Bard Events Calendar

Gender and Sexuality Studies Program Presents

Friday, April 21, 2017
Is the Private Political? A Colloquium on Natality, Laboring, and the Body
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hosted by the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College
Hannah Arendt’s definition of freedom requires our appearance and participation in the public sphere. More fundamentally, it involves our capacity to bring about “the birth of a new world.” Feminist movements since the suffragettes have appropriated this modernist “revolutionary pathos of the absolutely new” to call for a right to freedom. Against their exclusion from politics, women have claimed the political arena to invent new relations between the sexes and redefine femininity as such. Arendt’s approach to natality, labor, and the social question has been employed in thinking about the place of life and reproduction within society and politics.

This colloquium seeks to give a forum to recent debates on the utility of Arendtian concepts for radical feminist and queer politics. Beyond the fixation on Arendt’s division of the private, social, and political realms of life, we would like to discuss the way her concepts of revolution, freedom, natality, and appearance call into question the way sexed bodies appear in public. How can Arendt’s concept of natality serve as a point of intersection where different political agendas meet: from the politics of the body and of birthing, to the possibility of new beginnings, to the inclusion of formerly disenfranchised peoples? Can natality be utilized to form allegiances across gendered, racial, economic, and legal differences? What are the implications of understanding birth, an act coded as private and yet heavily regulated, as already political? How might we reconsider biopolitics from the perspective of natality? 

Location: Reem-Kayden Center (RKC) Room 103 - Laszlo Z. Bito ‘60 Auditorium [MAP] About RKC, click HERE.
Date: Friday, April 21
Time: 1pm-7pm (Subject to change)

For more information, list of speakers, and schedule, please visit:

Free & Open to the Public

For more information, call 845-758-6822, e-mail,
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Time: 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium