Rosi Braidotti

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Rosi Braidotti
Born (1954-09-28) 28 September 1954 (age 60)
Latisana, Italy
Era 20th / 21st-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy, Feminism
Influences

Rosi Braidotti (born 28 September 1954) is a contemporary philosopher and feminist theoretician.

Biography[edit]

Career[edit]

Braidotti, who holds Italian and Australian citizenship, was born in Italy and grew up in Australia, where she received degrees from the Australian National University in Canberra in 1977 and was awarded the University Medal in Philosophy and the University Tillyard prize. Braidotti then moved on to do her doctoral work at the Sorbonne, where she received her degree in philosophy in 1981. She has taught at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands since 1988, when she was appointed as the founding professor in women's studies.[1] In 1995 she became the founding Director of the Netherlands research school of Women's Studies, a position she held till 2005. Braidotti is a pioneer in European Women's Studies: she founded the inter-university SOCRATES network NOISE and the Thematic Network for Women's Studies ATHENA, which she directed till 2005. She was a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College in 2005-6; a Jean Monnet professor at the European University Institute in Florence in 2002-3 and a fellow in the school of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1994. Braidotti is currently Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University and founding Director of the Centre for the Humanities.

Four publications on subjectivity[edit]

Braidotti’s publications have consistently been placed in continental philosophy, at the intersection with social and political theory, cultural politics, gender, feminist theory and ethnicity studies. The core of her interdisciplinary work consists of four interconnected monographs on the constitution of contemporary subjectivity, with special emphasis on the concept of difference within the history of European philosophy and political theory. Braidotti’s philosophical project investigates how to think difference positively, which means moving beyond the dialectics that both opposes it and thus links it by negation to the notion of sameness.

This is evidenced in the philosophical agenda set in her first book Patterns of Dissonance: An Essay on Women in Contemporary French Philosophy, 1991, which gets developed further in the trilogy that follows. In the next book, Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory, 1994, the question is formulated in more concrete terms: can gender, ethnic, cultural or European differences be understood outside the straightjacket of hierarchy and binary opposition? Thus the following volume, Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming, 2002, analyses not only gender differences, but also more categorical binary distinctions between self and other, European and foreign, human and non-human (animal/ environmental/ technological others).

The conclusion is that a systematic ambivalence structures contemporary cultural representations of the globalised, technologically mediated, ethnically mixed, gender-aware world we now inhabit. The question consequently arises of what it takes to produce adequate cultural and political representations of a fast-changing world and move closer to Spinozist notions of adequate understanding.

The ethical dimension of Braidotti’s work on difference comes to the fore in the last volume of the trilogy, Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics, 2006. Here she surveys the different ethical approaches that can be produced by taking difference and diversity as the main point of reference and conclude that there is much to be gained by suspending belief that political participation, moral empathy and social cohesion can only be produced on the basis of the notion of recognition of sameness.

Braidotti makes a case for an alternative view on subjectivity, ethics and emancipation and pitches diversity against the postmodernist risk of cultural relativism while also standing against the tenets of liberal individualism. Throughout her work, Braidotti asserts and demonstrates the importance of combining theoretical concerns with a serious commitment to producing socially and politically relevant scholarship that contributes to making a difference in the world. Braidotti's output also included several edited volumes. Her work has been translated in a total of 19 languages and all the main books in at least three languages other than English.

Latest publications[edit]

Her most recent book is "The Posthuman" (Polity Press, 2013). "The Posthuman"[2] offers both an introduction and major contribution to contemporary debates on the posthuman. As the traditional distinction between the human and its others has blurred, exposing the non-naturalistic structure of the human, "The Posthuman" starts by exploring the extent to which a post-humanist move displaces the traditional humanistic unity of the subject. Rather than perceiving this situation as a loss of cognitive and moral self-mastery, Braidotti argues that the posthuman helps us make sense of our flexible and multiple identities.

Braidotti then analyzes the escalating effects of post-anthropocentric thought, which encompass not only other species, but also the sustainability of our planet as a whole. Because contemporary market economies profit from the control and commodification of all that lives, they result in hybridization, erasing categorical distinctions between the human and other species, seeds, plants, animals and bacteria. These dislocations induced by globalized cultures and economies enable a critique of anthropocentrism, but how reliable are they as indicators of a sustainable future?

"The Posthuman" concludes by considering the implications of these shifts for the institutional practice of the humanities. Braidotti outlines new forms of cosmopolitan neo-humanism that emerge from the spectrum of post-colonial and race studies, as well as gender analysis and environmentalism. The challenge of the posthuman condition consists in seizing the opportunities for new social bonding and community building, while pursuing sustainability and empowerment.

In 2011 Braidotti published two new books: the renewed and revised edition of Nomadic Subjects and collection of essays Nomadic Theory. The Portable Rosi Braidotti. The collection provides a core introduction to Braidotti's nomadic theory and its innovative formulations, which engage with Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Luce 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.

