Welcome to the Relation(al) Matters Archive. This is an online collection of a series of conversations zooming in on questions of relationality as planetary condition. The scheduled conversations take place virtually and are open to everybody, yet it is required to register in advance in order to receive the link for the webinar. The event schedule and registration details can be found at the bottom of this page. The conversations are recorded and uploaded to the conversations archive shortly after they have taken place.     

The project

What, if not relationality characterizes today’s planetary condition? One only needs to think of the ongoing and globally interconnected COVID-19 pandemic, the deepening ecological catastrophes or the increasing systemic global inequalities – is it not obvious how relational existence is? And is it then not astonishing how so many of those different systems (be they scientific, medical, socio-political or ethical) that seek to handle these entangled situations continue to work from the presupposition that what appears and acts somewhere – in a geopolitical region, a body-psyche or a specific life-form – is best understood as an in-divi-dual-ized entity whose effects remain in just one place? Instead of accounting for the manifold and differentiated entanglements, reverberations and consequences disseminating everywhere, and in always in/determinate ways?

The Relation(al) Matters Archive aims to collect insights and divergent practices to deal with the complexity of planetary entanglement. The archive is part of a project in which two claims are interwoven in the attempt to gauge what is going on: a) relational matters expresses the insistence on the intra-active and messily entangled condition of current times, and b) relation matters is an ethico-political wager for becoming more literate and carefully attuned to what entanglement as condition implies, what such a claim asks from those enlivening it. 

Via conversational encounters with scholars and cultural practitioners, this archive wants to provide its viewers with insights, tools and provocations to respond to the current situation. It starts from a relational point of view yet, by doing so, it does not rule out critiques of the relation(al) matters we find ourselves in. Taking a relational point of departure does not propose relationality as solution. The conversations instead aim to inquire what relationality means in specific contexts and on different scales, and what a relational approach could offer in response to what is happening within, between, and around us.   


1 How does relationality figure in your work? From which angle are you engaging with relation(al) matters?

2 Which methodological shifts do you see emerging from a relational approach in your research, activism or artistic practice?

3 Where do you see dangers, tensions or limitations in taking relationality as starting point for your research endeavors or your artistic, activist praxis?

Time schedule for virtual conversations

Conversation X – Sophie Withaeckx

Tuesday July 11, 2023, 17:00-18:00 CET

Assistant professor in philosophy at Maastricht University, Withaeckx’s research explores how normative understandings of ‘humanity’ shape public spaces and institutions and how diversity and ‘decolonization’ become managed in higher education. Focusing on the ethics of transnational adoption, she also inquires how taken-for-granted notions of humanness, family and kinship underlie ethics and practice in transnational adoption.

Suggested reading:

Withaeckx S. (2023, forthcoming). “The baby and the bathwater: Resisting adoption reform.” In: Loibl E. & Smolin D.M. (eds.). Facing the past: Policies and good practices for responses to illegal intercountry adoption. Boom Uitgevers Den Haag. 

Reading will be distributed together with the link to access the live session following registration. 

Please register by email to  

Conversation IX – Jonathan Bremer

Monday June 5, 2023, 17:00-18:00 CET 

Musician, composer and producer Bremer has figured on the Danish scene since 2010 performing with David Sanborn, Gino Vanelli, Niels Lan Doky, Billy Hart and others. Where Bremer collaborates with Scandinavian artists such as Coco O., Caroline Henderson, Marie Key and Tabloid, the two latest of his duo Bremer/McCoy’s five albums were released internationally on David Byrne’s label Luaka Bop. 

Suggested listening: 

Bremer/McCoy – Natten (2021, Luaka Bop)

Miles Davis – My Funny Valentine (1965, Columbia)

Available at Qobuz and Spotify.

