Posthuman Ethics, Pain and Endurance

The 2018 summer school, titled “Posthuman Ethics, Pain and Endurance: How to Lead an Antifascist Life in Brutal Times,” which will take place between the 20th-24th of August 2018 at Utrecht University, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, combines an introduction to the basic tenets of  Braidotti’s brand of critical posthuman theory with an overview on contemporary debates about the ethical implications of posthumanism and the so-called ‘posthuman turn’.

While the emphasis of the course will be on the mutually enriching relationship between the posthuman, neo-materialism, and the ethics of affirmation, this year the main topic will be both the practical and theoretical issues around the notions of pain and endurance in the contemporary world.

How does a vision of the posthuman subject as a process of interaction between human, non-human and inhuman forces help us cope with the multi-facetted challenges of the contemporary world, caught between the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Sixth Extinction? How does the neo-Spinozist notion of endurance foster the project of constructing an affirmative ethics for posthuman subjects, at a time of social and political regression on so many fronts? How does this vital ethics of affirmation help us confront suffering, death and dying? What does it mean to lead an anti-fascist life in brutal times?

Please click on the following registration link if you are interested in participating:

Or send an e-mail to receive more information to:

*Please note that all participants of this summer school are expected to have read Braidotti’s book The Posthuman (Polity Press 2013, see, plus several selected entries of The Posthuman Glossary (Bloomsbury 2018, see

*Please note that the course fees (excluding housing) are 300.00 euros. You can receive 2.0 ECTS for active participation during this summer school.

MAP Lectures: The Network is not the Territory

MAP Lecture series on Wednesday Feb 28 in LIPSIUS 227 (one floor above our usual location), with Florian Sprenger (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main), who has just send us a new title and abstract that looks very exciting indeed. Here it is:

The Network is not the Territory. On Capturing Mobile Media – Florian Sprenger (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)

We presently live in a world of networked, smart media that are constantly relaying their location and their movements. The peculiar feature of cellular mobile networks, in which many of our gadgets operate, is that they are formed by the motion of end devices in relation to the position of radio towers. As a matter of principle, it is this motion that allows the location of devices to be identified within the network. In this lecture Florian Sprenger (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main) argues that the emergence of mobile media based on cellular triangulation has introduced an ontology in which, by technical necessity, the position of every object is constantly registered and objects that don’t have an address do not exist. Reachability implies seamless connectivity. A world in which media are mobile in this way – in which we can move freely and our smartphones register our location – is thus a world in which the location and movement of all participants are, at all times, a known technical variable. With Xeros PARC’s “ubiquitous computing” as reference case, Sprenger scrutinizes how movement triggers the process that registers the locations of mobile phones or smartphones, a development he situates against the cybernetic imagination of determining the location and the movement of an object at the same time. Today, the potential to move freely may be enabled by standing as still as the infrastructures that surround us.

Save the date!

Also upcoming:
28 March: Ekaterina Kalinina – Uncertainty of Digital Archives: Exploring Nostalgia and Civic Engagement
25 April: Inge van de Ven – Monumental Novels: Big Books in Times of Big Data

For more info on the series and our speakers, click here: MAP Lecture Leiden.

Cold Cold Ground

Master of Artistic Research
University of Amsterdam
De Punt, Frans de Wollantstraat 84
17th of February

The first-year students of the Master of Artistic Research of the University of Amsterdam invite you to a presentation of their ongoing research at De Punt (Frans de Wollantstraat 84) on the 17th of February. The doors are open from 14:00 – 18:00. Presentations start at 14:30.