Influenced by philosophers such as Gilles Deleuze and especially "French feminist" thinker Luce Irigaray, Braidotti has brought postmodern feminism into the Information Age with her considerations of cyberspace, prosthesis, and the materiality of difference. Braidotti also considers how ideas of gender difference can affect our sense of the human/animal and human/machine divides. Braidotti has also pioneered European perspectives in feminist philosophy and practice and has been influential on [third-wave as well as post-secular feminisms].[3]

Honours[edit]

On 3 March 2005, Braidotti was honored with a Royal Knighthood from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands; in August 2006 she received the University Medal from the University of Lodz in Poland and she was awarded an Honorary Degree in Philosophy from Helsinki University in May 2007. In 2009, she was elected Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Since 2009 she is a board member of CHCI(Consortium of Humanities Centre and Institutes). In 2013 she received an Honorary Degree in Philosophy from Linköping University in Sweden.

Bibliography[edit]

Books[edit]

Edited volumes[edit]

  • (Ed. with Patrick Hanafin and Bolette Blaagaard) After Cosmopolitanism, New York: Routledge, 2012, pp. 188.
  • (Ed. with Patricia Pisters) Revisiting Normativity with Deleuze, London and New York: Continuum, 2012, pp. 238.
  • The History of Continental Philosophy Volume 7, Durham: Acumen, 2010, pp. 398.
  • (Ed. with Claire Colebrook and Patrick Hanafin) Deleuze and Law. Forensic Futures, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, pp. 212.
  • (Ed. with Claire Colebrook) special edition of Australian Feminist Studies, on: “Feminist Timelines’, Routledge Volume 24 Issue 59, 2009, pp. 142.
  • (Ed. with Charles Esche and Maria Hlavajova) Citizens and Subjects: The Netherlands, for example, Critical Reader/Catalogue for the Dutch Pavilion at the Biennale in Venice, 2007 Utrecht: BAK and Zurich: JRP, pp. 334.
  • (Ed. with Gabriele Griffin) Thinking Differently: a Reader in European Women’s Studies, London / New York: Zed Books, 2002, pp. 405.
  • (Ed. with Nina Lykke) Between Monsters, Goddesses and Cyborgs. Feminist Confrontations With Science, Medicine and Cyberspace.London: Zed Books, 1996, pp. 260.
  • (Ed. with Gloria Wekker) Praten in het donker. Multiculturalisme en anti-racisme in feministisch perspectief. Kampen: Kok Agora, 1996, pp. 170.
  • Poste restante. Feministische berichten aan het postmoderne. Kampen: Kok Agora, 1994, pp. 157.
  • (Ed. with Suzette Haaksma), Ik denk dus zij is; De vrouwelijke intellectueel in literair en historisch perspectief, Kampen: Kok Agora, 1994, pp. 199.
  • Een beeld van een vrouw. De visualisering van het vrouwelijke in een postmoderne cultuur, Kampen: Kok Agora, 1993, pp. 188.
  • Guest editor of special issue of the journal Women's Studies International Forum. Special issue: Women's Studies at the University of Utrecht New York: Pergamon Press, 1993, vol. 16, no. 4.
  • Guest Editor of special issue of the journal Les Cahiers du Grif. De la parenté à l'eugénisme Paris: Editions Tierce, 1987, no. 36.

Translations[edit]

Transpositions[edit]

Metamorphoses[edit]

Nomadic subjects[edit]

  • Italian translation: Soggetto Nomade, Rome: Donzelli, 1995.
  • Spanish translation: Sujetos Nómades Corporización y Diferencia Sexual en la Teoria Feminista Contemporánea, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Mexico: Paidos, 2000.
  • Translation into Russian of some extracts of Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory. In particular: “Introduction: By Way of Nomadism” (pp. 13–22) and chapter 11: ‘Women’s Studies and the politics of Difference’(pp. 136–163). In: Sergei Zherebkin (ed.) Anthology on Western Gender Studies Theory, II Volume of the textbook Introduction to Gender Studies, St. Petersburg: Aleteia and Kharcov Center for Gender Studies, 2001. Translated by Zaven Babloyan.
  • Portuguese translation of chapter 8: “A diferenca sexual como um projecto politico nomada” in: Genero, Identitade e Desejo. Antologia Critica do Femminismo Contemporaneo, Lisboa: Edicoes Cotovia, 2002.
  • Korean translation, ISBN 89-951903-8-8, 2005.
  • Russian translation of chapter 8: “Sexual Difference as a Nomadic Political Project” in: Feminism, Art and Theory. 1970-2000, Moscow: RosPen, 2005.
  • Polish translation: Podmioty Nomadyczne. Ucieleśnienie I różnica seksualna w feminizmie współczesnym, Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Naukowe I Profesjonalne, 2009.

The posthuman[edit]

  • Italian translation: Il postumano. La vita oltre il sé, oltre la specie, oltre la morte. Rome: Derive Approdi, 2014.

Video documents[edit]

  • 2009, Feature-length film released as DVD on Braidotti’s life and work by Andrea Petõ and Hungarian producer Ilona Hernádi. Primatv Production.

References[edit]

  1. ^ See Braidotti's CV on her website http://www.rosibraidotti.com/images/cvbraidotti_2013.pdf
  2. ^ The Posthuman, Polity Press, 2013
  3. ^ Jusova, I. "European Immigration and Continental Feminism: Theories of Rosi Braidotti." Feminist Theory12:1 (Spring 2011)

External links[edit]