XVIII MAGIS International Spring School – Media Archaeology Section

Gorizia (Italy), March 28th-31st, 2020
Ecologies of Perception

Drawing on a media-ecological perspective, the focus of the 2020 edition of the Media Archaeology section will be on “ecologies of perception.” What Luciana Parisi ten years ago described as “technoecologies of sensation,” (2009) today has developed into a new form of rationality, one which is not only concerned with current environmentalist challenges, but that also opens up possibilities for reconsidering processes of “technocapitalist naturalization” (Massumi 2017). Ecology, from this point of view, signifies the need to rethink “the capacities of an environment, defined in terms of a multiplicity of interlayered milieus and localities, to become generative of emergent forms and patterns” (Parisi 2017). Today’s “general ecology,” Erich Hörl writes, “characterises being and thought under the technological condition of a cybernetic state of nature” (2017). Our section picks up on the suggestion that this expanding paradigm calls for new descriptions, including a rigorous historization of sense-perception and sensation, as well as a reflection on their ethical and aesthetical implications. In a time when media increasingly operate at a micro-temporal scale “without any necessary – let alone any direct – connection to human sense perception and conscious awareness” (Hansen 2015), it opens up a horizon for asking “how to re-think or even reinvent media as a form of earth re-writing” (Starosielski/Walker 2016).
Our aim is to bring together papers on the following three, interrelated, topics: First, the relation between media and communication technologies and social movements. “The media ecological framework is particularly suited for the study of the social movements/media nexus,” Treré-Mattoni (2015) has observed, “because of its ability to provide fine-tuned explorations of the multiplicity, the interconnections, the dynamic evolution of old and new media forms for social change.” From within this framework, we are keen to hear on investigations of various forms, or dispositifs, of subjectivation in the face of newly emerging social forces or social resistance.
Second, the role of media infrastructures in shaping our ways of perceiving the world. Today, we are increasingly thinking and living under conditions of an effective “programmability of planet earth.” (Gabrys 2016) We thus need to pay attention to the complex consequences of media becoming environmental and environments becoming mediated. From this point of view, action and resistance, as well as dynamic relations between human and non-human entities, need to be framed and shaped on a wider range of scale. Joanna Zylinska, in this context, for example, reclaims a “minimal ethics” for the Anthropocene: “swap the telescope for the microscope,” she writes. “It is a practical and conceptual device that allows us to climb up and down various spatiotemporal dimensions” (2014). We ask: what would a minimal ethics for an ecology of perception entail?
Third, the complex linkages between media as technology and environmental issues in more-than-human worlds, including “the concrete connections that media as technology has to resources […] and nature” (Parikka 2013; 2016). Special focus will be dedicated to the capitalist “production of the obsolete” (Jucan 2016); “finite media” (Cubitt 2017); the effects or remains of what Parikka called the “anthrobscene”; and the question what a speculative ethics of “slow (media) violence” (Parikka) and “matters of care” (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017) might entail.
The Media Archaeology section welcomes proposals relating (but not limited) to the following sub-topics:
– Ecologies of perception
– Media archeological approaches to the concept of media ecology, its materiality and infrastructures
– The role of media affordances in building a media ecology
– The role of computational design
– Critical considerations of (un)sustainable media
– Obsolescence, and or the reconstruction of the materiality of past media ecologies
– The complex relations between media technologies, natural environments, and the multifaceted temporalities they entail
– The role of dynamic instrumentalisation of nature in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology etc.
– The nexus between media ecologies and social movements: interactions in a liquid production and fruition context
– tele-technologies for contemporary social movements (e.g. memes, meme-platforms, meme-generator, flashmobs, Anonymous operations etc.)
– Dispositifs of subjectivation
– Speculative ethics, and matters of care
– The “minimal ethics” for “more-than-human worlds”
– The notion of “slow media violence” and “matters of care”
– Geologic matter and bio-matter, deep times and deep places of media in mines and rare earth minerals
We invite you to send us individual paper proposals, workshop proposals and panel proposals. Proposals should contain a short CV (10 lines max) and be no longer than one page. The deadline for their submission is December, 31st 2019.
A registration fee (€ 150) will be applied. For more information, please contact us at goriziafilmforum@gmail.com

