Meltem Ahiska, Professor of Sociology, Boğaziçi University, Turkey

Athena Athanasiou, Professor of Social Anthropology, Panteion University, Greece

Mariana Botey, Associate Professor in Latin American Modern/Contemporary Art History, UC, San Diego, USA

Natalia Brizuela, Associate Professor, Film & Media and Spanish & Portuguese, UC Berkeley, USA

Victoria Collis-Buthelezi, Senior Lecturer, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Irmgard Emmelhainz, Independent writer, scholar, and translator, Mexico City, Mexico

Alfonso Fierro, Graduate Student, Department of Spanish & Portuguese and Program in Critical Theory, UC Berkeley, USA

María Antonia González Valerio, Professor of Philosophy, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico

Banu Karaca, Mercator-IPC Fellow, Istanbul Policy Center, Sabanci University, Turkey

Rosaura Martínez, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico

Pedro J. Rolón Machado, Graduate Student in Department of Comparative Literature and Program in Critical Theory, University of California, Berkeley; Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, USA

Leticia Sabsay, Assistant Professor of Gender and Contemporary Culture, LSE Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK; Research Associate, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Elena Tzelepis, Assistant Professor, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

Françoise Vergès, Global South(s) Chair, Collège d’études mondiales, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, France


Participant Biographies


Meltem Ahiska is Professor of Sociology at Boğaziçi University. She has written and edited a number of books, including Occidentalism in Turkey: Questions of Modernity and National Identity in Turkish Radio Broadcasting. Her articles and essays on Occidentalism, social memory, monuments, national identity, gender, and feminism have appeared in various journals and edited volumes. She has been in the editorial collectives of Akıntıya KarşıZeminDefterPazartesi journals. She is a member of the editorial board of the e-journal Red Thread.

Athena Athanasiou is Professor of Social Anthropology and Gender Theory at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Greece. Among her publications are the books: Agonistic Mourning: Political Dissidence and the Women in Black (Edinburgh University Press, 2017); Life at the Limit: Essays on Gender, Body and Biopolitics (Athens, 2007); Crisis as a ‘State of Exception’ (Athens, 2012); and (with Judith Butler) Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (Polity Press, 2013). She co-edited (with Elena Tzelepis) Rewriting Difference: Luce Irigaray and ‘the Greeks’ (SUNY Press, 2010). Her publications include also articles and collective volumes on feminist/queer theory, biopolitics, corporealities, memory, the politics of dissent, criticality, and radical democracy. She is currently working on a manuscript on criticality and politics as the art of the im/possible. Athanasiou has been a fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Difference, at Columbia University. She is a member of the editorial advisory board of the journals Critical Times and Feminist Formations.

Mariana Botey is an art historian, curator, and artist born in Mexico City. She is an Associate Professor in Latin American Modern/Contemporary Art History in the Visual Arts Department of University of California, San Diego. She received her MFA in Studio Art and Ph.D. in Visual Studies from the University of California, Irvine. She also obtained an MFA from the Studio Art Program at the same institution and a B.A.H. from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London. Her book Zonas de Disturbio: Espectros del México Indígena en la Modernidad is published by Siglo XXI Editores. From 2009-2011 she was academic director for the graduate theory seminar Zonas de Disturbio at the University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC) in UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), and a research fellow at the CENIDIAP-INBA (National Center for Research, Information and Documentation of Fine Arts). Botey was also part of the Juan José Gurrola’s theatre company, “Teatro Estudio G”, where she worked as an actress, participated in workshops, wrote and constructed the play for five years; accordingly, her artwork has a strong reference to Gurrola theater. Her experimental films and documentaries have shown at the Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Reina Sofia, Madrid; The San Diego Museum of Art; El Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; REDCAT, Los Angeles; and Anthology Film Archives, New York; among many other museums, galleries, and festivals. Since 2009 she is a founding member of the editorial and curatorial committee of The Red Specter, and since 2011, of Zona Crítica, an editorial collaboration between Siglo XXI Editores, UNAM, and UAM. Other publications include Estética y Emancipación: Fantasma, Fetiche, Fantasmagoría (Siglo XXI Editores, 2014) and MEX/LA: “Mexican” Modernism(s) in Los Angeles, 1930-1985 (HATJECANTZ, 2012). She lives and works in San Diego, California and Mexico City.

