Immaterial Matters, or the Unconscious of Materialism: A Conversation with Elizabeth Grosz
Mercier, Thomas Clément
In this conversation, which took place across several months in the year 2021, Elizabeth Grosz describes her position with respect to “new materialism” and “the material turn”: while she emphasizes the necessity of materialist thought in the current situation marked by a global pandemic, she also stresses the equal importance of what she calls “the incorporeal”: an excess in and of matter, materiality’s heterogeneous virtuality, differentiality and becoming-other. Grosz describes the incorporeal as mutually implicated with materiality in a way that eschews both monism and dualism. The conversation roughly follows five topics: 1. How does one conceive of ontology without fixity? 2. How does matter “make sense”? 3. Can we think sexual differences beyond cisgender binarism and oppositional dualism? 4. What are the ethico-political implications of a materialist thought predicated on becoming and immanence? 5. Is psychoanalysis compatible with materialism, and is there a materiality of the unconscious? In the course of this exceptional interview, Grosz discusses the works of Jacques Derrida, Donna Haraway, Sigmund Freud, Luce Irigaray, Karen Barad, Friedrich Nietzsche, and of course Gilles Deleuze, among many others...