Steering committee:

Diego Cavallotti, University of Cagliari
Simone Dotto, University of Udine
Pepita Hesselberth, Leiden University
Andrea Mariani, University of Udine
Sebastian Scholz, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Simone Venturini, University of Udine

Human Being in a Humanitarian World: Global Health, human rights and humanities

On the 29nd of October The New Utrecht School, in collaboration with University College UtrechtJulius Global Health and Health Management Support Team, organizes a public lecture with the title Human Being in a Humanitarian World: Global Health, human rights and humanities. 

To answer questions on how we should continue with global health in the future, we take a look at the person behind the humanitarian work. What does it mean to be a health professional and a human being in the humanitarian world of global health and international aid?

This night will feature a performance by Sofie Livebrant, a Swedish singer and folk musician who plays poems of Emily Dickinson set to her music! Join our internationally renowned speakers in the debate on global health and its challenges.


Rico Gustav is the Executive Director of the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+)

Kashi Carasso is a pharmacist and therapist, member of Unitaid Proposal Review Committee, lecturer at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine & Royal Tropical Medicine (KIT, NL)

Yves Berthelot is a member of the Executive Council of the World Organisation Against Torture, former Under Secretary of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Benoît Duchâteau-Arminjon is the founder of Krousar Thmey Cambodia.

Start date and time

29 October 2019 19:00

End date and time

29 October 2019 21:30

Free entrance

Story of Diseases: Learning from the past for today’s Global Health

On the 22nd of October The New Utrecht School, in collaboration with University College UtrechtJulius Global Health and Health Management Support Team, organizes a public lecture with the title Story of Diseases: Learning from the past for today’s Global Health.

To answer questions on how we should continue with global health in the future, we take a look at the past to reflect on the global history of disease. What issues have we overcome? How have they helped shape the global health architecture of today?

Sabine Uijl, Director of Education at the University College Utrecht, and James Kennedy, Dean of the University college Utrecht will open the first night in this series. Join our internationally renowned speakers in the debate on global health and its challenges.


Hind Khatib-Othman is currently chair of the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and former Managing Director for Programs of the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI Alliance).

Yves Charpak is MD Public Health, PhD Epidemiology and Vice-President of “Société Francaise de Santé Publique”, on the board of the European Public Health Association and former Senior Policy Advisor of the World Health Organisation Regional Director for Europe.

Frank Huisman is Professor in History of Medicine at the University Medical Center Utrecht and Maastricht University. He performs research on the historiography of medicine, quackery and the cultural authority of medicine.

