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5th ICTs and Society-Conference: The Internet and Social Media at a Crossroads: Capitalism or Commonism?

  • Posted by: Georg Theiner
  • Posted Date: November 21, 2014
  • Filed Under: Conferences, Events

5th ICTs and Society-Conference: The Internet and Social Media at a Crossroads: Capitalism or Commonism? Perspectives for Critical Political Economy and Critical Theory.

http://icts-and-society.net/events/5th-icts-and-society-conference/

Part of the ISIS Summit Vienna 2015: Information Society at a Crossroads: Response and Responsibility of the Sciences of Information

Vienna University of Technology.

Vienna, Austria

June 3-7, 2015.

The information society has come with the promise  to restore information as a commons. The promise has not yet proven true. Instead, we face trends towards the commercialisation and commoditisation of all information; towards the totalisation of surveillance and the extension of the battlefield to civil society through information warfare; towards disinfotainment overflow; towards a collapse of the technological civilisation itself.

The Vienna Summit is a multi-conference and is at the same time the 5th ICTs and Society-Conference:

The Internet and Social Media at a Crossroads: Capitalism or Commonism? Perspectives for Critical Political Economy and Critical Theory

Given that the information society and the study of information face a world of crisis today and are at a crossroads, also the future of the Internet and social media are in question. The 5th ICTs and Society Conference therefore wants to focus on the questions: What are the main challenges that the Internet and social media are facing in capitalism today? What potentials for an alternative, commonist Internet are there?

What are existing hindrances for such an Internet? What is the relationship of power structures, protest movements, societal developments, struggles, radical reforms, etc. to the Internet? How can critical political economy and critical theory best study the Internet and social media today?

Presentations and submissions are organised in the form of 23 panel topics (ICT&S1-ICT&S23; please indicate the panel identification number to which you submit in your submisison):

* ICT&S1 The Internet and Critical Theory:

What does it mean to study the Internet, social media and society today in a critical way? What are Critical Internet Studies, Critical Political Economy and Critical Theories of Social Media?

* ICT&S2 The Internet, Karl Marx, and Marxist Theory:

How can classical forms of critical theory and critical political economy – e.g. the works of e.g. Karl Marx, the Frankfurt School, Critical Political Economy of the Media and Communication, Critical and Marxist Cultural Studies, Socialist Feminism, Theories of Imperialism, Raymond Williams’ cultural materialism, etc – be used for understanding the Internet and social media today?

* ICT&S3 The Internet, Commodities and Capitalism:

What is the role of the Internet and social media in the context of the commodity logic in contemporary capitalism?

* ICT&S4 The Political Economy of Online Advertising How can we best critically understand, analyse and combat the role of advertising on the Internet and the role of online advertising in capitalism? What are the problems of online advertising culture? How would a world without advertising and an advertising-free Internet look like?

* ICT&S5 The Internet and Power:

How do power structures, exploitation, domination, class, digital labour, commodification of the communication commons, ideology, and audience/user commodification, and surveillance shape the Internet and social media? What is the relationship of exploitation and domination on the Internet?

* ICT&S6 Raymond Williams’ Cultural Materialism and the Internet:

How can we use theoretical insights from Raymond Williams’ cultural materialism for critically understanding the Internet and social media today?

* ICT&S7 Dallas Smythe and the Internet:

How can we use insights from Dallas Smythe’s political economy of communication for critically understanding the Internet and social media today?

* ICT&S8 Critical Cultural Studies Today: Stuart Hall, Richard Hoggart and the Internet:

What is the legacy of Stuart Hall and Richard Hoggart’s versions of cultural studies for critically understanding the Internet? What kind of cultural studies do we need in the 21st century? And what is in this context the relationship of culture and capitalism and the relationship of critical cultural studies to Marxist theory?

