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i284008264513270570-_szw1280h1280_SOCIAL PATHOLOGIES OF CONTEMPORARY CIVILIZATION

7th CONFERENCE

CALL FOR PAPERS
Social Suffering in an Era of Resilience

October 19th & 20th 2017

Goethe-University Frankfurt, in co-operation with the Institute for Social Research
The seventh international conference on The Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization once again explores the nature of contemporary malaises, diseases, illnesses and syndromes in their relation to cultural pathologies of the social body. Usually these conditions are interpreted clinically in terms of individualized symptoms and framed in demographic and epidemiological profiles. They are represented and responded to discretely, as though for the most part unrelated to each other; each having their own professional discourses of etiology, diagnostics, therapeutics, as well as their task forces developing health strategy and policy recommendations and interventions. However, these diseases also have a social and cultural profile, one that transcends the particularity of their symptomology and their discrete etiologies. These pathologies are diseases related to cultural pathologies of the social body and disorders of the collective esprit de corps of contemporary society.
Multi-disciplinary in approach the conference addresses questions of how these conditions are manifest at the level of individual bodies and minds, as well as how the ‘bodies politic’ are related to the hegemony of reductive biomedical and psychologistic perspectives. Rejecting such a reductive diagnosis of contemporary problems of health and well-being, the central research hypothesis guiding the conference is that contemporary epidemics are to be analysed in the light of radical changes in our civilization and of the social hegemonization of the biomedical and psychiatric perspective. They arise from individual and collective experiences of profound and drastic social changes and cultural shifts.
More specifically – but not exclusively – this conference will focus on the social dynamics of suffering. In times where an increasing neglect of society is only asking for one’s resilience, we want to focus on the understanding how social and cultural conditions moderate the experience of suffering. Social Suffering as a concept comprises two things: first, collective suffering, for instance as a result of war or natural catastrophes; and second, individual suffering, insofar as it has primarily societal causes.

• The so called refugee crisis brings in also questions of morality: is the focus on resilience in light of collective suffering of any help? Could resonance as a concept on the other side help to a better understanding of the suffering?
• Psychic suffering and social inequality
• Due to the transformation of work and the psychosocial costs associated with these changes, as well as the increasing tendencies towards social exclusion, the issue of social suffering has entered the agenda of industrialized nations as well. The notion of social suffering highlights the fact, then, that the suffering in question is caused by structural conditions and remains embedded in them. It is suffering in society and because of it.
• Psychologization of Suffering. Is the notion of “social Pathologies” as well as the ongoing question for a diagnostic potential of the social sciences already part of an neglect of society itself and playing into the hands of psychology? What role plays therapy culture in this development?
• Common to all contributions to this field is both the interpretation of social suffering as an increasing effect of neoliberal capitalist socialization and its determination as a theoretical reference point for social critique. Whilst attending to the particular ways in which individuals struggle to make ‘the problem of suffering’ productive for thought and action, it also works to understand how, through to the level of collective experience, this contributes to wider dynamics of social change. Is the concept of resonance a starting point maybe?

The conference invites papers offering analyses, discussions and perspectives of the overall theme (and related themes) from faculty, students and researchers in fields such as psychiatry, philosophy, sociology, social theory, psychology, anthropology etc.

Abstracts (300 words) please, by Friday, December 23rd 2016, to: socialpathologies2017@gmx.de

Web: http://socialpath.simplesite.com/

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Ruth Rikowski at Serendipitous Moments: http://ruthrikowskiim.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies

INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL STUDIES: CULTURE, TECHNOLOGY AND POWER

A Free Course!

First Session: 23rd February 2016

OPEN SCHOOL EAST

 

Open School East
The Rose Lipman Building
43 De Beauvoir Rd
London N1 5SQ

 

Details of a free course in Cultural Studies at Open School East in London, starting next week, can be found at https://jeremygilbertwriting.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/free-course-introduction-to-cultural-studies-culture-technology-power/

Please disseminate to anyone who might be interested
Thanks
Jeremy Gilbert
http://www.jeremygilbert.org
@jemgilbert

 

Free Course! Introduction to Cultural Studies: Culture, Technology & Power

From February to June this year, I’ll be teaching on a free fortnightly course at Open School East in Dalston which will be be covering a number of key issues in contemporary cultural politics – race, gender, sexuality, technology, neoliberalism, music, money, the future, etc. I’ll be taking most of the sessions – Stephen Maddison will do the one on queer politics.

Anyone is welcome and it should be very interesting.

These lectures / seminar are technically the second part of a free course titled ‘Introduction to Cultural Studies: Culture, Technology & Power’, but they should be accessible and interesting whether you are completely new to these things, or an advanced cultural theory postgrad, or anything in between.

Please do pass on to anyone who might be interested.

For more details about the course, the context, etc. see HERE and HERE

 

Open School East: http://www.openschooleast.org/

 

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Ruth Rikowski at Serendipitous Moments: http://ruthrikowskiim.blogspot.co.uk/

bIOdownload

LONDON MATERIALISMS READING GROUP MEETINGS

We are very pleased to announce an exciting series of events co-sponsored/co-organised by the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster:

1) The next London Materialisms Reading Group meeting is:

Thursday 3 December 2015 – Nick Srnicek (co-author of the Verso manifesto Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work) will be introducing Graham Harman’s Bruno Latour: Reassembling the Political

Future dates for your diary:

21. Thursday 21 January 2016 – Philip Cunliffe (University of Kent) will be introducing Alexander Wendt’s Quantum Mind and Social Science: Unifying Physical and Social Ontology

22. Thursday 25 February 2016 – introduction (tbc) we will be discussing Chapter 1 ‘Introduction: Rhizome’ of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus

23. Thursday 31 March 2016 – Michiel van Ingen (University of Westminster) will be introducing Kate Soper’s What is Nature: Culture, Politics and the Non-Human

Reading group meetings are open to all and take place Thursdays 6.30-8.00pm, Westminster Forum, Department of Politics and International Relations, 5th Floor, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW (5 minutes from Oxford Circus tube). Wine and nibbles are provided.

