Organisation profile

DESIRE performs critical academic research into the political-democratic nature of societal processes and their discursive-significatory dimensions. Crucial within DESIRE's remit is the study of the logics of power, how power strategies are developed and resisted and how signification intervenes into these power logics. This main focal point implies that the political is broadly defined - as the ontological dimension of societal struggle and conflict - and not restricted to specific institutionalised forms. DESIRE's areas of interest thus include the many societal fields where meaning is produced and circulated, including the media sphere, the sphere of cultural institutions (including museums, heritage sites and theatres) and the sphere of politics. Within these areas of interest, DESIRE analyses the role of the discursive-significatory, grounded in the idea that processes of signification are highly political in defining our realities in always particular ways, sometimes resulting in hegemonic orders, sometimes in highly instable struggles of contestation and resistance. DESIRE's focus on the discursive-significatory, and its many locations (texts, languages, sounds, images, architectures, urban spaces, ...), is always grounded in contextualising reflections on the material, the structural, affect and agency. In order to study these discursive-significatory dimensions of the power logics, a variety of methods are used and combined, e.g., critical discourse analysis, visual analysis, rhetorical analysis, discourse-theoretical analysis, and narrative analysis. DESIRE has one director, Nico Carpentier, and two co-directors, Benjamin De Cleen and Ilija Tomanic-Trivundza.

Contact information

Pleinlaan 2

ID: 26587