* ICT&S9 The Frankfurt School and the Internet:

How can insights of various generations of the Frankfurt School be used for critically theorising the Internet? What are commonalities and differences between a Frankfurt School approach and other forms of critical theory for understanding the Internet?

* ICT&S10 Marxist Semiotics, Marxist Linguistics, Critical Psychology, Marxism and the Internet:

How can Marxist semiotics and Marxist theories of language, information, psychology and communication (e.g. Ferruccio Rossi-Landi, Valentin Voloshinov, Klaus Holzkamp, Georg Klaus, Lev Vygotsky, Aleksei Leontiev, Mikhail Bakhtin, etc.) be used today for critically understanding the Internet?

* ICT&S11 The Internet and Global Capitalism:

What is the role of the Internet and social media in contemporary global capitalism? What is the role of developing countries, especially Africa, and emerging economies such as China and India in the world of the Internet and social media?

* ICT&S12 The Internet and Neoliberalism with Chinese Characteristics:

Chinese WWW platforms such as Baidu, Taobao, Qq, Sina, Weibo, etc. are besides Californian platforms the most prominent ones on the web. What is the role of social media in Chinese capitalism? What is the role of the Internet in networked working class struggles in China?

* ICT&S13 The Political Economy of Digital Labour:

What is digital labour and how do exploitation and surplus-value generation work on the Internet? Which forms of exploitation and class structuration do we find on the Internet, how do they work, what are their commonalities and differences? How does the relation between toil and play change in a digital world? How do classes and class struggles look like in 21st century informational capitalism?

* ICT&S14 The Political Economy of the Internet and the Capitalist State

Today: How does the relationship of capitalism, state power, and the Internet look like today? What is the role of state surveillance and surveillance ideologies in policing the crisis of capitalism? How does the relationship of the Internet and state power’s various forms of regulation, control, repression, violence and surveillance look like and what is the influence of capitalism on state power and vice versa in the context of the Internet?

* ICT&S15 Ideology Critique 2.0: Ideologies of and on the Internet:

What are ideologies of and on the Internet, web 2.0, and social media, how do they work, and how can they be deconstructed and criticised?

* ICT&S16 Hegel 2.0: Dialectical Philosophy and the Internet:

What contradictions, conflicts, ambiguities, and dialectics shape 21st century information society and social media? How can we use Hegel and Marxist interpretations of Hegel for critically understanding Internet dialectics?

* ICT&S17 Capitalism and Open Access Publishing:

What changes has academic publishing been undergoing in contemporary capitalism? What are the potentials of academic open access publishing for the re-organisation of the publishing world ? What problems do non-commercial open access publishing face in capitalism and capitalist academia? How can these problems be overcome? What are the problems of capitalist forms of open access publishing? What progressive political measures and demands should be made in order to foster non-commercial open access publishing?

* ICT&S18 Class Struggles, Social Struggles and the Internet:

What is the role of counter-power, resistance, struggles, social movements, civil society, rebellions, uproars, riots, revolutions, and political transformations in 21st century information society and how (if at all) are they connected to social media? What struggles are needed in order to establish a commonist Internet and a 21st century democratic-commonist society? How can we use critical theory for interpreting phenomena such as online leaking, Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks, Wikipedia, federated social networks, Anonymous, hacktivism, Pirate Parties, privacy advocates, the free/libre/open source (FLOSS) movement, the open source, open hardware and open content movement, etc., and what is the relationships of such political expressions to capitalism, anti-capitalism, liberalism, and socialism?

* ICT&S19 Critical/Radical Internet Studies, the University and Academia

Today: What are the challenges and problems for teaching and conducting research about the Internet a critical and radical perspective? What can be done to overcome existing limits and problems?

* ICT&S20 The Internet and the Left:

How could a 21st century Left best look like and what is the role of the Internet for such a Left? What is the historical, contemporary, and possible future relationship of Critical Internet Studies and the Left?

What is the role of the Internet in left-wing movements? What problems do such movements face in relation to the media, communications, the Internet, and social media?

