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Birgit M. Kaiser, Kathrin Thiele: Forms of Critique, Modes of Combat
Forms of Critique, Modes of Combat
(p. 95 – 116)

Birgit M. Kaiser, Kathrin Thiele

Forms of Critique, Modes of Combat

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  • criticism
  • aesthetics

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Kathrin Thiele

Kathrin Thiele

is Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Critical Theory at Utrecht University. Trained trans-disciplinarily in gender studies, sociology, literary studies and critical theory, her research focuses on questions of ethics and politics from queer feminist, decolonial and posthuman(ist) perspectives. Her published work intervenes in contemporary feminist debates around (sexual) differences, de/coloniality and new materialism/posthumanisms, with specific attention to questions of relationality, implicatedness and entanglements. Together with Birgit M. Kaiser, she founded and coordinates the international research network Terra Critica: Interdisciplinary Network for the Critical Humanities. ­Kathrin Thiele’s most recent publications are “Biopolitics, Necro­politics, Cosmopolitics: Feminist and Queer Interventions,” a special issue of the Journal of Gender Studies 29:1 (2020), co-edited with Christine Quinan, and “The Ends of Being Human? Returning (To) The Question,” a special issue of philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism 8:1 (2018), co-edited with B. M. ­Kaiser). Her most recent co-edited book publications are, with Birgit M. Kaiser and Mercedes Bunz, Symptoms of the Planetary Condition: A Critical Vocabulary (Meson Press, 2017) and, with Rosemarie ­Buikema and ­Liedeke Plate, Doing Gender in Media, Art and Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 2017).

Other texts by Kathrin Thiele for DIAPHANES
Sami Khatib (ed.), Holger Kuhn (ed.), ...: Critique: The Stakes of Form

Critique is a form of thinking and acting. It is determined by its objects, yet never accesses them immediately but is always mediated through its own forms of (re)presentation. Since the end of the 18th century, there has been a dynamization and fluidization of the understanding of form, as topoi such as the break, the marginalization, the tearing and opening indicate. However, these multifarious attempts to “build on the structure through demolition” (Benjamin) testify to the dependence of all articulation on the forms of (re)presentation [“Darstellung”]. As a philosophical problem, the question of form arises in critical theory from Marx to Adorno. Since the 1960s, literary practices have proliferated which generate their critical statements less argumentatively than through the programmatic use of formal means. At the same time, the writing self, along with its attitudes, reflections, affects and instruments, visibly enters the critical scene—whereas the theatrical scene as a stage of critique has been contested intensively during the 20th century. This volume examines how the interdependence of critique, object, and form translates into critical stances, understood as learnable, reproducible gestures, which bear witness to changing conditions and media of critical practice.