Natalia Brizuela is Associate Professor in the departments of Film & Media and Spanish & Portuguese at UC Berkeley, where she is also associated with the Programs in Critical Theory and in Gender and Women’s Studies. She is the Director of Berkeley’s Arts Research Center (2018-2019). Her work focuses on photography, film, contemporary art, critical theory and aesthetics from Latin America and the Global South. Brizuela is the author of three books on photography: Photography and Empire; After Photography; and The Matter of Photography in the Americas. She is also the co-editor of a special issue of the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies (2015) on photographers Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola, and of a book of essays on experimental writer Osvaldo Lamborghini (2008). She has recently completed editing a book of essays on Brazilian documentary filmmaker Eduardo Coutinho, and is currently at work on a study of time as critique in contemporary audio-visual practices from the Global South. She is co-editor of the book series Critical South (Polity). She has curated a number of exhibitions in the United States and Argentina, among them The Matter of Photography in the Americas (Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, 2018) and No sé (El templo del sol) (Parque de la Memoria, Buenos Aires, 2014).

Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi is Senior Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Johannesburg. Over the last three years she held a joint appointment at PARI (Public Affairs Research Institute) and WiSER, dividing her time between both Institutes. She has taught at the University of Cape Town and was inaugural Director of the South African program of the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity, in partnership with Columbia University and Atlantic Philanthropies to bring together scholars, activists and artists whose work shares a commitment to disrupting and dismantling anti-Black racism, with fellows coming from the United States and South Africa. Victoria co-convenes the National Institute of the Humanities (NIHSS) Catalytic Project (2016-2018) entitled “Other Universals,” which focuses on intellectual connections across India, the Caribbean and Africa and the recently awarded Mellon supranational iteration of “Other Universals.” Her current book project, Before Nation: Black Solidarity Before the Rise of Anti-Colonial Nationalism, excavates Black globalism in Cape Town at the dawn of the 20th century and its investments in empire thinking. She has published in Small AxeCallaloo, and guest edited The Black Scholar. She holds a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Irmgard Emmelhainz is an independent translator, writer and researcher based in Mexico City. Her work about film, the Palestine Question, art, culture and neoliberalism has been translated to Chinese, German, Italian, Norwegian, French, English, Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew and Serbian and has been published in an array of international publications. She has presented it at an array of international venues including the Graduate School of Design at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2014) the March Meeting at Sharjah, the Walter Benjamin in Palestine Conference (2015), the New School and Americas Society (2016), SBC Gallery, Montreal (2016),  University of California in San Diego, ArtBo, Bogotá, School of Visual Arts, New York, Curatorial Summit (2017), University of Texas at Dallas (2018), and The Munch Museum (Oslo, 2018). Her book in Spanish, The Tyranny of Common Sense: Mexico’s Neoliberal Conversion, came out in 2016 with a preface by Franco (Bifo) Berardi. The Sky is Incomplete: Travel Chronicles in Palestine was published by Taurus Mexico last year, and Jean-Luc Godard’s Political Filmmaking is forthcoming next Fall with Palgrave Macmillan.

Alfonso Fierro is a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Program in Critical Theory. He studies modern literature, urbanism, and culture in Latin America. His current project focuses on urban utopias in postrevolutionary Mexico (1920s-1960s). He has published articles in academic and non-academic journals such as Discurso VisualArquineTierra Adentro, and Cuadrivio. In 2018, he published the novel Una línea que cae y se deshace (Camelot América).

María Antonia González Valerio is Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature and teaches in the postgraduate programs in Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Art History and Fine Arts at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). She is head of the research group Arte+Ciencia which brings together artists, humanists, and scientists to produce educational forums, specialized theoretical research, artistic creation, and exhibitions. She is the author of the books Cabe los límites. Escritos sobre filosofía natural desde la ontología estética (México: UNAM/Herder, 2016), Un tratado de ficción(México: Herder, 2010) and El arte develado (México: Herder, 2005). She has coordinated several edited volumes, most recently Sin origen/Sin semilla (México: UNAM/Bonilla editores, 2016) and Pròs Bíon: Reflexiones naturales sobre arte, ciencia y filosofía(México: UNAM, 2015). González coordinates the artistic collective “BIOS Ex machinA: Taller de fabricación de lo humano y lo no humano,” whose work on transgenic and biotechnological art has exhibited in Mexico, Portugal and Belgium. She has curated many exhibitions, including “Sin origen/Sin semilla (Without origin/Without Seed),” the first transgenic and biotech art exhibition in Mexico (MUAC-MUCA Roma, 2012), and “Bioartefactos: Desgranar lentamente un maíz,” on the subject of transgenic and criollo maize (MACO, Oaxaca, 2014).

Banu Karaca is an anthropologist working at the intersection of political anthropology, art and aesthetics, nationalism and cultural policy, museums and commemorative practices. She is currently a Mercator-IPC Fellow at the Istanbul Policy Center (Sabanci University, Istanbul). Her manuscript The National Frame: State Violence and Aesthetic Practice in Turkey and Germany examines the entrenchment of the art world in state violence. Banu’s ongoing research centers on how “lost,” dispossessed, and misattributed artworks have shaped the practice of writing art history in Turkey. Some of her recent publications interrogate freedom of expression in the arts, the visualization of gendered memories of war and political violence, visual literacy, and the legacies of Nazi-looted art in German arts institutions. She is the co-founder of Siyah Bant, a research platform that researches and documents censorship in the arts in Turkey.

