Mari Mikkola: Humanist Feminism, Injustice, and Pornography

Workshop on “Humanist Feminism and the Wrong of Injustice”

11.04.2018, 12.00-18.00, Belle van Zuylenzaal, University of Amsterdam

& Masterclass with Mari Mikkola (Oxford)

12.04.2018, 10.00-16.00, University of Amsterdam


Gender based injustice is wrong, but what exactly makes it wrong? In her 2016 book “The Wrong of Injustice”, Mari Mikkola defends and reframes a humanist approach to feminist analyses of injustice such as sexism: arguably, sexism involves systematically treating women in dehumanizing ways, where it is the dehumanizing moment that makes these injustices wrong. This way Mikkola aims to circumvent the thorny problems of debates around ontological commitments of gender terms and identity categories, while at the same time offering a sense in which feminism is both for everyone and for women in particular. Involving three comments by invited speakers, the workshop aims at a constructive and critical discussion of crucial steps in Mikkola’s argument.

The day after the workshop, there will be a masterclass with Mikkola for PhD students and Master’s students to get to know and discuss in further detail some aspects of analytic feminist philosophy. We will discuss Mikkola’s current and forthcoming work on feminist metaphysics and pornography (“Beyond Speech”, 2017, OUP; “Pornography: A Philosophical Introduction”, forthcoming, OUP).

Thanks to generous funding by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) and the Netherlands Institute fur Cultural Analysis (NICA), attendance is free and everyone interested is welcome. Please register at for the workshop, and at for the masterclass (papers will be circulated in advance).


Kind regards,

Alex Thinius


Workshop program “Humanist Feminism and the Wrong of Injustice”

12.00    Welcome Coffee & Sandwiches

12.30    Mari Mikkola (Oxford) “Précis of The Wrong of Injustice”

13.15    Esa Díaz León (Barcelona) “The Gender Controversy and the Metaphysics of Gender”

14.30    Katharine Jenkins (Nottingham) “Deflation and Identification: Mikkola on Gender Terms”

15.45    Christine Bratu (Munich) “What’s the Role of Recognition Respect for Dehumanization?”

17.00    Mari Mikkola Reply

17.15    Round up

17.30    End


Masterclass program

10.00    Metaphysics and politics

12.00    Pornography: A Philosophical Introduction I

14.00    Pornography: A Philosophical Introduction II

Techno-Performance in a Knowledge Culture in Transition

Masterclass with Jon McKenzie, Iris van der Tuin and Maaike Bleeker.

Offered by the Centre for the Humanities and the Transmission in Motion research group ( at Utrecht University, in collaboration with NICA and SPRING Performing Arts Festival.

 22 May 2018, 10-17h, Het Huis (Boorstraat 107, Utrecht)

Lyotard’s classic The Postmodern Condition ([1979] 1984) is widely known for its observations on the collapse of metanarrative as a legitimizing force, and on the emergence of performativity as the fundamental principle of contemporary science. Lyotard’s observations are indicative for how, as Jon McKenzie (2004) observes, in the course of the twentieth century performance replaces discipline as onto-historical formation of power and knowledge. Equally relevant and important with regard to current transformations are Lyotard’s observations on the impact of technologization on knowledge. Lyotard points out that “the miniaturization and commercialization of machines is changing the way in which learning is acquired, classified, made available, and exploited.” Almost 40 years later, Lyotard’s observations have lost nothing of their actuality. Developments since then point to an even more pervasive impact of technology that extends beyond learning and knowledge transmission to practices of research and knowledge production, and affects our understanding of the very nature of knowledge.

In this masterclass we take Lyotard’s report on knowledge as a historical point of reference for a closer look at  the performance of technology in our current knowledge culture, and the onto-epistemological implications of this role. We do so together with Jon McKenzie, who with his groundbreaking Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance (2004) draws attention to technological performance, or Techno-Performance, as key to understanding performativity as legitimizing force. McKenzie will focus on the relation between Lyotard’s theory of postmodern performativity and his own general theory of performance. At one level, techno-performance, especially that of computers and software, can help us understand Lyotard’s concept of performativity as the optimization of inputs and outputs. Such optimization increasingly informs the nexus of research, assessment, and funding. At another level, Lyotard’s performativity enables us to understand performative power/knowledge as displacing the disciplinary stratum described by Foucault. Finally, Lyotard’s description of paralogy as a mode of description capable of resisting or transforming performativity is one way of approaching what McKenzie calls ‘perfumance’, the iterative mist surrounding any and all performance. Iris van der Tuin will extend Lyotard’s perspective to algorithmic culture in a discussion based on the project Ethics of Coding: A Report on the Algorithmic Condition (Colman et al. 2017). Maaike Bleeker will relate McKenzie’s notion of techno-performance to what Mark Hansen describes as 21st century media and reflect on how their performance expands the sensible.

