Replacement and replaceability: theoretical traditions and contemporary practices

The editors of a peer reviewed volume with as its working title Replacement and replaceability: theoretical traditions and contemporary practices, call for papers. Departing from the idea that
replacement and replaceability can be productive concepts for the study of cultural objects, we are looking for contributions from interdisciplinary scholars working on the interstices between different fields of knowledge such as comparative literature, anthropology, philosophy, visual studies, gender and queer studies, feminist theory, post- and de- colonial theory, psychoanalysis,
linguistics, and contemporary art.
The aim of this volume is to contribute to an understanding of replacement and replaceability in relation to a broad range of notions such as conflict, visuality, photography,
representation, witnessing, sacrifice, memory, the digital, performativity, and the environment. We are looking for proposals that stage a dialogue between the notion of replacement on the one hand and an object of study on the other. The aim is to theorize what replacement might signify for us today, and how it can help us figure out how it can be a significant tool for the study of cultural phenomena. We would like to trace replacement back to some of its more traditional theoretical roots, drawing on traditions ranging from Marxism to Psychoanalysis and from Nietzsche to more recent French theory, all the while remaining attentive to the possible contemporary usefulness of the concept of replacement for the study of culture.
Hearing the words replacement and replaceability, we wonder: Who or what is being replaced? Who is doing the replacing? What counts as replaceable? Is there a logic of replacement?
What happens when bodies are deemed replaceable for other bodies? Or for machines? Is replaceability a notion that can be productive for the study of violence inflicted upon the
environment? How does replacement communicate with other, related, concepts, such as translation, repetition, reiteration, quotation, citation, metaphor, metonymy, synechdoche, and
displacement? And how does it acquire meaning in relation to concepts taken from different traditions, like precariousness, simulacrum, spectacle, ideology, object-subject relationships,
trauma, and violence? Are fantasies of replaceability exclusively violent, or sometimes necessary, as in the case of renewable energy sources coming to replace oil and coal? How does the concept of
replacement travel between different discourses? How can replacement or replaceability be made useful for the study of cultural objects? And which objects warrant their use? It is on these and
related questions that we invite abstracts for papers.
The proposed volume will include contributions from participants to a two day conference that took place in Lisbon in December of 2018, and contributions from people outside of that
conference who are interested in these themes alike. The editors are still in the process of finding a suitable publishing house, but have already found different options for publication that they are
confident will work out.
We invite proposals for contributions in the form abstracts in which replacement or replaceability are used either as concepts of analysis, put into dialogue with a cultural object, or in
which the concepts themselves come under theoretical scrutiny. Proposals should be no longer than 250 words and have to be sent to replacementvolume@gmail.com before March 15st 2019 for peer review.

Full submissions will be 5.000-6.000 words in length. For those who are interested in the conference that took place in Lisbon on this theme, the program of that conference can be found at
https://replacementconference.wordpress.com/program/.
Should questions arise, please do not hesitate to contact us at the email address above. We are very much looking forward to your proposals.
Sara Magno, Jad Khairallah & Ilios Willemars.

Neurohumanities: Promises & Threats

IX Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture

Lisbon, July 1-6, 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS

Deadline for submissions: February 28, 2019

When the US government declared the 1990s “The decade of the brain”, it aimed at raising public awareness toward the use of neuroscience for the enhancement of life quality and as a way to better address the challenges of growing life expectancy. The initiative was further supported by substantial research funding, which not only impressed public opinion but appealed to many research fields. Finding a link to brain research and the processes of the human mind, many disciplines were repositioned and adopted the “neuro” prefix, promising new insights into age-old problems by reframing them from the angle of the brain-mind continuum.

Neuroscience seeks to explain how the brain works and which neurophysiological processes are involved in complex cognitive abilities like sensation and perception attention and reasoning, memory and thought.

