School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen

Love is Revolting: An Interdisciplinary Symposium

17–18 May, 2019

Love is revolting. It both inspires revulsion and has revolutionary potential. From its sticky, intimate moments of boundary-crossing and home-making to its revolutionary potential in the arguments of Charles Fourier, Alexandra Kollontai, Martin Luther King Jr., and the ecosexuals, love strikes us as an ambivalent concept of pivotal importance to humans. In recent years, a growing number of thinkers have suggested that love be critically reinvigorated in both social and political thought and action. And yet, it continues to revolt (us), and this reinvigorating has yet to be done robustly and systematically.

Love is Revolting is a two-day interdisciplinary symposium at the School of Advanced Studies (SAS), University of Tyumen that invites scholars across the disciplines to engage in discussions about love. Among other topics, we encourage discussion about love and its connection to matter and bodies; its revolutionary potential for imagining new futures and modes of belonging; its ambivalence, slipperiness and grotesqueness as both a practice and concept; its relationship to power and subject-formation; and the emergence of new forms of loving in our techno-ecological age.

MAY 17


duskin drum — Love is Revolting

Margret Grebowicz — Ecology after Dark: Chernobyl's Wild Horses and the Traffic in Desire

Evgeny Grishin — Love Experiences in Early Modern Siberia




Anna Malinowska — Love Objects in Technofeelia

Tracy McDonald — How Do We Love A Gorilla?

Amber Musser — Sensual Excess: Moving Through the Flesh to Elsewhere

MAY 18


team work




plenary session

Tune-in to the online broadcast here.


The symposium is hosted and facilitated by the SAS Material Relations research group that aims to imagine new frames for ethical and ecological engagements with more-than-human materials, bodies, and creatures for the twenty-first century. The group speculates that love, broadly but critically conceived, may be an important mode of relation between humans and materials as we proceed through the twenty-first century. The participants of the symposium are invited to develop and/or rebuke this idea in a candid and open-minded scholarly discussion.

The first day will consist of talks by invited scholars from various disciplines and countries. On the second day, we will hold two multidisciplinary roundtables composed of members of the Material Relations research group, other invited participants, and the speakers from day one. The goal of these roundtables is to discuss methodologies for approaching love as a topic of scholarly research, the differences of these methods across various disciplines, and love’s potential as a practice and concept for imagining political futures. These roundtables will be moderated by members of the Material Relations research group. Questions to be considered during the roundtables will be distributed to participants in the weeks leading up to the symposium; however, participants are encouraged to deviate from the distributed questions as well.

The ultimate goal of the workshop is to find a path forward for the research on materiality and love, but even more so for an interdisciplinary rapport.

Proposed questions for roundtable discussion:


1 Anna Malinowska, Visiting Professor (via Fulbright), New School for Social Research; Professor of English at Silesian University in Katowice, Poland; Editor of The Materiality of Love: Essays on Affection and Cultural Practice (Routledge, 2017) and Materiality and Popular Culture: The Popular Life of Things (Routledge, 2016). Evgeny Grishin, a Founding Professor and Researcher in the Material Relations research group, the School of Advanced Studies, UTMN; a historian of Europe and Russia in the period of early modernity with particular interests in language, religion, and materiality. In 2017 Evgeny earned his PhD degree with honors in History from the University of Kansas. 4
2 Amber Musser, Associate Professor of American Studies, George Washington University; author of Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance (NYU Press, 2018) and Sensational Flesh: Race, Power, and Masochism (NYU Press, 2014). Margret Grebowicz, Professor and Researcher, the School of Advanced Studies, UTMN; an environmental philosopher researching exhaustion and desire, as bodies, places, relationships, and meanings interact at different levels of life; author of four books: ‘Whale Song’ (Bloomsbury Academic P), ‘The National Park to Come’ (Stanford University P), ‘Why Internet Porn Matters’ (Stanford University P), and ‘Beyond the Cyborg: Adventures with Donna Haraway’ /with Helen Merrick/ (Columbia University P). 5
3 duskin drum, a Founding Professor and Researcher in the Material Relations research group, the School of Advanced Studies, UTMN; an interdisciplinary scholar, artist, performer, and woodsman. In 2017, he completed a doctorate in Performance Studies with designated emphases in Native American Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at University of California, Davis. Tracy McDonald, Professor of History, McMaster University, Canada; author of Face to the Village: The Riazan Countryside under Soviet Rule, 1921-1930 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011) and filmmaker. 6