* ICT&S21 Anti-Capitalist Feminism and the Internet Today:

What is the role of and relationship of identity politics and anti-capitalism for feminist studies of the Internet today? How can we best study capitalist patriarchy in the context of the Internet and social media?

* ICT&S22 The Internet, Right-Wing Extremism and Fascism Today:

How do far-right movements and parties use the Internet and social media? How should a left-wing anti-fascist strategy that combats online right-wing extremism look like?

* ICT&S23 An Alternative Internet:

What is a commonist/communist Internet? What is an alternative Internet?

What are alternative social media? How do they relate to the commons and commonism as a 21st century form of communism? Which problems do alternative Internet platforms face? What needs to be done in order to overcome these problems?

Online SUBMISSION:

http://sciforum.net/conference/isis-summit-vienna-2015/icts

http://sciforum.net/conference/isis-summit-vienna-2015/page/instructions

Please submit an extended abstract of 750-2000 words:

First register and then select the conference “ISIS Summit Vienna 2015”

and the conference stream “ICTS 2015”

Only one submission per person will be considered Please indicate the number/ID of the panel to which you are submitting at the start of your abstract (ICTSxx). Submissions without panel identifier or that fall outside the topics covered by the 23 panels will not be further considered.

Submission deadline:

February 27, 201

Registration Fee:

120 Euros (early bird registration in the ICTs and Society conference stream, registration no later than April 3, 2015)

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Announce-iacap.org@iacap.org

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Workshop: Marx’s Labour Theory of Value in the Digital Age

  • Posted by: Georg Theiner
  • Posted Date: May 26, 2014
  • Filed Under: Conferences, Events

Workshop: Marx’s Labour Theory of Value in the Digital Age

COST Action IS1202 “Dynamics of Virtual Work”, http://dynamicsofvirtualwork.com/ The Open University of Israel

June 15-17, 2014

Recent developments in digital technology, from “social media”/”web 2.0” such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Weibo, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Foursquare, etc to mobile devices, have spurred new forms of production.

A variety of terms has been used to describe new production practices and new products enabled by the Internet: participatory culture, co-creation, mass collaboration, social production, commons-based peer production, mass customization, prosumption, produsage, crowdsourcing, open source, social production, user-generated content, user participation, folksonomics, wikinomics, collaborative innovation, open innovation, user innovation.

These terms and debates are often over-optimistic, celebratory and lack a critical understanding of “social media” – they do not engage with the social problem-dimension of the “social”. The multiplicity of neologisms is also a symptom of a “technologistic” outlook, which assumes that each technical innovation brings about a paradigmatic change in culture and in society and more democracy and a better society. While such multiplicity of terms attests to a phenomenology of technological innovation and diversity, it is also an analytical and theoretical liability. Concurrent with this dominant approach, there have been attempts for a systematic critical analysis of new forms of online production, digital labour and commodification on social media through the prism of the labour theory of value. Such theoretical approaches attempt to apply a unified conceptual framework in order to gain better understanding of the socio-economic foundations of digital media and the social relations, power relations and class relations that they facilitate. They also help to connect these new productive practices with a longstanding theoretical tradition emerging from Marxian political economy.

The role of Marx’s labour theory of value for understanding the political economy of digital and social media has been a topic of intense work and debates in recent years, particularly concerning the appropriateness of using Marxian concepts, such as: value, surplus-value, exploitation, class, abstract and concrete labour, alienation, commodities, the dialectic, work and labour, use- and exchange-value, General Intellect, labour time, labour power, the law of value, necessary and surplus labour time, absolute and relative surplus value production, primitive accumulation, rent, reproductive labour, formal and real subsumption of labour under capital, species-being, collective worker, etc.

