Dzenana Vucic

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Research title: Affective Theory: A Genealogy of Autotheory as an Embedded and Embodied Philosophical Praxis

Research Summary

‘Autotheory’ describes a form of writing that sees memoir and theory caught in discursive entanglement. It provides a field for those writing from the margins of theoretical discourse to explore theory through personal experience, and personal experience through theory, in what has been described by documentarian and cultural theorist Mieke Bal as an “ongoing, spiralling form of analysis-theory dialectic.” Autotheory is heavily influenced by poststructuralist ideas around subject formation, intertextuality and textual (author)ity, as well as by the feminist personal criticism of the 1970s and 80s, particularly the writing of women of colour. It is an embedded and embodied theoretical praxis and a mode of writing that utilises literary techniques in its engagement with theoretical discourse.

My thesis explores autotheory's textual performance of its theoretical engagements. In particular, I consider Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera (1987), Paul B. Preciado's Testo Junkie (2013) and Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts (2015). 



  • William Lachlann Mann Scholarship, Glasgow University, domestic student fees 2020-2021
  • Felix Myer Scholarship 2019, $6500 to fund travel and research in Bosnia
  • Rae and Edith Bennett Travelling Scholarship 2019, $30,000 per year for three years to undertake a PhD in the UK



"Do Theorists Dream of Electric Sheep: Autothoery and the Thinking, Dreaming Subject," Narrating Lives: International Conference on Storytelling, (Auto)Biography and (Auto)Ethnography, London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (LCIR), 28-29 August 2020

“Philosophising Gender from the Self: Memoir and Affect in Paul B. Preciado’s Testo Junkie,” Gender Narratives: International Conference on Gender Studies, London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (LCIR), 20 February 2020

“Autotheory and the New Subject of Philosophy,” Peer Symposium, University of Glasgow, Oct 2019


Chair of Panel “Navel-Gazing and I: Writing Through the Self,” Afterlives, University of Glasgow Postgraduate Arts Conference, University of Glasgow (zoom), June 2020


Graduate Teaching Assistant:

2020-21 Comparative Literature, 2A Crossing Borders

2019-20 English Literature, 2B Writing and Text 

Additional Information

2020 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow