FROM CONFLICT TO HEALING

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The coordinating subproject “Bodies in Transit: From Conflict to Healing,” will examine the traumatic effects of advanced capitalism on the body, its many violent practices, and the rehabilitation and reparation processes victims creatively develop. We will also evaluate the potential of those divergent bodies towards the consolidation of posthumanist epistemologies, that is, neither anthropocentric nor androcentric ways of knowing.

Specific goals:

1. To analyse how sexed bodies are categorized and disciplined, and the consequences that violence (subjective and systemic) has on them.
2. To establish the cultural representations of the body as leading up to alternative (post)identities and new ways of relationship and citizenship.
This subproject is essentially based on the thoughts of critics such as Michel Foucault, Achille Mbembe, Julia Kristeva, Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek, and Rosi Braidotti. Its specific features are listed below:

1. Work package: Conflicts and Borders (Led by: Dr. Cuder).
Researchers: Pilar Cuder Dominguez (UHU); Rosa García Gutiérrez (UHU), and Cinta Ramblado Minero (Limerick U.).
This work package examines contemporary cultures at a macropolitical level, focusing on the representation of the gendered continuum of violence (political, economic, social) and its impact on people living in border spaces, in societies in the midst of a political transition, or undergoing civil unrest deriving from wars, dictatorships, etc. In the current complex political context after the Twin Towers attacks (9/11/2001), the abuse on male prisoners by female soldiers in Abu Ghraib, or the repeated terrorist attacks at a global scale (among other key moments in the last few decades), the female body, that traditionally was perceived solely as the victim of violence, has moved on to a new iconography. Acts of aggression which may be apparently unrelated become coherent within the frame of a discursive analysis of their common features in a postcolonial, neoliberal and capitalist regime.
2. Work package 2: The slavery legacy (Led by: Dr. Gallego)
Researchers: Mar Gallego Durán (UHU); Manuela Coppola (Instituto Universitario L’Orientale, Napoli); and Silvia Castro Borrego (UMA).
This work package is focused on the traumatic experience that represents the transit from Africa to the new world and its legacy in the contemporary artistic and cultural manifestations, bearing in mind that African bodies suffered an inhumane exploitation and alienation, which are impossible to describe. This work package studies the physical and psychical recovery as a consequence of the dispersal, the separation, the mourning and the hurt that are represented by means of diverse formulas such as the memory or the memorization, the spirituality, the solidarity, etc. Speaking specifically about the female African body, it has been pathologized and exhibited, criminalized due to its alleged sexual desire, and especially, scrutinised and disciplined, but occasionally celebrated and idealized for centuries.
3. Work package 3: Docile bodies, metamorphosis and (re)generation (Led by: Dr. Navarro).
Researchers: Antonia Navarro Tejero (UCO); Elena Jaime de Pablos (UAL); Mª Auxiliadora Pérez Vides (UHU); Beatriz Domínguez García (UHU); Mª Isabel Romero Ruiz (UMA); Rocío Carrasco Carrasco (UHU).
This work package focuses on the mechanisms of corporal and psychological discipline and punishment, but also on how cultural representations can influence the transit and metamorphosis of the bodies, which become artefacts for a new way of subjectivity and community. It examines the medicalization of pregnant and sick bodies, and how institutions (the family, Magdalene laundries, etc.) carry out processes of gender normativization. Similarly, the package explores the literary and narrative resources that attempt to trascend such processes, by creating, for instance, hybrid bodies or cyborgs. The concepts of migration, diaspora and transit are also studied, especially in post-colonial contexts such as the Irish and Indian ones, or the so-called “queer diaspora”.

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