The critical conceptualization of digital labour has been approached from a variety of critical approaches, such as Marx’s theory, Dallas Smythe’s theory of audience commodification, Critical Theory, Autonomous Marxism, feminist political economy, labour process theory, etc. In this workshop we explore current interventions to the digital labour theory of value. Such interventions propose theoretical and empirical work that contributes to our understanding of the Marx’s labour theory of value, how the nexus of labour and value are transformed under virtual conditions, or they employ the theory in order to shed light on specific practices.

The Israeli location will provide an opportunity to explore some issues pertinent to digital technology in the local context, including a lecture on the Palestinian Internet and a tour exploring techniques of separation and control along the separation wall in Jerusalem.

Keynote talks:

Noam Yoran: The Labour Theory of Television, or, Why is Television Still Around Christian Fuchs: The Digital Labour Theory of Value and Karl Marx in the Age of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Weibo Anat Ben David: The Palestinian Internet

The programme features the following talks:

* Andrea Fumagalli: The concept of life subsumption in cognitive bio-capitalism: valorization and governance

* Bingqing Xia: Marx’s in Chinese online space: some thoughts on the labour problem in Chinese Internet industries

* Brice Nixon: The Exploitation of Audience Labour: A Missing Perspective on Communication and Capital in the Digital Era

* Bruce Robinson: Marx’s categories of labour, value production and digital work

* Eran Fisher: Audience labour: empirical inquiry into the missing link of subjectivity

* Frederick Harry Pitts: Form-giving fire: creative industries as Marx’s ‘work of combustion’”

* Jakob Rigi: The Crisis of the Law of Value? The Marxian Concept of Rent and a Critique of Antonio Negri`s and his Associates` Approach Towards the Marxian Law of Value

* Jernej Prodnik: Media products and (digital) labour in global capitalist accumulation: A preliminary study

* Kylie Jarrett: The Uses of Use-Value: A Marxist-Feminist contribution to understanding digital media

* Marisol Sandoval: The Dark Side of the Information Age – Arguments for an Extended Definition of Digital Labour

* Olivier Frayssé: Cyberspace ground rent, surplus value extraction, realization, and general surplus value apportionment

* Sebastian Sevignani: Productive prosumption, primitive accumulation, or rent? Problematising exploitation 2.0

* Thomas Allmer: Digital and Social Media Between Emancipation and Commodification: Dialectical and Critical Perspectives

* Yuqi Na: Capital accumulation of targeted advertising-based capitalist social media. What do people in the UK and China think about it and why? A Marxist perspective

If you wish to attend the workshop, please contact RSVP Eran Fisher: eranfisher@gmail.com

 

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5th Summer School UQAM (Montréal) – Web Science and the Mind

  • Posted by: Georg Theiner
  • Posted Date: April 5, 2014
  • Filed Under: Conferences, Events

The Fifth Summer School in Cognitive Sciences : Web Science and the Mind.
Organized by the UQAM Cognitive Science Institute in Montréal (Canada), from July 7th to 18th.

Theme of the Summer Institute: Web Science and the Mind.
This summer school will present a comprehensive overview of the interactions between the web and cognitive sciences, with topics ranging from social network analysis to distributed cognition and semantic web.

The Summer School will feature a poster session.
Information about this poster session is available at:
http://www.summer14.isc.uqam.ca/page/affiche.php
Deadline: April 11th 2014

Registration for the Summer School is open (”Early Bird” Registration fees until May 9th).

Note that the lowest fee is for students that will attend the Summer School as a credited activity (worth 3 university credits). Details:
http://www.summer14.isc.uqam.ca/page/inscription.php

Scholarships
Scholarships for travel, accomodation and/or registration will be available for students registered in a Quebec University (CREPUQ).
http://www.summer14.isc.uqam.ca/page/bourses.php

Want to stay in touch? Follow us on Twitter! @iscUQAM

We hope to see you there in July.