 

If you wish to be on the Materialisms Reading Group mailing list please email me at d.chandler@wmin.ac.uk. Further information available here: http://www.davidchandler.org/materialisms/.

2) The next in the Living in the Anthropocene series of workshops is:

Decolonising the Anthropocene
Friday 27 November, 1-5pm, Westminster Forum, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW (5 minutes walk from Oxford Circus tube station)

Convenors: Olivia Rutazimbwa (University of Portsmouth), Angela Last (Glasgow University), Kathryn Yusoff (Queen Mary)

Speakers and roundtable discussants: Patricia Noxolo (Birmingham), Robbie Shilliam (Queen Mary), Kathryn Yusoff (Queen Mary), Olivia Rutazibwa (Portsmouth), Angela Last (Glasgow).

The concept of the Anthropocene involves the rejection of one of modernity’s most important tenets: the nature/culture divide. Yet from a post-western perspective this can hardly be seen as a ground-breaking discovery. The colonial experience has for long evidenced the destructive nature of this divide while indigenous cosmologies, religious worldviews as well as other (non-western) philosophies have provided alternatives to the nature/culture divide and continue to do so. Does the holistic and relational understanding of reality entailed in the idea of the Anthropocene present an opportunity to rethink the sources of our knowledge production and work towards a more inclusive and sustainable use and distribution of the available planetary resources; or is the ‘discovery’ of the Anthropocene yet another stage of Eurocentric knowledge production?

Who sets the agenda, which voices and topics continue to be silenced and do they consolidate or dissipate existing inequalities? How much space is there for the ‘pluriversality’ Walter Mignolo calls for in the potentially totalising proclamation of the Anthropocene? What does the attention to complexity and non-linearity mean for post- and decolonial understandings and attachment to issues of agency, autonomy and self-determination? This workshop will examine these and other questions, both theoretically and empirically, to explore the merits and challenges of the Anthropocene to decoloniality and vice versa. Understood as a triple invitation to de-mythologise, de-silence and de-colonise, decoloniality combines both a deconstructive toolbox for critique at the epistemological level and a constructive imperative to counter the colonial (material) forms of extreme power inequality.

Information and registration here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/decolonising-the-anthropocene-tickets-19330332545 further information on the series: http://rethinkingtheanthropocene.blogspot.co.uk/

3) Call for papers, Centre for the Study of Democracy and Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment joint University of Westminster workshop:

Design After Planning: Examining the Shift from Epistemology to Topology https://designafterplanning.wordpress.com/

10.00 – 17:30, Friday 5 February 2016, University of Westminster, London

Confirmed keynote speakers:  Filip de Boeck (KU Leuven) & Erik Swyngedouw (University of Manchester)

The question of how different types of ‘planning’ should deal with uncertainty has taken on fresh importance. On the one hand, existential threats such as climate change, overpopulation, and new forms of global conflict expand the temporal and spatial horizons of our sense of responsibility as never before. On the other, the world is constructed increasingly as emergent, complex and non-linear; the ‘wicked’ problems it throws up are not amenable to modernist, top-down solutions. The intelligence required to tackle contemporary problems is understood to be dispersed and enacted, rather than a pre-given object to be gathered by the state. In Mol’s (2002) formulation, epistemological questions (‘how can we be sure?’) are increasingly usurped by pragmatic ones (‘how can we live with doubt?’).

In this embrace of uncertainty, concerns over the limitations of representational ‘modelling’ are being dislodged by an ideal of unmediated, dynamic problem-resolution whereby the ‘topologies’ of complex reality continually reveal themselves. In practical terms, this has entailed a shift towards iterative processes of dispersed governance; policy makers no longer attempt to impose order on a chaotic outside, but rather attempt to ‘see’ through the emergent systems themselves. Thus, goals of international developmental aid are no longer determined from the centre so much as coproduced in specific locations with the aid of the internet of things and the citizen as sensor; top-down planning of the built environment has given way to localised, discursive decision-making alongside an embrace of informality; the residual modernism of sustainable development is increasingly inflected with ‘resilience’.

If the broad project here is to work with emerging, complex systems, rather than against or in spite of them, might it then be productive to conceptualise the role of governing and city-making in terms of ‘design’ rather than planning?  If so, is there value in retheorising design so as more explicitly to capture contemporary interactive logics of emergent causality and agency?  Or, alternatively, does linear planning have a newly important role to play? Might it function as a type of normative resistance to the ‘market logic’ with which these new forms of governance are perhaps aligned?

We plan to include three panels on: • disaster and risk design – examining the rise of topological approaches to international aid and disaster relief, digital humanitarianism, crowd-sourcing and citizens as sensors • designing with emergent urban systems – exploring the potential for iterative and decentred modes of governance and urban design to overcome the shortcomings of liberal-modernist planning • resilience versus sustainability – investigating the theoretical and practical purchase of resilience and sustainability in relation to the ‘topologies’ of complex reality, and the problematic theoretical interface between the two concepts.

