Carolin Emcke: How We Desire
‘There is as much difference between us and ourselves,’ writes Carolin Emcke ‘as between us and others’.
Carolin Emcke is a celebrated philosopher and journalist from Germany, whose remarkable career has included stints reporting from conflict zones for Der Spiegel and lecturing in political theory at Yale.
How We Desire is the first of Emcke’s books to be translated into English. Part memoir, part philosophical treatise, the book seeks to examine the nature of desire and difference, shaking off fate-fixing norms and rigid identities and working towards a more radical and flexible idea of human sexuality. 'What if, instead of discovering our sexuality only once, during puberty,’ she asks, ‘we discover it again later – and then again, after that?'
What, and who, do we want? What does it mean? How does it change? At the Wheeler Centre, Emcke joins Hannah McCann in conversation.
Carolin Emcke's visit was supported by Goethe Institut Australia.
Carolin Emcke was born in 1967. She studied philosophy, politics and history in London, Frankfurt and at Harvard. From 1998 to 2013 she reported from war and crisis zones including Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Gaza and Haiti. She has written a number of books, and in 2016 she received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, which has also been won by Svetlana Alexievich, Orhan Pamuk and Susan Sontag. How We Desire is the first book by Carolin Emcke to be translated into English.
Dr Hannah McCann is a Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her research is located within critical femininity studies and she writes on queer identity, beauty salons, queer fangirls, and more.
You can find her work in the Conversation, Feminartsy, and Overland, as well as journals including European Journal of Women’s Studies, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Australian Feminist Studies.