 

 

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CFA: Pittsburgh Summer Symposium in Contemporary Philosophy

Pittsburgh Summer Symposium in Contemporary Philosophy

Duquesne University

Dept. of Philosophy

Pittsburgh, PA

Call for Applications

We are pleased to announce the 2014 Pittsburgh Summer Symposium in Contemporary Philosophy, held at Duquesne University. Details for the program are as follows:

 

Formalism and the Real: Ontology, Politics, and the Subject

 

August 4 – 8, 2014

(Optional Participants’ Conference, August 2-3)

“The real can only be inscribed on the basis of an impasse of formalization.”

— Jacques Lacan, Seminar XX

 

“We need a theory of the pass of the real, in the breach opened up by formalization. Here, the real is no longer only what can be lacking from its place, but what passes through by force.”

— Alain Badiou, Theory of the Subject

 

Seminar Leaders:

Prof. Bruno Bosteels (Cornell University)

Prof. Tom Eyers (Duquesne University)

Prof. Paul Livingston (University of New Mexico)

 

Course Description:

Philosophy in the twenty-first century has seen an extensive reconsideration of formalistic methodologies and theoretical structures. This is heavily influenced by the formalism developed by a number of mid-twentieth century French thinkers who rejected humanist philosophies of experience or consciousness typified by dominant forms of existentialism and phenomenology. Insights derived from Marxism, Freudianism, and philosophy of science were argued to undermine central tenets of the latter, including the priority of description and the emphasis on first-person experiences. Rather, stress was placed on the priority of construction, an emphasis on the concept, and a rethinking of the nature of knowledge and the object of science.

 

The recent history of formalist approaches is framed in important ways by Louis Althusser and Jacques Lacan. As is well known, Althusser rejected historicist and humanist readings of Marx in favor of a structuralist approach, which was amenable to the conception of science developed by thinkers like Jean Cavaillès, Gaston Bachelard, and Georges Canguilhem. Simultaneously, Lacan rejected ego-psychological readings of Freud, forming interpretive, theoretical, and clinical bases for psychoanalysis that drew on Ferdinand de Saussure’s structuralist linguistics and Claude Levi-Strauss’s structuralist anthropology. This led him to a methodological formalism, particularly when addressing the Real and the psycho-dynamics in which it is involved. The presence of Althusser and Lacan at the École Normale Supériere during this time formed the intellectual milieu in which students such as Alain Badiou, Jacques-Alain Miller, Étienne Balibar, and Jacques Rancière would begin to develop their own thought. An important forum for this was the journal the Cahiers pour l’Analyse (1966-69). The current project to translate it into English has prompted a surge in research related to these themes. In the Cahiers, efforts were made to reconcile Marxist politics with a Lacanian account of the subject. Lacan’s notion of the Real was essential to this and, along with the other elements of his thought, came to be developed by Badiou to address political and ontological domains.

 

More recently, formalism in philosophy has expanded to address issues beyond these origins. For instance, formalistic reconstructions of Heideggerian and Husserlian thought have proved intensely productive and have problematized the opposition of philosophies of the concept to phenomenological philosophies. Moreover, recent efforts to address questions in aesthetics and politics with formal approaches has further expanded the boundaries of formalism’s theoretical scope. Paul Livingston’s book, The Politics of Logic: Badiou, Wittgenstein, and the Consequences of Formalism, examines the landscape of political criticism and change given the results and paradoxes of 20th century projects of formalization in mathematics and logic. Following this, his current project focuses on Heidegger’s philosophy, and will reexamine our inherited notions of sense and truth. After writing a book on Lacan’s concept of the Real, Tom Eyers has analyzed the intellectual foundations of structuralism in 1930s and 1940s French epistemology and philosophy of science. He is presently writing a book entitled Speculative Formalism: The Poetics of Form in Literature, Science, and Philosophy which will bring that work to bear on poetics and literary theory. In addition to translating Badiou’s Theory of the Subject and Wittgenstein’s Antiphilosophy, Bruno Bosteels has devoted numerous books to Badiou and issues in political thought. In his recent Marx and Freud in Latin America: Politics, Psychoanalysis, and Religion in Times of Terror, Bosteels investigates ways art and literature provide insight into processes of subjectification at the core of Marxist and psychoanalytic concerns.

