Queer Intersections

NICA 6 EC Core Course offered by Toni Pape

Amsterdam, Thursdays 3 – 6 pm | 9 April, 16 April, 23 April, 30 April,7 May, 14 May 2020
Location: Roeterseiland 320.C.108

In this course, we will explore a mix of seminal and very recent interventions in queer thinking. More specifically, we will study how queer theory can productively intervene in other fields, mainly critical race theories and disability studies. The aim is not to provide students with a comprehensive survey of queer intersectional interventions, but rather to give them a sense of how queerness and queer thinking are able to disrupt normative and oppressive assumptions in a variety of fields of study, including hopefully the students’ own research areas. (This said, we will also talk about how queerness can align itself with normativity.)
Possible readings are from Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera, Roderick A. Ferguson’s Aberrations in Black, Jack Halberstam’s The Queer Art of Failure, Jasbir K. Puar’s Terrorist Assemblages, Paul Preciado’s Testo Junkie, José Muñoz’s Cruising Utopia, Dean Spade’s Normal Life, Melanie Yergeau’s Authoring Autism, and Telathia Nikki Young’s Black Queer Ethics. This list may change until the spring of 2020. The plan is to have a fixed reading list for the first two sessions (selected by the teacher) whereas the remainder of the course readings will be proposed and selected by the group of students themselves.

The course will be grounded in slow and close reading with ample room for discussions and student interventions. (You can think of it as a reading group.) At the end of the course, students will write a paper.

There is a waiting list for this course. If you want to be added to the waiting list please send an email to Eloe Kingma at nica-fgw@uva.nl. Be sure to specify your master program and university.

This is a NICA core activity. Completing this activity earns you a certificate specifying the number of EC credits at stake. You can have this certificate formally registered at your institution’s administrative office. You may need to acquire the permission of your program coordinator and/or board of examinations in order to participate and earn credits for this activity.


Cultures of Urban (In)Justice

The theme of the 2019-2020 ASCA Cities Seminar is “Cultures of Urban (In)Justice”. We are interested in examining dynamics of spatial (in)justice from the vantage point of creative, cultural, aesthetic and political practices in contemporary urban environments.

Spatial justice has long been recognized as an urgent and useful lens for understanding urban processes (Pirie 1983, Soja 2009). In this seminar, we will ask how it might be fruitfully expanded to both consider (in)justice as co-constitutive of contemporary urban cultures, social relations and forms of creative expression. In what ways are urban spatial processes bound up with frameworks of (in)justice at the local and ‘planetary’ scale? How are urban imaginaries articulated in relation to contemporary forms of geopower and its unjust consequences? What role does aesthetics – as negotiated by governments, art institutions, commercial actors, but also by artists and social or protest movements – play in diverse manifestations of urban (in)justice? And which inventive methods are being developed to take stock of spatial (in)justice, and intervene in its related assemblages, infrastructures and power structures?

Engaging with and expanding on these questions, the seminar seeks to analyse cultures of urban (in)justice by exploring a diverse set of topics and case studies. We will consider, for example, recent work on crisis and crisis-scapes in urban contexts, “black anthropocenes” (Yusoff, 2018), “ecologies of ‘making do’” (Mukherjee, 2017), “slow violence” (e.g. Nixon 2011, Davies, 2019), and “slow emergencies” (Anderson et al., 2019). In this way, we are not only interested in existing frameworks and manifestations of (in)justice, but also in ways of intervening, ‘repairing’, and ‘hacking into’ these structures and power relations, from a range of geographical locations and critical standpoints.

Semester 2 dates :

– Fri. 7 Feb.: Screening & discussion with Tino Buchholz (urban researcher and filmmaker)
– Fri. 6 Mar.: Kasia Mika (QMUL)
– Fri. 3 Apr.: Chiara De Cesari (University of Amsterdam)
– Fri. 8 May: Jennifer Hsieh (University of Michigan)

Organisers: Carolyn Birdsall, Jeff Diamanti, Simone Kalkman and Kasia Mika

Contact: c.j.birdsall@uva.nl

ASCA Cities Project website: https://www.cities.humanities.uva.nl/news/urban-cultures-of-injustice/



Cultural Studies Now

Cultural Studies Now
As Cultural Studies emerged in the early 1960s, perhaps its most pressing call was for academic knowledge to relate actively to the present socio-political situation or ‘conjuncture.’ In that vein, this course aims to revisit and, if necessary, criticize and update the canonical concerns and priorities of the field. What did crucial terms such as identity politics, interdisciplinarity, and popular culture mean in the 1960s, and what can they still mean today, a time when so much once-progressive notions may seem obsolete or co-opted by power? In this course, we revisit the main areas of concern for Cultural Studies – revolving on conjuncture, (identity) politics, reality, interdisciplinarity, and (popular) culture — in relation to current developments. Should Cultural Studies maintain a certain canonical or disciplinary form, or fundamentally adapt to changed and changing circumstances? With key readings by Stuart Hall, Mieke Bal, Paul Smith, Lawrence Grossberg, Asad Haidar, Nancy Fraser, and others.

Instructor: Murat Aydemir (m.aydemir@uva.nl)

Time and Place: Tuesdays, from October 29 to December 10, 13:00-16:00. See below.

Registration is open from 15 September 2019. Registration is limited to 25 participants.

Register by sending an e-mail to Eloe Kingma at nica-fgw@uva.nl. Please be sure to specify your research master program and university.


