Racial Orders, Racist Borders

Racial Orders, Racist Borders

Call for Papers: Sixth Annual ACGS Conference, 17-18 October 2019, University of Amsterdam.

Around the world, racist discourses, attitudes, and practices have moved from the fringes into the mainstream, putting core democratic values under pressure. Familiar racial orders have resurfaced and reinforced racist borders, both metaphorical and material. The sixth annual conference of the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies (ACGS) invites papers that examine how forms, discourses and practices of racism have materialized in various institutional contexts.

Keynote speakers:

Gargi Bhattacharyya (University of East London, UK) is a Professor of Sociology at the UEL’s Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging and the author, most recently, of Rethinking Racial Capitalism: Questions of Reproduction and Survival (2018).

Barnor Hesse (Northwestern University, Evanston, USA) is an Associate Professor of African American Studies, Political Science and Sociology and the co-editor, most recently, of After #Ferguson, After #Baltimore: The Challenge of Black Death and Black Life for Black Political Thought (2017, with Juliet Hooker).

David Lloyd (University of California, Riverside, USA) is Distinguished Professor of English and the author, most recently, of Under Representation: The Racial Regime of Aesthetics (2018).

Organized in cooperation with the collaborative research centre Dynamics of Security at the Universities of Giessen and Marburg, Germany, the conference’s main conceptual focus is on the institutional dimensions of racism. How and by whom has racism been ‘mainstreamed’ in different countries and regions around the globe? What kinds of discourses, techniques, strategies and tactics have been mobilized to mainstream racism? And how does this take shape in diverse institutional settings, including politics, education, international institutions, the media, cultural foundations, the police, and the legal system? In the wake of unrestrained, state-led xenophobia and populist nationalism, the function of race as a building block of culture, education, finance, nationalism and democracy can no longer be dissolved into ethnicity, nationalism and religion. Thus, the function of race cannot be hidden behind modernity, the Enlightenment, multiculturalism or civilization, deferred to the histories of ‘other’ places and ‘other’ peoples, or relegated to a past that was ostensibly erased with the end of the Holocaust and the birth of modern institutions such as the European Union and the United Nations. We need to employ the full range of research tools and approaches to take stock of how race and racism have continued to underscore state histories and institutions, as well as everyday practices, habits, gestures, affects, languages, aesthetics and representations alike.

Avenues of inquiry may include, but are not limited to:

  • Histories of institutional racism
  • Racism and populist governance
  • Intersectional perspectives on race and racism
  • Intersections between different practices of racism
  • Whiteness
  • Racism and #metoo
  • Racism and social media
  • Race, immigration and refugee flows
  • Race (and) wars
  • Borders and bodies
  • Race, racism and the digital
  • Race and technology
  • Legalizing race and racism
  • Teaching race and racism
  • Race, policing and profiling
  • Globalization and neoliberalism
  • Nationalism and the nation-state
  • Race and popular media
  • Fake news and the crisis of journalism
  • Multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism
  • Colonial legacies, decolonization and neo-imperialism
  • Aesthetics of race and racism
  • Race and cultural institutions
  • The politics of colour-blindness

Contributions from across the social and political sciences and the humanities are welcome. Please submit an abstract (max. 250-300 words) and a short bio (max. 100 words) by 15 May 2019 to acgs-fgw@uva.nl. Submissions for pre-constituted panels with a maximum of four papers are also welcome.

Organisers: Jeroen de Kloet, Amade M’charek, Thomas Poell (University of Amsterdam), Regina Kreide, Huub van Baar (Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany), Anikó Imre (University of Southern California, USA), Dušan Bjelić (University of Southern Maine, USA).

The Political-Aesthetic Economy of Narco-Capitalism

The Political-Aesthetic Economy of Narco-Capitalism

Lecture Andres Saenz de Sicilia, 25 April 16:00-18:00, location to be announced

In what sense can we understand capitalism as violent? There is much discussion of structural and ‘slow’ violence in the modern world, yet for many, Marx included, capitalism replaces the direct violence of previous epochs with an impersonal, abstract and mediated form of social power. On such a view, the persistence of violence in capitalist societies represents something aberrant, a residue of past incivility tied to a lack of political and economic progress. But are violence and capitalist development intrinsically opposed in this manner?