Rosaura Martínez Ruiz is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). She is a member of the National System of Researchers in Mexico (SNI) and serves as the coordinator of the research project, “Philosophers after Freud” (UNAM, 2013-2016). She is the author of Eros: más allá de la pulsión de muerte (2018), Freud y Derrida: escritura y psique (2013) and the editor of Filósofos después de Freud (2016). She has published several articles on the intersections between psychoanalysis and deconstruction, which include “Deconstrucción como acción política: el imperativo del másallá del másallá” Debates y combates 2(4) (2012), “Freud and Derrida: writing and speculation (or when the future irrupts in the present)” Filozofskivestnik 36 (2015), and “The Freudian Psychic Apparatus: A Bio-politics of resistance and alteration” The Undecidable Unconscious.  A Journal of Psychoanalysis and Deconstruction 2 (2015). In 2016, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Program in Critical Theory of the University of California, Berkeley and in 2017 she received the award for research in the humanities by the Mexican Science Academy. She also serves on the Board of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs.

Pedro J. Rolón (B.A. in Literature, Yale University, 2014) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Comparative Literature department and the Program in Critical Theory at UC Berkeley. He is a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow. Rolón is interested in the history and transformation of the senses, postcolonial sensoriums, liquid poetics, and, more broadly, the relationship between aesthetic experiences and the epistemological fields opened up by poetic, visual and auditory experiments. Recently, he has been reading poetry and other aesthetic objects of the 19th through 21st centuries in North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean to think about the ways in which particular aesthetic relations to matter (to water, islands, geography, geology, mangroves) grant a form––a sense––to the discursive organization and emergence of possible political life.

Leticia Sabsay is Assistant Professor of Gender and Contemporary Culture at the LSE Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK and Research Associate at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Prior to this appointment, she held a lectureship at the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London, and was a research associate at the Department of Politics and International Studies, The Open University, appointed to the European Research Council Project, “Citizenship after Orientalism.” Prior to her experience in the UK, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Freie Universität in Berlin (Germany), and was a lecturer at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina). She has published extensively in English and Spanish on issues of sexual citizenship, sexual diversity and the politics of recognition, sex work, transnational processes of sexual democratization, cultural translation and imaginaries of sexual justice, performativity and visual culture, including essays in Citizenship Studies, Cultural Studies, and popular journals such as Open Democracy. Sabsay is author of The Sexual Imaginary of Freedom (Palgrave, 2016), and has co-edited with Judith Butler and Zeynep Gambetti, Vulnerability in Resistance (Duke, f2016). In Spanish, she authored two books, the last of which, Fronteras Sexuales: Espacio Urbano, Cuerpos y Ciudadanía (Paidos, 2011), was widely recognized as a key contribution to gender studies in Latin America. She is a member of the Gino Germani Research Institute for Social Sciences (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina). She is an active member of many editorial boards, including Debates y Combates (Buenos Aires), Comment s’en Sortir, Revue de la Société Internationale de Philosophie Féministe et de Théorie Queer(Paris VIII, France) Debate Feminista (PUEG-UNAM, Mexico). She is a series editor for Palgrave’s Thinking Gender in Transnational Times. With Natalia Brizuela, she co-chairs the Polity Press book series, Critical South, of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs.

Elena Tzelepis completed her Ph.D. in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research, New York. She is Assistant Professor at the University of Thessaly, Volos. She works on critique and social change, on the intersections of ethics, politics and art, and the politics of difference. Tzelepis’ publications include Antigone’s Antinomies: Critical Readings of the Political (edited, 2014, in Greek) and Rewriting Difference: Luce Irigaray and “the Greeks” (co-edited with Athena Athanasiou, SUNY Press, 2010). She has taught at Columbia University, New York, and held visiting positions at the American University in Cairo, Cairo, and the Public University system of Greece. She has held research positions at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University, and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London. 

Françoise Vergès, from Réunion Island, is a feminist and antiracist activist, who received her Ph.D. in Political Theory from the University of California, Berkeley. She holds the Global South(s) Chair at the Collège d’études mondiales, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris. Vergès who has written on the living memories of slavery and colonialism, Fanon and Césaire, on republican coloniality, racial politics on Black women’s wombs, antiracist political feminism, and served as president of the Committee for the Memory of Slavery in France. She has curated exhibitions and workshops with artists, and organizes visits in French museums around colonial history. Vergès has directed two films on Caribbean authors. She is a member of Humanities Across Borders: Asia and Africa in the World, a research program of the International Institute for Asian Studies funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.