Leerom Medovoi

“Biopolitical Variations and the Implications for Critique”

This talk argues that the dominant version of biopolitical analysis that prevails in contemporary criticism bears certain limitations that are not dissimilar to the grounds for which critique has been called into question.  Grounded in a paradigm of sovereignty that also undergird notions of textual authority, biopolitical theory often loses sight of the openings in the analysis of power that motivated its original elaboration.  The talk will advocate for a non-sovereign account of biopolitics, suggesting that such an approach points the way toward a more dialectical approach to criticism that does not abandon critique, but keeps it in a necessary tension with forms of critical positivity.