Masterclass Ariella Azoulay (Brown University)

23 Nov 2018 | Tropenmuseum

The Research Center for Material Culture is pleased to invite you to a masterclass with Professor Azoulay, one of the leading photo theorists today. Azoulays work explores questions around photographic theory, archival practices in relation to issues of sovereignty, political subjectivity and human rights. Professor Azoulay will speak on the theme potential history, a concept and an approach that she has developed over the last decade, which has far-reaching implications for the fields of political theory, archival formations and photography studies.


Ariella Azoulay, Professor of Modern Culture and Media and the Department of Comparative Literature, Brown University, film essayist and independent curator of archives and exhibitions Azoulay’s research and forthcoming book (Verso, 2019) focus on potential history of key political concepts-institutions: archive, sovereignty, art and human rights. Potential history, a concept and an approach that she has developed over the last decade, has far-reaching implications for the fields of political theory, archival formations and photography studies.

Among her books: The Resolution of The Suspect (with photographer: Miki Kratsman), Radius Books/Peabody Museum Press, 2016; Aïm Deüelle Lüski and Horizontal Photography, Leuven University Press and Cornell University Press, 2013. From Palestine to Israel: A Photographic Record of Destruction and State Formation, 1947-1950, (Pluto Press, 2011), Civil Imagination: The Political Ontology of Photography (Verso, 2012) and The Civil Contract of Photography (Zone Books, 2008); co-author with Adi Ophir. The One State Condition: Occupation and Democracy between the Sea and the River. Stanford University Press, 2012.

Her archives & exhibitions (selection): “Act of State 1967-2007,” [in Cher(e)s Ami(e)s, Centre Pompidou, 2016], “The Natural History of Rape,” (F/Stop photography festival, Leipzig & Pembroke Center, Brown University, 2016), “The Body Politic” [in Really Useful Knowledge, curated by What, How & for Whom / WHW], Reina Sofia, Madrid; When The Body Politic Ceases To Be An Idea, Exhibition Room – Manifesta Journal Around Curatorial Practices No 16, Potential History (2012, Stuk / Artefact, Louven), Untaken Photographs (2010, Igor Zabel Award, The Moderna galerija, Lubliana; Zochrot, Tel Aviv), Architecture of Destruction(Zochrot, Tel Aviv), Everything Could Be Seen (Um El Fahem Gallery of Art). Cinematic essays (selection): Civil Alliances, Palestine, 47-48 (2012), I Also Dwell Among Your Own People: Conversations with Azmi Bishara (2004), The Food Chain (2004).


To participate fully in the masterclass we ask that you read:


The class will be conducted as a discussion.
Attendees are expected to read the readings in advance of the seminar
More information and registration:


Crowds and Parties

ASCA/NICA Master class with Jodi Dean organized by Joost de Bloois, 22 November, 11:00-13:00 hrs., PC Hoofthuis, Spuistraat 134, room K04

Jodi Dean is a well-known political theorist. She is the author of several much-acclaimed books, such as The Communist Horizon, Blog Theory and Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies. Recently, she published Crowds and Parties with Verso Books. In her work, Dean theorizes new forms of political organization, the modern-day meaning of ‘communism’, as well as trenchant critiques of neoliberalism, institutional democracy, contemporary forms of labour and (new) media. Her work, often polemically, engages with contemporary theorists such as Toni Negri & Michael Hardt, and Slavoj Zizek, and takes its cues, among others, from Marxism, media studies and psychoanalysis.

For this master class, Dean will discuss chapters from Crowds and Parties and work in progress.

The master class is open to PhD and rMa students, as well as others working with or curious of Jodi Dean’s work. Participants will read chapters from Crowds and Parties, and will formulate questions for Jodi Dean to facilitate discussion.

The master class is relevant for scholars working in philosophy, cultural analysis, political sciences, media studies, history, gender studies.

PhD and rMa students may obtain credits for their participation.

For further information and registration, please contact: Joost de Bloois,

Sound, Ontology, and Race: Which way does the turn go? 

Sound, Ontology, and Race: Which way does the turn go? 

NICA Masterclass with Dr. Alejandra Bronfman (University at Albany, SUNY)

Date: Tuesday 11 December, 15:00-17:00
Location: Potgieterzaal, University Library (UB), Singel 425, Amsterdam

During this masterclass we will work through a recent debate on the meaning of the recent ontological turn in Sound Studies, and in particular its relationship to race, politics and history. In turn, authors Marie Thompson, Annie Goh and Christoph Cox puzzle through what it means to bring materialism to bear on sound and listening. Is this problematic to considerations of sonic alterity and the politics of knowledge production? What are the productive critiques and fruitful considerations to bear in mind as we develop our own research projects? This workshop will invite participants to critically engage with these texts and think through the implications for imagining their own research directions. 