  • António Mesquita Cartaxo
  • Andrea Knezovic
  • Anouk Hoogendoorn
  • Christine van Royen
  • Ester Eva Damen
  • Hanna Steenbergen-Cockerton
  • Jesse Brinkerhof
  • Marjolijn Rijks
  • Sabrina Huth
  • Sara-Lot van Uum

Body and Soul

CALL FOR PAPERS – Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food 2018

Body and Soul: Examining the historical relation between nutrition, health, and culture

The act of ingestion ensures our intimate relationship with food. This literal ‘incorporation’ has implications that go far beyond basic physicality: it is precisely in the corporeal sphere that the cultural significance of our food habits is on display. Crucial to the connection between food and body is the concept of control. State institutions, medical professionals, and spiritual teachers have prescribed and proscribed dietary behaviour, exercising what Michel Foucault has termed ‘biopower’, in an attempt to regulate the nourishment of populations. Such nutritional advice has often been a form of moral guidance: to authorities like doctors and religious leaders, public health was a medical and an ethical issue. Corporations have made similar persuasion efforts, often aided by health gurus and sportspersons – from 19th-century fruitarians to 21st-century Instagram influencers advertising their ‘killer’ bodies. By conceptualizing the body as a machine in need of ‘input’, they increasingly sold consumers the prospect of total control over their health and wellbeing.

Yet the public has the agency to modify and contest existing food regimes. By narrativizing the fundamental everyday practice of food consumption, individuals fashion eating – and not-eating – into a performance, thereby inextricably linking these acts to personal identity. Their pursuit for healthy and inspiring lifestyles can lead to greater self-care, but can also encourage problematic body/food mindsets, such as anorexia or orthorexia. No wonder that, since ancient times, the notion of a powerful connection between psychological and physical health has been deployed by spiritual leaders to promise audiences control over their desires and appetites. Hence it is especially in the context of the body that the cultural relevance of food can be explored.


This year’s Symposium aims at drawing into dialogue scholars exploring the historical complexities of the relationship between body and nutrition. We invite abstracts for papers covering any topic related to the study of this relationship including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Nutritional science, dietetics, and medicine
  • Popularization and mediatisation of nutritional knowledge
  • Dieting, body images, and physical culture
  • Food, spirituality and morality
  • Public health and nutritional policy

Guidelines Paper Proposals

The symposium program consists of plenary keynote lectures, paper presentations and panel discussions. If you are interested in presenting a paper at the symposium, please submit an abstract before 5 March 2018. Please expect to be presenting to a large audience of up to 250 people, including academic as well as professional participants. The symposium language is English. Presenters of accepted papers are asked to speak 20 minutes as lively and engaging as possible, followed by a discussion with the panel and the audience under the supervision of a session chair.

Applications should include:

  • Title of proposed paper
  • Abstract (maximum 500 words)
  • Biographical information (short CV)
  • Contact information (e-mail, telephone and postal address)

Applications should be sent by the deadline of 5 March 2018 to:

Notification of acceptance:

As it may not be possible to include everyone’s submission, the organizing committee and advisory board will make a selection. You will be notified if the paper is accepted by 1 May 2018.


The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food is the result of a collaborative partnership between Special Collections (UvA), the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (UvA) and the research unit Social & Cultural Food Studies (FOST) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Ir. Louise O. Fresco; Mrs. Claudia Roden; Prof. Dr. Peter Scholliers; Prof. Dr. Irene E. Zwiep


The symposium is an annual point of assembly and an exchange of knowledge in the field of food history. It intends to stimulate debate and research that bridges the gap between different disciplines. Submissions are encouraged to use an interdisciplinary approach, in which theory and methods from diverse (social) sciences are appropriated or from other disciplines that take a historical stance. Another aim is to transfer academic research to a wider public and stimulate research using the Special Collection of the University of Amsterdam. The symposium is therefore targeted at both an academic and a professional audience.

