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.

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 ( 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).

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.

Ayanna Dozier: The Counter-Poetics of Beyoncé’s Lemonade

April 10-11, Masterclass and lecture, 1 EC | Beyoncé’s Lemonade (2016) uses the rich diasporic pool of Black cultural production to signify liberation, as a “self-making” act, through resistant performance in the audiovisual form. This master class and talk will analyze the staging, performance, and use of Black cultural production made in Lemonade as a pedagogical tool for resisting colonial spaces and domination.

PhD Work in Progress

CFP, PhD workshop June 9, 2017 | We’d like to invite all NICA PhD members for our ‘Work in Progress’ meeting on Friday, June 9, 2017. The idea is simply for PhD researchers to share a sample of their own work in progress, with joint discussion and feedback to follow. Feel free to present work that’s genuinely in process: fledgling, under way, unfinished, partial, fragmentary, patchy, stuck.

Urban Interfaces

Elective, 5 EC, 2nd semester, Utrecht University | Since the beginning of the 20th century, cultural researchers have been concerned with how transport and communication technologies, rapid urbanization and massive social upheavals impact social mobility, civic engagement and modes of belonging. Today, globalization, the spread of information technologies in the urban domain, and the debate on participatory culture and civic engagement spur a further mobilization of urban culture, identity and publics. Both scholars as well as artists and designers enquire into how urban space invites collaborative and playful practices of resistance, appropriation and/or engagement. By productively exploring mutual similarities and differences in concerns, methods, concepts, and skills, [urban interfaces] seeks to investigate urban transformations in a methodologically innovative manner.

Corporeal Literacy

Elective, 5 EC, 2nd semester, Utrecht University | Corporeal literacy is a strategic term meant to make space for a further expansion of the notion of literacy to include our bodily engagement with what we find ourselves confronted with. In this course, we study texts by (among others) Mark Hansen, Lakof and Johnson, Shaun Gallagher, Vivian Sobchack , Laura Marks and Brian Rotman. Students are invited to explore the potential of these readings for the analysis of encounters with media of different kinds.

Imagining the Image: Talking Back to the Media

Elective, 9 EC, 2nd semester, VU | Imagining the Image is a biennial course of the VU’s research master’s programme VAMA (Visual Arts, Media and Architecture), centering on the critical study of various theories of the image and visuality. This year, the course will take a specific case as its focal point: the 1985 project Talking Back to the Media, which took place in Amsterdam in different institutions, and in different media. Drawing on institutional critique, appropriation art, media theory and the more critical versions of postmodernist theorizing, Talking Back to the Media sought to give artists the opportunity to use a variety of media (photography and exhibition spaces, video and television, radio, print) for critiquing the dominant mass media.

Cultural Analysis and Disability

NICA Core Course, 6 EC, starting Feb 7 | This course explores a new perspective on disability, corporeality, and subjectivity: an interdisciplinary approach traversing the intersections and overlaps between relevant social, cultural, political, artistic, ethical, and medical contexts. Our aim is to approach disability as a concept while using the analytical tools of cultural analysis, encouraging interdisciplinarity under a socially and politically responsible outlook. While the focus of the course will be academic, cross-disciplinary collaborations of artistic production, social engagement, and academic analysis are welcome.

Political Philosophy and the Humanities in a Global Age

NICA core course, starting April 6, 6 EC | In the humanities, globalization has until quite recently been studied from two rather distinct perspectives: either from a postcolonial or decolonial cultural-historical perspective, or from a normative, political theoretical perspective, often rooted in the liberal and human rights traditions. Over the last years, it has been increasingly recognized by scholars from both the cultural and political-theoretical fields that integrating these perspectives would be helpful to enhance the humanities’ critical and practical potential in today’s world. Criticism of the legacies of eurocentrism and colonialism in liberalism and the human rights traditions is then combined with cutting edge political philosophical work concentrating on questions of imperialism, freedom and global justice, f.e., increasingly, on resource and environmental justice.

Global Literacy: Arts, Media and the Humanities

Elective, 12 EC, 2nd semester, starting February 6, UvA | This course explores the relationship between literacy and space. It examines the ways that different types of literacy produce different forms of space and how negotiating different kinds of space demand different strategies of literacy. As well as considering what literacies connect the novel and the nation and the network with the globe, it asks how do these spaces intersect and how do we read across and between them?

Sex/Race/Trans: Human Life Forms

Elective, 12 EC, 2nd semester, starting February 6, UvA | The first part of the module will focus on what to do with “trans- ” today. Left deliberately truncated, “trans-” can do problematic cultural work in the company of nouns (a transman, a transwoman) but also become a verb (“transition,” “translate” or “transgress”). We will ask which theoretical and political resources such intersections offers. The second part of the module will connect the issues discussed during the first block to link them to problems raised by other critical discourses and movements that use “race” or “sexuality” as their pivot point. What are the purpose, possibilities and limitations of such categories, what are the possibilities of alliances and misalliances?

Wildness without Wilderness

Conference panel, October 27-29, no EC | The Benelux have always been invested in transnational, postcolonial approaches in the humanities on the one hand, and in post-humanism, new materialism, and bio-art on the other. Adding to this, there is an increasing interest in (artistic) practice as a form of thinking and doing research that allows for fruitful ‘contamination’ between these domains. Two panels discuss the insights produced by predominantly young and upcoming scholars and writers in these fields.

Unnecessary, Unwanted, and Uncalled-For

ASCA International Workshop, March 28-30 | In this workshop we seek to interrogate the notion of uselessness in culture, politics and aesthetics both empirically and theoretically through four broad interconnected themes; the everyday, space, the body and objects. By approaching uselessness through these four themes, we zoom in on the four main factors that create utility, take it away again, and are at the receiving end of being classified as useless.

Cross Media Seminar: Forms of Attention

Research Seminar/Tutorial, 6 ECTS, Starting September 16 | The 2016/17 Cross Media Seminar will focus on the concept of attention in relation to media experience. The seminar will focus on the relation between the growing ubiquity, overlap and divergence between different media, and issues of politics, aesthetics and subjectivity.

Urban World Making

Seminar, Tutorial, Starting September 30, 6 ECTS | We are interested in examining how processes of world-making feature in the production of urban environments and across creative, cultural and political practices under conditions of globalisation. In what ways are global processes bound up with lived experience and affective geographies? How is the imagination of world systems or global connectivity articulated in creative praxis? And which methods – including and extending beyond visualisation – can be used to track urban processes, relations or temporal flows?