One of the most striking and unique features of the human mind is its capacity to represent realities that transcend its immediate time and space, by engaging complex symbolic systems, most notably language, music, arts and mathematics. Such sophisticated means for representation are arguably the result of an environmental pressure and must be accounted for in a complex network of shared behaviors, mimetic actions and collaborative practices: in other words, through human culture. The cultural products that are enabled by these systems are also stored by means of representation in ever-new technological devices, which allow for the accumulation and sharing of knowledge beyond space and across time.

The artifacts and practices that arise from the symbolic use, exchange and accumulation are the core of the research and academic field known as the Humanities. The field has been increasingly interested in the latest developments deriving from neuroscience and the affordances they allow about the conditions and processes of the single brain, embedded in an environment, in permanent exchange with other brains in an ecology that is culturally coded.

This turn of the humanities to neuroscience is embraced by many and fiercely criticized by others. The promise of the Neurohumanities, the neuroscientifically informed study of cultural artifacts, discourses and practices, lies in unveiling the link between embodied processes and the sophistication of culture. And it has the somewhat hidden agenda of legitimizing the field, by giving it a science-close status of relevance and social acknowledgement it has long lacked. Here, though, lies also its weakness: should the Humanities become scientific? Can they afford to do so? Should they be reduced to experimental methodologies, collaborative research practices, sloppy concept travelling, transvestite interdisciplinarity? Is the promise of the Neurohumanities, seen by some as the ultimate overcoming of the science-humanities or the two cultures divide, in fact not only ontologically and methodologically impossible and more than that undesirable? And how will fields like Neuroaesthetics, Cognitive Literary Theory, Cognitive Linguistics, Affect Theory, Second-person Neuroscience, Cognitive Culture Studies or Critical Neuroscience relate to the emerging omnipresence and challenges of Artificial Intelligence?

The IX Summer School for the Study of Culture invites participants to submit paper and poster proposals that critically consider the developments of the Neurohumanities in the past decades and question its immediate and future challenges and opportunities. Paper proposals are encouraged in but not limited to the following topics:

  • 4E Cognition: embodied, embedded, enacted and extended
  • performance and the embodied mind
  • spectatorship and simulation
  • from individual to social cognition
  • mental imagery
  • empathy
  • memory, culture and cultural memory
  • cognition and translatability
  • mind-body problem
  • life enhancement
  • neuro-power
  • (neuro)humanities and social change
  • AI, cognition and culture

The Summer School will take place at several cultural institutions in Lisbon and will gather outstanding doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers from around the world. In the morning there will be lectures and master classes by invited keynote speakers. In the afternoon there will be paper presentations by doctoral students.

Paper proposals

Proposals should be sent to lxsummerschool@gmail.com no later than February 28, 2019 and include paper title, abstract in English (max. 200 words), name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation and a brief bio (max. 100 words) mentioning ongoing research.

Applicants will be informed of the result of their submissions by March 15, 2019.

Rules for presentation

The organizing committee shall place presenters in small groups according to the research focus of their papers. They are advised to stay in these groups for the duration of the Summer School, so a structured exchange of ideas may be developed to its full potential.

Full papers submission

Presenters are required to send in full papers by May 30, 2019.

The papers will then be circulated amongst the members of each research group and in the slot allotted to each participant (30’), only 10’ may be used for a brief summary of the research piece. The Summer School is a place of networked exchange of ideas and organizers wish to have as much time as possible for a structured discussion between participants. Ideally, in each slot, 10’ will be used for presentation, and 20’ for discussion.

Registration fees

Participants with paper – 290€ for the entire week (includes lectures, master classes, doctoral sessions, lunches and closing dinner)

Participants without paper – 60€ per session/day | 190€ for the entire week

Fee waivers

For The Lisbon Consortium students, there is no registration fee.

For students from Universities affiliated with the European Summer School in Cultural Studies (such as ASCA) and members of the Excellence Network in Cultural Studies the registration fee is 60€.

