Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA) http://www.nica-institute.com Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:50:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 Ella Shohat: Postcolonial Cartographies of Knowledge http://www.nica-institute.com/ella-shohat-postcolonial-cartographies-knowledge/ Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:49:59 +0000 http://www.nica-institute.com/?p=4911 Masterclass, June 20, 1 EC | This masterclass will offer a theoretical approach to cartographies of knowledge, and rethink the relationship between orientalism and occidentalism, as well as the split Arab/Jew figure.

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Between Orientalism and Occidentalism

This masterclass with Ella Shohat links up with the ASCA/ACGS workshop on Critique of Religion: Framing Jews and Muslims in Political Theory and Public Debate (22-24 June). The masterclass will offer a theoretical approach to cartographies of knowledge, and rethink the relationship between orientalism and occidentalism, as well as the split Arab/Jew Figure.

Ella Shohat is Professor of Cultural Studies at the Culture & Representation track at New York University. Her books include: Taboo Memories, Diasporic Voices (Duke Univ. Press, 2006); Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation (Univ. of Texas Press, 1989; Updated Edition with a new postscript chapter, I.B. Tauris, 2010); Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age (MIT & The New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1998); and Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation and Postcolonial Perspectives (co-edited, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1997).

We will read and discuss several works from Prof. Shohat, among others:
— “The Sephardi-Moorish Atlantic: Between Orientalism and Occidentalism,” in Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of the Middle East in the Americas, co-edited by Evelyn Alsultany &Ella Shohat, The University of Michigan Press, 2013;
— “Tropical Orientalism” (with R. Stam), The Middle East and Brazil: Perspectives on the New Global South, Paul Amar, ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014.

Info:
June 20, starting at 12:00
University of Amsterdam, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Belle van Zuylenzaal
Register: mail Eloe Kingma at nica-fgw@uva.nl and be sure to mention your home university and program.

 

 

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Travelling Cultures, with Mieke Bal http://www.nica-institute.com/travelling-cultures-movement-conflict-and-performance/ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 10:01:43 +0000 http://www.nica-institute.com/?p=4900 Masterclass in Rome, September 20-30, 6 EC, apply before May 15 | Many of the foundational myths informing “Western Civilization” are narrations of the often violent conflicts performed in a situation where cultures on the move meet. The Rape of the Sabine Women is just one of such tales that illustrate how Rome and its history offer a privileged perspective on the pivotal role of violence in establishing civilization, as well as on the strong cultural memory they produce through the works of art inspired by these myths. In the current global political situation, it is worth revisiting those myths to explore, with the tools of cultural theory, how the movement of cultures, which was once the standard of human cohabitation, has become seen as problematic in the present.

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Movement, Conflict, and Performance

 20-30 September 2017

KNIR Rome
Deadline for applications: 15 May 2017
Flyer Travelling Cultures

Many of the foundational myths informing “Western Civilization” are narrations of the often violent conflicts performed in a situation where cultures on the move meet. The Rape of the Sabine Women is just one of such tales that illustrate how Rome and its history offer a privileged perspective on the pivotal role of violence in establishing civilization, as well as on the strong cultural memory they produce through the works of art inspired by these myths. In the current global political situation, it is worth revisiting those myths to explore, with the tools of cultural theory, how the movement of cultures, which was once the standard of human cohabitation, has become seen as problematic in the present. In an anachronistic (“pre-posterous”) perspective, participants will bring analytical concepts with relevance for the present in its connection to the past, to bear on their own research projects. Close attention to cultural objects in view of the themes hinted at by the title, with the help of theoretical concepts will be the goal of the seminar.

Course information
The Masterclass is organised by and hosted at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR), in conjunction with the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), the Huizinga Institute. Research Institute and Graduate School for Cultural History, and the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL). The Masterclass comprises a series of excursions to locations in and close to Rome that have relevance to the seminar’s topic.

Staff: KNIR-fellow prof.dr. Mieke Bal (University of Amsterdam), in conjunction with prof.dr. Harald Hendrix (KNIR).
Guest lecturers: prof.dr. Ernst van Alphen (Leiden University), Kaspar Thormod MA (EUI Florence), various KNIR staff members.
Credits: 6 ects, assigned upon completion of the final essay.
Languages used in the Masterclass: English.
Assessment: preparation of a position paper prior to the seminar in Rome, on-site oral presentations, active contribution to plenary discussions, and a final essay to be submitted after the stay in Rome.

