Letters of Disappointment

Dora García

February 25, 2022, 1-5 pm
Géza, 306 Maujer

While studying the conflictive relationship between socialism/revolution and feminism, Dora García came across diaries, notes, and letters from pivotal female figures as Hannah Arendt, Leslie Feinberg, Alexandra Kollontai, Audre Lorde, Rosa Luxembourg, María Dolores González Katarain (Yoyes), and Clara Zetnik, among others. A common theme in these documents is a sense of profound and bitter disappointment in their companions of work and struggle. These crucial moments mark the passage from an initial period of action and enthusiasm to a phase of bitterness and sadness, which then gives way to a last stage of active, solidary resistance. For this seminar, Dora García proposes a seminar that begins with a group reading and group commentary of these “Letters of Disappointment,” which she has collected since a couple of years. From there, the seminar will provide a platform for discussing personal experiences, specific disappointments, all while aiming to answer the question, “Revolution, when will you fulfill your promise?”

Image: Portrait of Alexandra Kollontai, author unknown, probably date 1920.

Creative, collective reading. We will read a series of archival letters that we will try to understand and analyze. In dialogue with the participants, we will discuss which questions are raised in the letters, and what thoughts they generate, based on personal experience. The seminar will be conducted in English.