Contemporary Mexico suggests otherwise. Since 2006, collusion and conflicts between rival cartels, government forces and corporate interests have given rise to an entrenched dynamic of violence and impunity which has done little to harm the success of its national economy. Far from being an exotic and irrational deviation from the normal functioning of market societies, Mexican ‘narco-capitalism’ presents us with a perfectly viable configuration of capitalist accumulation – perhaps even a paradigmatic instance of accumulation in its neo-liberal form. This situation has much to tell us about capital per se, its possible modalities and its geopolitical conditions. In this paper I outline the concept of narco-capitalism by tracing the central articulations between organised crime, state and capital in Mexico today. I then go on to explore the integration of violence into the accumulation process, not only as practice and commodity, but also as image. The aesthetic dimension of its violence is crucial to the reproduction of the narco-capitalist order, and points to its irreducibility to a mere political or economic logic. Instead, I suggest that it must be considered as a cultural form.

Andrés Saenz De Sicilia is a teaching fellow in Philosophical Studies at Newcastle University and a visiting researcher at the University of Amsterdam’s School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA). He obtained his PhD from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University in 2016 and has previously been a research fellow at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City, as well as teaching at the University of Roehampton, Central Saint Martins and University College London (UCL). He has published in journals such as Language Sciences and Radical Philosophy as well as the Sage Handbook of Critical Theory, and is currently completing a book on the concept of ‘subsumption’ in Kant, Hegel and Marx.

Human

Conference 2019 Human

The 3rd PARSE Biennial Research Conference: Human

13-15 November, 2019, Gothenburg.

Call for contributions: panels, papers, performances, screenings, collaborations and workshops

Deadline for abstracts: 31 March 2019

For submissions go to: https://www.conftool.org/parse2019/

HUMAN

The 3rd Biennial PARSE Research Conference takes its title Human to prompt an interdisciplinary and international debate on key issues of the contemporary global condition. Politically, culturally and theoretically, it is impossible today to navigate through the dense lattice of emergencies and urgencies without addressing the question of what constitutes the human, inhuman, subhuman and non-human, as well as formulating an adequate response to the anthropocenic threat posed by the human against the planet.

Historically, the category ‘human’ has been instrumental to the justification and practice of sovereignty and universalism in the Western world, insofar as delimiting and differentiating what ‘human’ means has been central to the project of modernity.

Such delineations have centered on questions of self-consciousness and language, intellectual ability in the form of abstract thought, the possession of a soul, tool-making capabilities, genetic inheritance or private property; however, they have demanded demarcations through the production of prohibition and hierarchization, in processes of inevitable social, political, legal, and economic violence.

Drawing on a broad interdisciplinary network of critical, creative, and pedagogical communities, PARSE seeks to stimulate exchange and dialogue about how to reimagine, remake, expose and expand the human vis-à-vis notions of the nonhuman, inhuman, subhuman, posthuman and inhumane. How can we rethink the conditions for a political imaginary capable of structural transformation and justice for human and nonhuman alike? What is at the heart of current debates on the human? What political imaginaries have enabled the current wave of xenophobic and neo-colonial dehumanization? How can the arts respond to what may be termed a crisis in humanity?

The main theme of the 3rd Biennial PARSE Research Conference 2019, Human, will be organised around 6 streams that will identify clusters for thinking about the human and its discontents. PARSE particularly welcomes proposals for papers on any subject within the traditions of art, design, craft, theatre, music, photography, film, literature, and arts education, including those disciplines from social science and the humanities that are operative within the arts.

PARSE welcomes doctoral student submissions, which will be presented in a session dedicated to ongoing doctoral research projects. When submitting please indicate if your submission should be considered for this session.

