Erez Tzfadia: Colonization and Space in Israel/Palestine

Public Lecture and Masterclass, November 9-10, 1 EC | Erez Tzfadia teaches and researches spatial policy and politics at the department of public policy and administration at Sapir College, Israel. The lecture will address practices of territorial control and dispossession, based on ‘gray spacing’: temporal and informal development of land in which the logic of ethno-nationalism, and not the logic of law, determines the future of development – formalization or eviction. The masterclass will include a screening of a recent documentary that reveals the story of Israel’s “development towns” – 30 new localities that were planned and built in 1950s as part of colonization and present the price that immigrant-families often pay for colonial projects. A short introduction on frontiers and periphery will precede the film, and a discussion on colonialism, territory and cultural hierarchies will follow.

Dutch-Caribbean Reading Group

Reading group/tutorial, 4-6 EC, starting October 20 | This reading group engages with Caribbean (feminist) scholarship focusing on the Humanities and explores questions around gendered and sexual citizenship in relation to the Dutch Caribbean.

Worlding the Brain

Conference workshop, 3 EC, October 12, November 2-4 | The conference explores the ‘worlding’ of the brain, the mutual influence of the extra-cerebral world on the brain and the brain on the world. The themes of affect, care and engagement indicate that the interaction between world and brain is never neutral but always mediated by concerns, interests and emotions in different ways.

MAP Lectures: Mass Digitization

Lecture Series, Starting October 25, 2 EC | The Leiden Lectures in Media | Art | Politics (MAP) is a monthly series of talks organized by Pepita Hesselberth and Yasco Horsman. Speakers from various academic backgrounds and in different stages of their careers reflect on diverging ways in which technological and social changes challenge and transform the cultural and political conditions of our existence, often in the form of a work-in-progress.

Fatties: Politics of Volume

CFP, deadline November 20th, 2017 | We call for researchers, activists and artists that problematize, analyze and reflect on the ways fatness is experienced, marginalized, and represented both within mainstream media and institutions as well as within body positive/fat acceptance spaces.

Playstation Dreamworld, with Alfie Brown

Lecture and masterclass, 1 EC, January 10, 2018 | As the phenomenon of Pokémon Go made clear in 2016, videogaming now takes place not in a separate sphere, isolated from the mainstream of modern capitalist society, but at society’s very centre. The structure of dream consciousness promoted by gaming inescapably shapes our world, arising from the multitude of screens that surround us and mediate the way we perceive the everyday world, as well as its possible futures and our role within them. Alfie Bown’s new book argues that such ubiquity should not be understood purely in terms of ideological control however, or as merely another way in which leisure time is commodified for the benefit of narrow economic interests; rather, drawing on Lacanian dream analysis, we can find videogaming to be a subtle and even subversive space, which holds the potential to reshape the politics of the Left even as it serves the domination of a hegemonic capitalist consensus. Drawing on insights from Bown’s work, this event provides a chance to explore the link between videogaming, psychoanalysis and capitalism, and to reconsider the relevance of what we might call ‘capitalist dream analysis’ for cultural analysis and practice more widely.

The Spectral Turn

Leiden PhD Seminar, starting September 28 | The seminar will be devoted to the contemporary fascination with ghosts and haunting, the so-called spectral turn, a fascinating and complex topic because of its many manifestations.

Artistic Research

Seminar, 2 EC, starting October 31, 2017 | Bringing academia and the art world together, artistic forms of research change the social status of both, and introduce a potential array of practice-oriented methodologies that challenge institutionalized forms of knowledge production. This series of meetings between October 2017 and June 2018, during which members of the group will present their research and receive feedback from their peers, seeks to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences among artistic researchers and others interested in the field.

Interpretation Today

Seminar, 5 EC, starting September 20, 2017 | How can we assess the status of interpretation in the Humanities today? Increasingly in the last decades, scholars have written about the limits of interpretation. We discuss various orientations toward reading that oppose some of the hallmarks of the hermeneutic tradition—such as depth, consciousness, the primacy of language, humanism, interpretation, mediation, epistemology, and historicism. Instead, these theories value surfaces, description, cognition, affect, materiality, nonhuman entities, the natural and social sciences, and speculative thought.

Dissecting Violence

CFP ASCA/NICA Graduate Workshop, deadline October 17, 2017 | Violence is all around us. In Dissecting Violence, we will take on violence and its structures, its imaginaries and representations, as well as the multiple ways it can be resisted.