Organizing Committee

  • Isabel Capeloa Gil
  • Peter Hanenberg
  • Alexandra Lopes
  • Paulo de Campos Pinto
  • Diana Gonçalves
  • Clara Caldeira
  • Rita Bacelar

Comedy, Humourlessness and the Gimmick

8 Februari, 10:00-13:00 hrs
PCHooft, room 4.22

Reading Session Berlant & Ngai on Comedy, Humourlessness and the Gimmick. Organized by Eva Sancho Rodriguez and Esther Peeren.

“Comedy has issues” is the opening argument of a special issue edited by two leading authors in affect theory. Join us for a reading session devoted to the new issue of Critical Inquiry, edited by Lauren Berlant (author of Cruel Optimism) and Sianne Ngai (Ugly Feelings, Our Aesthetic Categories). In this session, we will concentrate on discussing the texts listed below, which we kindly ask you to read beforehand.

  • Berlant, Lauren, & Ngai, Sianne. (2017). “Comedy Has Issues” Critical Inquiry,  43, no. 2 (Winter 2017): 233-249.
  • Berlant, Lauren. “Humorlessness (Three Monologues and a Hairpiece)” 305-340.
  • Sianne Ngai, “Theory of the Gimmick” 466-505.

The text on humourlessness builds on the work Lauren Berlant presented here at ASCA during her workshop in 2015.

Organizers: Eva Sancho Rodriguez & Esther Peeren. Please email Eva (e.sanchorodriguez@uva.nl) to receive a link to the readings.

Sound in Action – Compatibility and Space

Date: 28th of February, 20:00
Location: De School, Doctor Jan van Breemenstraat 1, Amsterdam
Free Entrance, please RSVP: soundinactioninfo[at]gmail.com

In the second event of Sound in Action, Compatibility and Space, we will reflect on the intersection of urban-space crisis, sound and music. How political is the sound of a music scene? How does sound reflect and define a social environ, and how does it both promote and restrain the encounter of bodies? De School and its dark basement will be the starting point for reflection.

Feminist studies and queer studies scholar Sarah Ahmed has said on gentrification that “there are technologies that stop us from being affected by certain bodies; those that might be in the way of how we occupy space”. De School is a site of encounters. In its dark, smoke-filled basement, bodies dance and sweat through (un)choreographed moves. Photos are not allowed. Identities are blurred and tolerance finds its way through the beats of the bass. On Sundays, it becomes the playground of a scene within a scene. However, De School, which operates within the local government’s urban regeneration policy, will close in less than two years as the contract with the city hall will end and the building will be torn down.

What impact do local policies have on people, bodies, behaviours and on music scenes? How can sub-cultures find their way within the current urban-space crisis? We will address these and other questions through an interdisciplinary panel. Audience participation is highly encouraged. A DJ set will follow.

Our Guests

marum is as an artist, curator, writer and DJ based in Berlin. In his practice he explores the relation of digital technologies in gender, queer and feminist politics, having particularly focused on cybernetics, surveillance and capture technologies, clubbing culture and alien-phenomenology. marum is the initiator, booker and resident of mina, a techno party for gender and sexual liberation in Lisbon. marum hosts VANTABLACK, a monthly show at Rádio Quântica, for which he invites DJs, producers and promoters to play music and to debate gender politics and feminism in the electronic music and clubbing scene. As a DJ marum has partnered with Resident Advisor and Boiler Room and has appeared in festivals such as Festival Forte and CTM. Next month, marum has their debut at Berghain.

marum will share a first hand experience of the interference of the urban-space crisis with a music scene. For over a year, mina have had serious problems in organising their parties due to the rising pressure of the financialisation of urban space in Lisbon.

