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Hannah Vögele

Doctoral Fellow


Campus Am Neuen Palais
Am Neuen Palais 10
Building 1, Room 0.15
14469 Potsdam


consulting hours
by appointment only

Dissertation Project

Dispossessing Bodies: Resisting the Violence of Property  

In my dissertation I look at property’s violence, i.e. how property forcefully structures our (gendered, sexualised, and racialised) relationships with others, ourselves, and our bodies, – and try to excavate (imagined) alternatives. Therefore, I look at the continuities of historical regimes of property. Colonial capitalism has appropriated indigenous lands and turned enslaved bodies into property to be bought, sold, and used for profit until annihilation. Family and marriage property laws and traditions as well as state control over sexuality and reproductive capabilities have bred oppressive gender binaries and possessive relationships. Ultimately, property relations of “western modernity” have worked – and continue to work – to produce subjects and bodies along class lines and racial and gender markers. 

Inspired by growing feminist movements that stress the connection between different forms of violence, particularly here the connection between economic violence and gender and sexualised violence, the initial intuition of this paper is as follows: Struggles against this violence need to strike at what I call “cultures of property”, i.e. both the material and structural logic of property and its embodied twin possessiveness. Crucially, this includes the concept of self-ownership and the self-possessive individual so central to the functioning of neoliberal capitalism and its subjects. The aim is to build a theoretical framework around the struggles of dispossessed – and dispossessing – bodies, whilst drawing insights from the archive of existing resistant practices, desires, and imaginations of collective activism and art. 


In my thesis I think a lot about relationships/relationality. There is a whole web of influences and relationships that has brought me to the RTG. Academically, within the last years in particular, my MPhil in Political Theory at the University of Oxford – and the people in and around it – has sharpened my critical thinking both with and against what I have been taught. Taking classes in Gender Studies at HU Berlin after this has expanded supposed limits of thought and moved me further from “major” narratives to the “minor”. Being active in the feminist movement fundamentally informs my academic practice – testament to how much my experiences beyond the university shape my academic impulses.


“Precarious Borders: Frames of Migration and the Potentiality of Affect”, Raisons Politiques, 2019/4, 76, 121-143. 

 “Responsibility for Vulnerability: Towards a Political Account of Responsibility”, Special issue, Dimensions of Vulnerability, edited by Martin Huth and Gerhard Thonhauser. Philosophy Today (Forthcoming).

Conference Papers

“Reproduction and Revolutionary Practice: How the women’s strike re-imagines social relations”, Radical Democracy Conference, New School for Social Research New York – April 2019, with Dennis Ohm-Fickler.

“Responsibility for Vulnerability”, Dimensions of Vulnerability Conference, University of Vienna – March 2018 

 “Beyond Biopolitics: Immigration, Security and the Precarity of Life”, Science Po Graduate Conference P.olitical Theory – June 2017.

 “The Precarious Politics of Migration”, Oxford Political Theory Graduate Conference – May 2017.