Start date and time

22 October 2019 19:00

End date and time

22 October 2019 21:30

Free entrance

Storytelling in the Margins

CALL FOR PAPERS ISSUE 5.1: ‘Storytelling in the Margins’
One of the most pervasive topics across the Humanities is storytelling. Whether we are seeking to understand the development of shared identities, cultural beliefs and practices throughout history, or grappling with pressing contemporary concerns like anthropogenic climate change and accelerating globalisation, the centrality of narrative(s) to much of our work on these issues—and to the issues themselves—is undeniable. As Donna J. Haraway points out in Staying with the Trouble (2016), stories matter, and thus it also matters how we tell them. The ever-increasing attention given to voices and perspectives that challenge established canons and hegemonic discourses, both within and outside of academia, is gradually destabilising the common notion of one “central”, linear narrative and creating space for narratives which thrive in complexity, multiplicity, and non-linearity. At the same time, contemporary artistic practices and emerging media platforms are producing new kinds of texts, thereby giving rise to new forms of storytelling. Ultimately, what is placed in the margins need no longer be
marginal. However, this last statement also prompts several critical questions. Who gets to tell the story of the margins? Who decides what is marginal? How are such marginalisations established and perpetuated? How does the margin assert itself in relation to the centre? Can we rethink the margins as not simply surrounding, but as irreducibly part of the text? Why should we be so preoccupied with the margins to begin with?
With these matters in mind, we invite graduate and postgraduate students of the Humanities to contribute to the next issue of Junctions , titled ‘Storytelling in the Margins’ . From all fields, we welcome submissions that engage with this topic and the issues that stem from it, such as:
– “New” forms of storytelling: What are the narrative affordances of contemporary and emerging media technologies—e.g. videogames, VR/AR/XR, social media platforms, online streaming
services, etc.—and how are they challenging previous notions of narrativity? How new are these\ “new” media, and how applicable are established narrative frameworks in these contexts? How can these technologies be useful for offering different kinds of narrative (and how can they not)? How productive are the (post-)structuralist approaches of narratology in analysing these “new”
– Canons, accessibility, and epistemic (in)justice: What is the role of canons today within disciplines like philosophy, (art) history, and literature? How do explicit and implicit canons shape
the way we relate to our subjects/objects of study? Who or what lies outside of the canon, and how can we rethink a canon to make it more open and inclusive in the name of epistemic justice? Which canons demand such critiques, and why? Are there particular ideas or thinkers that fall outside the traditional canon that could make a significant contribution to the current field or contemporary debates?
– Political activism and narratives of/by people of marginalized identities: How should the stories of those placed on the edges of society be told, by whom, and to what end? Who are “we”, and who are “we” to include “them” in “our” academic body of work? How do opposing political factions use particular narratives and communicative strategies to conduct their activism nowadays? How effective are such contemporary strategies, and how do we measure their success? What is the “public sphere” today?
– Narratives of climate change and eco-communication: Why is there such a disparity between well established ideas within the scientific community and the state of the discourse in other
social and political spheres? Why have narratives which demonstrate the urgent need for measures against climate change and environmental destruction not led to the realisation of large-scale and effective policies? What sorts of narratives are required to help bring about such changes, and what motivates the sorts of narratives that are standing in their way? Whose
narratives are missing within current discourses about climate change? How can we use modern media technologies to help us conceptualize the “slow apocalypse” of climate change in a way that also inspires political action?
Other potential topics of interest include (but are certainly not limited to!):
– Theories on the form-content distinction and media materiality
– Archives and archivization in the ‘digital age’
– Religion and the modern media landscape
– Contemporary cultural movements across media forms (e.g. Afrofuturism in music/film/art)
– Research ethics when studying the margins
– Reflections on the meaning of diversity and inclusion, inside and outside the university
We also encourage book reviews on recent publications related to these issues, and a separate call for book reviews will be published shortly. Submission length is 3500-5000 words for original articles, and 750-1500 words for book reviews. Submissions should engage with the scholarly literature of the appropriate discipline and clearly identify its contribution to the field. The complete manuscript should be in Chicago author-date referencing style, following the official Junctions Word template and the prescribed author guidelines (which can be found at https://junctionsjournal.org/about/submissions/ ). Please submit a digital copy (as a Word document) via the submission system on our website by 15 November, 2019 .
Please omit references to the author in manuscripts to ensure anonymous reviews. After double-blind reviewing, accepted articles will undergo a revision process which will conclude with the publication of the journal issue. The journal does not accept manuscripts previously published by or simultaneously submitted to other publications. Please contact editor@junctionsjournal.org with any questions about the publication process. For more informal questions about the issue, you can contact the managing editors on Twitter: Dennis Jansen ( @rmpdenjan ) and Mark Whittle ( @markwhittle444 ).

