RR – Universalisms: what binds us, divides us (?)

nY and Veem House for Performance in Amsterdam, two discursive machines, team up for a reading group research new forms of universality. Starting Tuesday the 25th of september, taking the encyclopedic nY#37 on new universalisms as our guide, we will explore new possibilities for solidarity, in an attempt to move towards way of thinking that goes beyond critique on Universalism only.

In this Reading & Writing group, we turn to universalities as a possible political horizon, studying and discussing along with selections of texts from Judith Halberstam, Maggie Nielson, Édouard Glissant, Lauren Berlant, Naomi Klein, Koleka Putuma, and others. Eventually participants are invited to bring forward their own universal concept or the critique thereof and write a text about it coached by one of nY’s editors, and possibly published in nY online.

Secure your place via the website of Veem House for Performance.  Costs are 5,- euro per session of if you become a Housemate its for free. On October 9th we make a little ‘expedition’ to Perdu, to see one of the most important poets of today perform: Koleka Putuma!


Session 1, September 25, ⬅️➡️ Having it Both Ways
Judith Halberstam, Queer Art of Failure
Maggie_nelson, The Argonauts (fragments)

Session 2, October 2, On Relationality & Love
Édouard Glissant: ‘Open boat’ from Politics of Relation
Michael Hardt & Lauren Berlant: ‘On the Risk of New Relationality’
(on LOVE actually!)

Session 3, October 9, Collective Amnesia
Visit to Perdu to hear the inspiring Koleka Putuma read from her poetry during the event An Intimate Approach | We Have to Come to Stir the Other World Here

Session 4, October 16,  Let Them Drown
(Universal longing for a radical altered homeland)
Naomi Klein: ‘Let Them Drown, the Violence of Othering in a Warming World’
+ still to be defined piece of fiction

Session 5, October 23, Tactile Solidarity (and Radical Listening)
Flora Woudstra (Alÿs Alÿs) invited guest, who will tell about her own text ‘Digging for Silence’, brings works by a.o. Koleka Putuma and Hypatia Vourloumis to read together, while exploring her practice of radical listening.

Session 6, October 30, Your Horizons
Sharing of your own writings and proposals for the Encyclopedia of Universalisms.

We hope to see you there!