Organizing Committee

IJsbrand van Dijk; Joke Mammen; Antonia Mazel; Jon Verriet; Ingrid de Zwarte

More information and updates about the symposium


Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (UvA)
Social & Cultural Food Studies (FOST) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Unpacking Residencies: Situating the Production of Cultural Relations

“Everyone I’d encounter on my journey asked me: ‘Where are you based?’
I said: ‘On my feet.’ ‘Then where are your feet based?’ I say: ‘Feet are never

Hiwa K – Pre-Image (Blind as the Mother Tongue), 2017

Call for Papers: Unpacking Residencies: Situating the Production of Cultural Relations [working title]
Kunstlicht Vol. 39 (2018), no. 2

Proposal deadline: 28 January 2017
Issue release: October 2018
Editors: Herbert Ploegman & Nikos Doulos (guest editor)

In recent years, residency programs for artists and other cultural mediators have strongly multiplied. These residencies function as central nodes in the organization and distribution of professional development, artistic production, and the contemporary art market. They operate on the juncture of many contradicting forces, and can, as increasingly important ‘time-spaces’ in the art ecosystem, not be ignored when seeking to understand the nature and infrastructure of contemporary art today.

Nina Lübbren has argued that painters’ colonies in rural regions of Northern Europe served as nineteenth-century precursors to present-day residencies. Issues of mobility, isolation, and the quest for the untainted (rural) landscape thus have a long-standing history. Such artist colonies were, in fact, formative to the development of a discourse of cultural production that is shaped by geopolitics and place-making, as well as by the remodelling, capitalization, and idealization of the rural and the urban. As a part of this discourse, art residencies transmit various models of and for artists about their modes of operating in the field.

Pascal Gielen, in a keynote lecture at the symposium Residencies Reflected, discussed art residencies as agents “that [foster] consistent connections between […] the spheres of the domestic, civil, market, and one’s peers.” However, this fostering of cultural relations is simultaneously affected by neoliberalism’s accommodating and transforming tendencies, which should be taken into account when evaluating the merits of contemporary residencies.

W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) recently contributed to e-flux with an article that problematized artists-in-residence working conditions and their interconnection with modes of professionalization that feed, and are fed by, the corporate world. W.A.G.E. writes that ‘based-in’ artists “are wired-up, networked carriers of social and cultural capital set in perpetual motion, transforming cities in their passage through them on the art circuit –sophisticated nomadic clans who travel to survive.”

Elaborating on these perspectives, several questions arise: given the double claim that residencies and artists have on cultural production, to whom does cultural production actually belong and where does it reside? How is it woven into the global flows of artistic production? And how do residencies negotiate their particular ties to the globalized art market? Since these transactions are so multi-layered, the wider cultural relations that they nurture need to be closely examined. By wider cultural relations, we mean the connections between agents of all kinds, such as humans, objects, and the geographies that they occupy.

In accordance with these observations, in this upcoming issue of Kunstlicht we wish to critically address the current identities, roles, and significance of art residencies. We aim to unpack the stakes involved in perpetuating such models and examine the potential of these residencies to foster counter-narratives and subversive modes of cultural production.

Proposals (200-300 words) with attached résumés can be submitted until January 28, 2017 via Selected authors will be invited to write a 2,000 to 3,000-word paper (excluding notes). Papers may be written either in English or in Dutch. Authors who publish in Kunstlicht will receive three complimentary copies. Unfortunately, Kunstlicht is not able to provide an author’s honorarium. Two years following publication, papers will be submitted to the freely accessible online archive.

We also welcome image-based and experimental text contributions, as well as proposals for performances and events. We cannot, however, guarantee that all proposals will be given a stage and the editorial board reserves the right to decline contributions.

Nikos Doulos is a visual artist, curator, and co-director of Expodium in Utrecht – an urban do-tank investigating the role of the arts in urban transition areas. His interests lie with the investigation of new pedagogical modes for inclusive knowledge production framed under site-specific research trajectories. Walking plays a predominant part in his practice.

Herbert Ploegman is a writer, anthropologist, and curator, and editor for Kunstlicht. His main field of research is self-organization, and more recently art practices in relation to urban transformations in Athens, Greece.

Kunstlicht is an academic journal for visual art, visual culture, and architecture, founded in 1980. It is affiliated with the Arts & Culture department of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, but operates from an independent foundation. Kunstlicht is published three times a year, and features both scholarly and artistic contributions.