Cite as: Christoph Holzhey, Introduction to the roundtable desire Conserves desire Transgresses desire: On the Paradoxical Politics of Desire, ICI Berlin, 4 February 2015, video recording, mp4, 06:20 <>
4 Feb 2015


By Christoph Holzhey

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:06:20
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Roundtable

desire Conserves desire Transgresses desire: On the Paradoxical Politics of Desire / Antke Engel, Jule Jakob Gorvin, Christoph Holzhey

Desire is bound up with structural inequalities and normative violence. Even when it seeks to resist them, it keeps risking to reproduce hierarchies. While taking seriously the power analysis of desire, Engel, Govrin, and Holzhey have organized the lecture series ‘Desire’s Multiplicity and Serendipity’ in order to explore the potentials and limits of desire as a transformative force. They propose to draw on theories asserting desire’s multiplicity and to face desire’s paradoxes by calling on serendipity, allowing for fortunate errans. Starting the conversation with their different understandings of serendipity and the politics of desire in psychic, social, and structural registers, they wish to engage in a discussion with the public: What are the potentials of happenstance and erring when trying to leave the dis/comfort zone of identity and normative forms of intimacy and sexuality? How can one find openings for queer reconceptualizations of desire?

Antke Engel is an independent scholar working in the fields of queer, feminist and poststructuralist theory, political philosophy, and cultural politics. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy at Potsdam University in 2001, and since 2006 she is director of the Institute for Queer Theory (Berlin)

Jule Jakob Govrin is a Ph.D candidate in philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin and a research assistant of the Institute for Queer Theory, Berlin. In her Ph.D. project she is focusing on the epistemological entanglements of desire and economy. Her research interests include political and social philosophy, theories of desire, sexuality studies, poststructuralist philosophies.

Christoph Holzhey is the founding director of the ICI Berlin. He received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics (1993) and another one in German literature with a dissertation on the critical potential of paradoxical pleasures in aesthetics (2001).


ICI Berlin
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Antke Engel
Jule Jakob Gorvin
Christoph Holzhey

Organized by

ICI Berlin
Institute for Queer Theory
ICI Berlin in collobaration with the Institute for Queer Theory