dhr. dr. M. (Murat) Aydemir
Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
1012 VT Amsterdam
Murat Aydemir is Associate Professor ( universitair
hoofddocent ) in Comparative Literature and Cultural
Analysis at the University of Amsterdam.
He teaches in the bachelor and master Comparative Literature ( Literatuurwetenschap ), as well as in the research master in Cultural Analysis.
He also serves as the program director of NICA, the Dutch national research school for cultural analysis, studies, and theory.
Indiscretions: At the Intersection of Queer and Postcolonial Theory
In the West, once apparently progressive causes such as
sexual equality and lesbian and gay emancipation are
increasingly redeployed in order to discipline and ostracize
immigrant underclass subjects, primarily Muslims. Gender and
sexuality on the one hand and race, culture, and/or ethnicity
on the other are more and more forced into separate, mutually
exclusive realms. That development cannot but bear on the
establishment of queer and postcolonial studies as separate
academic specializations, among whom relations usually are as
cordial as they are indifferent.
This volume inquires into the possibilities and limitations of a parceling out of objects alternative to the commonscheme, crude but often apposite,in which Western sexual subjectivity is analyzed and criticized by queer theory, while postcolonial studies takes care of non-Western racial subjectivity. Sex, race: always already distinguished, yet never quite apart.
Roderick A. Ferguson has described liberal pluralism as an "ideology of discreteness" in that it disavows race, gender and sexuality's mutually formative role in political, social, and economic relations. It is in that spirit that this volume advocates the discreet, hence judicious and circumspect, reconsideration of the (in)discrete realities of race and sex.
Contributors : Jeffrey Geiger, Merill Cole, Jonathan Mitchell and Michael O'Rourke, Jaap Kooijman, Beth Kramer, Maaike Bleeker, Rebecca Fine Romanow, Anikó Imre, Lindsey Green-Simms, Nishant Shahani, Ryan D. Fong, and Murat Aydemir
Images of Bliss: Ejaculation, Masculinity, Meaning
From Holbein to hard-core porn, a critical exploration of
male orgasm in Western culture. Aristotle believed semen to be
the purest of all bodily secretions, a vehicle for the spirit
or psyche that gives form to substance. For Proust's narrator
in Swann's Way, waking to find he has experienced a nocturnal
emission, it is the product of "some misplacing of my thigh."
The heavy metal band Metallica used it to adorn an album cover.
Beyond its biological function, semen has been applied with
surprising frequency to metaphorical and narratological
In Images of Bliss, Murat Aydemir undertakes an original and extensive analysis of images of male orgasm and semen. In a series of detailed case studies-Aristotle's On the Generation of Animals;Andres Serrano's use of bodily fluids in his art; paintings by Holbein and Leonardo; Proust's In Search of Lost Time; hard-core pornography (both straight and gay); and key texts from the poststructuralist canon, including Lacan on the phallus, Bataille on expenditure, Barthes on bliss, and Derrida on dissemination-Aydemir traces the complex and often contradictory possibilities for imagination, description, and cognition that both the idea and the reality of semen make available.
In particular, he foregrounds the significance of male ejaculation for masculine subjectivity. More often than not, Aydemir argues, the event or object of ejaculation emerges as the instance through which identity, meaning, and gender are not so much affirmed as they are relentlessly and productively questioned, complicated, and displaced.
Combining close readings of diverse works with subtle theoreticalelaboration and akeen eye for the cultural ideals and anxieties attached to sexuality, Images of Bliss offers a convincing and long overdue critical exploration of ejaculation in Western culture.
"Images of Bliss is marked by a wry sense of humor and a commitment to cultural dissection of literary and artistic works." -Bitch Magazine
Migratory Settings: Transnational Perspectives on Place
Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex, Race Edited by Alex Rotas
A clunky and oxymoronic phrase, 'migratory settings' raises more questions than it answers. 'Migratory' indexes migration, the movement of people from one place on the planet to another. 'Setting' denotes emplacement, the manner or framework in which something, especially a jewel, a play, or a narrative, is mounted orset into place. Hence, 'migratory' alludes to movement, 'settings' to emplacement; the former indicates the 'real' political, social, and economic world, the latter an assembled scenery: fictional, staged, imagined, perceived, or aesthetic in some other way. How then can'settings' and 'migratory' be relevantly combined with each other and productively inform one another?
Our combined titular phrase, we propose, invites a shift in perspective from migration as movement from place to place to migrationas installing movement within place. Migration does not only take place between places, but also has its effects on place, in place. In brief, we suggest a view on migration in which place is neither reified nor transcended, but 'thickened' as it becomes the setting of the variegated memories, imaginations, dreams, fantasies, nightmares, anticipations, and idealizations that experiences of migration, of both migrants and native inhabitants, bring into contact with each other. Migration makes place overdetermined, turning it into the mise-en-scène of different histories.