 

This summer symposium will bring together interested graduate students, postdoctoral students, and junior faculty for a week of discussion, lecture, and close textual study. Together, we will pursue questions regarding formalism and its relation to the Real in contemporary ontology, politics, and theories of the subject and their consequences for understanding knowledge, history, state, language, art, and literature. Lacanian and Badiouian thought will form a key theoretical backdrop. Yet, we expect our studies will include work by a number of other figures, including Plato, Marx, Nietzsche, Frege, Freud, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Lautman, Bachelard, Canguilhem, Althusser, Deleuze, Derrida, Macherey, Miller, Butler, Jameson, Žižek, Hägglund, and Malabou.

 

All texts and discussion will be in English.

 

Application:

We invite current graduate students, postdoctoral students, and junior faculty in philosophy or related disciplines to submit an application composed of a C.V. and a short letter of intent (500 words maximum) to pghsummersymposium2014@gmail.com. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 25th, 2014. We expect to respond with notifications regarding acceptance to the symposium by Thursday, May 1st, 2014 to help facilitate summer plans. The seminar will be limited to 30-40 participants. For more information as it becomes available, we have created a website for the symposium: http://pghsummersymposium6.wix.com/pghsummersymp2014

 

Participants’ Conference (August 2-3):

In order to facilitate a further exchange of ideas and research, a participants’ conference will be held the weekend before the seminar begins. Applicants who receive notice of acceptance as participants will be asked – if interested – to submit an abstract of up to 500 words on any theme related to the topic of the seminar. The participants’ conference will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 2-3, 2014.

 

Financial Information:

There will be a $200 registration fee for each participant of the seminar. This money will be used for event expenses like a conference dinner, celebration, daily coffee, etc. Please note that participants will be responsible for arranging their own housing as well as financing most of their own meals for the duration of the symposium. However, with respect to lodging, we expect a limited number of arrangements with graduate students will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

 

Organizers:

 

James Bahoh

Dept. of Philosophy

Duquesne University

bahohj@duq.edu

Martin Krahn

Dept. of Philosophy

Duquesne University

krahnm@duq.edu

Jacob Greenstine

Dept. of Philosophy

Duquesne University

greenstinea@duq.edu

Dave Mesing

Dept. of Philosophy

Villanova University

dmesing@villanova.edu

 

 

 

 

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PhD Summer School, The Regulative Capacity of Knowledge Objects

  • Posted by: Georg Theiner
  • Posted Date: March 1, 2014
  • Filed Under: Conferences, Events

The Post‐Graduate Program in Philosophy, Science and Values (University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, and National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM) and the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) invite PhD students to apply for the interdisciplinary and international Summer School:

The Regulative Capacity of Knowledge Objects: Opening the Black Box of Knowledge Governance

Think of Climate Change, Wikileaks, nanotechnology, Responsible Innovation, neural implants, Linux, GMOs or the German Energy Transition. But when we think about it, do they actually exist? And if they do what should they be like in the future? What exactly are they? Are they symbols, technical artifacts, discourses, constellations of actors, scientific disputes? Are they political issues, societal problems, human-nonhuman-hybrids, modifiers of existence, problems for governance and regulation? In a way, they are all of these things and less – and probably more.

They are what this Summer School refers to as “knowledge objects”. These objects are peculiar, blurry, constantly unfolding and transforming entities that increasingly challenge contemporary societies and sciences and our understanding of knowledge. The knowledge in knowledge objects is always plural: scientific, public, mundane, interdisciplinary, speculative, uncertain. It is heterogeneously produced about, with, through or in them and contributes to their identification, contestation and transformation.

