Cosmopolitical Readings. Olatz González Abrisketa and Susana Carro Ripalda


Exposición “Anywhen” Philippe Parreno. Tate Modern, Londres. 2016. Olatz González Abrisketa

Photo: Exhibition “Anywhen” Philippe Parreno. Tate Modern, Londres. 2016. Olatz González Abrisketa

Bulegoa z/b is beginning a series of readings coordinated by Olatz González Abrisketa and Susana Carro Ripalda around the term “Cosmopolitics”.

The term “Cosmopolitics” was proposed by Isabelle Stengers in 1996 to suggest a way of doing politics that would disallow the existence of a “common world”, the “common good”, or “good intentions”; and hence the authority of certain voices in representing what was considered a single world. Stengers defends the existence of diverging worlds and multiple voices, which she encourages to converge in discussions that make no reference to transcendent generalisations or predetermined frameworks; but that should be relevant to particular questions and not necessarily give rise to agreements, but rather to new forms of thought that belong to nobody and where nobody is “right”. This cosmos of heterogeneously constructed assemblages serves as a framework for a series of proposals that extend political agency to other beings and worlds beyond the human, forcing us to think of how these worlds participate in our own constitution.

The sessions proposed for these cosmopolitical readings will look at what this conceptual framework is giving rise to in the field of anthropology, and intend to generate dialogue with other disciplines like art, sociology, philosophy, biology or politics.

Sessions will last from two to three hours. An introduction by the coordinators will be followed by a discussion of the session’s proposed text, around a series of questions: To what extent is the idea of cosmopolitics a viable one? How to recognise and include “invisible” collectives or other beings in our decision-making processes? Are other ways of doing politics possible?


16 March 2017. Isabelle Stengers (2014). “The cosmopolitical proposal” (“La propuesta cosmopolítica”) Revista Pleyade, 14, pp. 17-41.

6 April 2017. Donna Haraway (2016) The Companion Species Manifesto (Manifiesto de las especies de compañia). Ed. Sans Soleil. (Chapters I, II and III, pp 9-72).

4 May 2017. Marisol de la Cadena (2010). “Indigenous Cosmopolitics in the Andes”. Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 25, Issue 2, pp. 334–370.

1 June 2017. Mario Blaser (2016). “Is another cosmopolitics possible?” Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 31, Issue 4, pp. 545–570.

Readings must be done individually BEFORE each session in order to move on to group discussion during the session itself.

To take part and be sent the texts for the sessions, please contact

Susana Carro Ripalda (Bilbao, 1965) is an anthropologist, and has taught at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Durham Universities. She is currently a researcher with the Bizkaia:talent programme at the Centre for Applied Ethics, Universidad de Deusto. Her work focuses on studies of science and technology, bioethics, interspecific relations, personhood and relationality, all in specific comparative international contexts (Mexico, Brazil, India, Britain and the Basque Country).

Olatz González Abrisketa (Bilbao, 1973) is an anthropologist and professor with the Universidad del Pais Vasco/EHU. As a researcher for the group “Identidad y cambio social”, she mainly focuses on sport and gender. She alternates written and audiovisual production in works such as the book “Pelota Vasca: un ritual, una estética” (2005) and the film “Pelota II” (2015) co-directed with Jørgen Leth. She previously collaborated with Bulegoa z/b in the “Lecturas perspectivistas” seminar in 2013.

Susana Carro Ripalda and Olatz González Abrisketa have organised several reading groups together on current tendencies in anthropology, and have published the article “La apertura ontológica de la antropología contemporánea” (2016).