Submitting abstracts: We invite papers relating to any of the panels above, which contribute to a theorisation of spatial planning and urban, national, or international governance as processes of design, as well as those which question this endeavour. Speakers from all academic disciplines are welcome to participate (and there will be no registration fee).Please send your abstract (c.350 words) to: Isis Nunez Ferrera (i.nunez-ferrera@psi.org.uk), Tudor Vilcan (tudorvilcan@gmail.com), and Rob Cowley (robert.cowley@kcl.ac.uk) by 1 December 2015.

Best wishes,
David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW. Tel: ++44 (0)776 525 3073.
Journal Editor, Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/resi20

Amazon books page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/David-Chandler/e/B001HCXV7Y/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Personal website: http://www.davidchandler.org/
Twitter: @DavidCh27992090

 

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Ruth Rikowski at Serendipitous Moments: http://ruthrikowskiim.blogspot.co.uk/

Commons

Commons

AFFECTS AND AESTHETICS OF THE UNDERCOMMONS

Call for Papers: Affects & Aesthetics of the Undercommons
As part of the 8th Art of Management & Organization Conference
1st-4th September 2016 @ Bled, Slovenia
Conference theme: Empowering the intangible: exploring, feeling and expressing through the arts
See: http://www.artofmanagement.org/bled-slovenia-2016/

What affects circulate within the undercommons today (Harney & Moten, 2013)?

What is the relation between affective spaces and aesthetics in the construction of forms of collective intelligence and subjectivities, particularly in the ways this relation is worked with to expand forms of political action? The undercommons are organized through “engaging aesthetic rationality in the process of political transformation, of turning politics into art, everyday life into an aesthetically governed domain” (Katsiaficas 2001) – a “minor politics” (Thoburn 2003): one that is not based upon calling forth an already existing identity or position, but rather a politics based on a continual intensive and affective engagement of constant self-institution.

Might it be possible that we are already enmeshed in a world of unidentified autonomous organizations, a milieu of potential liberation that has remained imperceptible because of a narrow understanding of what organizations are? And might it not be that this imperceptibly, rather than being a condition to be addressed as a problem, could rather be part of building of what Robin D.G. Kelley and James Scott (2002) call an infrapolitical sphere: a space for politics coming out of people’s everyday experiences that do not express themselves as radical political organization at all.

As a conference stream “Affects & Aesthetics of the Undercommons” proposes to explore the these temporary and constantly shifting, yet always renewed, forms of organizing: the organizing that takes beneath and below as well as outside of formal organizations. These relations and their affectivity embody and express the movement of the social imaginary, or the constant process of becoming. Revolutions of everyday life, whether unseen or encoded in a hidden transcript, exists as a privileged location for political analysis and action precisely because it is where forms of collective intelligence, creativity, and social wealth are manifested.

Please send proposals / abstracts to s.shukaitis@essex.ac.uk by December 7th, 2015.
This stream is welcoming of non-standard forms of presentation, performance, and intervention.

Commons

Commons

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Ruth Rikowski at Serendipitous Moments: http://ruthrikowskiim.blogspot.co.uk/

images (3)POLITICS AND POETICS

Call for Papers, Presentations and Performances:

Politics and Poetics

The third symposium of the Leverhulme International Research Network ‘Imaginaries of the Future’

Queen’s University, Belfast, 19-21 January 2016.

Website: https://imaginariesofthefuture.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/cfp-politics-and-poetics-3rd-symposium-of-the-leverhulme-research-network/

What does it mean to think of politics as a poetics, and to do so through the prism of the expectant, the anticipatory, the Not-Yet, and the futural? The third symposium of the ‘Imaginaries of the Future’ International Research Network seeks to investigate the ways in which futures are both imagined and governed, projected, deferred and deterred, through different disciplinary formations, and to explore the effects of competing ways of conceiving futurity.

The ‘hope project’ at the heart of utopianism pursues a future transformed through collective agency, and develops an anticipatory register in which visions of competing futures are mobilized to orient such collective political agency. Conversely, in what ways are creative practices of agency obstructed, and how are visions of ‘the future’ deployed in reactive, prohibitory ways? How does the utopian anticipatory compare with other categories of futurity, such as precaution or pre-emption, risk or threat? How, then, can we theorize the ambivalence of the anticipatory, modes of capture and recuperation?

Symposium participants may interrogate utopianism itself, exploring the poetics of utopian desire, affect, and agency vis-à-vis the politics of contestation, challenge, and transformation. We may also consider the specificity of politics and poetics, and the relations of connectivity between these approaches. Is politics necessarily reducible to calculative and instrumental modes of grasping the future? Is poetics more attuned to the epistemological and ontological uncertainty of the future, to what has not and might not happen? Or, is there a politics to poetics, and a poetics to politics? How can engagement with poetics help map forms of relationality and connection, and what is the role of affect, emotion, memory in creating connections and preconditions for political agency? What might be the political valence of aesthetic and sensual categories of experience — touch, proximity, intimacy, harmony and dissonance? How might technological and cybernetic invention advance both human agential capacity, as well as contribute to a critique of the anthropocentrism of both politics and poetics? And can we think of ethics (say, the Levinasian encounter with the Other, or perhaps the Spinozist endeavour to enhance capacity, agency, connectivity, and joy) as a missing third term between poetics and politics?