Dr. Agnieszka Wolodzko is a researcher at the Centre for Arts in Society at Leiden University and lecturer at AKI Academy of Art and Design, ArtEZ, working, among others, within New Materialism and Philosophy of Art. In her research she investigates ways in which art, by using living bodies as its medium, reveal overall cultural, social and political significance of affect in the contemporary understanding of biotechnologically manipulated bodies. Since 2016, she has worked at the AKI, coordinating biolab and teaching philosophy of art, lecturing in BIOMATTERs, an artistic research program that explores how to work with living matters. Since 2017, she has been a lecturer at Leiden University teaching courses on posthumanism and intersection between art, ethics and biotechnology.

In this evening, Agnieszka Wolodzko will reflect on the implication of constricting risky encounters, of caring for the multiple agencies and of living within relationality and contamination of bodies.

Jaap Draaisma is co-founder and ceasing director of Urban Resort, a non-profit which develops and manages breeding grounds for artists, artisans, freelancers and starters in Amsterdam. Jaap Draaisma became involved in the squatters’ movement in 1976. Later, he sought his way between illegal cracking and opportunities to legalise squats. Much has been achieved, but with the legalisation, part of the bustling initiative was lost too. With Urban Resort, Jaap Draaisma’s goal is to offer places to work and experiment freely on an artistic and social level, to create spaces where old and new Amsterdamers live together, eventually making the city accessible and diverse.

Taufan ter Weel is an architect, artist and researcher with an interdisciplinary approach at the intersection of sound art, architecture and socio-spatial research. Besides carrying out collaborative and independent projects, he works as guest teacher at TU Delft’s Faculty of Architecture. He has worked as instructor and guest teacher at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Built Environment department). Furthermore, he was a research member of Cohabitation Strategies in Rotterdam as well as artistic leader and co-leader of Blikopener Festival & Productions in Delft. He performs live electronic music since 2001. His research has led to the sound art projects “Gentrifriction”, “Intensive Territories: Politics of Amplification” and “Listening to Machines”, among others.

Hannah Pezzack, moderator – Hannah Pezzack is currently studying a Research Master’s in Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. She has written and worked for VICE, Unseen Amsterdam, Subbacultcha and Latitude Festival, among others.

Who Are We?

Sound In Action is an initiative that aims to bring to the public realm a demonstration of how music, sound and performance make tangible change to society. Our initiative is an overt form of opposition to the education budget cuts in the Netherlands as well as similar issues in education worldwide. Cuts in education, in particular in the humanities, disrupt the freedom for knowledge transmission by superimposing a service/consumer relationship mode within an educational institution. Because the humanities do not create a product that can be fed into a capitalist environ, this type of knowledge is undervalued and thus underfunded. By drawing attention to the knowledge of the humanities in action we are showing how this type of education is discursive and does not need to be justified to exist.

Support

Sound in Action is made possible by the generous support of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) and the Music Studies department of the University of Amsterdam. For this event we wish to thank De School for hosting Sound in Action and particularly to Anne van der Weijden for all the support.

Do you want to support Sound in Action? A 10€ donation will grant you a meal at De School café on the night of the event and help us cover production costs.
In parallel: marum will kickstart this event on the 26th of February between 10am and 11am with a DJ set at Amsterdam’s iconic online radio, Red Light Radio.

On Facebook and Twitter: @soundinaction

Between Myth and Memory: Contemporary Politics and the Performance of History

An interdisciplinary one-day symposium on 25 April 2019 at the Centre for Performance and Urban Living, University of Surrey

— Call for Papers —

Keynote: Dr. Sophie Nield (Royal Holloway, University of London)

The practices that make up the performances of contemporary politics stand in complex tension with the past. Efforts to locate the roots of present-day democracy in the Athenian city-state might negate historicity in favour of myth (Ridout 2008). On the other hand, shared myths of democratic community might serve concrete purposes, upholding norms of behaviour and modes of thought not encoded in the law. The rise of radical right-wing populism, for instance, has raised alarm over the erosion of traditions of political behaviour (Levitsky and Ziblatt 2018). This has put the political left in an intriguing quandary: caught between the desire to challenge myths of Western democracy and the championing of a small-c conservatism that staves off the ongoing wreckage of a flawed but still valued political culture.