We welcome contributions that engage with the following topics:

* the inhuman, the subhuman, the body and inscriptions of the human (the contested universality of the human across the divisions of class, race, gender, trans, queer, ableism, neurodiversity)

* the imperiled non-human (the Anthropocene, nature, ecological catastrophe) and the technological non-human and objecthood (tools, machine, nature, world of objects, OOO, robotics, algorithms etc)

* the posthuman, pedagogy and the institution (anti-humanism, anti-anthropocentrism, critique of the humanities, the human produced by the university, knowledge and distinction, disciplines of the human)

* human mobility and nationhood (transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, migration, human rights, personhood)

* biopolitics, necropolitics and the governance of the category of the human

* decoloniality, post- and neo-colonialism (slavery, indigeneity, empire, desegregation, white Suprematism, white privilege)

All queries to: parse@konst.gu.se

Imperfections: Mistakes, Cracks, Noise Today

Image copyright: Mary Ponomareva. 

The Sublime Imperfections research collective (Amsterdam) devotes a round table + performance event to aesthetics & discourses of imperfection, mistakes, glitches and noise, repair and distortions. The event is part of a conference that address cravings for imperfection in design, music, art, writing, psychology, and genetics.

Featuring Mieke Bal, Graham Dunning, Linor Goralik, Patricia Pisters, Ellen Rutten, Yuriko Saito, DJ Trish Trash.

Date: March 12

Time: 18:00-23:00

12 March, 2019, 18:00-23:00, Sexyland, Ms. Van Riemdijksweg 39, Amsterdam. Entrance is free but space is limited; register via sublimeimperfectionsassistent at gmail dot com. For updates follow our Facebook event.

In recent decades, the trend to present imperfections as a plus rather than a problem has resonated across a scala of social disciplines and a range of world localities. Designers respond to hi-tech perfection with a love for wonky forms. Psychologists tell us to embrace imperfection in a mediatized age. Artists and musicians toy with electronic glitches and cracks. Philosophers and biologists plea against perfection in genetic engineering.

The Sublime Imperfections research collective (Amsterdam) devotes a round table + performance event to these and analogous discourses & aesthetics of mistakes, cracks, and noise today.

At the round table (18:00-20:00), leading thinkers and practitioners of the imperfect interrogate the contemporary craving for cracks, mistakes, and noise. When & why do artists, writers, filmmakers, and designers hail mistakes? Why do shabby chic and urban-ruin cults so easily lead to elitism or poverty porn? What does repair mean in times of love for the non-polished? And is a politics of imperfection and failure an answer to the Trumputin era?

Speakers: Mieke Bal (Amsterdam) – prizewinning cultural theorist, video artist, ASCA-founder!, and author of ao Thinking in Film (Bloomsbury 2013); Linor Goralik (Tel Aviv/Moscow) – designer, fashion scholar, poet and author of Found Life (Columbia UP 2017); Yuriko Saito (Rhode Island) – professor of philosophy, author of Everyday Aesthetics (Oxford UP 2008); Joanna van der Zanden (Amsterdam) – curator, initiator of ao the Repair Manifesto. Moderators: Patricia Pisters (Amsterdam) – professor of media studies, author of ao The Neuro Image (Stanford UP); Ellen Rutten (Amsterdam) – professor of literature, initiator of the Sublime Imperfections project.

The performance program (20:00-23:00) unites performers/DJs with a predilection for cracks, noise, and trash. DJ Trish Trash (Amsterdam) creates music & autonomous work inspired by vintage magazines, graphical and architectural shapes. Graham Dunning (London) works with array of turntables, contraptions, smashed vinyl, recycled objects. Combined his performances – which recently staged in ao Berlin, Oxford, London, Madrid – draw on rhythm and repetition, experimentation and improvisation. Glice (Amsterdam) – Melle Kromhout & Ruben Braeken – produces dark noise improvisations fused with post-industrial & post-classical sound structures. Curated by Caleb Kelly (Sydney) – media theorist, curator, author of ao Cracked Media (MIT).