Yet, knowledge objects are also enablers of such knowledge productions and the societal controversies that go along with them. This intricate entanglement of knowledge objects and society poses various normative and regulative questions – which are part of these objects and due to them the problems societies face. This entanglement could be viewed as a fundamental challenge for knowledge governance. To address these complex challenges to societies and sciences, the Summer School aims to bring together two strands of science and technology studies (STS) which so far haven’t combined: the focus on “knowledge objects” and the perspective of “knowledge governance”.

The starting point of this summer school is the assumption that knowledge objects are subject and object of knowledge governance. They create the need for and they enable various forms of knowledge governance. In a way, this synchrony is a black box of knowledge governance. The Summer School proposes that this “governance black box” can be opened by focusing on an extended concept of knowledge objects and by analyzing their governance dimensions.

Keynotes by:
David Guston, PhD, Professor of Political Science, Arizona State University, US
Graham Harman, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, American University, Cairo, Egypt
Karin Knorr-Cetina, PhD, Professor emeritus of Sociology, University of Constance, Germany, and George
Wells Beadle Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago, US
Noortje Marres, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths University of London, UK

Applications are due by 28th March 2014.

Find out all the details at: http://www.itas.kit.edu/english/events_2014_summerschool.php

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Summer School on “The Neurobiology of Emotions and Feelings” with António Damasió

The Forum Scientiarum of the University of Tübingen, Germany, is organizing a one-week International Interdisciplinary Summer School on “The Neurobiology of Emotions and Feelings” with António Damasió and Sabine Döring.

Time: June 2nd –  June 6th, 2014.

For further information please see http://www.unseld-lectures.de/cfa

Call for applications: UL2014_Call4Applications.

Deadline for the receipt of complete applications (application form,  CV, essay) is February 31th, 2014.

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Shades of Occupation: Iraq After 10 Years 2013 Mellon Symposium

  • Posted by: Gabriel Rockhill
  • Posted Date: March 22, 2013
  • Filed Under: Conferences
The John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities

Shades of Occupation: Iraq After 10 Years
2013 Mellon Symposium
Organized by Zainab Saleh

Friday, March 29th, 2013
Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities
Haverford College

This interdisciplinary symposium will be held on the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq as a venue to examine multiple dimensions of the decade-long occupation. Despite the US Army’s official withdrawal from the country, the US presence in Iraq as a military, economic and political force continues to loom large. Baghdad is home to the largest US embassy in the world. An enormous body of private security and other contractors remain in the country. The institutions installed by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority since 2003 will continue to have far-reaching impact on the future of Iraq. Apart from military operations and sectarian violence, subversive aspects of the war and occupation, the repercussions on Iraq have received little attention: the occupation of Iraq is the United States’ Forgotten War.

“Shades of Occupation” approaches the invasion of Iraq in a historical and global context, whereby American empire, since the Cold War, attempted to control the politics and the resources of the country as well as the region. It brings together scholars who have been thinking, and writing, about the war from different perspectives, including oil, empire, perception of the Iraqi society, and the impact of wars on Iraq among others.

Visit http://www.haverford.edu/iraqafter10years for a full schedule of events.

Shades of Occupation: Iraq After 10 Years is organized by Zainab Saleh, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Haverford College, and  made possible with the support of the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contact Associate Director Emily Cronin:ecronin@haverford.edu

haverford.edu/hcah
haverford.edu/iraqafter10years

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… BUT IS IT ART?