Please register by email to

Conversation VIII – Nina Lykke

Wednesday April 19, 2023 16:00-17:00 CET

Professor Emerita of Gender Studies at Linköping University, Sweden, and Adjunct Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark, Lykke is a queerfemme-inist philosopher-poet and writer, the co-founder of the international Network for Queer Death Studies, and she* published numerous books and articles such as Cosmodolphins (2000), Feminist Studies (2010) and Vibrant Death (2022). 

Suggested reading:  

Lykke, Nina. 2019. “Co-Becoming with Algae: Between Posthuman Mourning and Wonder in Algae Research.” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. 5 (2)

Please register by email to

Conversation VII – Denise Ferreira da Silva

Tuesday January 24, 2023 18:00-19:00 CET

An academic and an artist, da Silva is Professor and Director of the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Suggested reading: 

Da Silva, Denise Ferreira. 2016. “On Difference Without Separability.” Catalogue of the 32a São Paulo Art Biennial, ‘Incerteza Viva’ (Living Uncertainty)

Please register by email to

Conversation VI – Cecilia Heil, Samira Hesse, Andromachi Koutsoulenti, Heike de Wit, and Noa Mes

Tuesday July 5, 2022 15:00-16:00 CET

An engaged student group from the Research MA ‘Gender Studies’ in the Graduate Gender Programme at Utrecht University who together completed a study tutorial on ‘Relationality’ in the last semester. The conversation will be a collective endeavor, experimenting with a more plurivocal approach to the relation(al) matters archive conversations.

Suggested readings:

Kimmerer, Robin. “Speaking of Nature: Finding language that affirms our kinship with the natural world.” Orion June 12, 2017.

Please register by email to

Conversation V – Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide 

Thursday June 30, 2022, 13.45-16.00 CET at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven 

Exhibitions curator at Van Abbemuseum since 2020, curator of A Lasting Truth Is Change (2022) and co-editor of the eponymous publication with Taylor Le Melle and co-editor with Nick Aikens of I Think My Body Feels, I Feel My Body Thinks: On Corpoliteracy (2022). Her interests lie in joyous and equitable ways of being together as well as intersecting modes that decentre the oppressor in practices of freedom and liberation, to influence art institutional practices.  

Suggested readings:  

Excerpts from the A Lasting Truth Is Change book companion to the exhibition. Suggested additional study material: Octavia’s Parables podcast. Readings will be distributed following registration for the in-person event together with further information about the event program. 

Please register by email to  

Conversation IV – Eva Hayward

Tuesday May 3, 2022 15:00-16:00 CET

Creative nonfiction writer and theorist in the Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University.

Suggested reading:

Hayward, Eva. 2021. “Painted Camera, “Her””. E-flux Journal, Issue #117.

Please register by email to

Conversation III – Domitilla (Domi) Olivieri

Tuesday March 29, 2022 15:00-16:00 CET

Anthropologist, activist, teacher, researcher and Assistant Professor at the Graduate Gender Programme at Utrecht University. For further info about research project “Slowing down (in) Academia”:

Suggested reading:

Olivieri, D. (forthcoming) 2022. “Slowness as a mode of attention and resistance: playing with time in documentary cinema and contesting the rhythms of the neoliberal university.” Contention, vol 10. Reading will be distributed with the event link upon registration.

Please register by email to

Conversation II – Anna Poletti

Wednesday March 2, 2022 15:00-16:00 CET

Associate Professor of English Language and Culture at Utrecht University and co-editor of the New Directions in Life Narrative book series for Bloomsbury Academic.

Suggested reading:

Poletti, Anna. 2020. “The Implied Rummager: Reading Intimate Interiors in Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules,” Life Writing, 17:4, 455-467.

Please register by email to

Conversation I – Vivienne Bozalek

Tuesday February 8, 2022 15:00-16:00 CET

Emerita Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape, and Honorary Professor in the Centre for Higher Education Research Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University.

Suggested reading:

Bozalek, Vivienne. 2022. “Slow Scholarship: Propositions for the Extended Curriculum Programme”. Education As Change 25 (January): 21 pages.

Please register by email to