More information and application (before May 15)

MiekeBLuzernRoberto Conciatori Web

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Decolonization, New Materialism, Human Rights, Memory http://www.nica-institute.com/decolonization-new-materialism-human-rights-memory/ Mon, 10 Apr 2017 10:10:29 +0000 http://www.nica-institute.com/?p=4892 ACLA Masterclasses, 1 EC, July 4-6, 2016 | In the run-up to the 2017 annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association (to take place in Utrecht July 6-9), there will be four masterclasses for research master students and PhD candidates on a wide range of subjects. In order to receive credit (1 EC), participants are required to take two of these masterclasses (you can pick any combination), but you must register by 18 June 2017. Each masterclass will take two hours and require the preparation of 2-3 articles or book chapters.

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Humanism from the Standpoint of Decolonization
Stathis Gourgouris (Comparative Literature, Columbia University)

While radical European thought in the second half of the 20th century turned into an explicitly anti-humanist theory in order to battle the collusion of humanist ideas with colonial power, the exact reverse happened in the historical juncture of decolonization. Radical intellectuals in the non-European tradition (from M.N. Roy to Césaire, Senghor, and Fanon, and all the way to Sylvia Wynter and Edward Said) proposed an alternative humanism — a “non-humanist humanism” in Said’s phrase — that spearheaded the battlefront against the dehumanization of the colonial experience. This decolonized humanism may be again precisely the source of resistance to posthumanist globalization. In addition to establishing a historical trajectory, in the class we will address key texts from the negritude debates (especially Césaire and Fanon) as well as Said’s Humanism and Democratic Criticism.
Stathis Gourgouris is Professor of Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, and author of Dream Nation (1996), Does Literature Think? (2003), and Lessons in Secular Criticism (2013). He writes and teaches on a variety of subjects that ultimately come together around questions of the poetics and politics of modernity and democracy.

Wednesday, July 5
11.00 – 13.00
Drift 23, Room 103
Utrecht University

 

New Materialism: a Problem Resolved or Displaced?
Vicki Kirby, Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney

The interventionary importance of new materialist strategies is often explained as a corrective to the over-reach of the linguistic turn and an acknowledgement of the failures of constructionist arguments. A consequence of this freeing up has been a more robust engagement with the sciences, with plants, animals, climate change, geology and even physics. Not surprisingly, the critique of human exceptionalism is an inevitable corollary of this turning outward and away from what now appears as human solipsism. Does this more generous and inclusive vision, with its liberation of analytical methodologies and research “objects,” effectively trump the insights and complexities of the linguistic turn in ways that exceed mere assertion? Where is the reference point that will anchor our evaluation?  And should we care if we can’t find one?

Vicki Kirby is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney.  She is a prominent figure in feminist and new materialist debates and in recent attempts to review the work of Jacques Derrida in vitalist terms.  More recent books include (ed.) What If Culture Was Nature All Along? (Edinburgh University Press) and Quantum Anthropologies: Life at Large (Duke).  She has articles forthcoming in PhiloSophiaJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour and a chapter in David Woods et al. eds., Eco-Deconstruction (Fordham UP)

Wednesday, July 5
15.00 – 17.00
Drift 23, Room 103
Utrecht University


Literature, Human Rights, and Neoliberalism; or, What’s Wrong with Empathy?
Joseph Slaughter, English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Most literature and many legal scholars seem to agree that “the historic mission of ‘contemporary’ human rights is to give voice to human suffering, to make it visible, and to ameliorate it,” as Upendra Baxi has written. In the face of a general consensus that human rights are about storytelling, we should consider the role played by the so-called narrative turn in narrowing ideas of human rights to the suffering of individuals and in promoting personal sympathy as the proper response to it. The “narrative turn” in human rights can be tracked to the 1970s, when personal stories and appeals to empathy became (the) primary tools in much Western human rights work—best emblematized, perhaps, in the efforts of groups such as Amnesty International that encouraged individuals to enter into imaginary empathetic relationships with the injuries of distant others. This seminar will consider some of the costs of this narrative turn: what are the consequences for human rights? what has this done to literature? are we defending literary studies (and the humanities more generally) in terms that promote the neoliberalization of a moral economy?

