Radical Interdisciplinarity

Radical Interdisciplinarity

NICA core course
5 EC | offered by Maaike Bleeker and Iris van der Tuin

To register, please send a motivation (1/2 page) why you would like to participate to Eloe Kingma at nica-fgw@uva.nl. If we have too many applications, we will need to select. Be sure to specify your research master program and university. Please be aware that we expect participants to be present at all sessions, do a short presentation and write a paper.

Radical Interdisciplinarity

“A characteristic of thinking that becomes theory is that it offers striking ‘moves’ that people can use in thinking about other topics,” observes Jonathan Culler. He makes this observation in a text about a new type of theoretical writings emerging since roughly the 1960s, writings that succeeded in challenging and reorienting thinking in fields other than those to which they originally belonged. The transpositional capacity of these writings to offer striking ‘moves’ to people working in differing fields of research greatly contributed to the development of new interdisciplinary approaches in the humanities, the outlining of new objects of research, and the formation of new fields of study, like cultural studies, gender studies, visual studies, postcolonial studies. These developments have profoundly changed ways of doing research in the humanities. Reflecting about their potential as well as their theoretical and methodological implications has been at the heart of PhD training offered by ASCA and NICA from the very beginning.

In this course we look at currently emerging interdisciplinary approaches that move beyond the borders of the humanities and investigate how they may challenge and reorient our thinking. How do certain ‘moves’ offered by state-of-the-art scientific approaches lead to radically interdisciplinary endeavors, change our understanding of the object of our research, the relationships between objects and concepts, and what it is that we do when we do theory?

We will start from a discussion of performance and performativity as onto-epistemological condition (Barad) and stratum of power/knowledge (McKenzie). From there we will look at how insights from (among others) quantum physics, enactive and nonconscious cognition, as well as ways of knowing embodied in skilled bodily practice, can be mobilized for new ways of knowing, and new ways of understanding what it means to theorize.

Dates:
  • Thursday 28 November 10-13h
  • Thursday 12 December 10-13h
  • Thursday 9 January 10-13h
  • Thursday 23 January 10-13h
  • Thursday 6 February 10-13h

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 volumes Performance and Phenomenology: Traditions and Transformations (Routledge, 2015), Thinking Through theatre and Performance (Bloomsbury 2019), and the edited volume Transmission in Motion. The Technologizing of Dance (Routledge, 2016).

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 was chair of the COST Action New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on ‘How Matter comes to Matter’ (2014-18).

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.

Decolonial Studies and Political Philosophy

NICA Core Course 6 EC

Amsterdam, 8 Sessions  1 April – 20 May 2020, Wednesdays, 9:30-12:45 hrs.
exact dates: see below.

Instructor: Yolande Jansen
Register: send an email to Eloe Kingma at nica-fgw@uva.nl before March 15 2020. Please be sure to specify your master program and university. There is a waiting list for this course.

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.

This course looks at the intersection of decolonial studies and normative political philosophy, and tries to address them from a relatively integrated perspective. We bring together both fields in a systematic way by testing normative theories of global justice and human rights in political philosophy against the works of liberalism’s critics from a decolonial or critical theoretical perspective.

During the first three weeks, we will read a number of articles tracing the intricacies of colonialism and liberalism, both from an intellectual historical perspective, and from a systematic political theoretical perspective. After these readings we will concentrate on contemporary work on global justice. We will then compare the two traditions and discuss whether and in what ways they could be fruitfully combined for a decolonial philosophy of global justice, and discuss the the limitations of focusing on ‘justice’.

Teaching goals
Insight into political theory about global justice
Insight into critiques of the political philosophical liberal tradition from a decolonial perspective
Enhancing the capacity to formulate integrative perspectives on the merits of both traditions of criticism for formulating perspectives on global justice that are self-reflexive about the legacies of eurocentrism and imperialism

Content
During the first three weeks, we will read a number of articles tracing the intricacies of colonialism and liberalism, both from an intellectual historical perspective, and from a systematic political theoretical perspective. After these readings we will concentrate on contemporary work on global justice.

We will then compare the two traditions and discuss whether and in what ways they could be fruitfully combined for a decolonial philosophy of global justice, and discuss the limitations of focusing on ‘justice’. The course will take the form of intensive working groups.

Readings
James Tully. (2008) Public Philosophy in a New Key, Volume II; Imperialism and Civic Freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Duncan Bell. (2016) Reordering the World; Essays on Liberalism and Empire. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press
Aimé Césaire, Discourse on colonialism. Preferred edition: Monthly Review Press, NY, 1972, 2000
Charles Mills (2017) Black rights/white wrongs. The critique of racial liberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

These books will both be available through the library of the UvA (they will be on the ‘workshelf’). The books can be scanned or copied but not you cannot borrow them during the course. Other articles will be provided during the course, see below for the full list and where to find them.

Examination
For those who take credits from this course: Presentation (20%) and either (a) final paper or (b) final paper and take home exam (80%). You can choose between two options for the final exam: (a) either you choose to do a take home exam containing three questions which will be published two weeks before the deadline, together with a final paper of around 1500 words, or (b) you choose to write a final paper of around 4000 words. The deadline for both will be on 28 June at 23.59 hrs. The deadline for the resit is 8 August. The paper should be written according to basic academic standards (contain a bibliography, research question, careful argument, conclusion) but you are free to write in a mostly argumentative or a more essayistic or exploratory style.

Dates and Venue

1 April | REC C Building C3.03
8 April | REC C Building C3.03
15 April | REC B Building B 2.07
22 April | REC C Building C3.03
29 April | REC C Building C3.03
6 May | REC C Building C3.03
13 May | REC C Building C3.06
20 May | REC C Building C3.03

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.

 

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.

Dates: 

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