Conversely, an ahistorical perspective might assume not only that present political practice is unproblematically linked to the ancient polis, but also that the present marks a radical break with the past. One might think here of Fredrick Jameson’s (1996) position that, in postmodernity, ‘time consists in an eternal present’ and deferred catastrophe. Or one might think of social science scholars, who tend to assume that mediatisation has made the performative features of politics worthy of study in the contemporary moment, as local communities of active citizens have been turned into global audiences that are performed to (Manin 1997; Moffitt 2016). Performance, then, is seen as a new problem, as particularly, perhaps even exclusively, relevant to the now.

As part of the University of Surrey’s new Centre for Performance and Urban Living (dir. Patrick Duggan), this symposium aims to challenge views that posit the performances of contemporary politics as apparently ahistorical practices. To what extend does our ability to imagine alternative futures depend on our memory of partial, resistant, but also temporally and spatially specific upheavals of the structures of social and political life (Nield 2006, 2015)? What might be gained if we consider the process and potential value of how shared myths become embedded in political communities? And how can we interrogate the ways in which the theatre of politics perpetuates, modifies, and obfuscates its own connections to and our memories of the historically or mythologically conceived past?

Contributors may wish to take any of the following themes as points of departure (though the symposium is NOT limited to these):

  • Public speech acts and the performativity of institutions
  • Collective and public memory of the nation/the state/politicians/political communities
  • Performance histories of populism
  • Evolutions of concepts of democracy, liberalism, political representation, the body politic, etc.
  • Mythical forms of political identification
  • Myth and the harnessing and sustaining of power
  • Performances of national, regional, and urban identity, ideas of inclusiveness/exclusion, and their evolution
  • Historicized and localized performances of political identity
  • The mass media as driver of performance practices vs. performance practices that drive the media
  • The performance and evolution of legitimacy
  • Tropes and metaphors in the performance of politics
  • Representations of the political past and present in politics, popular culture, and the theatre
  • Theatricality as a feature of political life
  • The misrecognition and false identification of breaks and continuities
  • Ritual, ceremony, veneration, and myth in politics, parliament, and urban political contexts
  • Traditions, inventions, and roots of practices of protest, opposition, resistance
  • Effects of mediatisation and liveness on the theatre of politics
  • Historical representations of gender, race, class in politics

Submission format: An abstract of 250-300 words, plus a bio (max. 100 words) for each contributor. Presentations in a range of formats are welcome; however, if you wish to present in a non-conventional format, or require specialist equipment, please include an additional paragraph (no more than 150 words) outlining what you need.

Deadline: 8 March 2019. All proposals should be submitted to Dr Julia Peetz: j.peetz@gsa.surrey.ac.uk

A link for registration will be available nearer the time. Registration will be charged at £20 (with institutional affiliation) and £5. (unaffiliated / student). The symposium will include lunch, coffee, and a wine reception.

References:

Jameson, F. 1996. The Seeds of Time. NY: Columbia UP.

Levitsky, S., and D. Ziblatt. 2018. How Democracies Die: What History Reveals about Our Future. NY: Crown.

Manin, B. 1997. Principles of Representative Government. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

Moffitt, B. 2016. The Global Rise of Populism: Performance, Political Style, and Representation. Stanford: Stanford UP.

Nield, S. 2015. ‘Tahrir Square EC4M: The Occupy Movement and the Dramaturgy of Public Order.’ The Grammar of Politics and Performance, ed. S. M. Rai and J. Reinelt. London: Routledge, 121-133.

——. 2006. ‘There Is Another World: Space, Theatre and Global Anti-Capitalism.’ Contemporary Theatre Review 16.1: 51-61.

Ridout, N. 2008. ‘Performance and Democracy.’ The Cambridge Companion to Performance Studies, ed. T. C. Davis. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 11-22

This CFP is also available on the university website.