Building Bridges: Activists and Cultural Researchers in Conversation

Building Bridges: Activists and Cultural Researchers in Conversation

May 28.-29., 2020

A workshop at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Call for Participation

“Nothing in science has any value to society if it is not communicated.”
Anne Roe, 1952

As posited by psychologist Anne Roe, the academic community needs to be conscious of their “social obligations.” From the outset and especially since Stuart Hall, critical cultural studies
have aspired to expose power structures and to disclose the constructedness of cultural and social phenomena. Moreover, they strive to share the findings obtained with society with the
aim to foster emancipatory endeavors. But how does this aspiration translate into today’s German discourse and the situation of the study of culture in Germany? We are living in times of an increasing awareness of the diversification of society and a growing reflection on structural relations of power. We are witnessing huge social and environmental challenges with a progressing sense of urgency, often accompanied by a heavily polarized audience – migration and climate change being only two examples. Within academia, the study of culture analyzes these dynamics in its manifold research fields. It offers concepts and tools for critical investigations, produces studies and engages in scholarly debates, thereby discussing, for instance, de- and post-coloniality, gender
issues, epistemic violence, migration and the Anthropocene. But how does theoretical research relate to our social and political reality? What can the study of culture in action look like?
For more than a decade the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen has been at the heart of the study of culture in Germany.
That is why it is the right place to take the leap and address these pressing questions in the form of a transdisciplinary workshop. We would like to investigate which models and concepts from
the study of culture can be applied beyond the realms of academia and how the results of social and political involvement feed back into scholarly research. In doing so, we aim to rethink the (inter-)dependencies of academic discourse and society, and to find ways how to better bridge the two in an attempted “two-way”-conversation. More specifically, we would like to address
the following questions:
• How can we foster a dialogue between academia and society?
• How can critical thinking and critical humanities have a meaningful and sustainable impact on society and politics?
• How to design, shape and communicate research to make a meaningful contribution to society?
• How to open up research and instigate a continuous dialogue with social and political actors?
• How to engage with public discourse in a fruitful way, to maintain academic independence while not being absorbed in one’s efficacy by the status quo?
• How can the experience of practical engagement feed back into and reshape the academic study of culture?
• As scholars of the study of culture, what kind of responsibilities do we bear, inside and outside of academia?
Looking beyond scholarship and academia, the workshop aims to foster a dialogue between scholars and organizations working on the interface of the study of culture and social practice,
academic discourse and political action. The invited speakers are from three fields of civil activism:
Urban Activism: Jan Buck, “raumstation3539“ eG, Gießen, and Oliver Hasemann, “ZwischenZeitZentrale (ZZZ)“, Bremen Consulting: Iris Rajanayagam, “xart splitta” e.V., Berlin Policy Making: Natascha Nassir-Shahnian (tbc.), Diversitätsentwicklung at the “Projektfonds Kulturelle Bildung” (“Stiftung für Kulturelle Weiterbildung und Kulturberatung”, Berlin)
The GCSC invites the opening up of new perspectives for the study of culture and inspires new opportunities for how our field of research as well as our individual projects can reach a broader
public audience. Finally, we want to provoke a change in society, outside the university and beyond doing a PhD.
The workshop addresses early career researchers who situate their research in the wider field of the study of culture, and who are interested in engaging in a discussion with activists, consultants and policy makers.
* * *
Please send your application until 31 March 2020 to building.bridges.GCSC@gmail.com. The applications have to include an expression of motivation/interest, based on the following
questions: How can academic institutions inform the work of activists? And vice versa: How can social activism interact with cultural researchers other than being their object of study?
[200-300 words] The application also has to state the applicant’s own research, connected to the workshop [200 words]. Please add information on extra academic work and activities, if associated to the topic of the workshop.

Contact

Ruben.pfizenmaier@gcsc.uni-giessen.de and laura.borchert@gcsc.ubi-giessen.de (speakers of Reasearch Area 8: Cultures of Knowledges, Research and Education)

Assistant Professor (0,8fte) in Digital Media at VU

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Arts and Culture, opens the position of Assistant Professor (0,8fte) in Digital Media as of 1 September 2020. The successful candidate is expected to develop courses and high-quality research on the role of digital media in a cultural context. The candidate should also be open to teaching comparative media courses in our interdisciplinary bachelor Media, Art, Design, and Architecture and in the master Comparative Arts and Media Studies.

Deadline 1 April 2020.

For more information on how to apply, please visit: https://werkenbij.vu.nl/ad/assistant-professor-in-media-studies/2t0f80

 

Assistant Professor (0,8fte) in Design History and Theory at the VU

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Arts and Culture, opens the position of Assistant Professor (0,8fte) in Design History and Theory as of 1 September 2020. The successful candidate is expected to develop courses and high-quality research on the role of design in a cultural context. The candidate should also be open to teaching design history and theory in our interdisciplinary bachelor Media, Art, Design, and Architecture and in the master Design Cultures.