We welcome proposals of 250-300 words in length from across the arts and humanities (and beyond) for papers, presentations or performances of up to 20 minutes in length. Please send all proposals to both s.mcmanus@qub.ac.uk and nathaniel.coleman@ncl.ac.uk

Utopia

Utopia

Bursaries

Five travel bursaries, two of up to £1000, and three of up to £350, will be awarded through open competition to individuals who promise to make a significant contribution to the work of the Network. The larger bursaries are intended for applicants traveling a significant distance to attend the symposium. We welcome submissions from all career stages including PhD researchers. Bursary recipients will be expected to contribute a piece of writing and/or embedded media to the Network blog, and will be invited to submit work to be considered for publication opportunities arising from the symposium.

To apply for a bursary, please send a CV along with your proposal to both s.mcmanus@qub.ac.uk and nathaniel.coleman@ncl.ac.uk by 30 October 2015

 

Dr Susan McManus

Lecturer in Political Theory

Politics, International Studies and Philosophy QUB.

Even Bigger Data

Even Bigger Data

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Ruth Rikowski at Serendipitous Moments: http://ruthrikowskiim.blogspot.co.uk/

Speculative Realism

Speculative Realism

REALISM BITES

Eighth Biannual Graduate Student Conference of the German Program

Department of German and Romance Languages and Literature at the Johns Hopkins University

Realism Bites: Disruptive Realisms in Modernity

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Elisabeth Strowick, Johns Hopkins University

Prof. Timothy Brennan, University of Minnesota

November 6- 7, 2015
The Johns Hopkins University

 

All the fissures and rents which are inherent in the historical situation must be drawn into the form-giving process and cannot nor should be disguised by compositional means.

(György Lukács, The Theory of the Novel)

 

The term realism has been associated with multiple artistic practices, styles and movements from nineteenth-century bourgeois realism to socialist realism, surrealism, Italian neorealism, magical realism, and postmodern hyperrealism. Its repetitions and invocations express a commitment to and a struggle for reality, rearticulating the political, social and epistemological functions and meanings of art. As a form of “Darstellung der Wirklichkeit,” it carries the tension of a set of oppositions: the reality that is and the reality that ought to be; an objective and verisimilar reproduction and a poetic constitution of reality; a conventional mode and personal expression of reality.

György Lukács emphasized the necessity for a “critical realism,” one that is determined by a critical perception and mediation of social contradictions, rather than their naïve reproduction. The notion of unity, so important for the Lukácsian concept of ‘critical realism,’ refers not only to the realist novel’s capacity to reveal the totality of social relations, but also to its depiction of the individual’s striving to reach totality as a mode of being. Even though, Lukács considered the novel as the primary form for the critical depiction of the modern conditio humana, the question can be raised whether “critical realism” functions more as an epistemo-critical concept than as a rigid genre definition. Since Lukács, many scholars and artists have called into question his notion of totality and human agency, and contested h is definition of art as a representational medium that reveals a social totality. Should we, as Fredric Jameson has suggested, hold on to a concept of totality, when discussing current “problems of realism?” How do the various forms of realism relate to what Lukács – justifiably or not – has identified as the pseudo-objectivity of Naturalism, on the one hand, and extreme subjectivism, on the other? Can one actualize critical realisms for a critique of representation? And in what way do contemporary reassessments and actualizations of realisms repeat or reverse traditional dichotomies, such as those between idealism and realism, nominalism and realism, realism and modernism?

 

This call for paper invites submissions from a wide variety of disciplines that discuss competing aesthetic strategies. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes.

Please submit abstracts (300-500 words) with your name and affiliation to Esther Edelmann and Christiane Ketteler at realismbitesgermangrads@gmail.com by August 13, 2015.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Realism repeated: Realism after Modernism
  • Avant-garde “realities”
  • Antinomies and instabilities within classical realisms
  • The reception of realisms and its historical conditions
  • Realisms, political movements and alliances
  • Speculative Realism and the constitution and emergence of objects
  • Excessive Realism or new possibilities of perceptions of objects
  • Productive realisms or the emergence of new orders
  • Realisms (false) friends: Reportage, Travelogue, and Documentary
  • The Real and the Reality Principle
  • Capitalist Realism and the limits and problems in representing global capitalism and its alternatives
  • Theories and Projects of Mapping
  • Hyperrealism and the Desert of the Real / The Spectacle of Reality
  • Abject Realisms and the abjected within Realism
  • Realism and the Dissolutions of boundaries between the arts
  • Realism, Nominalism, Idealism, (New) Materialism
  • Realism, Romanticism, Symbolism
  • Post/Colonial Realisms
  • Feminist Realism
  • Realism and the Problem of Exemplarity
  • “Wirklichkeit als das Wirkende”

 

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/cfp-german-graduate-conference-realism-bites-nov-6-7-2015-jhu-baltimore

 

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Alien Life

Alien Life

RE-ENGINEERING THE FUTURE?

Tate Britain, London

Friday 10 April 2015, 19.30 – 20.30

FREE

All discussions will be held in the Clore Auditorium at Tate Britain 19.30–20.30.

Attendance is free but tickets will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis from 18.00 in the Clore Foyer

Part of the series Speculative Tate

This panel brings together three leading political thinkers, Nina Power, Nick Srnicek (via Skype), Alex Williams and chaired by James Trafford, to consider the ways in which we might think and construct a “future”.

This is surely a task that is an absolute necessity, given, for example, the breakdown of the planetary climate system; increasing wealth disparity, rentier economics; precarity and automation of labour; state bailouts. But at the same time, the future itself seems almost impossible, with the ultimate channeling of thought and action under the axiom of Capitalist Realism: there is no alternative.

