Sexual Difference in a Time of Terror

Ellen Mortensen
Nov 7, 2013 | 12:00pm
Lunchtime Lecture
101 Barnard Hall

Sexual Difference in a Time of Terror event image

On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people and wounded many others in a bombing and mass shooting in Norway motivated by his extreme right-wing ideology. In his manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” Breivik identified cultural Marxism, Islam, and feminism as the main causes of Europe’s decay. Arguing for the superiority of the white, European race, and the dangers of immigration and religious plurality for Europe’s future, Breivik denied the value of difference, be it sexual, cultural, or religious. Approaching these terrorist attacks from the perspective of Luce Irigaray’s philosophy, Ellen Mortensen argues that Breivik’s extremist ideology operates in alignment with Western metaphysics that posits the masculine, European subject as “the lord of the earth,” denying all differences other than the ones hailed by white, male, Christian supremacists.

Mortensen is the director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway, and is currently a BCRW Transnational Research Fellow.

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