Extending from migration, migratory traces the 'life' of migration in culture. Simultaneously, the migratory remains intimately tethered to particular settings. The oxymoronic tension between the two terms prevents the transcendence as well as the reification of either. Movement does not lead to placelessness, but to the intensification and overdetermination of place, its 'heterotopicality.' Place does not unequivocally authenticate or validate knowledge, but, shot-through with the transnational and the transcultural, exceeds it ceaselessly.
Our contributions take us to the migratory settings of a fictional exhibition; a staged political wedding; a walking tour in a museum; African appropriations of Shakespeare and Sophocles; Gollwitz, Germany; Calais, France; the body after a heart transplant; refugees' family portraiture; a garden in Vermont; the womb.
"... a complex and subtle idea that challenges assumptions about the security of place as the starting point for cultural analysis and production. ... the insights are fascinating and the book offers much for those who identify with the shift in the role that place has in the cultural and social investigation." - Chris Speed, Leonardo Online, April 2010.
"Aydemir and Rotas' introduction provides an eloquent fleshing out of migratory settings as both a theoretical and aesthetic approach. ... The explorations of aesthetic projects described in this collection move effortlessly between theme, theory, and aesthetic, so that 'theme becomes theorized and theory embodied,' creating a deeply sensate understanding in the reader of the experiences and subjective consequences of migration." - Zoë O'Reilly, Social and CulturalGeography 12: 1 (February 2011), 99-100.
A Reaction to the Fruchtl/Bal Debate
"An interdisciplinary research practice, cultural analysis
lacks an established archive. .... Therefore, [it] takes
recourse to various archives, philosophy's and others, forging
new relationships between elements in them in the attempt to
account for an object that, for the sake of analysis, is
permitted not to belong, or not belong completely, or not
belong easily. It tries to invent a new archive for each of the
objects, canonical or marginal, new or long established, that
-- Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy, 2008, no. 2.
ABSTRACT: Mieke Bal and Shahram Entekhabi's Glub (Hearts) of 2004, comprising an art film and a video installation, inquires into the Middle Eastern and North African practice of eating roasted sunflower, pumpkin and other seeds as it has taken hold in the city of Berlin. Bal has called the work an instance rather than an object of 'cultural analysis', the term that she has espoused for her critical practice. Cultural analysis engages its object in relation to theoretical concepts and socio-cultural contexts without, however, reducing it to a case or illustration of either. This essay builds on the cultural analysis that Glub carries out by addressing the practice of seed-eating, described by one commentator as a 'social event and an art form', in a number of frames. These frames overlap but do not amount to a comprehensive description of the work, adding to the density or 'thickness' of the object at stake. Initially, the work is considered in the context of Bal's recentacademic work. Further, there is discussion of Glub's peculiar and strategic rendering of Berlinian 'street life', which both suspends and reinforces the recognizability of the contemporary Western metropolis. Finally, the article addresses the ways in which the work engages with the possibilities and pitfalls of the cross-cultural translation ofan everyday cultural detail.
What's Queer Here?
Initiators: Murat Aydemir, Jaap Kooijman. The advertising slogan for the 1998 exhibition From the Corner of the Eye at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, "What's Queer Here?" brings to the fore the deployment of queer as a political signifier that refuses to identify or represent. The phrase seeks out a what rather than a who: some or other thing, phenomenon, inclination, tendency, or potential. Moreover, it binds that what to a here, suggesting that what's queer here may not necessarily be queer there, and vice versa. The cover of the exhibition catalogue shows Ugo Rondinone's Don't Live Here Anymore (1997), a photograph of a wispy guy who looks away from the camera and outside the frame, as if to displace the identifying gaze to elsewhere; or, as if to focus attention on something more interesting that is happening just outside our, but not his, field of vision. Prevalent and contested in activism and academia since the late 1980s in variegated guises, 'queer' questions and suspends the fateful bonds between what and who we like and who we are, and perhaps most productively refuses to decide in advance what is and what is not politically and/or epistemologically 'serious.' Thisprojectwill continue, critique, and extend the legacies of what has become known as 'queer theory,' critically appropriate these for our ongoing research projects, as well as propose and try out new priorities, affiliations, objects, and concerns for the field. Those may include a renewed focus on sexuality in relation to class and labor, to the state and civilsociety, to activist practices and alternatives, to postcolonial migration, tourism, and globalization, to the biopolitical discipline of the (re)production of 'healthy'bodies and minds, andtothe liberal politics of identity that enshrines, some have argued, a new 'homonormativity' in the West. Our goals are to facilitate exchange and debate between scholars working with queer theory (comfortably or uncomfortably), both within and beyond The Netherlands; to organize a future edition of ASCA's yearly Soiree meetings; and to reflectintently on what's queer here, now, in the Netherlands, in Amsterdam.
