A Queer Feeling for Plato
A talk by
Professor Emanuela Bianchi
New York University Dept of Comparative Literature
Re-examining the "ancient quarrel" between literature and philosophy from the perspective of reading and feeling queerly.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Neuberger Hall Room 407
Sponsored by the Portland State University English Department
Recent queer theory has attended to the affective side of reading practices, whether related to failure or shame, or to pleasure and love of the text. Platonic philosophy was deeply uncomfortable with poetry's link to such embodied affect. As philosophy began to distinguish itself as a genre from poetry, what became of this queer, affective dimension in reading, and in the Platonic text itself? This paper readdresses the "ancient quarrel" between philosophy and literature from the perspective of reading and feeling queerly.
Emanuela Bianchi’s forthcoming book, The Feminine Symptom: Aleatory Matter in the Aristotelian Cosmos (Fordham University Press, 2014), explores how Aristotle's ideas about sex and gender in his biological writings infuse his physics, metaphysics, and cosmology, and argues that the traditional understanding of the female as allied with passive matter is inadequate and should be supplanted by an understanding of the feminine as symptomatic, representing chance and what disrupts the teleological system. Bianchi has published numerous articles on sex and gender in ancient metaphysics, and her interests encompass a genealogical approach to matter and bodies, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, queer theory and feminism.