“I think the Gendered Mimesis project is really exciting because it’s the kind of sibling project to another European Research Council grant funded project called Homo Mimeticus. And that involves a group of people that have been looking at the philosophy of mimesis, which goes all the way back to Plato, but also has a legacy and posts-structuralism through Nietzsche. And yes, the gender mimesis project is focusing on gender and trying to understand alternative genealogy, so the subject in relation to gendered beings. But this other project that’s associated with it has people working in classics, has people working on Nietzsche, has people working in new materialisms, all through the problematic of mimesis. So I feel like now that I’ve learned more about the philosophical concept of mimesis, and how it structures not just human life, individually, but also collectively, that seems to me to be a very rich concept to take forward, as I go on. Also, the Gendered Mimesis project has like a group of researchers working with it. So I just feel very excited about it right now, because I’m learning so much from them”.
Gendered Mimesis Panel at the fifth SIP Conference: “Vita Mimetica. Simulations, Inclinations, Embodiment”.
Willow Verkerk’s talk at the “Mimetic Inclinations” conference
The paper proposes a mimetic return to the Kantian subject through the dissonant figure of the Marquis de Sade’s Juliette. It brings together Simone de Beauvoir’s reading of Sade and Adriana Cavarero’s criticism of Kant to show that Juliette’s sadism is a problem distinctive to the denial of mimetic inclination. It argues that Juliette position, as one legacy of the enlightened subject, requires us to take seriously the material implications of a human ideal who is uninterested in love.
“This article discusses the notion of the fluidity of sexual identity in light of Luce Irigaray’s account of sexual difference. I examine the historicity of sexual identity fluidity in relation to femininity as discussed in Irigaray’s second-wave feminism in order to show that the concept of sexual fluidity has to be configured by the concept of sexual difference if it wants to be productive, creative, and transformative. I will advance this claim with the help of Irigaray’s dual (reproductive and productive) notion of mimesis, which will allow me to distinguish between the ontology of sexual difference and the ontology of sexual fluidity. I will show that, from Irigaray’s perspective, the philosophical starting point to think sexual identity should not be sexual difference vs. fluidity but rather sexual dissymmetry vs. symmetry. On this account, one ought to acknowledge the historical, symbolic, and material reality of sexual difference.”