Jon McKenzie is Dean’s Fellow for Media and Design and Visiting Professor of English at Cornell University. He is the author of Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance and such essays as “Laurie Anderson for Dummies,” “Democracy’s Performance,” and “Global Feeling: (Almost) All You Need Is Love.” His work has been translated into a half-dozen languages. McKenzie’s StudioLab pedagogy combines seminar, studio, and lab activities to bring scholarship to communities and policy-makers. He also creates experimental videos and gives workshops on performative scholarship and transmedia knowledge. In 2013, HOBO Art Foundation and the New Theatre of Warsaw co-produced Disastronauts, an experimental theatre work with dance and Theremins based on Perform or Else and his video The Revelations of Dr. Kx4l3ndj3r. McKenzie is Centre for the Humanities SPRING Festival Fellow 2018, a fellowship generously sponsored by the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University.

Iris van der Tuin is professor in Theory of Cultural Inquiry and director of the School of Liberal Arts at Utrecht University (The Netherlands). She co-authored New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies (Open Humanities Press, 2012) with Rick Dolphijn, wrote Generational Feminism: New Materialist Introduction to a Generative Approach (Lexington Books, 2015), and edited Nature for Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Gender (Macmillan Reference USA, 2016). Iris currently chairs the COST Action New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on ‘How Matter comes to Matter’ (2014-18).

Maaike Bleeker is a professor in the department of Media & Culture Studies at Utrecht University. Her work engages with questions of perception, cognition and agency from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a special interest in embodiment, movement, and technology, and the performativity of meaning making and knowledge transmission. Her monograph Visuality in the Theatre was published by Palgrave. Recent publications include the co-edited volume Performance and Phenomenology: Traditions and Transformations (Routledge, 2015) and the edited volume Transmission in Motion. The Technologizing of Dance (Routledge, 2016).

Credits: RMA Students can acquire 1 EC if they actively participate in the masterclass, complete the readings and write a blogpost (750-1000 words) about the subject of the masterclass. There are limited places for this masterclass. Please register with Eloe Kingma through Make sure to indicate your home program and university.

Participants are encouraged to also visit the performance Deep Presence by Jinsun Kim and the aftertalk with Jon McKenzie and Jinsun Kim at the same day (May 22, 21h in Theater Kikker, see and Jon McKenzie’s lecture performance the next day (May 23) at 15h (



Lyotard, François. The Postmodern Condition. A Report on Knowledge.

McKenzie, Jon.” Performance and democratizing digitality: StudioLab as critical design pedagogy” and “Stratification and Diagrammatic Storytelling: An Encounter with ‘Under the Dome’”, both downloadable at

Bleeker, Maaike and Iris van der Tuin (2014). Science in the Performance Stratum – Hunting for Higgs and Nature as Performance. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 10 (2): 232-45.

Sound Heritage


More info
Contact: prof. dr. J. Fidom,


Sound Heritage explores what sounds and sound concepts have been
approved in the past; under what conditions these might be considered
heritage today; and what saving such concepts for future generations
actually means. In order to keep this huge and new research field
manageable, Sound Heritage focuses on music-related sounds and sound
concepts. Two historic ‘sound carriers’ will be used as research topics:
pipe organs and high-end sound systems, as they both document what
sounds once were considered convincing.

A major complication is that sound is volatile: it exists only in the
now, and only in one’s own ears. This means that Sound Heritage
researchers need to question listening cultures and skills developed in
the past, as well as to question and develop own ones. Put differently:
artistic activity (listening to sound in music) will necessarily be a
major element in this seminar, to be integrated in otherwise ‘normal’
epistemic research strategies. This confronts us with quite a few basic
philosophical/aesthetical issues. What is it to listen, and what to
negotiate sound? How does sound come into existence, and does it ever
cease to exist? To complicate matters even more, sound recording and
reproducing technology, an indispensable tool for Sound Heritage
researchers, is problematic by definition.

