Approaching Affect

ASCA/NICA Soirées, starting March 15 | To prevent ourselves from assuming that affect is now so ubiquitous that it must have some meaning, and consequently becoming embarrassed to inquire what this meaning actually is, we propose to trace some of the routes (rather than roots) of affect by looking at the different, yet highly particular, ways in which it has been approached by different theorists.

Passion, Affection, Community: Love and Politics

Seminar 2012-13 | Because of the fundamental importance for subjectivity traditionally attributed to love, love appears to be a tremendously political subject from the very beginning. It coincides with affectionate forms of political solidarity, has to do with forms of commitment and with the shaping of affects to produce forms of concord. In gender and queer theoretical perspectives, intimacy is politically loaded in yet another respect: which forms of intimacy will be legitimized? And, more fundamentally: How have they been constituted in the first place?

Cinema as Aural Art

Seminar 2012-13 | We will not only look at aesthetic, affective and phenomenological aspects of sound, but will also explore facets of the epistemology of aurality.

How to do Cultural Analysis and Why (Not)?

Crash-course | This course revolves around basic terms such as ‘object,’ ‘culture’, and ‘concept.’ In what sense is cultural analysis object-based? What place does ‘culture’ take in the practice of cultural analysis? And how to mobilize (and restrain) ambitious theoretical concepts?

Knowledge and Globalization

Seminar 2012-13 | If we are being asked to believe that globalization produces new knowledge, should we also look for specific blind spots: do old paradigms haunt the present and does this haunting manifest itself (case studies: coloniality vs planetarity)? Do new figures of knowledgeable subjects gain power while others are gradually discredited (the intellectual vs. native informant, the believer vs. the Cartesian subject)?

Cultural Reinvention and Technologies of the Mediated Subject

Seminar 2012-13 | Technology, techne, and technique have become central terms across disciplines in exploring the subject/self. Further, transformation has been central to the history of technology, and takes on an even more intense form today. This term “technology” – whose centrality in television studies is also related to the fields of cinema, literature, and philosophy – will be the starting point for an in-depth investigation of a cross-disciplinary and intermedial understanding of the evolving relation between the mediated self and technological transformations.

Summer Reception

Drinks, June 22 | NICA cordially requests the pleasure of your company. All research master and PhD students and staff members are invited.

Art, Culture, and the Environment

BASCE, June 19 | Many scholars, artists, and activists in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg are committed to exploring the changing relations between culture and the environment. BASCE wants to offer those scholars a platform for dialogue and exchange. Tom Idema, Catherine Lord, and Rob Zwijnenberg offer presentations on their work. The talks will culminate in an open discussion of each participant’s investment in the broad interdisciplinary field of ecocriticism, bio-art, environmental philosophy, nature writing, landscape poetry, environmental activism, etc.

How To Do Cultural Analysis And Why (Not)?

Crash Course, June 22 | NICA is the abbreviation of the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis. But what, exactly, is this beast called “cultural analysis”? This one-day “crash course” offers a quick and practical introduction into the research practice of cultural analysis. Throughout, the assumptions, habits, preferences, blind spots, and foreclosures of cultural analysis will remain under review. Our guiding questions will be whether, to what extent, and in what respect cultural analysis may work for your research objects and aims. Or not, as the case may be.

The Upsurge of Autochthony: Politics, Rhetorics and Aesthetics

Postcolonial Platform, June 22 | In what manifestations do claims of autochthony occur, and to what effect? How do they relate to the idea of national citizenship, especially in our contemporary, increasingly globalized word? We will spend a lively day, in a small group of enthusiastic (young) researchers, with lectures, workshops, close readings, and especially intensive discussions focusing on the theoretical debate on autochthony, the challenge it presents to postcolonial thinking, and its creative expression in the arts.

Transgressive Archiving, with Ernst van Alphen

Masterclass, with Ernst van Alphen | I wish to argue that the qualities that are commonly attributed to material archives and digital databases are not inherent to them. Those qualities rather depend on the concrete practices which make use of databases or archives. This implies that material archives should not be seen as outdated simply because they are associated with principles like control and stability (of meaning), which have become suspect and are considered less attractive then the labyrinthine qualities that are attributed to digital archival practices. In this Masterclass, we will explore the transgressive potential of variegated archival practices, not only in the use of digital databases, but also of material archives. LIMITED PLACES AVAILABLE

Difference and Repetition: Time-quake, with James Williams

Masterclass with James Williams on Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition | What does a great work of philosophy do? It is a time-quake: a rupture in time, an event reverberating back and forward through history, disrupting former certainties and orders, altering futures, creating new ideas and making others redundant. FULL.

How To Survive the Neoliberal University?

Atelier | Over the past decade, universities worldwide have changed profoundly. Some have referred to the new University as the corporate university, others as the neoliberal university. It is often claimed that the university has become a place that is driven by output and profit making and ever increasing levels of competition. Simultaneously, academic jobs have become precarious, in particular for junior faculty members, who often shoulder the heaviest workload on the basis of unreliable short-term contracts. What role, then, does the university play today in forming and distributing knowledge and critical thinking, and what role could it play in the near future?

Eco-Poco: the Ecocritical Turn Through Postcolonial Eyes

Atelier | How can we analyse postcoloniality and globalization without taking the vitally important and truly global dimension of the environment into account? Under the influence of the booming field of ecocriticism, the environmental aspects of colonialism and globalization are increasingly foregrounded.

Media and Performance

Reading Group | The seminar provides an opportunity for PhD students and others who do research in Media and Performance Studies to share extensive lectures of theoretical texts that touch upon key concepts and methodologies of the field.

Mediterranean Revolutions, Postcolonial Questions

Atelier | Iain Chambers’ study on the postcolonial Mediterranean (2008) suggests a daringly new way to rethink European, Arab, Middle Eastern and North African identities as intertwined. It ties in with the larger project of the theory of globalization, which invites us to see and think the world differently. The conceptualization of the world as radically, though ambivalently, interconnected, seems to have great potential. Postcolonial theory lay the groundwork for this new imagination, but it also reminds us that we should take into account the specific (geopolitical) power dynamics that are bound up with all imaginations of the world. Political accounts of the efforts to create a Mediterranean identity (European Mediterranean Project, Barcelona Process, 1995) point at the Arab distrust of such projects.