Credits at NICA


Starting from the academic year 2014-2015, new graduate students are required to obtain a number of EC credits at the national schools. This post explains what you will need to know

The Young: What Matters?

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International Postgraduate Symposium, February 6-7, 2015, 1 EC | In his essay ‘Research: The Young’ (1989), Roland Barthes refers to research processes that are based on the unity of their groups of authors, rather than a theme, and he specifically focuses on groups comprised of postgraduate students. The success of a piece of research, he posits, does not lie in its ‘result’ (publication), as is usually believed, but in its reflexive nature. Drawing on Barthes’ ideas, ‘The Young: What Matters?’ constitutes a public platform dedicated to critical voices who are at early stages of their research, aiming to facilitate an exchange of thoughts and practices related to performance, performativity, media, and arts and the humanities at large

The Aesthetics and Affects of Cuteness


Two-day workshop, April 9 and 10, 2015 | One key goal of our project is to situate this aesthetic in the current phase of neoliberal capitalism in which uncertainty and contingency are keynotes of worker subjectivities and technological change at once offers greater connectivity yet delivers further atomisation. Additionally, we see cuteness as central to complex negotiations in the terrain of human-animal subjectivities. Key changes in the culture surrounding “companion species” frame depictions of animal cuteness in important ways that are also inextricably linked to an increase in emotional precarity and neoliberal logics of consumption

Peter Hitchcock: Exchanging Values, Trading Objects


ACGS Lecture and Masterclass, November 10-11 |Peter Hitchcock is a Professor of English at the Graduate Center and Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY). His books include Dialogics of the Oppressed, Oscillate Wildly, and The Long Space. Bitcoin has quickly emerged as the benchmark ‘virtual currency’ since it was proposed in 2008. In his lecture, Hitchcock considers Bitcoin economically (primarily as money, although it is more than that), politically (central banks and currencies are generally state-based and Bitcoin is not), and culturally (particularly in terms of temporality and the ‘nowness’ of exchange value). The masterclass explores Hitchcock’s ongoing ‘Trading Objects’ project, in which he focuses, in particular, on the sharp contrasts between core commodities (oil, water) and the object relations of financial products (including the derivative, the dark pool and, of course, Bitcoin). This is primarily a cultural critique attempting to fathom differential logic across a network of globalised commodities

Wendy Chun: Imagined Networks


Masterclass (1 ECTS), October 24 | Wendy Chun is Professor and Chair of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. This masterclass for PhD candidates and RMA students will focus on Wendy Chun’s interdisciplinary work investigating the relationship between cultural formations and technological artifacts, between theoretical concepts in the humanistic and technological disciplines, and between popular perceptions of technology and technological protocols. Chun’s research is driven by questions such as: What is the impact of control technologies on mass media? What made the Internet, a communications network that had existed for years, a “new” or “exceptional” medium in the mid-1990s? How does the concept of “memory” cut across computational, biological and humanistic fields? Specifically, the masterclass focuses on her upcoming monograph, entitled Imagined Networks

Cultural Memory, Trauma, and the Problem of Representation


Leiden Theory Seminar & Tutorial (6 ECTS), Fall 2014, starting September 24 | Whereas for a long time literature has been considered to be, and was approached as, a form of individual expression, today it is often dealt with as a form of memory. This memory can be individual, but also belong to a culture, a nation, or to other kinds of group identity. Questions which will be central in this course, are the following: What exactly is memory, how is memory produced? How does memory relate to experience? What can go wrong in the process of producing memories? How does traumatic memory relate to “normal” memory. How can literature be read as a form of memory

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