- M. Aydemir (2012). Dutch Homonationalism and Intersectionality. In E. Boehmer & S. de Mul (Eds.), The Postcolonial Low Countries: Literature, Colonialism, Multiculturalism (pp. 178-202). Plymouth: Lexington Books.
- M. Aydemir (2011). Blood brothers. In M. Aydemir (Ed.), Indiscretions: at the intersection of queer and postcolonial theory (Thamyris intersecting: place, sex, and race, 22) (pp. 161-181). Amsterdam [etc.]: Rodopi.
- M. Aydemir (2011). Introduction: Indiscretions at the sex/culture divide. In M. Aydemir (Ed.), Indiscretions: at the intersection of queer and postcolonial theory (Thamyris intersecting: place, sex, and race, 22) (pp. 9-30). Amsterdam [etc.]: Rodopi.
- M. Aydemir (2009). Il velo che svela: Jacques Lacan e l'"Angelo incarnato" = The parting veil: Lacques Lacan and the "Angel in the Flesh". In C. Pedretti (Ed.), Leonardo da Vinci: l'Angelo incarnato & Salai = the Angel in the Flesh & Salai (pp. 125-136). Foligno: CB.
- M. Aydemir (2009). In Queer Street. Frame, 22(2), 8-15.
- M. Aydemir (2009). The cum shot as period, ellipsis and question mark. In T. Stüttgen (Ed.), Post porn politics: queer-feminist perspectives on the politics of porn performance and sex-work as cultural production: symposium reader (pp. 124-137). Berlin: b_books.
- M. Aydemir & A. Rotas (Eds.). (2008). Migratory settings. (Thamyris/Intersecting: place, sex and race, 19). Amsterdam [etc.]: Rodopi.
- M. Aydemir & A. Rotas (2008). Introduction: Migratory settings. In M. Aydemir & A. Rotas (Eds.), Migratory settings (Thamyris/intersecting: place, sex, and race, 19) (pp. 7-31). Amsterdam/NewYork: Rodopi.
- M. Aydemir (2008). Staging colonialism: the mise-en-scène of the Africa Museum in Tervuren, Belgium. In M. Aydemir & A. Rotas (Eds.), Migratory settings (Thamyris/intersecting: place, sex, and race, 19) (pp. 77-97). Amsterdam/NewYork: Rodopi.
- M. Aydemir (2007). Images of bliss: ejaculation, masculinity, meaning. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
- M. Aydemir (2007). Piecemeal Translation. Art History, 30(3), 307-325.
- M. Aydemir (2006). Impressions of character: Hari Kunzru's The Impressionist. In M. Bal & B. van Eekelen (Eds.), Uncertain Territories: Boundaries in Cultural Analysis (pp. 199-218). Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi.
- M. Aydemir (2005). The Ghost of the Present: The Africa Musueum in Tervuren, Belgium. In A. Bangma (Ed.), Looking, Encountering, Staging. Rotterdam.
- M. Aydemir (2004). 'Significant Discharge': The Cum Shot and Narrativity. In M. Bal (Ed.), Narrative Theory: Concepts for Literary and Cultural Studies (pp. 297-319). New York, Londen: Routledge.
- M. Aydemir (2004). Foucaults Pijn. Krisis, 1, 54-64.
- E. Peeren & M. Aydemir (2011). Introduction. In E. Peeren & M. Aydemir (Eds.), Eighty-eight: Mieke Bal PhDs 1983-2011 (pp. 3-5). Amsterdam: ASCA Press.
- M. Aydemir (2011). Bag of bones. In E. Peeren & M. Aydemir (Eds.), Eighty-eight: Mieke Bal PhDs 1983-2011 (pp. 104-110). Amsterdam: ASCA Press.
- M. Aydemir (2010). The horizon behind us: Winterson's utopia. Simulacrum, 18(2/3), 47-51.
- M. Aydemir (2003). How to Come Differently: Barthes' Bliss between Image and Narrative. In N. Pedri (Ed.), Travelling Concepts III: Narrative, Image, Memory (pp. 163-176). Amsterdam: ASCA Press.
- M. Aydemir (2004, January 28). Images of bliss: ejaculation, masculinity, meaning. Universiteit van Amsterdam (288 pag.) (Amsterdam: In eigen beheer). Supervisor(s): prof.dr. M.G. Bal & prof.dr. E.J. van Alphen.
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