Stuff: Fashion and New Materialism

Atelier, June 7 | Fashion is considered a symbolic system of signs and meanings, as well as an embodied practice and a material culture. The recent material turn may help to bring those different aspects together by a focus on the material aspects of the art and aesthetics of fashion, the body that dresses, and the consumption of clothing. This study day means to explore the ‘stuff’ of clothing, dressing and fashion as an expressly material culture. THIS EVENT IS FULLY BOOKED

A Day With Ann Cvetkovich: Lecture and Masterclass

Public Lecture and Masterclass, May 31 | The public lecture will examine the contemporary state of LGBTQ archives and the creative use of them by artists to create counter-archives and interventions in public history. The masterclass aims at engaging with Ann Cvetkovich’s work by focusing on two of her books: An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures and Depression: A Public Feeling. In both of them, Cvetkovich aims at opening alternative accounts on/of trauma and depression, respectively, which are dominated by medical and psychiatric discourse. Ann Cvetkovich is Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of English and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sjoerd van Tuinen: Leibniz’ World

Public Lecture, April 9 | The reading group “Discourse Network 2000: Reading (around) Friedrich Kittler” invites you to join the session focusing on the work of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, which includes an introductory lecture to Leibniz’ thought by Sjoerd van Tuinen, Assistant Professor in Philosophy at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The lecture will provide an introduction to Leibniz’ vision of a world of infinite and continuous variation.

János Sugár & Oliver Marchart: Art, Capitalism, Politics

Master classes March 26 | János Sugár’s master class will dismantle the ways in which art operates as a part of the capitalist world, in order to look for alternatives. If the capitalist system (representative democracy based on market economy) proves being incapable in its current form and fails, what does this mean for the agencies of art? Oliver Marchart will give a master class on the relationships of art, politics and the public sphere. His masterclass will turn around the following set of questions: What does it take for an act to turn political? What is the difference between politics and the event of ‘the political’? How can artistic practice contribute to the politicization of social situations? And what does it take for a truly public sphere to emerge in the first place?

Literature, Rhetoric and Law: Liminal Cases

Seminar, starting 18 February 2013 | We will study how throughout history literature and law have coped with liminal cases: characters, figures, themes, phenomena, or events that question the borders and limits of central judicial concepts such as ‘person’, ‘nature’, ‘society’, ‘life’.

Alain Badiou, The Event in Art and Politics

Masterclass and public lecture, March 25-26 | The master class offers an intensive engagement with Badiou in order to question and clarify his writings on art and politics. If art fashions itself today as political by default, how would a non-relational configuration of art and politics hold up against the commonplace notion that aesthetics is politics?

Law and Popular Culture, with Michael Asimow

Atelier, June 15 | This atelier will discuss the interface between law and popular culture by exploring the subject of bad lawyers in the movies. We then turn to broader questions, such as the mechanism whereby the media of popular culture mirror and change public beliefs and attitudes. We will also discuss why many members of the public distrust lawyers and will consider whether this is specific to the litigation system of the United States or whether it is an aspect of legal culture that has global resonance.


Platform for Postcolonial Readings, January 18 | Should postcolonial scholars not begin to talk about the one and only decisive phenomenon that energizes today’s global crisis: money?

The Significance of Phenomenology

Lecture Series and Tutorial, starting January 30 | Phenomenology has been subject to powerful and important critiques from a variety of directions, but the rich analyses of intentionality, intersubjectivity, embodiment and being-in-the-world found in the writings of classical phenomenologists remain influential for a number of contemporary debates within philosophy, and strikingly also in neighbouring humanities and social science disciplines as well as in the medical sciences. The lecture series will comprise speakers from around Europe and from a variety of philosophical backgrounds either directly or indirectly engaged with phenomenology. We’ve asked them to reflect on what phenomenology means to them, and in what way phenomenology continues to be of vital significance both in philosophy and beyond today.

Love and Politics: Passion, Affection, Community

Workshop, January 10-11 | But how can and should love be distinguished from politics if it is socially determined through and through? How is it connected with political desires and strategies? Is love a useful concept for critical theory or does it rather obscure the political struggles that are at stake?

Minor Jurisprudences: Literature, Law, and Animality

NICA Winter School, January 15-16 | The central hypothesis behind this two-day Winter School on Literature & Law is that cultural texts (novels, artworks, films, etc.) have a capacity to broach questions about justice, rights, and injuries that cannot (yet) be articulated in strictly legal terms. Culture, we hold, can function as both a supplement to the law (filling in lacunae within the law), and as a symptom of the law, pointing to the hidden assumptions and limitations that structure the legal field. As legal philosopher Peter Goodrich puts it, the cultural sphere is the domain in which minor jurisprudences can be seen to emerge, where “forms of legal knowledge” are tested that “construct alternative juridical domains outside official legal culture.

Master Class Anneke Smelik: Fashion, Media, and Culture

Masterclass April 25 | The field of fashion has internationally become a major topic of enquiry in cultural studies, but is still relatively new within Dutch academia. Fashion offers a rich platform from which to reflect on key social and cultural issues from practices of consumption and production through to identity politics. This master class will explore fashion in relation to media and culture from a number of theoretical perspectives. Key concepts are fashion as an embodied practice, as a performance of spectacle, and as an expression of identity.

Televisual Encounters with/in the Humanities

Seminar 2012-13, 2nd semester | Numerous texts across disciplines and in the humanities have engaged with concepts whose relevance for the study of media has often been only implicit. Media scholars in turn have analyzed both the history of media and their representations, and contemporary transformations using concepts developed in cultural theory often implicitly. In particular, the concepts of (1) the politics of form, (2) space/time and history, and (3) the politics of the spectacle will be addressed and discussed.

Show Me the Money!?

November 28 | NICA invites you to an afternoon of debates on humanities research funding in the Netherlands. We will share our experiences in applying to NWO subsidies and serving on NWO commitees, and discuss general obstacles, challenges, and possibilities.

The Next Step in Ecocriticism

November 23 | What is ecocriticism? What are its promises? Can ecocritics be useful in the Benelux – this often heavily industrialized region, where wildernesses are scarce? We need to radically rethink the relation between humanity, technology, and the environment. Traditionally romantic or pastoral notions of nature have become less than useful. Do contemporary art and literature offer more productive imaginations?

Discourse Network 2000: Around Kittler

Reading Group, starting November 6 | Friedrich Kittler’s Gramophone, Film, Typewriter (1986) has gained much notoriety (and criticism) in the field of media studies. But, as questions concerning media and mediality become almost unavoidable, Kittler’s particular brand of media-archaeology and broad, far-reaching arguments may also prove fruitful to other fields of research, for instance into music, literature and the visual arts.

PhD Tips and Tricks: Workflow Apps

Informal PhD exchange on workflow apps, December 13 | Which (more efficient or better) ways are there to organize your research literature, interviews, and notes so that they don’t just end up forgotten in a pile/file?