During the seminar, these issues will be addressed in a series of
lectures and interactive workshops. Additionally, in order to make Sound
Heritage as practice-based as possible, the seminar includes a fair
amount of field work as well. In the 2018-edition of the seminar, Sound
Heritage students will be assigned, as a group, to map the network
resulting from and producing the preparations of the restoration of the
world-famous Schnitger Organ at Zwolle, built in 1721 and given a
different sound in the 1950s, by identifying and assessing relevant
sources (including interviewing significant ‘actors’); and by exploring
which roles sound recordings (of the organ, in the past and by the
students themselves) play. Eventually, the students are asked to advise
and/or assist the people involved in the decision-making process. Next
to that, students will have to do ‘solo research’ as well, by critically
assessing the sound systems used by themselves in their everyday life.



NOTE: This is not a NICA core activity but an elective announced on this site solely for  your information. You should register for this course through the university that offers it, and the credits you will earn will also be given out by that university. If your program includes a requirement to earn credits from a national research school, the credits for this elective do not count towards that requirement. You may need to acquire the permission of your programme coordinator and/or board of examinations in order to participate and earn credits for this elective.

The NECS 2018 Conference | Media Tactics and Engagement


The University of Amsterdam, the VU University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University
are happy to present

The NECS 2018 Conference

Media Tactics and Engagement
27-29 June 2018
Hosted by the University of Amsterdam and the VU University of Amsterdam

Media in Transition
26 June 2018
Hosted by Utrecht University

Open Access in Media Studies
30 June 2018
Hosted by the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision

Deadline for submissions: 31st of January 2018

Please note that the membership fee must be paid before submission (see for more details, please check this info early enough to guarantee payment on time).

Pay the fee in January to get access for the full calendar year.

Please submit all proposals using the submission form available at:

The changing media landscape requires continuous (re)invention of the ways in which photography, film, television, digital media, and the arts are produced, distributed, accessed, and consumed. Back in the past like today, the question of media tactics and engagement is crucial once more. Today the question seems even more urgent, since large corporations provide platforms and services that foster the desired behaviour of the average media viewer/user/consumer and produ(c/s)er; nevertheless, in previous decades, ways of planning long-term strategies, tactical reactions to unforeseen circumstances and engagement have determined media practices and discourses. The NECS 2018 conference will explore the various – both intended and/or subversive − ways in which media are currently developed, deployed and distorted.

The conference welcomes a wide range of approaches to thinking about the notions of tactics and engagement across all forms of media.

Firstly, this could include thinking of tactics as the means to an overarching strategic end. Thus the term can draw attention to larger trends within the media industries and its practices. Why and to what effect do film and media distributors order and/or produce original content? What are the aesthetic consequences of this, both for artistic content as well as for the audience experience? What roles do shifts in modes of address, distribution, and exhibition venues play? And what kind of opportunities and constraints for content producers arise from this?

Secondly, following Michel de Certeau, the political consequences of the relation between strategy and tactics can be investigated. Strategy as a long-term modus operandi of the prevalent political, economic and scientific rationality is opposed to tactics as the improvisational, context-specific techniques developed by individuals or collectives to better navigate strategically shaped spaces. Tactics in this sense oftentimes insert themselves into strategic environments without disrupting them – for instance when novelists develop new writing techniques in response to Amazon’s arguably exploitative pay-per-page model, or exiled filmmakers react to changed production constraints through what Hamid Naficy termed “accented cinema”. In fact, strategy and tactics deeply affect media practices as much as their aesthetics, and often result in consistent planning, or momentary options, which seem viable. How do these two terms interact, when it comes to aesthetics? Through this conceptual pair, one may thus ask to what different strategic and tactical uses various media enter political discourse, and again, what the consequences of this could be for industrial and artistic media practices.

The NECS 2018 conference will tackle the issue of media tactics and engagement while including the many different research perspectives pursued by the members of our community

Submissions may include but are not limited to the following topics:

  • New and old media industry practices
  • Histories of media tactics and engagement
  • Activist media and media activism (including politics and celebrity)
  • Studies of subversive narratives in film and cross-media
  • Political cinema, documentary, art and television
  • Avant-garde and new wave tactics
  • Ecocritical media and the Anthropocene
  • Infrastructures of engagement (collective venues, networks, institutional policies etc.)
  • Articulations of identity politics or power dynamics through media
  • Self-performance: strategy, tactics, engagement
  • Materialities of media engagement
  • Culture jamming, remixing, mashing, and other transformative and fan practices (from cosplay to conventions)
  • Strategic aesthetic practices (e.g. satire, horror, melodrama, tragicomedy)
  • Bottom-up funding initiatives (collective production, political cinema, media activism, crow-funding practices)
  • (New) Sound and music tactics and engagement
  • Distribution models, between strategy and tactics, from early media to contemporaneity
  • Strategy and tactics in a post-truth world
  • Economies and ecologies of attention, including slacktivism, boredom and various forms of disengagement such as “media fasting” or “going off the grid”
  • Viral or spreadable media, as well as hacking tactics
  • Curatorial engagement and programming practices
  • Transmedia practices
  • Academic engagement
  • Teaching and research as media tactics
  • Media-archaeological media tactics engaging with analogue media

