Anthropology lecture today looks at ‘the space of otherwise’

The Anthropology Department’s third annual lecture will feature Columbia University anthropology Professor Elizabeth Povinelli as she discusses her work in indigenous Australia and the queer United States.

Povinelli will present “The Space of Otherwise, the Hope of Critical Theory” today at 5pm in 305 Founders Senior Common Room, Founders College, Keele campus. Her talk will draw on her work to address those moments in the life of alternative social
projects when they are “neither something or/and nothing”.

Since the mid-1960s, immanent critique has sought to conceptualize the source and space of “new possibilities of life” independent of philosophical notions of transcendental consciousness. But a critical set of anthropological questions emerges in this ontotheoretical spacing. How do new forms of social life maintain this force of existing in specific social spacings of life? How do they endure the effort it takes to persevere? And how, in answering these questions, do new political and ethical concerns emerge?

York equity studies Professor Bonita Lawrence in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York sociology Professor Lesley Wood and York social anthropology PhD candidate Elysée Nouvet, a Toronto-based filmmaker, will respond briefly to the talk before discussion is opened to the public.

Povinelli’s work develops a critical theory of late liberalism by exploring the translation, transfiguration and circulation of values, materialities and socialities within settler liberalisms. Among her recent works are The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy and Carnality (Duke University Press, 2006) and The Cunning of Recognition: Indigenous Alterities and the Making of Australian Multiculturalism (Duke University Press, 2002).

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Founders College, the Office of the Master of Founders College, the Department of Sociology, the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology, the Sexuality Studies Program and the Graduate Program in Women’s Studies.

For more information, contact York anthropology Professor Carlota McAllister at