The issue raises further concerns regarding “whose” future is under construction? We may rightly ask, for example, if anything can be retrieved from the narrative of “progress” given its alliance with Modernism and Neo-liberalism. On the other hand, the relinquishment of “progress” by the left has arguably left us in a political bind, wherein we have little way of constructing an alternative form of modernisation in a context where increasingly the transformation and automation of labour requires us to think precisely this.

The panel will discuss: Post-work society, automation and Universal Basic Income; How or if it is possible to “think” the future in a democratic way; Whether or not it is possible to restructure the left along the lines of a radical form of modernisation.

Biographies

Nina Power is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Roehampton and Tutor in Critical Writing in Art and Design at the Royal College of Art. She has written widely on European philosophy and politics.

Nick Srnicek is a political theorist. He is the author of Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics and the forthcoming Inventing the Future: Folk Politics and the Struggle for Postcapitalism (Verso 2015) (both with Alex Williams), and Postcapitalist Technologies (Polity 2016).

Alex Williams is a political theorist, working on the relationship between social complexity and political hegemony. With Nick Srnicek he is the author of the Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics and the forthcoming Inventing the Future (Verso 2015).

See: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/talks-and-lectures/re-engineering-future

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download‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

 

The Black Rock

The Black Rock

DECOLONIZING THE MIND SUMMER SCHOOL

What is the Decolonizing The Mind Summer School?

From July 19th – July 31st the first edition of the Decolonizing The Mind Summer School will be held in Amsterdam.

The DTM Summer School is an intensive two-week course on the subject of Decolonizing The Mind. The course takes on two interrelated topics:

  • The theoretical framework and methodology of Decolonizing The Mind (knowledge production and the mechanisms of colonizing the mind).
  • Decolonial thinking and the discourse of liberation in social movements in different regions of the world.

 

What is the program?

In the two weeks there are ten sessions (morning lectures and afternoon interactive sessions) devoted to the following topics:

Session 1: Sandew Hira, director of the International Institute for Scientific Research in Holland, gives an overview of decolonial thinking in the last few decades in the academia (postcolonial studies, national liberation discourses, ethnic studies etc.) and the methodology of developing a theoretical framework for DTM based on decolonial concepts.

Session 2: Professor Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Professor and Head of the Archie Mafeje Research Institute at the University of South Africa, takes on the issue of nationalism and anti-colonial struggles in Southern Africa, including the question of land.

Session 3: Roberto Hernández, lecturer at the San Diego State University in California USA, deals with the persistence and resurgence of indigenous movements, knowledges and practices, which will be the basis for a rethinking of social struggles over land, natural resources and cultural renewal.

Session 4: Stephen Small, professor in the Department of History at the University of Amsterdam, and Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, will go into the different discourses in the Civil Rights Movement in America.

Session 5: Jaya Mehta, senior economist and an activist associated with the Joshi-Adhikari Institute for Social Studies in India, traces the development path traversed by India and China in the transformation from predominantly agrarian economies to industrialised countries that are well integrated into the world economy. She focuses on the philosophy behind the policies of different actors.

Session 6: Abulkasim Al-Jaberi, journalist and activist in Holland, analyzes the effect of the US invasion of Iraq in relation to the historic events unfolding today including the Arab spring and the emergence of ISIS.

Session 7: Arzu Merali, head of the research section of the Islamic Human Rights Commission in London UK, highlights the rise of Islamic political movements in Iran and Turkey – two key players in the Middle East – in their successes and failures.

Session 8: Jeanne Henriquez, independent scholar and activist from Curacao in the Caribbean, deals with the legacy of slavery in the Caribbean and the new social movements associated with it including the movement for pan-Africanism and reparations.

Session 9: Selim Nadi, member of the first decolonial party in France – Parti des Indigènes de la République – goes into the process that Western Europe is going through of a painful confronting with its colonial past right in the heart of the empire. European societies now have to deal with a new generation of young activists who are trying to politicize the postcolonial situation of their countries.

Session 10: Sandew Hira and Ramon Grosfoguel, are giving a lecture in the form of a debate on two discourse of liberation: Marxism and decolonial thinking. They take into account the analysis of the different regional experiences as have been covered in the previous lectures.

 

Other information

The Decolonizing The Mind Summer School is organized by the International Institute of Scientific Research (IISR) headed by director Sandew Hira.

The fee for the Summer School is € 1,000.

If paid before April 1st 2015, then the fee is € 900.

This fee does not include lodging, food and transport.

Download the full 16-page brochure here: http://www.decolonizingthemind.org/download/DTMSM2015Brochure.pdf

Download the application form here: http://www.decolonizingthemind.org/download/DTMSM2015ApplicationForm.doc.

Website: http://www.decolonizingthemind.org

Contact email: info@decolonizingthemind.org

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/first-edition-of-the-decolonizing-the-mind-summer-school-in-amsterdam-july-2015

**END**

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William Morris

William Morris

PARTICIPATE! CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION AND THE PARTICIPATORY AGENDA

CALL FOR PAPERS

Participate! Cultural Transformation and the Participatory Agenda, 2-3 October, 2015

The University of Southern Denmark (SDU), The Institute for The Study of Culture, in collaboration with Brandts and co-funded by the Velux Foundation.