Translation and Performance

NICA Core Course, 6 EC, April-May 2018 | The course investigates translation in the realm of theatre and performance. This includes translation in the linguistic sense in which it is most commonly understood, but extends to an array of questions pertaining to translation in its root sense of ‘a carrying over’ across a much broader range of semiotic, embodied and inter-subjective forms and practices.

NICA Electives: Ecologies of Curation (Utrecht University)

Block 2 (13 November 2017 – 26 January 2018) – Utrecht University
Ecologies of curation entails the trans- and interdisciplinary study of the interaction between spectators, artworks/performances and the spatial, social and media environments wherein the objects and acts are staged, produced, situated. Taking the etymological roots of curating as ‘care-taking’ into account, we will explore how curators can and should respond to transformational practices that increasingly cross and bend institutional borders.

NICA Electives: Urban Interfaces (Utrecht University)

Block 3 (05 February 2018 – 06 April 2018) – Utrecht University
This course actively teams up with ongoing research of MCW’s research groep [urban interfaces]. [urban interfaces] investigates urban transformations and the role of mobile and locational art, media and performance in urban contexts.

NICA Electives: Corporeal Literacy (Utrecht University)

Block 4 (23 April 2018 – 29 June 2018) – Utrecht University
In this course, we will focus on movement and gesture as aspects of how we are corporeally literate that have for a long time been neglected in accounts of embodied meaning making but are currently gaining more prominence as the result of technological developments (movement becoming more and more part of what can be detected and shared by media as well as of ways of using media and interacting with them) and also the emergence of embodied, embedded and enactive understandings of perception and cognition. During the meetings we will discuss a panorama of historical and contemporary approaches to movement and gesture in relation to questions of (among others) affect, emotion, experience, spatiality, and memory. Students are invited to explore the potential of these readings for the analysis of encounters with objects, events and situations of different kinds.

Cities Seminar 2017-18: Entangled Cities

Seminar and tutorial, 6 EC, starting September 29 | What happens, we wonder, when instead of taking the city as a pre-existing, object of analysis, or object of ‘theory,’ we consider how it is co-produced in encounters with, for example, discourses around, race, gender, ability and ecology?

John Lysaker & Paul Lysaker: Disordered Self

Public lecture, May 31 | How can we approach self-experience, and how can we understand the disordered self? What are the conceptual and existential challenges of taking care of (or managing and directing) this disordered self? What can the humanities – or art and literature – tell us about mental illness, and how can we further develop theories of the self by building on experiences from clinical practice? During this special event, John Lysaker, Professor of Philosophy, and Paul Lysaker, Psychiatrist and Professor of Clinical Psychology, will tackle these and other questions.

Fashion and National Identity

Seminar, June 19 | The central question of this seminar is the relation between fashion and national identity. Clothes have served in different ways to represent a nation, often in ambiguous and paradoxical ways. But what connects clothes to a nation: the designer’s nationality, the production of clothes, or what people wear? Historians, cultural scholars, museum curators and journalists reflect on how clothes reproduce, shape and question national identity.

PhD Work in Progress

Graduate workshop, June 9 | In preparation of drinks and fingerfood, NICA PhDs Thijs Witty, Olga Krasa-Ryabets, Jan Overwijk, Florian Goettke, and Sandra Becker present work in progress. Yolande Jansen and Murat Aydemir reflect on Cultural Studies ‘now.’ Everyone is invited.

Stuart Elden: Urban Territory, Early Foucault

May 23 and 31, reading session (2 EC) and public lecture | Stuart Elden is Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick, UK. He is the author of seven books, including works on territory, Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger, and Henri Lefebvre. Elden will present a public lecture, titled “The Early Foucault and the Politics of European Intellectual History.” In addition, he will participate in a joint reading session on urban territory.

Videocontemplation, with Lata Mani and Nicolás Grandi

23-24 May 2017, Film Screening and Masterclass, 1 EC |The Poetics of Fragility is a kaleidoscopic bilingual exploration of the texture, vitality and aesthetics of fragility. It interweaves stories of bodily frailty with optical vignettes of nature’s delicacy to reclaim fragility as intrinsic to existence, not something to be bemoaned or overcome. The masterclass inquires whether and how the camera can act as a tool for philosophical inquiry. How might mystery be restored to word and image in context of the transactional instrumentalism that characterizes neoliberal excess? What forms and genres facilitate an opening out of perception? Given the simultaneous avowal and disavowal of matter and of embodiment in our time what might we propose as constituting a hermeneutic of the senses, or to put it another way, an aesthetics of the sensible?