Sites of Memory – Emerging Memory

Tickets available now!

After the great success of the past three years, with sold out shows, we are bringing a new edition within the theme Emerging Memory; what stories from history do we share, document or archive, by whom and from who’s perspective? What do we rather forget? The audience is taken past historical sites whilst spoken word artists, dancers, musicians and visual artists bring history to the present. It’s a quest for our shared cultural heritage and encounter through stories between 22nd June till 4th July.

By Jennifer Tosch and Katy Streek in collaboration with Raul Balai, Buhlebezwe Siwani,  Zino Schat, Robert Thomas Villedieu, Mirte Hartland, Sjaan Flikweert and Jörgen Gario.

Sites of Memory is a collaboration between Amsterdam Roots, Afrovibes, Poetry Circle Nowhere and Black Heritage Tours. It is made possible with support by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam Heritage and Memory Studies & Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis.

Language: English (with partly Dutch text)
Check for more info:

Dates & times

Saturday 22 June, 16:00 & 20:00
Sunday 23 June, 16:00 & 20:00
Thursday 27 June, 20:00
Friday 28 June, 20:00
Saturday 29 June, 16:00 & 20:00
Sunday 30 June, 16:00 & 20:00
Wednesday 3 July, 20:00
Thursday 4 July, 20:00

Book your ticket!!!

Architecture at Times of War: The Politics and Ethics of Destruction, Witnessing and Rebuilding

ASCA/NICA workshop

11 June, 13:00-15:00, Oudemanhuispoort C2.17 , 1 ECTS

To accompany Marwa Al-Sabouni’s lecture “From a Model of Peace to a Model of Conflict: The Effect of Architectural Modernization on the Syrian Urban and Social Make-up” (11 June, 16:00-18:00, University Theater, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16), ASCA and NICA are organizing a seminar focusing on Architecture at Times of War, in which we will read parts of Al-Sabouni’s book The Battle of Home: Memoir of a Syrian Architect and contextualize it by connecting it to other work focused on the role of architecture before, during and after conflict situations by Judith Naeff and Eyal Weizman. We will discuss the politics, aesthetics and ethics of construction, destruction and rebuilding (how does architecture forge community but also antagonism between communities? what buildings tend to be targeted for destruction and/or conservation at times of war? and what considerations and interests govern the rebuilding process?), as well as the role of (destroyed) buildings and infrastructure as witnesses to atrocities, as teased out by the practice of forensic architecture.

Reading materials:

  • Marwa Al-Sabouni, The Battle for Home: Memoir of a Syrian Architect. London: Thames & Hudson, 2016. Chapters 2 & 6 (26-57 & 139-179).
  • Judith Naeff, “Disposable Architecture: Reinterpreting Ruins in the Age of Globalization – The Case of Beirut.” Global Garbage: Urban Imaginaries of Waste, Excess, and Abandonment. Ed. Christoph Lindner and Miriam Meissner. London: Routledge, 2015. p. 221-236.
  • Eyal Weizman, “Forensic Architecture: Only the Criminal Can Solve the Crime.” Radical Philosophy 164 (Nov./Dec. 2010): 9-24.

Organizer: Esther Peeren

To receive 1 ECTS, you need to attend the workshop, participate actively in the discussion and submit a discussion question about (one of) the readings to Esther Peeren ( by Friday 7 June at 12:00. To register, please send an email to Maximum number of participants: 25.

Public Lecture by Marwa Al-Sabouni

From a Model of Peace to a Model of Conflict: The Effect of Architectural Modernization on the Syrian Urban and Social Make-up

Public Lecture by Marwa Al-Sabouni
architect, author and winner of Prince Claus Award

11 June 2019, 16:00-18:00, University Theater, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16

From a land called the “Cradle of Civilizations” to one that is now described as “apocalyptic” and “one of the most dangerous places on Earth”, Syria may have no more critical moment than the current crisis to reflect on what is taking it down this terrifyingly dark path. We resort to history in order to decipher the mysteries of the present, and there is no more honest and direct history than that of the built environment: a concrete object that tells the narratives not only of the winners, the wealthy and the powerful, but also of those who were brushed aside, cut apart and walked over. In her book The Battle for Home, Marwa Al-Sabouni argues that reversing the process which led to the loss of home and the loss of urban fabric is the foundation of reclaiming these as essential elements of recovery after war and destruction. In this talk she examines four areas of transformation where modern urban planning and architecture have left their marks on the Levantine city, to give a clearer understanding of the role of architecture in conflict and peace and how this could be used in the act of rebuilding.

Moderator: Esther Peeren, Professor of Cultural Analysis & Academic Director of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam

Respondent: Nermin Elsherif, PhD candidate, Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture, University of Amsterdam & Bengin Dawod, Architect and Urban Designer, founder of The Soul of the City

Organizers: ASCA & Prince Claus Fund – registration (free):

Performing Robots Conference: Dialogues Between Theatre and Robotics

23-25 May 2019, Utrecht (the Netherlands)

Organized by Transmission in Motion (Utrecht University) and SPRING Performing Arts Festival

Robots are increasingly present both in our daily life and on stage. Theatre makers explore the possibilities of these new technological performers and investigate the possibilities and implications of a future of living with them. Also in daily life, the presence and behavior of robots raises questions that concern their dramaturgy and design: how do social robots address their human co-performers and afford interaction with them? What scripts do they follow? How to design and choreograph their appearance and movements?