Joseph Slaughter is currently President of the American Comparative Literature Association. He teaches postcolonial literature and theory, human rights, and third-world approaches to international law in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He has published numerous articles on African and Latin American literature, human rights, and intellectual property. His book Human Rights, Inc: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law, which excavates the shared logic underpinning human rights law and the form and ideology of the Bildungsroman, won the 2008 René Wellek Prize for Comparative Literature and Cultural Theory. He is finishing two books: New Word Orders, on intellectual property and world literature, and Pathetic Fallacies, a collection of essays on human rights and the humanities.

Thursday, July 6
11.00 – 13.00
Drift 23, Room 103
Utrecht University

 

Palimpsestic Memory and the Art of the Invisible
Max Silverman,  Modern French Studies, University of Leeds

Recent developments in cultural memory studies have moved away from ideas of memory as simply being linked to the shared past of a social, ethnic or national community to explore the ways in which memory ‘travels’ across communities, nations and generations, especially in the contemporary age of global communication flows. An accompanying development suggests that memory is not a fixed monument to the past but is, instead, a dynamic, productive and imaginative process which is performed in the present. In my own contribution to these debates, I have used the figure of the palimpsest and the notion of ‘noeuds de mémoire’ (knots of memory) to highlight the unstable and hybrid nature of memory as traces of different voices, times and places are interwoven, overlaid and transformed through their interaction. In this workshop we will consider the following dimensions of this more fluid and polyphonic concept of memory: temporality, ethics, narrative, politics, the affective and the performative.

Max Silverman is Professor of Modern French Studies at the University of Leeds. He works on post-Holocaust culture, postcolonial theory and cultures, and questions of memory, race and violence. His most recent monograph, entitled Palimpsestic Memory: the Holocaust and Colonialism in French and Francophone Fiction and Film (Berghahn, 2013), considered the connections between the Holocaust and colonialism in the French and Francophone cultural imaginary. He has recently published three co-edited books with Griselda Pollock on the theme of the ‘concentrationary’: Concentrationary Cinema: Aesthetics as Political Resistance in Alain Resnais’s ‘Night and Fog’ (Berghahn, 2011), Concentrationary Memories: Totalitarian Terror and Cultural Resistance (I. B. Tauris, 2014) and Concentrationary Imaginaries: Tracing Totalitarian Violence in Popular Culture (I. B. Tauris, 2015). He is currently working on the fourth and final volume in this series entitled Concentrationary Art and his next monograph entitled The Art of the Invisible.

Tuesday, July 4
17.00 – 19.00
Drift 23, Room 103
Utrecht University

 

INFO:

In order to receive credit (1 EC), students are required to take two of these masterclasses (you can pick any combination), but you must register by 18 June 2017.

Please Note: When registering, please fill in under remarks which two masterclasses you would like to attend.
Register here

Each masterclass will take two hours and require the preparation of 2-3 articles or book chapters. The required readings will be made available to registered participants ahead of time. Please prepare the readings carefully and be ready to discuss the texts and ask productive discussion questions.

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PhD Positions: Uncertain Archives http://www.nica-institute.com/phd-positions-uncertain-archives/ Mon, 03 Apr 2017 09:54:58 +0000 http://www.nica-institute.com/?p=4888 The Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, invites applications for one to two PhDs affiliated with the project Uncertain Archives. The position is for a three-year period to be filled by 1 September 2017. Data production, capture, and dissemination constitute key global themes and challenges today. We […]

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The Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, invites applications for one to two PhDs affiliated with the project Uncertain Archives. The position is for a three-year period to be filled by 1 September 2017.

Data production, capture, and dissemination constitute key global themes and challenges today. We are surrounded by immense data archives that constantly accumulate from a wide array of activities organized on all levels of society: from global search engines to local smart cities; from public health monitoring to personal self-tracking. While borne out of a desire to innovate, securitize, and escape human error, it is becoming increasingly clear that big data archives also bring with them new uncertainties in the form of new bias dynamics, new forms of systemic errors, and new ethical dilemmas. Grounded in the humanities, but part of the emerging field of Critical Data Studies, it is the contention of this research group that there are significant insights to be gained from the application of cultural theories of the archive. Poststructuralist archive theory has long grappled with uncertainty in relation to archives, but remains surprisingly marginally represented in the general big data discourse. The significant contribution of this research group consists in developing a novel approach for understanding the pertinent ethical and epistemological questions that have arisen alongside data-intensive environments. The project draws on liaison with computer technologists, sociologists, contemporary art practitioners and policy makers to forge a theoretically-informed approach both to the technical and to the ethico-political implications of archival uncertainty for the organization of knowledge today.