Important Dates

15 November 2019: Deadline manuscripts
10 January 2020: Notification of editor decision
30 January 2020: Deadline first revisions
6 March 2020: Deadline final revisions
29 March 2020: Planned publication of issue on https://junctionsjournal.org/

Junctions: Graduate Journal of the Humanities aims to connect the different disciplines of the Humanities by collecting disciplinary and interdisciplinary texts that are accessible to readers from across the Humanities. This gives graduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to gain valuable publishing, editing and reviewing experience. Everyone who submits an article to Junctions will receive feedback from our reviewers, and if your work is selected for publication, the editors will guide you through the different stages of editing to produce a professional article and begin your academic CV

(Un)timely Crises: Chronotopes and Critique

October 17-18, 2019


Day 1: Oudemanhuispoort (Oudemanhuispoort 4-6; 1012 CN, Amsterdam)

Day 2: University Library

All rooms for day 2 are at the University Library:
University Library Singel
Singel 425; 1012 WP Amsterdam

Supported by

OSL (Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies)

ASCA (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis)

Organized by

Maria Boletsi (Leiden University and University of Amsterdam)

Natashe Lemos-Dekker (University of Amsterdam)

Kasia Mika (Queen Mary, University of London)

Ksenia Robbe (University of Groningen)

This 2-day workshop will probe contemporary crisis-scapes in order to explore the ways ‘crisis narratives’ structure experiences and representations of time and space, i.e., the ways ‘crisis’ as a framework, concept, rhetoric, affective or discursive structure forms or taps into specific chronotopes.

Historically, the term ‘crisis’ has denoted choice, decision, judgment or critique; it can signal a turning point but also a perpetual state without prospect of resolution. Discursive uses and experiences of ‘crisis’ may involve a sense of disconnection and disorientation, collapsing linear temporality. Crisis can also function as an immobilizing framework for regions deemed to be in chronic crisis. ‘Crisis’ in Europe and elsewhere today often becomes an instrument of rule in neoliberal governmentality, legitimizing ‘states of emergency’ that limit people’s rights and access to public space. Crisis-scapes, however, can also trigger a heightened awareness of the present and foster critical or creative practices that question received notions of the past, initiate different conceptions of history and futurity or form alternative communities and infrastructures.

By approaching crises as chronotopes—what Mikhail Bakhtin termed the enmeshing of temporal and spatial experience into a common condition of a given era—we seek to explore questions of crisis, time and space, as experienced, imagined and represented across a range of contexts, and particularly in Europe and its margins. Chronotopes of crisis partake in complex constellations of meanings, discourses, and affective structures that call for interdisciplinary engagement. The workshop will thus combine perspectives from literary and cultural studies with sociology, cultural anthropology, memory studies, migration studies, post- and decolonial studies, and the energy and environmental humanities, to consider how recent and contemporary crises—economic, environmental, social, political, humanitarian—trigger memories of earlier historical narratives, traumas or practices of resistance, and how they foster or foreclose specific visions of the future.

We are also interested in the ways alternative narratives—what Janet Roitman has called “noncrisis” narratives (2013)—that sidestep ‘crisis rhetoric’ may form alternative chronotopes in the present. Through exploring crises as chronotopes, the workshop also aims to revisit the relation of “crisis” with its cognate, critique, in order to ask which narratives or practices could effectively address problematic mobilizations of ‘crisis’ today and shape other, more inclusive, chronotopic structures. To that end, emphasis will be laid on literary narrativizations of ‘crisis’ as a means of disrupting or reconfiguring the chronotopic structures involved in contemporary crisis-scapes.

The workshop will thus ‘think through’ how the study of crises as chronotopes can take shape across diverse disciplinary contexts and critical debates (e.g., in the context of debt and economic crises; in rethinking infrastructures and repair; in (re)tracing and conceptualizing memory-scapes emerging in crisis-situations); and how crisis figures or disfigures the ongoing question mark about the fate of critique in a postcritical world.

The talks, discussion, and writing that will take place during the workshop will be organized around the following thematic streams:

