The Spectral Turn

Leiden PhD Seminar, starting September 28 | The seminar will be devoted to the contemporary fascination with ghosts and haunting, the so-called spectral turn, a fascinating and complex topic because of its many manifestations.

Interpretation Today

Seminar, 5 EC, starting September 20, 2017 | How can we assess the status of interpretation in the Humanities today? Increasingly in the last decades, scholars have written about the limits of interpretation. We discuss various orientations toward reading that oppose some of the hallmarks of the hermeneutic tradition—such as depth, consciousness, the primacy of language, humanism, interpretation, mediation, epistemology, and historicism. Instead, these theories value surfaces, description, cognition, affect, materiality, nonhuman entities, the natural and social sciences, and speculative thought.

Dissecting Violence

CFP ASCA/NICA Graduate Workshop, deadline October 17, 2017 | Violence is all around us. In Dissecting Violence, we will take on violence and its structures, its imaginaries and representations, as well as the multiple ways it can be resisted.

Cultural Studies Now

NICA Core Course, 6 EC, November-December 2017 | In this course, we will revisit the main genealogies and methodologies of Cultural Studies in relation to current developments, exploring the following five areas of contestation: conjuncture, politics, reality, interdisciplinarity, and culture. How did Cultural Studies start out? What can it now be?

John Lysaker & Paul Lysaker: Disordered Self

Public lecture, May 31 | How can we approach self-experience, and how can we understand the disordered self? What are the conceptual and existential challenges of taking care of (or managing and directing) this disordered self? What can the humanities – or art and literature – tell us about mental illness, and how can we further develop theories of the self by building on experiences from clinical practice? During this special event, John Lysaker, Professor of Philosophy, and Paul Lysaker, Psychiatrist and Professor of Clinical Psychology, will tackle these and other questions.

Fashion and National Identity

Seminar, June 19 | The central question of this seminar is the relation between fashion and national identity. Clothes have served in different ways to represent a nation, often in ambiguous and paradoxical ways. But what connects clothes to a nation: the designer’s nationality, the production of clothes, or what people wear? Historians, cultural scholars, museum curators and journalists reflect on how clothes reproduce, shape and question national identity.

PhD Work in Progress

Graduate workshop, June 9 | In preparation of drinks and fingerfood, NICA PhDs Thijs Witty, Olga Krasa-Ryabets, Jan Overwijk, Florian Goettke, and Sandra Becker present work in progress. Yolande Jansen and Murat Aydemir reflect on Cultural Studies ‘now.’ Everyone is invited.

Stuart Elden: Urban Territory, Early Foucault

May 23 and 31, reading session (2 EC) and public lecture | Stuart Elden is Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick, UK. He is the author of seven books, including works on territory, Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger, and Henri Lefebvre. Elden will present a public lecture, titled “The Early Foucault and the Politics of European Intellectual History.” In addition, he will participate in a joint reading session on urban territory.

Videocontemplation, with Lata Mani and Nicolás Grandi

23-24 May 2017, Film Screening and Masterclass, 1 EC |The Poetics of Fragility is a kaleidoscopic bilingual exploration of the texture, vitality and aesthetics of fragility. It interweaves stories of bodily frailty with optical vignettes of nature’s delicacy to reclaim fragility as intrinsic to existence, not something to be bemoaned or overcome. The masterclass inquires whether and how the camera can act as a tool for philosophical inquiry. How might mystery be restored to word and image in context of the transactional instrumentalism that characterizes neoliberal excess? What forms and genres facilitate an opening out of perception? Given the simultaneous avowal and disavowal of matter and of embodiment in our time what might we propose as constituting a hermeneutic of the senses, or to put it another way, an aesthetics of the sensible?

Travelling Cultures, with Mieke Bal

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.

Decolonization, New Materialism, Human Rights, Memory

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.

Mediated Matters, with Dorita Hannah and Julian Hetzel

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.

Reception, Nachleben and Transhistorical Art History

Masterclass, June 28-30, 3 EC | This masterclass will explore the methodology one might use in art and cultural historical reception study. Recurring themes in such research often are cross-mediality (reception of one medium in another) and cross-modality (reception in another context); temporality, cross-historicity and trans-historicity: dynamics of reception within another time period altogether; along similar lines, transnationality or even trans-globalism; identity-politics and nationalism; and the rather large spectrum of modes of “reception”, incorporating relevance, reception in the classic sense, nachleben, survivance, and appropriation as much as restoration, (re-) construction, and invention.

Nanna Bonde Thylstrup: Mass Digitization

MAP Lecture, March 22 | In this talk media scholar Nanna Bonde Thylstrup (University of Copenhagen) will discuss the politics of mass digitization, focusing in particular on its legal, cultural and ethical implications drawing on analyses of Google Books, Europeana and the emerging phenomenon of “shadow libraries”, that is, platforms that amass illegal text collections in the name of open access.

Everyday Analysis and Politactics with Dan Bristow

Public Talk and Masterclass, May 4, 1 EC | From 2012 to 2016 the Everyday Analysis collective ran a successful blog and website (https://everydayanalysis.com) dedicated to exploring everyday life, culture and politics from the perspective of literary and cultural theory, taking inspiration from earlier projects such as Roland Barthes’ Mythologies. The talk will explore the origins and philosophy of Everyday Analysis, and will present extracts from Politactics selected for their relevance to recent (and ongoing) political development in Europe and America. Presenting will be Dan Bristow, co-editor of Everyday Analysis and author of Lacan and Joyce: Reading, Writing and Psychoanalysis (2016), along with Ben Moore (Department of English), a regular contributor. Preceding the talk is a masterclass aimed at master students, which will explore ways of engaging with the work of Jacques Lacan (and psychoanalysis in general) as a tool of cultural analysis, taking as case studies a selection of pieces from Everyday Analysis and Bristow’s work in progress on 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968).

Public Lives/Private Platform: Politics of Twitter

CFP, Symposium May 23-24, 4 ECTS | We call for researchers, artists and activists to reflect on how Twitter has expanded, complicated and advanced the concept of free speech. We are especially interested in explorations of Twitter’s potential as a site for social change, and of the unique forms of political and cultural expression that this space makes possible.

The Aesthetic Turn in Post-Colonial Studies

Platform for Post-Colonial Readings, March 10, 1-3EC | Can we speak of a typically post-colonial aesthetics? If so, what would be its hallmarks? Are there ways to ‘provincialize’ Western aesthetic theory? How do aesthetic considerations contest and/or mediate the socio-political function of post-colonial texts? Can such a focus help to diversify our scholarly practice and enable us to tend to artistic expressions in the field that do not primarily address post-colonial ‘issues’? What could be the possible merits and limitations of a postcolonial aesthetic (to-be)?

Rose Mary Allen: Contesting Respectability, Unheard Voices

Lecture and workshop, 2 EC, March 27-31 | The lecture examines the ways in which colonial politics of respectability, aimed at shaping ideal Curaçaoan male and female behavior, formed a response to racist representations of black sexuality and character in Curaçaoan society. Workshop: Researchers are often confronted with the fact that certain key information is not in written form but stored in people’s memories. This is particularly the case in societies where written information represents colonial or other dominant views while alternative views are silenced. In this workshop, participants will look at oral history research findings, issues around reliability, transcription, interpretation and analysis.

Herschel Farbman: Sports and Corporate Capitalism

Leiden MAP lectures, February 22 | Herschel Farbman (UC Irvine) elaborates a critical commentary on the process by which the sportstalking fan, often troped ironically as player, figuratively extends the physical game far beyond the highly restricted limits of the field of play proper, forging, in the process, the lingua franca of advanced corporate capitalism.