29 October 2019 | 13:00  16:00 | Roeterseiland Building JK | REC JK B.52

5 November 2019 | 13:00  16:00 | Roeterseiland Building JK | REC JK B.52

12 November 2019 | 13:00  16:00  | Roeterseiland Building JK | REC JK 3.38A 

19 November 2019 | 13:00  16:00 | Roeterseiland Building B |  REC B – BK.01

26 November 2019 | 13:00  16:00 | Roeterseiland Building C | REC C K.07 

3 December 2019 | 13:00  16:00 | Roeterseiland Building C |  REC C K.07 

10 December 2019 | 13:00  16:00 | Roeterseiland Building C | REC C K.07 



Rethinking Cross-Media: Intermediality, Convergence, Assemblage, Post-Media etc.

Cross-Media Research Seminar 2019-20

Rethinking Cross-Media: Intermediality, Convergence, Assemblage, Post-Media etc.

This year’s Cross-Media Research Seminar is going back to its basic concept and taking stock: What concepts and tools are available (and newly emerging) to understand a culture whose aesthetics and politics are decidedly cross-media: enabled by and circulating across a number of highly heterogeneous media constellations, each combining formal conventions, practices, technologies, and political economies in particular ways. The latest discussion, if fake news is a problem of social media or rather of the established mass media, shows the shortcomings of a compartmentalized approach to media, which is not least fostered by disciplinary boundaries (film studies, new media etc.). Concepts like form or affect, media logics or affordances still often get discussed in relation with a single media item (be it a platform or an individual ‘text’). Catch-all terms like ‘mediatization’, on the other hand, too sweepingly insinuate a growing relevance of media in general, while culture never existed independent of mediating technologies.

Between these alternative poles, we want to discuss approaches that allow for analyzing how culture – think of: structures of feelings, situated knowledges, struggles of meaning, uneven distribution of visibility, access and participation – is entangled with dynamics that emerge because of the ongoing re-articulation and transformation of different media.

This topic asks for an open research strategy. Instead of presenting a fixed list of topics or readings for the entire seminar, we will decide together throughout the course of the semester, what new publications and which seemingly outdated concepts offer inspiration to critically map the ongoing cross-media transformations.

RMA Students can earn ECs. Please contact the organizer for details. Register at: nica-fgw@uva.nl

Organizers: Sudeep Dasgupta, Abe Geil, Markus Stauff (contact: m.stauff@uva.nl )

Meetings are on the following Fridays 15-18h (dates for semester 2 will be determined later): Sept 20, Oct 18, Nov 15, Dec 13

Visualising the Archive: A Workshop with elin o’Hara slavick

Location and date: Groningen, 10 September 2019, 10-17

Organizers: Jan van Egmond (Academie Minerva), Camilla Sutherland (RUG), Ruby de Vos (RUG) in collaboration with elin o’Hara slavick

Credit: 1 EC

What is the archive, and what role does it play in contemporary art and culture? Which historical, institutional, and political ideas shape our understanding of the archive? What are the ethical implications of engaging with the archive as an artist, and how do they play a role in the creation and reception of the artwork? And which methodologies and concepts are helpful to study these practices as a researcher of art and culture? These are some of the questions this workshop will explore in collaboration with visual artist elin o’Hara slavick, through a theoretical as well as a practice-based workshop.

In critical theory the archive has long been an object of interest, most notably through the work of Foucault and Derrida. Both connect the archive to knowledge production and discursive processes of inclusion and exclusion through practices of organisation and categorisation. The archive is thus a potent site for reflections on memory and forgetting, even as its material dimensions are changing in an age where the logic of the archive is affected by increased digitisation and online access to the database (Dekker 2013). In contemporary art and culture, at the same time, we can witness what Hal Foster has called an “archival impulse” (2004), as the archival, both as a practice and as an aesthetic, is increasingly visible in the gallery and the museum (Van Alphen 2014). Against this background, this workshop asks: what kind of transformation does (or doesn’t) the archive undergo in the artistic process?

This workshop takes the exhibition of US-artist elin o’Hara slavick’s work at Galerie Block C in Groningen as a starting point to engage with the questions about the archive outlined above. In her work After Hiroshima, slavick works with objects from the archive of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, creating fragile works that paradoxically attest to the violence of the atomic bomb that was dropped on the city in 1945. Starting with a discussion session of set texts in the morning, lead by Sutherland and De Vos (RUG), participants will also engage in a practice-based session in the afternoon lead by O’Hara slavick and Van Egmond (Academie Minerva). To further encourage connections between theory and artistic practice, the session will be open to RMA and PhD students from NICA as well as to students from the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen.

Visualising the Archive is part of the programme of After Hiroshima: Cultural Responses to the Atomic Bomb, a series of events about the atomic bomb that will take place in Groningen from 7 until 14 September 2019. More information can be found here.

Registration & practicalities

6 places are available for RMA and PhD students. Participants are asked to write a brief motivation letter (350 words max.) in which they outline their interest in the topic, by reference to one case study that interests them (for example a physical/virtual archive, a cultural practitioner engaged in archival praxis, personal experiences with the archive as research tool etc.). Deadline: 27 June 2019

Applications and questions to: c.g.sutherland@rug.nl and r.e.de.vos@rug.nl

The workshop will take place at various locations in the city center of Groningen, including a visit to O’Hara slavick’s exhibition in Galerie Block C. Readings will be announced and distributed closer to the date.

Image courtesy of elin o’Hara slavick.