  • Crisis Rhetoric and Alternative Grammars: Dominant representations of subjects of/in crisis (e.g. the tropes of the “victim” or “threatening agent” in the ‘migrant crisis’) often fall short of accounting for dispossessed individuals and their experiences. Which ‘grammars’ can help articulate alternative subjectivities and accounts of agency? Which expressive forms, narrative structures, and reading practices can articulate alternatives to the “slow cancellation of the future” (Berardi, Fisher) and disrupt restrictive or violent chronotopes of crisis?
  • Crisis and Memory: How are the periods of revolution and eventful socio-political transformation remembered in current times? This stream will address the ways in which 20th-century global historical junctures are recollected in political rhetoric, projects of memorialization, critical discourses, and artistic productions. It will explore the temporalities and cultural sensibilities shaped through these interpretations of turning points. How can past crises be imagined beyond narratives of traumatization which have spread globally, producing subject positions of victimhood and moral superiority? Which critical approaches to remembering crises could foster ‘redistribution of the sensible’?
  • Critique Under Duress: What is the role of critique and radical critical theory in times of crisis? Rather than decrying an ‘’end of theory’’, the theme aims to rigorously engage with the Frankfurt School, opening it up to the concerns of postcolonial, decolonial (Allen 2016), and environmental theory and its theorizations of the present in crisis. If critique aims to historicize the present, which periodizing schemes have helped bring the contemporary into relief, such as Ernst Mandel’s “late capitalism,” Elizabeth Povinelli’s “late liberalism,” or Eugene Stoermer and Paul Crutzen’s “the Anthropocene”? And which no longer bring descriptive or diagnostic weight to the structures of feeling folding in on the changing climate of crises (and crisis of climate) today? In this context, we will take up the task of trying to ‘think otherwise’ and challenge, in Ann Stoler’s gloss, some of the “ready-made concepts on which we rely and [the] work we call on them to do.”  As such, the theme, among others, aims to work across meanings of duress (Stoler 2016)—as “a relation to a condition, a pressure exerted, a troubled condition borne in the body, a force exercised on muscles and mind”—and conceptualize what can critique be and do across shared, yet asynchronous, crises.
  • Chronic Crisis: This theme addresses instances where crisis becomes chronic. It asks how the duration and integration of the disruptive and the normal reorient our engagement with past, present, and future as it affects modes of anticipation, waiting, and endurance. Crisis and uncertainty can produce what Rebecca Bryant (2016) has termed the ‘uncanny present’, disrupting the possibility of imagining and acting upon the future. When and how do crises, including illness and economic and environmental crises, fade into chronicity and normality, and what futures does this enable or foreclose? How do we continue living in the face of chronic disruption and finitude?

Day 1: October 17

Venues:                     9:30 – 12:00: D0.08 (Oudemanhuispoort)

12:00 – 17:10: D1.08 (Oudemanhuispoort)

9:30 – 10:00              Registration  and Coffee

10:00 – 10:20            Welcome by OSL director and introduction by organizers

10:20 – 11:30             Lecture by Rebecca Bryant & discussion

(location: D0.08)

Chair: Natashe Lemos Dekker

11:30 – 12:00             Coffee break

12:00 – 13:10             Dimitris Papanikolaou, Past Continuous, Archival Present, Queer Future: Rethinking Our Critical Grammars”

(location: D1.08)

Chair: Maria Boletsi

13:10 – 14:10             Lunch (at the hall of Oudemanhuispoort)

14:10 – 15:20                         Nick Nesbitt, Crisis and Critique

(location: D1.08)

Chair: Kasia Mika

15:20 – 15: 40                        Coffee break

15: 40 – 16:50            Oxana Timofeeva, The Time of Catastrophe

(location: D1.08)

Chair: Ksenia Robbe

16: 50 – 17:10            Closing remarks

Day 2: October 18

(NB: Day 2 is only open for a small number of invited participants; it is not open to the public or to those registered through OSL)

The parallel group meetings will take place in the University Library, in the following rooms:

Belle van Zuylenzaal



Theme groups

10:00 – 12:00             Theme group meetings I: Discussion of readings

12:00 – 13:30             Lunch break (at Belle van Zuylenzaal)

13:30 -15:30              Theme group meetings II: Collaborative writing

16:00-17:00               Final discussion & next steps

Additional Information


Google Directions

Day 1:

-from Amsterdam Centraal Station to Oudemanhuispoort (15min walk): https://goo.gl/maps/MAUb3FTZy5oBRHGY6

Day 2:

-from Amsterdam Centraal Station to the University Library (20 min walk): https://goo.gl/maps/vKvHTckb55NGj4qX6