‘For Bal research is pure marvel, a creative form of thinking where science becomes art’ Metropolis M

‘Windswept and expansive in its bruised intimacy’ Wire Magazine on Graham Dunning

Guests are also welcome at the Imperfections conference of which the event is a part, and which unites 17 imperfection experts and practitioners in cultural and critical analysis, history, literary studies, marketing, design, philosophy, music, art, linguistics, and area studies. The meeting, which brings together specialists from Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and New Zealand marks the conclusion of the NWO research project Sublime Imperfections. Click here for a program and registration details.

This event is supported by the Netherlands Scientific Organization, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, and the Amsterdam Center for Globalisation Studies.

Register via sublimeimperfectionsassistent@gmail.com (for ‘round table,’ ‘performances,’ or ‘both’).

 

 

 

 

Aurality: Musical Modes of Knowledge Inscription

Seminar Series of the Research Group Music and Culture

Organizer: Barbara Titus (b.titus@uva.nl)

In recent years, acquisitions and formations of knowledge and the dynamics of power that govern these formations are increasingly theorized through a renewed interest for the ear with physical, mechanical, organic, physiological, psychological and cognitive subject potential.

This seminar/workshop intends to engage with a wide range of modes of knowledge inscription and transmission through the employment of a variety of musicking acts (Small 1998, 9): we aim to voice a song or a praise or a judgement, we perform an argument or debate or encounter, we conceptualize a discourse, a movement, a process or gesture, we constitute synchronizations, disjunctions or confrontations, etc.. In doing so, the workshop intends to raise questions about technologies of transmission, dissemination and inscription of knowledge (sounds, imagery, speech, writing, performance, etc.) and the material on which they inscribe: memories, (human) bodies, paper, hard drives, or songs.

Thursday 14 March 2019

16:00-18:00 hours
Venue: Vondelzaal – Universiteitsbibliotheek Singel 425

Emily Hansell Clark (Columbia University), “Wiet Wiet, Kiaauw”: Birds and Men in Suriname and the Netherlands

On Sunday mornings in Paramaribo, Suriname, dozens of men gather in the central Independence Square to “race” twatwas, small songbirds native to the region. The birds are caged and trained to sing competitively in elaborate months-long tournaments that are considered a Surinamese national sport. The same birdsong competitions can also be witnessed in cities in the Netherlands, Suriname’s former colonizer, where the birds are both smuggled and bred.

My paper dialogues with ethnomusicology/sound studies/anthropology scholarship (Mundy 2018, Kohn 2013, Seeger 1987, Feld 1982) that considers birds and birdsong not as an aural realm of nature separate from the human, but rather as the grounds for taxonomies and discourses that organize human concerns and experiences of self in a world where nature and culture cannot be fully disentangled, whether in the densely green tropical climate of the Caribbean coast of South America or the cosmopolitan urban environment of the Dutch metropolis. I situate this examination in the context of historical representations of culture and nature, the civilized and the wild, as well as present-day concerns including freedom, migration, masculinity, and ecotourism.

Emily Hansell Clark is a PhD student in Ethnomusicology. She holds a BA in Ethnomusicology and Composition from Oberlin College and an MSIS (Information Studies) from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus in sound archives. Emily has long been interested in the archive as an area of phenomenological investigation, as well as in conceptualizations of preservation, tradition, and memory that lie outside of the modern Western archival institution. She is currently involved in a number of community-based repatriation projects with Columbia’s ethnomusicology archive. Drawing from over a decade of experience studying Javanese music and culture, Emily’s currently-developing dissertation project concerns ethnicity, migration, memory, governance, difference, and selfhood explored through fieldwork with ethnically Javanese musicians in Suriname and the Netherlands.

Thursday 4 April 2019

16:00-18:00 hours
Venue: Belle van Zuylenzaal – Universiteitsbibliotheek Singel 425

Attila Faravelli – Sound artist, The Aural Tools Project

Aural Tools uses editions of simple objects to document the material and conceptual processes of specific musicians’ sound production practice. It is a series of acoustic devices for relating sound to space, the listener, and the body in ways unavailable through traditional recorded media such as CDs or LPs.