 

The participatory agenda has been introduced in art and cultural policies in modern, post-welfare societies as a means of social transformation during the last decennial. The agenda has been driven forth by an entangled political, economic and social vision of democratisation, innovation and social integration. Now it is time to ask, what are the inherent paradoxes and ambiguities as this agenda is spelled out at different levels of cultural policies and in different types of art and cultural institutions? What are the dilemmas in real policy implications in and across institutions and in cultural communication practices in terms of professional principles such as arms’ length, quality and objectivity? How do we adapt inventive, collaborative methodologies from which to approach such questions and engage in the actual political rhetoric of ‘social impact’,‘value’ and ‘measurement’. The aim of the conference is to establish a dialogue between theoreticians, politicians, artists and professionals and raise questions of art and culture in relation to democracy, civic learning and empowerment.

 

Key note speakers:

Tony Bennett, Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory at the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney. Tony Bennett has written extensively on cultural sociology, on cultural policies and institutions, and on cultural/national heritage and the museum. Among his recent publications is Making Culture, Changing Society, 2013.

Gerald Raunig, Artist, philosopher, Director of Dpt. Kunst & Medien, Zürich University of the Arts and the EIPCP (European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies), Vienna. Gerald Raunig has published on art, art institutions and cognitive capitalism, forthcoming is DIVIDUUM: Maschinischer kapitalismus und molekulare revolution, 2015.

Nina Möntmann, Professor and Head of The Department of Art Theory and the History of Ideas, The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm. Nina Möntmann is an experienced curator, critic and academic engaged in new institutionalism and among her recent publications is Scandalous: A Reader on Art and Ethics, 2013.

Celia Lury, Professor and Director of Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick. Celia Lury has been engaged in cultural policies in a broad sense, in global scaling and in inventive and performative methodologies. Among her recent books is Measure and Value (co-edited with Lisa Adkins), 2012.

 

Call for Papers:

Part of the conference will be organized in thematic workshops, and we invite cultural researchers and professionals to deliver an abstract (500 words) before April, 1 (to be proceeded before May, 1) and a final paper before September, 1. Workshops will include:

  • Governmentality and New Institutionalism
  • Participation, democracy und civic learning
  • Participation –challenges in commissioning, curating and facilitating participatory art/culture projects
  • Participation and/or/in Audience and Visitor Studies
  • Participatory practices in art, media and culture outside institutions
  • Critical/ethical practice and the performativity of research methodologies
  • Comparative/scaled cultural policies: EU, Nordic, national level etc.
  • Cognitive capitalism and creative commons

Contact: Professor Anne Scott Sørensen, Institute for the Study of Culture, SDU, annescott@sdu.dk

 

Abstracts to  be delivered to: participate@sdu.dk

See: http://static.sdu.dk/mediafiles//C/9/6/%7BC9622F11-7352-42A7-A751-551B9D0B0CBF%7DKULT.pdf

 

***END***

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Social Imaginaries

Social Imaginaries

SOCIAL IMAGINARIES

A NEW JOURNAL AT: http://www.zetabooks.com/journals/social-imaginaries.html

Issue 1 (May, 2015)

 

Table of Contents (with Abstracts)

 

1. Editorial by the Social Imaginaries Editorial Collective

 

2Social Imaginaries in Debate by Suzi Adams, Paul Blokker, Natalie J Doyle, John Krummel, and Jeremy C A Smith

Investigations into social imaginaries have burgeoned in recent years. From ‘the capitalist imaginary’ to the ‘democratic imaginary’, from the ‘ecological imaginary’ to ‘the global imaginary’ – and beyond – the social imaginaries field has expanded across disciplines and beyond the academy. The recent debates on social imaginaries and potential new imaginaries reveal a recognisable field and paradigm-in-the-making. We argue that Castoriadis, Ricoeur, and Taylor have articulated the most important theoretical frameworks for understanding social imaginaries, although the field as a whole remains heterogeneous. We further argue that the notion of social imaginaries draws on the modern understanding of the imagination as authentically creative (as opposed to imitative). We contend that an elaboration of social imaginaries involves a significant, qualitative shift in the understanding of societies as collectively and politically-(auto)instituted formations that are irreducible to inter-subjectivity or systemic logics. After marking out the contours of the field and recounting a philosophical history of the imagination (including deliberations on the reproductive and creative imaginations, as well as consideration of contemporary Japanese contributions), the essay turns to debates on social imaginaries in more concrete contexts, specifically political-economic imaginaries, the ecological imaginary, multiple modernities and their inter-civilisational encounters. The social imaginaries field imparts powerful messages for the human sciences and wider publics. In particular, social imaginaries hold significant implications for ontological, phenomenological and philosophical anthropological questions; for the cultural, social, and political horizons of contemporary worlds; and for ecological and economic phenomena (including their manifest crises). The essay concludes with the argument that social imaginaries as a paradigm-in-the-making offers valuable  means by which movements towards social change can be elucidated as well providing  an open horizon for the critiques of existing social practices.