Scholars from all areas of cinema and media studies, whether previously affiliated with NECS or new to the network, are invited to submit proposals, but NECS membership is a requirement.


Please note that individuals may submit only one paper proposal, either as individual presenters or as part of a pre-constituted panel or workshop.

Individual papers

Individual presenters wishing to submit a proposal for a paper presentation of max. 20 minutes are required to provide their name, email address, the title of the paper, an abstract, key biographical references, and a short bio of the speaker.

Pre-constituted panels

We support the submission of proposals for pre-constituted panels with 3 or 4 papers (3 papers only if there is a respondent) in order to strengthen the thematic coherence of panels. Furthermore, several thematically related panels may form larger clusters. We would like to strongly encourage members of the NECS workgroups to put together pre-constituted panels, but we also welcome submissions from academic research project teams, museums, archives, and other institutions. We highly recommend no more than two speakers from the same institution with a maximum of 20 minutes speaking time each. Panel organizers are asked to submit panel proposals that include a panel title, a short description of the panel and information on all of the individual papers of the panel, as described above.


Events such as workshops, roundtables or seminars – both pre-conference and conference – concentrating on more practical aspects of our field, e.g. teaching, research methods, publishing, or networking with the media industry are also welcome. Speaking time should be limited to 10 minutes per participant. Organizers are asked to submit workshop proposals that include a title and a short description.


There will be opportunity for the NECS workgroups to meet during the conference. Please notify the conference organizers if you wish to hold a workgroup meeting:

Please submit all proposals before the 31st of January 2018 using the submission form available at:

Participants will have to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Travel information, a list of local hotels and information on further events will be posted on the NECS conference website in Spring 2018.

See also:

Please email all inquiries that cannot be answered by the FAQ to:


The 16th NECS Graduate Workshop

The NECS Graduate Workshop has been designed to give scholars at the beginning of their career a platform for networking with established European film and media scholars. The 16th NECS Graduate Workshop in Utrecht (25 June 2018, Utrecht University) is dedicated to the topic of ‘To Prefer Not To: Media Inoperativities’.

You will find the CfP online at:

Please send your submission with an abstract (max. 200 words) and a short bio (max. 150 words) to:

Organizers: Christian Sancto (Utrecht University), Alba Gimenez (University of South Wales) and Jiyu Zhang (Leiden University)

Pre-conference “Media in Transition”

Utrecht University hosts an one-day event with round-table discussions about “Media in Transition” that addresses the transformations of the highly dynamic field of the media industry. For more information about the programme and registration, please see

Organizers: Karin van Es, Judith Keilbach, Nina Köll, Hanna Surma, and Nanna Verhoeff

Post-conference workshop “Open Access in Media Studies”

A Post-conference Open Access workshop will be held at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, in cooperation with VIEW: Journal of European Television History and Culture, NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, and Open Access in Media Studies website. For more information about the workshop and registration, please see

Organizers: Jaap Kooijman, Jeroen Sondervan, and Jefferson Pooley


NECS Steering Committee: Sophie Einwächter, Judith Keilbach, Skadi Loist, Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna, Francesco Pitassio, Antonio Somaini, Alena Strohmaier

NECS Conference Committee: Marie Aude Baronian, Luca Barra, Sudeep Dasgupta, James Harvey-Davitt, Rahma Khazam, Daniel Kulle, Raphaëlle Moine, Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna, Antonio Somaini, Jan Teurlings

Local organizing team: Marie Aude Baronian, Sudeep Dasgupta, Jaap Kooijman, Halbe Kuipers, Toni Pape, Patricia Pisters, Jan Teurlings, Maryn Wilkinson (UvA); Ivo Blom, Sebastian Scholz (VU), Laura Copier, Judith Keilbach, Anne Kustritz, Clara Pafort-Overduin, Christian Sancto, Hanna Surma, Marijke de Valck (UU)