  • Posted by: Gabriel Rockhill
  • Posted Date: March 1, 2013
  • Filed Under: Conferences
We are pleased to announce that the annual conference by the French Graduate Student Association of New York University will be held at the La Maison Française of NYU, 16 Washington Mews, next week.
The conference is scheduled to take place on Friday, March 8th, and Saturday, March 9th, 2013. Details of the program are listed below, with further information available online at http://butisitartconference.webs.com.
Our keynote presentation is on Saturday at 5pm, by Professor Gabriel Rockhill of Villanova University, and is entitled L’art entre le réel: Overcoming the Contradiction of the Art of the Commonplace. A brief description is included below.
We would be grateful if you could forward this information to colleagues and students interested in attending. Please note that apart from the last panel on Saturday, all of the panels will include at least one presentation in French.
Best Regards,

The “But Is It Art?” Conference Organizers
Dan Benson, Suzy Cater, Erica Faller, Tristan Jean, and Andrew Miller
***


…BUT IS IT ART?
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference
Department of French
New York University, New York

La Maison Française
16 Washington Mews

The conference “…but is it art?” will explore how art is defined, institutionalized and practiced in the Francophone world, and how the boundaries between the spheres of art and non-art are established and shift.  We are pleased to welcome graduate researchers from Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and all parts of the United States, who will present their work on these questions. Subjects examined will range from topics as diverse as slam poetry, 17th century fairy tales, medieval crime narratives and collaborationist propaganda…

Professor Gabriel Rockhill of Villanova University will deliver his keynote address, “L’art entre le réel: Overcoming the Contradiction of the Art of the Commonplace,” on Saturday evening, bringing to a close the two-day event.

Please see our program below and feel free to visit out website http://butisitartconference.webs.com for abstracts, paper titles and more information.

Friday

10-10.15am Professor Sarah Kay, NYU: Welcome address
10.15-11.45am Panel: When art Becomes Art
11.45-1.15pm Lunch Break
1.15-2.15pm Seminar 1: Grotesque Obscenities*
2.30-3.30pm Seminar 2: Ephemeral Poetics*
3.30-4pm Coffee break, Institute of French Studies, upstairs lounge
4-5.30pm Panel: The End of Art as We Know It

Saturday

10-11.30am  Panel: Finding Art’s Place, making it count
11.30am-1pm Lunch Break
1-2pm Panel: Political Literature, Literary Politics
2.10-3.40pm Panel: Re-evaluating Art, Breaking with Convention
3.40-4pm Coffee break, Institute of French Studies, upstairs lounge
4-5pm  Panel: Violent Aesthetics: Broken bodies, twisted pages
5-6pm Professor Gabriel Rockhill, Villanova University: Keynote Address

*If you are interested in attending either of the seminars, please email us at butisitartconference@gmail.com so that we can send you the papers to read in advance.


Description of Keynote

Professor Rockhill will discuss how many thinkers—from Herbert Marcuse to Arthur Danto and Jacques Rancière—have underscored various ways in which contemporary art is caught in a contradiction between art and reality, and in particular political reality.  In the attempt to link the institution of art to its outside by merging aesthetics with real life via what Rancière has called “l’art du quelconque [the art of the commonplace],” art ends up being trapped between two extremes: either it becomes so ordinary that it loses its status as art, or it remains so artistic that it can never really fuse with the commonplace.  Too real or too aesthetic, the art that takes aim at the heart of the real can never truly meld with reality without ceasing to be art as such. 

Professor Rockhill will argue that this contradiction—which from a certain vantage point appears inescapable—only emerges within a conceptual framework in which it is ultimately assumed that there are two relatively separate domains:  art and (political) reality.  In order to displace this theoretical groundwork, he proposes a distinction between transcendent ideas, immanent notions and interventionist concepts that aims at both overcoming the contradiction of the art of the commonplace and providing an alternative framework for theorizing aesthetic practices as well as the very concept of art.  His paper thereby reaches the following conclusion, which is put to the test in some of the extreme cases of the ‘art of the commonplace’ (from Flaubert to Warhol):  si l’art n’entre pas dans le réel, c’est précisément parce qu’il est toujours déjà entre le réel [if art does not enter the real, it is precisely because it is always already between the real].


Many thanks to the Department of French at NYU, the FGSA, the IFS and the Graduate Student Government for their support.
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Last Modified: March 1, 2013