 

3. Introduction to Castoriadis’s “The Imaginary As Such” by Johann P Arnason

 

4. The Imaginary As Such by Cornelius Castoriadis (translated by Johann P Arnason)

This text is a draft introduction to a planned work on imagination in society and history. It begins with reflections on the abilities and activities that set human subjects apart from other living beings and thus at the same time enable the ongoing creation of society and history. This is to be understood as an exploration within the “order of facts”, on the level of anthropological preconditions. The most elementary precondition is the human capacity to add an “unreal extension” to reality, and thus to put the latter at a distance; considered as an activity, this is what defines the imagination, but considered as a dimension of human existence, it is the realm of the imaginary. The two concepts are strictly complementary. To clarify their role in the proposed rethinking of social-historical being, we must link them to closer analysis of the latter’s two main components, representing and doing. On both sides, Castoriadis emphasizes the imaginary element as a decisive point against empiricist and rationalist reductions. Representing is as irreducible to perception as it is to thinking, and taking the argument one step further, both perception and thinking can be shown to be dependent on the imaginary. Similarly, on the level of doing, human action can neither be understood as a response to given needs nor as an application of pre-given representations; its creative potential presupposes an imaginary horizon. Finally it is argued that language – closely related to both representing and doing- has an imaginary dimension, central to the emergence and the enduring innovative capacity of meaning. The basic flaw of structural linguistics was its refusal to take the imaginary source into account.

 

5. Introduction to Nakamura Yūjirō and his Work by John Krummel

 

6. “The Logic of Place” and Common Sense by Nakamura Yujiro (translated by John Krummel)

The essay is a written version of a talk Nakamura Yūjirō gave at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris in 1983.  In the talk Nakamura connects the issue of common sense in his own work to that of place in Nishida Kitarō and the creative imagination in Miki Kiyoshi. He presents this connection between the notions of common sense, imagination, and place as constituting one important thread in contemporary Japanese philosophy. He begins by discussing the significance of place (basho) that is being rediscovered today in response to the shortcomings of the modern Western paradigm, and discusses it in its various senses, such as ontological ground or substratum, the body, symbolic space, and linguistic or discursive topos in ancient rhetoric. He then relates this issue to the philosophy of place Nishida developed in the late 1920s, and after providing an explication of Nishida’s theory, discusses it further in light of some linguistic and psychological theories. Nakamura goes on to discuss his own interest in the notion of common sense traceable to Aristotle and its connection to the rhetorical concept of topos, and Miki’s development of the notion of the imagination in the 1930s in response to Nishida’s theory.  And in doing so he ties all three—common sense, place, and imagination—together as suggestive of an alternative to the modern Cartesian standpoint of the rational subject that has constituted the traditional paradigm of the modern West.

 

7. Interpreting the Present – a Research Programme by Peter Wagner

Sociologists have increasingly adopted the insight that “modern societies” undergo major historical transformations; they are not stable or undergoing only smooth social change once their basic institutional structure has been established. There is even some broad agreement that the late twentieth century witnessed the most recent one of those major transformations leading into the present time – variously characterized by adding adjectives such as “reflexive”, “global” or simply “new” to modernity. However, neither the dynamics of the recent social transformation nor the characteristic features of the present social constellation have been adequately grasped yet. Rather than assuming a socio-structural or politico-institutional perspective, as they dominate in sociology and political science respectively, this article concentrates on the way in which current social practices are experienced and interpreted by the human beings who enact them as parts of a common world that they inhabit together. It will be suggested that current interpretations are shaped by the experience of the dismantling of “organized modernity” from the 1970s onwards and of the subsequent rise of a view of the world as shaped by parallel processes of “globalization” and “individualization”, signalling the erasure of historical time and lived space, during the 1990s and early 2000s. In response to these experiences, we witness today a variety of interconnected attempts at re-interpretation of modernity, aiming at re-constituting spatiality and temporality. The re-constitution of meaningful time concerns most strongly questions of historical injustice, in terms of the present significance of past oppression and exclusion and in terms of the unequal effects of the instrumental transformation of the earth in the techno-industrial trajectory of modernity. The re-constitution of meaningful space focuses on the relation between the political form of a spatially circumscribed democracy and the economic practices of expansionist capitalism as well as on the spatial co-existence of a plurality of ways of world-interpretation.

 

8. Introduction to Johann P Arnason’s “The Imaginary Dimensions of Modernity” by Suzi Adams

 

9. The Imaginary Dimensions of Modernity by Johann P Arnason (translated by Suzi Adams)

This paper discusses the formation of Castoriadis’s concept of imaginary significations and relates it to his changing readings of Marx and Weber. Castoriadis’s reflections on modern capitalism took off from the Marxian understanding of its internal contradictions, but he always had reservations about the orthodox version of this idea. His writings in the late 1950s, already critical of basic assumptions in Marx’s work, located the central contradiction in the very relationship between capital and wage labour: Labour power was not simply transformed into a commodity, as Marx had argued; rather, the instituted attempt to treat it as a commodity was a contradiction in itself, between the subjectivity and the objectification of labour. Castoriadis then moved on to link this claim to Weber’s analysis of  the interconnections between capitalism and bureaucracy. The main contradiction of modern capitalism, whether wholly bureaucratized as in the Soviet model or increasingly bureaucratized as in the West, now seemed to be a matter of  incompatible systemic imperatives: the need to control and to mobilize the workforce. Finally, difficulties with this model – and with the revolutionary expectations based on it – led to a more decisive break with classical theories and to the formulation of a bipolar image of modernity, where the vision of an autonomous society is opposed to the logic of calculation and domination, embodied in capitalist development. On both sides there is an imaginary component, irreducible to empirical givens or systemic principles. In this regard, Castoriadis remained closer to Weber than to Marx, but he also anticipated, in a distinctive way, later emphasis on the cultural dimension of modernity, and more specifically the notion of modernity as a new civilization.

 

10. Introduction to Marcel Gauchet’s “Democracy: From One Crisis to Another” by Natalie J Doyle

 

11. Democracy: From One Crisis to Another by Marcel Gauchet (translated by Natalie J Doyle)

Democracy is in crisis. This crisis is the paradoxical outcome of its triumph over its erstwhile rivals. Having prevailed over the totalitarian projects of the first half of the 20th Century it has developed in such a way that it is now undermining its original goals of individual and collective autonomy. Modern liberal democracy – the outcome of an inversion of the values of tradition, hierarchy and political incorporation – is a mixed regime. It involves three different dimensions of social existence, political, legal, historical/economic, and organizes power around these. A balance was achieved after the upheaval of World War II in the form of liberal democracy, on the basis of reforms which injected democratic political power into liberalism and controlled the new economic dynamics it had unleashed. This balance has now been lost. Political autonomy, which accompanied modern historicity and its orientation towards the future, has been overshadowed by economic activity and its pursuit of innovation. As a result, the very meaning of democracy has become impoverished. The term used to refer to the goal of self-government, it is now taken to be fully synonymous with personal freedom and the cause of human rights. The legal dimension having come to prevail over the political one, democratic societies see themselves as “political market societies”, societies that can only conceive of their existence with reference to a functional language borrowed from economics. This depoliticisation of democracy has facilitated the rise to dominance of a new form of oligarchy.

 

12. Modern Social Imaginaries: A Conversation by Craig Calhoun, Dilip Gaonkar, Benjamin Lee, Charles Taylor and Michael Warner (edited by Dilip Gaonkar)

The conversation seeks to extend and complicate Charles Taylor’s (2004) account of three constitutive formations of modern social imaginaries: market, the public sphere, and the nation-state based on popular sovereignty in two critical respects. First, it seeks to show how these key imaginaries, especially the market imaginary, are not contained and sealed within autonomous spheres. They are portable and they often leak into domains beyond the ones in which they originate. Second, it seeks to identify and explore the new incipient and/or emergent imaginaries vying for recognition and demanding consideration in the constitution (as well as analysis) of contemporary social life, such as the risk-reward entrepreneurial culture.

 

**END**

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 Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Joy Heroe

Joy Heroe

JOY FOREVER: POLITICAL ECONOMY OF SOCIAL CREATIVITY

Edited by Michał Kozłowski, Agnieszka Kurant, Janek Sowa, Krystian Szadkowski, Kuba Szreder

Joy Forever refers to the false promise of a common happiness, constantly played out by the proponents of the creative class and creative economy – the very promise that since Romanticism has been ascribed to art itself, a vow which remains unfulfilled. The aim of Free/Slow University’s publication is to scrutinize the false promises of distributed creativity as an ideology of cognitive capitalism. The authors devote themselves to critical examination of the structural links between art, creativity, labour and the creation of value under contemporary relations of production. Some of them do not stop at a critical diagnosis but go further, reflecting upon potential alternatives to the status quo.

The book covers more than the issues of a narrowly understood art world, despite the fact that it pays a lot of attention to them. Art is conceived here as a social lab, where innovative ways of organizing of
labour, socializing both for labour and through labour, as well as different types of production, speculation, generation and accumulation and appropriation of value are experimented with and tested.

Authors: Hans Abbing, Joanna Bednarek, Luc Boltanski, Isabelle Bruno, Neil Cummings, Diedrich Diederichsen, Freee Art Collective, Isabelle Graw, Alex Neumann, Precarious Workers Brigade, John Roberts, Gigi Roggero, Martha Rosler, Stevphen Shukaitis, Massimiliano Tomba, Marina Vishmidt.

Electronic version freely accessible at: http://mayflybooks.org/?page_id=107

Publishers: Free/Slow University of Warsaw (http://www.wuw-warsaw.pl), MayFly Books (http://www.mayflybooks.org) and Bęc Zmiana Foundation (http://www.funbec.pl)

Print version is available from MayFly Books and other distributors.

Joy

Joy

**END**

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

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Posthuman

Posthuman

POSTHUMANISM & SOCIETY

Call For Papers

Glocal Symposium

“POSTHUMANISM & SOCIETY”

NYU, New York City, May 8th 2015

In collaboration with the New York Posthuman Research Group we are delighted to announce the first Glocal Symposium, to be held at the Program of Liberal Studies, New York University (NYC)

In contemporary scholarship, “posthuman” has emerged as a key term in the effort to redefine the human in light of multiple and profound impacts of twentieth and twentyfirst century social, philosophical and technological trends.

On one hand, the biotechnological possibility of human enhancement, the growing significance of virtuality as an extension of the self, the scientific and cultural expectations of space migration have raised crucial questions which require the input of society as a whole.

On the other hand, the cumulative impact of anthropocentrism has become so massive that geologists have dubbed the present era the “Anthropocene” since human actions have had a profound systemic affect, leading to an ecological point of no return.

Capitorg

Capitorg

The New York Posthuman Research Group invites multiple perspectives to converge on these and related questions.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Rosi Braidotti

Connecting live from the University of Utrecht (Holland)

There will be parallel events in different International Universities around the world.

*Glocal: The survival of local specificities in a globalized world.

 

SUBMISSIONS & DEADLINES

We invite abstracts of up to 150 words and a short bio, to be sent to:

NYposthuman@gmail.com

Abstracts should be received by February 28th 2015.

*Presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes. Each presentation will be given 10 additional minutes each for questions and discussions with the audience, for a total of 20 minutes.

 

The Academic Committee:

Francesca Ferrando

Farzad Mahootian

Yunus Tuncel

Posthuman

Posthuman

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

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