Fr 27.9.19

Libidinal Economies of Crisis Times

ACUD STUDIO 10h → Talk

International cultural studies & psychoanalysis conference.


Is a renewed concept of “libidinal economy” becoming visible? The term has appeared in works of various sorts in the past decade: critical political economy; re-engagements with Lyotard’s infamous text; Lacanian psychoanalytic critique; queer theory; critical accounts of sex work; afro-pessimism / anti-blackness; cultural criticism’s fascination with affect; libidinal “ecology.” A whole sweep of thinking, then, about bodies and desire or the psychic life of capitalism. This two day event aims to weave together these threads to see what patterns emerge. If the term in its diffusion is not yet worthy of being a “concept” in the narrow sense, then what would it take to push it to that point – and is that conceptual labour worthy of our attention? The event is curious about the most fruitful inquiries in these various fields, while remaining committed to theoretical pluralism in the name of exploring this manifold and nebulous category. Similarly curious about the sources of the idea’s return, it wants to move beyond the basic observation that the fallout of the financial crisis over the past decade is a leading cause of this interest in the idea. As such, it seeks engagements that demonstrate the virtues of “libidinal economy” for thinking our present and the politics of desire, as well as reflections on “libidinal economy” as a symptomatic category of contemporary thought.


Benjamin Noys (Chichester, UK)
Hannah Proctor (Berlin, Germany)
Vladimir Safatle (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Kerstin Stakemeier (Nuremberg, Germany)
Jule Govrin (Flensburg, Germany)
Leon Brenner (Berlin, Germany)
Samo Tomsic (Berlin, Germany)
Dominiek Hoens (Ghent, Belgium)
Julie Gaillard (Urbana-Champaign, US)
Anna Kornbluh (Chicago, US)
Daniel Tutt (Washington DC, US)
Adriana Zaharijević (Belgrade, Serbia)
Sami Khatib (Cairo, Egypt)
Kathy-Ann Tan (Berlin, Germany)
Jason Read (Portland, US)
Todd McGowan (Burlington, US)
Ceren Özselçuk (Istanbul, Turkey) & Yahya M Madra (New York, US)
Dominic Pettman & Merritt Symes (New York, US)
Margret Grebowicz (Tyumen, Russia)
Ania Malinowska (Katowice, Poland)
Gelareh Shahpar (Berlin, Germany)