Attila Faravelli lives and works in Milano (Italy). In his practice he explores the relationship between sound, space and body. His solo music is released by Die Schachtel and Senufo Editions. Together with Enrico Malatesta and Nicola Ratti he is founder of the sound performance trio ~Tilde. He presented his work in Europe, USA, China and South Korea. In 2010 he participated in the 12th International Biennial of Architecture in Venice. Since 2011 he curates The Lift, a series of experimental music concerts. He is founder and curator for the Aural Tools project.

Thursday 2 May 2019

16:00-18:00 hours
Venue: Belle van Zuylenzaal – Universiteitsbibliotheek Singel 425

Luc Rombouts (University Carillonneur, Leuven), Carillons: Musical Heritage of the Low Countries

For many centuries, tower bells served as voices of local authorities and structured the daily life of citizens in Europe. Some 500 years ago, people in the Low Countries transformed functional tower bells into musical instruments. This innovation was the first ‘music in the cloud’ – one may call it an alpha version of Spotify. Surprisingly, carillon music didn’t die out after the radio, CD’s and the internet arrived in order to offer a cheaper technology of bringing music to large audiences.

Today, the carillon is still a genuine part of the soundscape of the cities in Belgium and the Netherlands, and the carillon culture is gaining importance, as is demonstrated by the recognition by UNESCO of the carillon culture in Belgium. However, keeping this sonic heritage alive remains a challenge. How do carillonneurs manage in keeping their messages relevant? How can the old social medium of the carillon connect with the social media of today? How can the carillon contribute to the experience of time and space in the city? And is this geographically embedded musical culture transferable to other regions in Europe and beyond?

Luc Rombouts is city carillonneur of Tienen (Belgium) and university carillonneur of Leuven (Belgium), where he plays the carillons of the University Library and the Great Beguinage. He has given recitals in Europe and in the USA and has performed during festivals and congresses.

He wrote an award-winning book on carillon history, entitled Zingend brons. 500 jaar beiaardmuziek in de Oude en de Nieuwe Wereld (Davidsfonds, 2010). This book was published in English in 2014 under the title Singing Bronze. A History of Carillon Music (Leuven University Press / Cornell University Press). In 2016 he obtained a PhD degree cum laude from the University of Utrecht on a thesis about the origin of the carillon. Luc coordinated the project that led in 2014 to the recognition of the Belgian carillon culture as a best safeguarding practice in intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

Thursday 27 June 2019

16:00-18:00 hours
Venue: University Theatre (Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16) – Theaterzaal

Juan Diego Díaz (University of California, Davis), Embodied Listening Capoeira Workshop

Capoeira is a Brazilian art combining, among others, instrumental music, song, dance, martial arts, ritual, and theatre, developed by enslaved Africans in the sixteenth century.

The workshop is accessible to all – no prior experience with music, dance or martial arts is required.  The workshop will include physical movement (learning ginga, the basic step of capoeira, plus one attack and one defense), rhythm (clapping the basic pattern and singing some of the berimbau variations), and song (learning the refrain of a couple of songs). Participants will learn how to correlate these three aspects of capoeira through exercises as a group and by couples. These moves and movements will be emphatically connected with “intellectual” exchanges with the participants, raising questions about the aural knowing, learning and experiencing of this practice.

Juan Diego Díaz is an ethnomusicologist with a geographic research interest in Africa and its diaspora, particularly Brazil and West Africa. He is interested in how African diasporic musics circulate and transform across the Atlantic and how they serve individuals and communities in identity formation. This research has produced a book called Tabom Voices: A History of the Ghanaian Afro-Brazilian Community in Their Own Words (2016) and the documentary film Tabom in Bahia (2017), documenting the visit of a Ghanaian master drummer to Bahia, Brazil.He uses a variety of approaches including close musical analysis, timeline theory, groove analysis, phenomenology of the body, and discourse analysis. He is also a long-term Capoeira Angola practitioner and has led capoeira and samba ensembles.