded on March 24, 2020, here.

For so long we have proposed considering the politics of this or the politics of that – the politics of transgender, of sex, of performance, of resistance… What if politics itself, as a concept and a framework, is not the solution but the problem?

As part of the Spring 2020 Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series, Jack Halberstam delivers a free, public lecture that surveys a variety of projects that come from a queer, pre-digital, punk world of 1970’s New York City that thrive in a critical utopian space that demands not simply a new world, but a complete and utter dismantling of this world, the here and now. Using concepts like “dereliction” and “destitution,” Halberstam considers a temporality that resists making, being, and doing and invests instead in unmaking, unbuilding, and divesting. If capitalism demands acquisition and amplification, the anarchitectural projects surveyed here offer minimalist structures, collapse, nothing, and dis-appearance.

HalberstamJack Halberstam is a professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University and is the author of six books, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (1995), Female Masculinity (1998), In A Queer Time and Place (2005), The Queer Art of Failure (2011), Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (2012), and Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (2018). Among other projects, Halberstam is working on a book titled Wild Thing: Queer Theory After Nature, on queer anarchy, performance, and protest culture, and the intersections between animality, the human, and the environment.

The Spring 2020 IDS Lecture Series at The Cooper Union is organized by Leslie Hewitt and Omar Berrada. The IDS Public Lecture Series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union.  We are grateful for major funding from the Robert Lehman Foundation. The IDS Public Lecture Series is also made possible by generous support from the Open Society Foundations. 

RLF          Open Society

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  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.