Indiana University Bloomington, Cook Center, November 10-12, 2022
Conference Organizers: Teresa Kovacs & Kevin Rittberger
Diffractive World-Making: Theatre & Science Beyond the Capitalocene starts from the smallest possible constellation: one playwright, one philosopher. Berlin-based playwright Kevin Rittberger meets feminist and philosopher of science Karen Barad. On the basis of Barad’s book Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning and subsequent works, Rittberger explores the potential of a ‘diffractive theatre’ for our technoscientific age. At the same time, Barad explores our ‘troubled time/s’ and offers a queer, postcolonial critique that gives the impulse for our discussions on aesthetics and ethics. The initial encounter provides an opening through which to engage with concepts like response-ability and multi-species aesthetics, as well as with issues like colonialism, shrinking population, reproductive justice, and a critical theory for a damaged planet.
The conference itself takes up Barad’s method of diffraction and expands to an exceptional international cast of leading critics, artists, and theorists that think-with and nearby Barad and Rittberger, including McKenzie Wark, Rebecca Schneider, Tavia Nyong’o, Karin Harrasser, Ulf Otto, Bini Adamczak, Alison Calhoun, Penda Diouf, Luiza Prado, and Tzveta Kassabova.