Artists

Mara Lee

Mara Lee is a Swedish poet, novelist and scholar in the field of literary composition, poetry and prose. Her most recent publication is the poetry collection Kärleken och hatet (Bonniers 2018) in which poetic, narrative, discursive and essayistic language conjoin. In her scholarly work, Lee’s main research areas are 20th/21st century feminist post- and decolonial theory with a special focus on decolonial poetics, women’s writing, and theories of embodiment, agency and performativity. Other fields of interest are queer temporality, desire/gender/sexuality. In her PhD dissertation När andra skriver. Skrivande som motstånd, ansvar och tid (Glänta 2014) Lee argues for a redefinition of Otherness in relation to temporality and creativity. Lee is currently working on an artistic research project on affects and racialization, entitled Loving Others, Othering Love: A Toolbox for Postcolonial and Feminist Artistic Practices.

Work

The Writing Of Others: Writing Conceived As Resistance, Responsibility And Time (2014)

How would a writer describe responsibility in writing, and in what ways could writing be conceived as resistance? One of the fundamental convictions in The writing of Others: Writing conceived as resistance, responsibility and time, is that words do things, and that the definition of the performative qualities of literary and poetic language can not be confined to the mere act, but to an act that is also an event with the force to transform our relation the other.

Mara Lee’s dissertation is committed to doing theory, poetically, by engaging in the empirical experience of writing, with an emphasis on the significance of bodily and sensory knowledge. The French literary tradition of écriture féminine with precursors Hélène Cixous and Julia Kristeva constitutes a crucial reference as this tradition stresses the importance of poetic language in knowledge production. Yet, writing écriture féminine for the third millennium entails further thinking within this very tradition, as Other times are now prevailing. Others and times are precisely the keys to this elaboration of the tradition of écriture féminine, inscribing postcolonial thinking into the writing experience and focusing on the question of temporality.

The writers Trinh T. Minh-ha and Gloria Anzaldúa are both of vital importance for the articulation of a feminist point of view combined with postcolonial criticism that is steadily anchored in literary and linguistic grounds. Regarding the focus on temporality, Lee’s research aims at two things: on the one hand displacing and analyzing “old” theoretical concepts as for instance das Unheimliche and mimicry, and on the other hand creating and coining new temporal figurations. These new figurations – the last hour, the tearing moment, the shared Schmertzpunkt and the arrested time – provide embodied theoretical concepts and point towards the intersection of resistance, responsibility and time. What follows throughout Lee’s research, is how the notion of responsibility is explored and if and how the question of Others might be a specific way of being responsible in writing.