Transmission in Motion

2017-2018 Seminar Program Transmission in Motion

Technological developments inform the ways information travels through media, turn archives into ‘dynarchives,’ and set knowledge cultures in motion. Such developments foreground the performativity of practices of transmission and the materiality of mediation; moreover, they point to movement and embodiment as key to both transmission and mediation. Moving images, motion capture, virtual mobility, mobile and algorithmic media, and haptic interfaces are some of the technologies which exemplify the way in which movement, embodiment and performativity are increasingly part of both what is captured and communicated by media, and how media afford interaction. Movement, motion and gesture are also at the crux of new insights into practices of teaching and learning, health, and embodied cognition. This new centrality of movement, motion and gesture opens up a transdisciplinary terrain for research and development, and new possibilities for cross-sector collaborations between the humanities, sciences and the arts, as well as with partners from within industry, care and education. This is the terrain of Transmission in Motion.

To participate, please send an email to to receive additional information and readings. RMA Students can acquire 3 EC if they attend all meetings and write blogposts after each meeting. Please register at For more information, contact Maaike Bleeker at

Seminar program

1 November 2017 (15-17h):  Nicolas  Salazar Sutil (University of Leeds)  “How to get a Wall to Dance: Transmission Media from a New Materialist Angle”

Place: Parnassos, Kruisstraat 201.

In this presentation, Nicolas Salazar Sutil will unpack a few ideas developed in his latest book Matter in Transmission (Bloomsbury, forthcoming). Transmission media does not only concern forms of telecommunicational transmission (via electricity, radiowaves, microwave, infrared and so on). Transmission media can also refer to raw matter—rock, for example. Calcite rock, which are rock made up of the same chemical component as human bone, can convey energy in the form of vibrant movement. Drawing on the depiction of animal motion in European Upper Paleolithic cave graphics as his example, and based on site-specific work carried out in Altamira and Chauvet caves, Salazar Sutil argues that limestones and limestone caves are cultural media in their own right, akin to what neomaterialist media theorists call “nature-media”. His presentation will also explore the possibility of combining two different movement disciplines— dance and climbing— as research methodology.  As such, climbing and bouldering are unique embodied perspectives that can be performed to gain a tacit knowledge of movement in the rock itself. Moving with rock acknowledges the raw wall as agent for embodied cultural transmission. Underground walls ring and dance.

Nicolas Salazar Sutil (PhD Goldsmith, London) is a Chilean author, researcher and creative practitioner whose practice cuts across theatre, dance, psychogeography, social choreography, computer-assisted choreography and eco practices. His writings concern various aspects of movement such as its representation in symbolic language and code, the technologization of movement, and movement as transmission media. Key ideas that recur in his work are: kinetopoiesis, jism, paleocyber, transmission media, landesque immersion, and critical creativity.  He is the author of Theatres of the Surd: the influence of Mathematical Thinking on Avant-Garde Theatre, and of Motion and Representation: the Language of Human Movement (MIT Press, 2015), Digital Movement: Essays in Motion Technology and Performance (ed. with Sita Popat, Palgrave, 2016) and Matter in Transmission: Mediation in a Paleocyber Age (Bloomsbury, 2018).

Next meetings:

13 December  2017 (15-17h, please note: place tba): Frank Kessler (Utrecht University) Media and the Reconfiguration of the Senses”

17 January 2018 (15-17h, Parnassos, Kruisstraat 201):  Aud Sissel Hoel (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) “Image Classification Using Deep Neural Networks: Some Thoughts from the Point of View of Operative Images and Embodied Perception”

21 February 2018 (15-17h, Parnassos, Kruisstraat 201): Melvin Wevers (Digital Humanities Group KNAW HUC) “Using Neural Networks to Study Conceptual Shifts in Text and Image”

28 March 2018 (15-17h, Parnassos, Kruisstraat 201): Emilia Barakova (TU Eindhoven, Designed Intelligence) & Roos van Berkel (Choreographer and Movement Researcher) talk about their collaborative research in the field of behavioral robotics and intelligent systems.

25 April 2018 (15-17h, Parnassos, Kruisstraat 201): Maaike Bleeker (Utrecht University)  “Corporeal Literacy as Perspective on Human-Technology Interaction”

23 May  2018 tba.

Transmission in Motion is a hybrid research community that brings researchers from across disciplines together with artists and other partners from outside the academy. Transmission in Motion provides a platform for seminars, meetings and presentations, and mediates the development of partnerships and research projects.