Leeslijst x
  • Identity (Again)

  • Bodily Inscriptions, Performative Subversions

      – Judith Butler

    • Uit: Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity
    • Routledge, New York, 1990, link
  • The lived experience of the black man

      – Frantz Fanon

    • Uit: Black Skin, White Masks
    • City: Grove Press, New York, 1952, link
  • Age, Race, Class and Sex
    Women Redefining Difference

      – Audre Lorde

    • Uit: Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, pp.114-123.
    • Crossing Press, Berkeley CA, 1984, link
  • Happy Objects

      – Sarah Ahmed

    • Uit: the Affect Theory Reader (Ed. Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seighworth)
    • Duke University Press, Durham, 2010, link

Kunstenaars, ontwerpers, critici, docenten, studenten: iedereen die met kunst en ontwerp bezig is, leest, verwerft kennis en ontwikkelt interesses. As We Read wil die toegankelijk maken voor anderen, zodat je van elkaars kennis en interesses kunt leren.

Hoe we dat doen? We vragen vakgenoten en specialisten een leeslijst samen te stellen om zo hun interesses en deskundigheid met anderen te kunnen delen. En om er een inleiding bij te schrijven waarin ze hun keuzes toelichten.

Zo brengen we verschillende perspectieven samen en ontstaat een alsmaar groeiend digitaal archief. Actueel, relevant en interdisciplinair. Van essays tot beeldromans en van lezingen tot manifesten: As We Read legt een database aan, voor en door vakgenoten.




As We Read is a website with a growing collection of reading lists about art and design. The reading lists range from essays to graphic novels, from lecture transcripts to manifestos. Compiled by specialists, each published with an introduction. As We Read is a reading database created with, by and for peers. 




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Other Voices

Other Voices

Other Voices

The Read-In Series is a collaboration between the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and the Willem de Kooning Academy, for its Critical Studies minor. The central theme for the 2016–2017 academic year is identity politics, with texts by Simone de Beauvoir and Lucy Lippard as departure points and examples for familiarising participants with feminist philosophy and colonial and post-colonial studies.

The list’s ‘other voices’ derive from several authors’ writings about identity and troubles. The perspectives include being a queer female philosopher writing about identity and language and ‘gender trouble’ (Judith Butler), and a black man’s views on severe, commonplace racism and how people seem to internalise white preferences, thus suppressing their identity behind a ‘white mask’ (Frantz Fanon), to name just two. The four selected authors articulate, in their vital styles, reflections on identity – first, second, and third thoughts that invite us to question our considerations, identities, attitudes, and actions.

Identity (Again)1
Is being a woman, gay, a person of colour, or a person in between sexes and/or religions, or a combination of these and other variations that are present within in our classrooms really unproblematic for everyone? To continue or reclaim the discussion, we firstly need to look back and discuss various questions and ideas about specific concepts and troubles of identity. 

Bodily Inscriptions, Performative Subversions2
Using ‘the female body’ as a reference, this chapter confronts us with troubles concerning feminist writers like Simone de Beauvoir. By defining others and ourselves, Butler explores the language and categories we use in this distinction. In doing so, she also criticises and questions the (feminist) idea of ‘women’ as a stable concept. Is there something essentially female about the female body, or is this body, any body, its gender, and its sex always culturally and politically shaped by external sources not intrinsic to this ‘body’? From where do genders emerge? What do we mean with ‘real’ and ‘natural’ when we apply this to gender, sex, or race? What is cause, and what is effect? Referencing various philosophers, Butler delves deeper into these questions and the consequences of their answers for what we call identity, the other, and otherness.

The lived experience of the black man3
What it means to be the 'Other' is described in this text from the perspective of the author as a man being called a ‘Negro’. Fanon writes about his experiences of being seen as a black body through the white, colonial gaze. He calls this experience ‘the image of one’s own body in the third person’. The kind of identity derived from this is one that is internalised via the other who directly addresses and identifies using terms such as ‘a black person’ or even ‘a negro’ or ‘nigger’. This also leads to an internalised white gaze: the mask. In his personal, literary, and moving style, Fanon lays bare the consequences of such processes. 

Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference4
In this urgent essay, the Afro-American poet Audre Lorde addresses her contemporaries to redefine feminism: what are women doing together and to what extent are they doing it together? She articulates the problems within the feminist project through the many differences undermining its necessary solidarity. Lorde stresses the white, heterosexual, and elitist norms that dominate the discourse and field of feminism and the built-in white privilege of which many women are unaware. Since numerous ‘sisters’ remain outsiders for reasons of race or class, she calls for a more inclusive kind of feminism. 

Happy Objects in the Affect Theory Reader5
After years of investigating bad feelings, Ahmed analyses and redefines what happiness is and does. How it is related to affect (being touched by something), intention (it is about something), and to even judgment. How feelings participate in ‘making things good’. And how language plays an important role in this process of affective politics by deliberately articulating good feelings as a starting point. In this essay, the concept of ‘identity’ replaces shared affects. Happiness puts us into contact with things and in doing so we come to realise how we shape the world around us.


WdKA|WdW Read-in Series, Esma Moukhtar, Catherine Somzé, Florian Cramer, Yoeri Meessen

Since 2013, the Read-In Series is a collaboration between the Willem de Kooning Academy and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, for its Critical Studies minor. During this yearly program students are encouraged to sharpen their personal vision on the social relevance of art and culture through confrontation with theories, concepts and analytical methodologies from the philosophical tradition of ‘critical theory’. The Read-In Series consists of four close-reading sessions followed by a symposium organized with and by the students of the minor. 

Read-In Series

Esma Moukhtar (1972, Rotterdam) studied philosophy at the UvA in Amsterdam. She has written about art and film for several publications, such as de Volkskrant, and other media. She has lectured art history, theory and philosophy at the Koninklijke Academie voor Kunst en Vormgeving Den Bosch, the Willem de Kooning Academy, the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, and at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. She has worked a lot with students on thesis research as well, and still does. At the Willem de Kooning Academy she is currently involved in the Critical Studies minor, teaching critical theory and developing a new series of Read-Ins that focuses on the troubles, theories and politics of identity, such as gender, race, and sexuality. Moukhtar is working on a novel too, and is an editor for Perdu, a foundation for poetry, literature, art, and performance in Amsterdam, where she also lives.


Catherine Somzé (1977, Brussels) obtained her BA in Art History from the Complutense University of Madrid. She completed an MA in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam and an MA  in Film and Television Studies at the International School for Humanities and Social Sciences, also in Amsterdam. She was the chief art critic for Time Out Amsterdam and has written for national and international publications, including Art Pulse, ZOO Magazine, and Flash Art. She is currently a Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art at the Erasmus University College and at the Willem de Kooning Academy, both in Rotterdam, where she developed the undergraduate Critical Studies programme. She is also responsible for theory and research at the Dirty Art Department of the Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam.

Florian Cramer (1969, Berlin) is a reader in 21st-Century Visual Culture at the Creating 010 Research Center of the Willem de Kooning Academy and the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. He obtained his PhD in Comparative Literature from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2006. Recent publications include Anti-Media (nai010, 2013), ‘What Is “Post-Digital”?’ (in New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader. Ed. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Anna Watkins Fisher, and Thomas Keenan. New York: Routledge, 2015), and ‘Depression: Post-Melancholia, Post-Fluxus, Post-Communist, Post-Capitalist, Post-Digital, Post-Prozac.’ (in A Solid Injury to the Knees. Vilnius: Rupert, 2016.)

Yoeri Meessen (NL) is Associate Director of Education and Public Affairs at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. He started at Witte de With as a curator for education and theory in 2013. Meessen initially trained as a teacher of Fine Arts and Art History and holds a Master’s degree in Arts, Culture and Media from the University of Groningen, specialising in arts and social theory. His initiatives include Studium Witte de With, a higher-education platform for art and theory, and Across the Board, a long-term platform for professional development through cross-disciplinary exchanges. Meessen has developed collaborative projects with various art institutions and schools including the Dutch Art Institute, the European Artistic Research Network, and the University of Murcia. He has lectured and given workshops at various institutions and art academies in the Netherlands and abroad, and, in 2015, he was critical referent to the Annual Rotterdam Lecture of the Erasmus University. 

Leeslijsten (28)

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