We now seek to extend the group with two PhDs who wish to work on these issues on a scale that may go from intimate self-tracking devices to the infrastructural scale of the smart city. In particular we encourage applications that build bridges between computer science, health, urban studies, the arts and cultural theory.

More information

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Mediated Matters, with Dorita Hannah and Julian Hetzel http://www.nica-institute.com/mediated-matters-dorita-hannah-julian-hetzel/ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:31:01 +0000 http://www.nica-institute.com/?p=4883 Masterclass, May 19 and 22, 2 EC | This masterclass explores performance design as critical perspective on the complexity of our contemporary condition, in which we cannot separate the theatrical from the sociopolitical. Together with Dorita Hannah (University of Tasmania), we will explore the theoretical foundations of performance design and explore the potential of this approach through a series of case studies. These examples will include the work of Julian Hetzel, in particular his performance installation Schuldfabrik, present at the Spring Festival.

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Performance Design as Critical Perspective

This symposium-plus-masterclass explores performance design as critical perspective on the complexity of our contemporary condition in which we cannot separate the theatrical from the sociopolitical. Performance design is an extended notion of scenography that adopts performance theory as a means of acknowledging and critiquing the proliferation of events played out in a world that, as Jon McKenzie contends, ‘has become a designed environment in which an array of global performances unfold’ (2008: 128). Performance design provides a perspective that moves beyond a focus on the self-staging and self-design of individuals within these environments, and towards a post-human approach that investigates and reflects on the ways in which environments set the stage for performances in the broadest sense, from the arts to politics to public space. Performance design de-trivializes the ‘theatrical’ – too often considered false, exaggerated or histrionic – emphasizing the fact that the lived world itself is far stranger than fiction: a complex mixed reality-event unfolding though a multiplicity of material practices and scenographic screens. Furthermore, performance design acknowledges the potential of design itself as what Jane Rendell describes as a critical spatial practice, i.e. a practice that like critical theory is reflective rather than objectifying, and aims to change the world, or at least the world in which the inequalities of market capitalism, as well as patriarchal and colonial (or post-colonial) interests, continue to dominate.

During this masterclass with Dorita Hannah we will explore the theoretical foundations of performance design and explore the potential of this approach through a series of case studies. These examples will include the work of Julian Hetzel, in particular his performance installation Schuldfabrik, present at the Spring Festival. Julian Hetzel will join us for the discussion about his work. Participants are also invited to bring examples, including examples from their own practice.

Dorita Hannah (Research Professor of Interdisciplinary Architecture, Art & Design: University of Tasmania, Australia and Adjunct Professor of Stage & Space: Aalto University, Finland) works across the spatial, visual and performing arts as a scholar and design practitioner. Specializing in theatre architecture, as well as the design of cultural venues and public space, she also creates dance-architecture events and performative installations as practice-led research and was Theory Curator for PQ 2015 (Prague Quadrennial), Research Curator for WSD 2013 (World Stage Design) and Architectural Commissioner for PQ 2011. She has been on the boards of OISTAT (International Association of Scenographers, Theatre Architects & Technicians), Performance Studies international (PSi) and the Interior Architecture/Design Educators Association (IDEA). Hannah currently co-Chairs the Performance+Design Working Group for PSi and sits on various editorial boards and international research centers. Focusing on how the built environment housing an event is itself an event and an integral driver of experience, she has completed Event-Space: Theatre Architecture & the Historical Avant-Garde, a book to be published this year by Routledge Press. Dorita Hannah is Centre for the Humanities SPRING Festival Fellow 2017, a fellowship generously sponsored by the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. This masterclass is co-organized with the Centre for the Humanities, SPRING Performing Arts Festival and Theatre Studies at Utrecht University.

Dates: May 19 and 22. Participants are requested to visit Julian Hetzel’s Schuldfabrik at the Spring Performing Arts festival on May 18, 19, 20 or 21. Tickets (16 euro) will be available through the festival website.

Venue: tba.

Credits: RMA Students can acquire 2 EC if they attend all events, complete the readings and write an assignment related to the topic of the workshop.

Registrations: Please contact Eloe Kingma at nica-fgw@uva.nl. Be sure to specify your home institution and programme.

 

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