Nomadic Theory: The Portable Rosi Braidotti (Gender and Culture (Paperback))
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Rosi Braidotti's nomadic theory outlines a sustainable modern subjectivity as one in flux, never opposed to a dominant hierarchy yet intrinsically other, always in the process of becoming, and perpetually engaged in dynamic power relations both creative and restrictive. Nomadic theory offers an original and powerful alternative for scholars working in cultural and social criticism and has, over the past decade, crept into continental philosophy, queer theory, and feminist, postcolonial, techno-science, media, and race studies, as well as into architecture, history, and anthropology. This collection provides a core introduction to Braidotti's nomadic theory and its innovative formulations, which playfully engage with Deleuze, Foucault, Irigaray, and a host of political and cultural issues.
Arranged thematically, essays begin with such concepts as sexual difference and embodied subjectivity and follow with explorations in technoscience, feminism, postsecular citizenship, and the politics of affirmation. Braidotti develops a distinctly positive critical theory that rejuvenates the experience of political scholarship. Inspired yet not confined by Deleuzian vitalism, with its commitment to the ontology of flows, networks, and dynamic transformations, she emphasizes affects, imagination, and creativity and the politics of radical immanence. Incorporating ideas from Nietzsche and Spinoza as well, Braidotti establishes a critical-theoretical framework equal parts critique and creation. Ever mindful of the perils of defining difference in terms of denigration and the related tendency to subordinate sexualized, racialized, and naturalized others, she explores the eco-philosophical implications of nomadic theory, feminism, and the irreducibility of sexual difference and sexuality. Her dialogue with technoscience is crucial to nomadic theory, which deterritorializes the established understanding of what counts as human, along with our relationship to animals, the environment, and changing notions of materialism. Keeping her distance from the near-obsessive focus on vulnerability, trauma, and melancholia in contemporary political thought, Braidotti promotes a politics of affirmation that has the potential to become its own generative life force.
deterritorializing the functionalist norm also supports the process of becoming-animal/woman/minoritarian/nomadic. Nonhuman others are no longer the signifying system that props up the humans’ self-projections and moral aspirations. Nor are they the gatekeepers that trace the liminal positions in between species. They have rather started to function quite literally in a code system of their own. This neoliteral approach to otherness goes beyond the masters of modernity’s insights about the
dynamic and internally contradictory or circular time of becoming. Thus, instead of deference to the authority of the past, we have the fleeting copresence of multiple time zones in a continuum that activates and deterritorializes stable identities. This dynamic vision of the subject enlists the creative resources of the imagination to the task of enacting transformative relations and actions in the present: an ontological nonlinearity that rests on Spinoza’s ethics of affirmation and becoming
crisis of the subject, and for conservatives even its “cause,” but they also express positive, i.e., nonreactive alternatives. It is a historical fact that the great emancipatory movements of postmodernity are driven and fueled by the resurgent “others”: the women’s and gay rights movement, the antiracism and decolonization movements, the antinuclear and pro-environment movements are the voices of the structural Others of modernity. They also inevitably mark the crisis of the former “center” or
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race, and postcolonial theories have made important contributions to the methodology and the political strategy of disidentification or defamiliarization. I shall return to an in-depth analysis of this notion in chapter 9. Nomadic thought rests on the practice of estrangement as a way to free the process of subject formation from the normative vision of the self. The frame of reference becomes the open-ended, interrelational, multisexed, and transspecies flows of becoming by interaction with