Deadline 1 April 2020.

For more information on how to apply, please visit: https://werkenbij.vu.nl/ad/assistant-professor-in-design-history-and-theory-tenure-track-position/bb7007

Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food 2020

Call for papers: Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food 2020

On 13 and 14 November 2020, the 7th Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food will take place in the Aula of the University of Amsterdam. This year’s topic is:

Food and the Environment: The Dynamic Relationship Between Food Practices and Nature

Ever since hunters and gatherers made the switch to sedentary forms of farming some 13,000 years ago, the way people produce and consume food has profoundly shaped the world in which we live. Although the idea of the ‘environment’ – which we now use to describe the scale and scope of this human impact on the planet – is a relatively modern concept, historians, archaeologists and ecologists have carefully traced the continual interconnectedness of food and the environment. Indeed, changes in dietary patterns have been intrinsically linked to climate change and demographics throughout history, and the question of how to feed a growing population has been at the centre of major developments in food production innovations from the Neolithic Revolution onwards.

The Symposium encourages scholars from all relevant fields of research to explore the continuing relevance of the interconnectedness of food history and environmental history. We invite abstracts for papers covering any topic related to the study of this theme including, but not limited to, the following:

•                     The history of environmental beliefs and movements
•                     The relationship between climate change and food production and consumption
•                     The impact of exploitation colonialism on the environment
•                     Adverse consequences of intensive food production
•                     Sustainable food systems in history
•                     The interdependence of landscapes and cuisines
•                     Technological innovations related to agricultural growth and achieving food security
•                     The historiography of environmental history

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 April 2020 to foodhistory-ub@uva.nl.

Ecological Time: natures that matter in activism and art

Ecological Time: natures that matter in activism and art

In the fourth and last seminar of Time Matters, we will look into natures that matter in art, science and activism.

Now – at a time when ecological catastrophes become ever more manifest and the term Anthropocene connects the symptoms of this crisis – it has become clear that modern culture has only ostensibly been cut off from the multifarious web of intimate relations we call nature. Perception is changed by knowledge and art, shifting what and how things touch and move us. Art makes sensible that the way we treat nature is also the way we treat each other, and subversively practices and presents different perspectives and relations, by interrupting conventionalized routines and tempos in order to attune to other lifeforms. Likewise, art relates to knowledge to evoke actions, alternatives and care.

For this seminar, Monique Peperkamp, PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and researcher for the professorship Theory in the Arts, has invited artists Terike Haapoja and Daniela Paes Leão. Lectures will be given by Terike, about her work’s focus on existential and political boundaries and the exclusion of other species; by Monique, about natures and ecologies that matter in art, and by Daniela, who will also give a workshop. Daniela’s work has developed from a more personal and intimate practice to a more abstract and theoretical investigation of social issues and ultimately the umbrella subject of climate change.

Daniela Paes Leão (b. Coimbra, 1974) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Porto, works across film, photography, drawing, performance and new media. Her work has been exhibited at Guimarães – European Capital of Cultural 2012, Tate Britain (London), Cube Project Space (Taipei) and W139 (Amsterdam) among others. She has received grants from inter alia the European Cultural Foundation, Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, Mondriaan Fund and DOEN Foundation. Currently, she lives and works in Amsterdam.

Terike Haapoja is a visual artist based in New York. Her large scale installation work, writing and political projects investigate the mechanics of othering with a specific focus on issues arising from the anthropocentric world view of western modernism. The question of animality and the possibility of a community of difference are re-occurring themes. Terike represented Finland in the 55 Venice Biennale with a solo show in the Nordic Pavilion, and her work has been awarded with ANTI prize for Live Art (2016), Dukaatti-prize (2008), Ars Fennica prize nomination, Finnish State Media art award (2016) and  Kiila-prize (2013). Her work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows internationally including Taipei Biennale, Momentum Biennale, Museum of Modern Art in China, Chronus Art Center Shanghai, ISCP New York, House of Electronic Arts Basel and ZKM, Germany. Terike Haapoja is an adjunct professor at Parsons Fine Arts and NYU, New York.

terikehaapoja.net
gustafssonhaapoja.org

Image: Terike Haapoja

 

Programme

9.45   Doors open (Coffee and Tea)

10.15   Introduction by Peter Sonderen

10.30   Lecture by Monique Peperkamp

11.30   Lecture by Daniela Paes Leão

12.15   Lunch

13.00   Workshop by Daniela Paes Leão

15.00   Break

15.15   Lecture by Terike Haapoja

16.15   Q & A and Discussion and Closing Drinks