Reading preparation

– Thompson, Marie. “Whiteness and the Ontological Turn in Sound Studies.” Parallax 23.3 (2017): 266-282.

– Goh, Annie. “Sounding Situated Knowledges: Echo in Archaeoacoustics.” Parallax 23.3 (2017): 283-304.

– Cox, Christoph. “Sonic Realism and Auditory Culture: A Reply to Marie Thompson and Annie Goh.” Parallax 24.2 (2018): 234-242.

Dr. Alejandra Bronfman is Associate Professor in the Department of Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the University at Albany, SUNY. Her recent book, Isles of Noise: Sonic Media in the Caribbean (University of North Carolina Press, 2016), considers the politics and poetics of sound and broadcasting in Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti in the early 20th century. Future and past research interests include histories of race, the production of knowledge, and the materiality of media, its archives and infrastructures. Currently she is developing a project on sound, toxicity and environment in Vieques, Puerto Rico during the military occupation of the island. Another project decenters Cold War histories with a focus on Cuba-Haiti clandestine broadcasting in the early 1960s. 



Listening to Racism in the United State, or Why Sound Matters

Public lecture by Dr. Jennifer Lynn Stoever (Binghamton University, SUNY)

Date: Tuesday 11 December, 9:00-11:00
Location: Doelenzaal, University Library (UB), Singel 425, Amsterdam
Contact: (no registration necessary for this lecture)

We talk too often about race and racism as if they are solely visual concepts. Jennifer Stoever’s lecture will unsettle the assumed relationship between race and looking by introducing the concept of the sonic color line and exploring the often undetected ways in which sound and listening have also functioned to produce and enforce racial hierarchies throughout U.S. history and in our present moment. Stoever will also discuss how the sonic color line has shaped sound media such as the radio, and how sound media, in turn, have disciplined us to hear race.  With examples ranging from nineteenth century American pop opera stars to cold war radio to #blacklivesmatter, this lecture explores how sound and listening not only register the racial politics of our world, but actively produce them. Stoever argues that sound matters in our everyday lives and that we can work to shift our historically and culturally conditioned listening practices toward a more equitable world.  

Dr. Jennifer Lynn Stoever is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sounding Out!. She is currently Associate Professor of English at Binghamton University, where she teaches courses on African American Literature, sound studies, and race and gender representation. She is the author of The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening (NYU Press, 2016).  


Hip Hop, Cop Voice and the Cadence of White Supremacy in the United States

Masterclass with Dr. Jennifer Lynn Stoever (Binghamton University, SUNY)

Date: Monday 10 December, 10:00-12:00
Location: Potgieterzaal, University Library (UB), Singel 425, Amsterdam

During this masterclass, we will discuss how police officers in the United States use a racialized and gendered way of speaking called ‘cop voice’ to provoke fear and extreme forms of compliance from people of colour. Through autoethnographic analysis coupled with sonic attention to how Jay-Z (‘99 Problems’), Public Enemy (‘Get the Fuck Out of Dodge’) and Prince Paul (‘The Men in Blue’) represent ‘cop voice’ through shifts in their rapping flow or by using white guest rappers, we will explore how police weaponize their voices. Identifying and listening closely to these examples of cop voice reveals how people who are raced as ‘white’ in the United States mobilize this subject position in their voices through particular cadences that audibly signify racial authority, while at the same time, never hearing themselves as doing so.

Reading preparation

NPR interview with Angela Ritchie + excerpt from Angela Ritchie, Invisible No More: Police Violence against Black Women and Women of Color. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2017.

– Stoever, Jennifer L. “The Sonic Color Line, Black Women, and Police Violence.” Black Perspectives, 9 July 2018,

– Stoever, Jennifer L. “‘Doing fifty-five in a fifty-four’: Hip Hop, Cop Voice and the Cadence of White Supremacy in the United States.” Journal for Interdisciplinary Voice Studies 3.2 (forthcoming 2018): 115-131. [NB: this is a proofs copy, please do not circulate without permission of the author]

– Bradley, Regina, “SANDRA BLAND: #SayHerName Loud or Not at All.” Sounding Out! 16 November 2015,