2018, Sun, May 27

Zairong Xiang: Transdualism: The A/history of Yinyang

Transdualism offers an opportunity to dwell below (not beyond) “dualism,” that is, below the logic of either/or. It intends to formulate a critique of dualism without relying on a dualistic model of critique, particularly in what concerns the question of the gendered body. The talk will first explore the notion of “transdualism” by performing a decolonial and de-straightened reading of the concept of yinyang as it is embedded in its etymology, related religious, medical, and philosophical texts, as well as its transformation through history. It will also look at several moments in modern time when yinyang is studied or evoked, especially in Europe, starting from the 1930s onwards when important works on, and translations of, Chinese philosophy became available. The talk will conclude with a reflection, informed by yinyang’s (mis)apprehension as well as its queer/trans and decolonial potential, on the questions of temporalities, and the politics of knowledge in a contemporary climate of stagnation and antagonism.

Zairong Xiang is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Potsdam University with the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Research Training Group Minor Cosmopolitanisms. He has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the binational cotutelle at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and Université de Perpignan Via Domitia. From 2014 to 2016, he was Research Fellow at the ICI Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin. He has published on feminist theology, camp and film, decolonization of translation, queer theory, and the darkroom. His first book Queer Ancient Way is forthcoming. He is co-editor of the special issue Hyperimage for 新美术: Journal of National Academy of Art (February 2018) and of “The Ontology of the Couple” for GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (forthcoming 2019).

Part of the conference Deep Time and Crisis, c. 1930