Guy Hoffman observes that theater acting and other performing arts could serve Human Robot Interaction (HRI) as useful testbeds. Heather Knight identifies eight lessons about designing non-verbal interaction that can be learned from the theatre, and demonstrates the potential of comedy for experimenting with and testing out robot behavior and HRI. Elizabeth Jochum points to puppet theatre as source of knowledge and expertise about animating mechanical agents, and shows how theatre can be used to study interaction with care robots. Projects like Towards Corporeally Literate Social Robots (Petra Gemeinboeck) and the Pinoke Project (Deakin University) use expertise from the field of dance and interaction with dancers for new approaches to developing movement for robots.

This conference takes stock of interactions between theatre and robotics so far and looks at possibilities for future collaboration. What do the performing arts have to offer as inspiration, model, and test-case for the development of robots and for human-robot interaction? How might collaboration between the performing arts and robotics contribute to further development of social robots, as well as to critical understanding of what it will mean to be living with them?

Three days with more than 25 presentations and demonstrations. Keynote addresses by Peter Eckersall (CUNY), Maarten Lamers & Peter van der Putten (Leiden University), Petra Gemeinboeck (UNSW) & Rob Saunders (Falmouth University/University of Sydney), Kris Verdonck (A Two Dogs Company) and Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll).

Performance program includes Uncanny Valley by Stefan Kaegi, SOMETHING (out of nothing) by Kris Verdonck, Uncanny Valley Girl by Angela Goh and Happiness by Dries Verhoeven.

Conference attendance is free but registration is required.

Please register through the website of SPRING Performing Arts Festival at:

Tickets for performances need to be purchased separately at:

For more information, you can check our website or contact us at

The Performing Robots conference is a collaboration between Transmission in Motion (Utrecht University) and SPRING Performing Arts Festival. The conference is made possible through the support of Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stichting Diorapthe, Utrecht University, Centre for the Humanities, NICA and Museum Speelklok.

Challenging the Sites of Knowledge – Medial and pluri-medial configurations and transformations

Call for Applications Summer School 2019 Extended deadline: 15 Mai 2019 | When: 3 – 7 September 2019 | Where: Hotel Bad Muntelier, Murten, near Berne, Switzerland | Languages: English (main), German
ECTS: 6 | Costs: 400 Swiss francs (travel and accommodation [double room] covered by organizer. Limited availability of singlerooms on request and with extra charge). Members of the GSH, GSA and the Bernese Faculty of Humanities and our partner institutions and supporters (f.e. GCSC Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, FDI Université de Lausanne) are free of charge (except for single room charge).

Challenging the Sites of Knowledge – Medial and pluri-medial configurations and transformations

Due to the impact of globalization and technological development, we are witnessing a growth and diversification of the sites of knowledge generation and the ways in which a variety of actors articulate and circulate knowledge, especially via new media. As a result, the privileged position of ‘scientific’ knowledge is contested, making knowledge the symbolic and material capital not only of academic ‘experts’ but also of (Western and non-Western) ‘citizen scientists’, activists and artists at the margins of Academia, as well as of journalists, bloggers, or politicians. ‘Knowledge’ has become (or has always been) a matter of public debate, always infected by power modalities.
Moreover, in the course of various ‘turns’ at least since the 1990s, it has been stated that books and archives, textuality and textual literacy have never been the only reservoirs and technologies of knowledge. As hybrid forms of text, image, material things, or even sound have always been the rule, scholars from cultural studies, media studies and linguistics have pointed out for some time already the growing need for a sensory literacy. Yet, in light of more recent participatory information technologies and, especially, a growing distrust of the Humanities expressed mainly by political stakeholders, we need another analytical reset in order to foster engaged inter- and transdisciplinary debate and research for a development of what Mikhael Epstein calls “avenues of conceptual creativity” in academic institutions. This does not mean merely boarding the high-speed train of neoliberal technophilia, but instead to carefully trace present and past medial and pluri-medial dynamics, relations between creation, mediation, translation, perception and performance, image, material, sound and text with its expert and non-expert actors.
The Summer School of 2019 analyzes and discusses present and past angles and sites of knowledge generation especially in regard to medial and pluri-medial configurations and transformations from a historical, sociological, cultural and philosophical perspective. It reflects in particular on the challenges thereof for the Humanities and the Cultural and Social Sciences regarding their role in a (post-post)modern knowledge society. How do we reclaim expertise of, and for, the Humanities – an expertise which is crucial to society, but which seems to have been in question for quite some time already? And how can we manage conversation and translation – inside and outside academia – in light of an increasing pressure to make our research visible, tangible and understandable for non-experts as well? How, for example, do we analyse the (co-)production of representations through audio-visual counter-narratives, in particular in a context of cross-cultural or post-migration settings?

Invited keynote speakers and possible foci of their lectures:

Doris Bachmann-Medick (Permanent Senior Research Fellow International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, GCSC, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen)
Translation studies, cultural theory, interdisciplinary and transcultural developments in the study of culture, cross-cultural knowledge, travelling concepts, cultural turns
Monika Salzbrunn (Full Professor for Religions, Migrations and Diaspora Studies, University of Lausanne)
Transnational social spaces, urban spaces, migration, political and religious practices, festive events/carnival/art/music/theatre, visual anthropology, multisensory ethnography
Jens Schröter (Full Professor for Media Culture Studies [Medienkulturwissenschaft], University of Bonn)
Theory and history of digital media/digital culture, intermediality, virtual reality, multimedia, auditory culture, visuality, media and capital

T rans H uma n i t i e s
TransHumanities is a platform for dialogue between the disciplines of the Humanities, between the Humanities and other scientific cultures, between science and art, theory and practice, academia and society; and between individual and participatory, analytical and committed research. TransHumanities serves to establish and cultivate discourses, initiatives and ideas that transcend institutional, socio-cultural, regional, linguistic and disciplinary barriers.
Walter Benjamin Kolleg
Graduate School of Humanities
Muesmattstrasse 45
CH-3000 Bern 9
International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, GCSC
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen