Contemporary cities generate waste of various kinds on a scale that is often difficult to imagine and comprehend. Yet cities are also key sites for innovative practices of reuse, recycling and re-purposing. Through such cultures of renewal, waste products not only acquire a new value and function, but they also become entangled in new social relations, material practices and urban forms. Although waste is generally understood as the mundane, worthless, redundant and discarded afterwards of how we live our lives, this project takes as a starting point the fact that we spend a good amount of time in our ‘ordinary’ lives managing waste, and that the problem of how we manage waste is at the heart of environmental crisis and the development of more sustainable futures. Building on research in waste studies, and premised on the analytic importance of exploring that which is rejected, this project recognizes waste as a dynamic category that needs to be understood in relation to the urban contexts in which it is most commonly found and transformed, and the relationships in which it is embedded.
The workshop brings together scholars from Australia and Germany within the fields of cultural and urban studies to investigate the diverse cultural phenomenon that is waste, the urban infrastructures that were designed to eliminate waste in the name of hygiene and technical efficiency but which are now in crisis, and the range of amateur and DIY urbanisms that are retooling waste in new and innovative ways.
For more information, please contact Anja Schwarz.
criticalhabitations opens the second debate on: the posthuman present.
Introduced by Alexander Dunst, the debate features contributions by James Burton who returns to the writing of Philip K. Dick to question our understanding of the android and the human and Fabienne Collignon, who takes up Burton’s inquiry into human versus posthuman to seek an escape from the latter’s violence in a poetic inhumanity.
We’re happy to announce our third workshop which will take place at the University of Arts and Design, Linz, Austria, June 1st-3rd 2016.
Over the last two decades, increasingly diverse intellectual practices have become subsumed under the heading cultural studies. These engagements speak from different linguistic, regional, national and diasporic contexts, draw on specific local traditions and methodologies, and are forking distinct trajectories, thus making it impossible to speak of a unified cultural studies. This heterogeneity has led to an increasing emphasis on decolonising knowledge and the need for new transcultural approaches that transcend the limitations of regional studies. On the one hand, this development highlights the necessity of translation: of languages, concepts, different academic approaches. On the other, this decolonial momentum reasserts cultural studies as a political project that exceeds academic spaces of knowledge and opens itself to epistemologies that challenge the university’s Eurocentrism, gender and class gaps from the outside. These multiform spaces of knowledge become inhabitable at the intersection of artistic, academic and activist modes of knowledge production, in spaces and via events open to a diverse public. They can be discerned in new models of publishing not exclusively reserved to academia, such as open-access online journals or blogs that utilise the virtual and accessible space of the internet.
This two-day workshop invites to reflect on practices of epistemological translation between diverse knowledge spaces. How can we translate between spaces inside and outside of academia? How can we encourage decolonial agendas when negotiating between institutional and other agents? Furthermore, we invite scholars to reflect on, propose and invent practices of cultural studies in virtual and other spaces. What kinds of practices do we have to create such open spaces? How can we inhabit them?
Participants: Anna Artaker (Vienna), Hongwei Bao (Nottingham), Henriette Gunkel (London), Karin Harrasser (Linz), Katrin Köppert (Linz), Anja Michaelsen (Bochum), Sumugan Sivanesan (Berlin), Daniel Winkler (Innsbruck)
Organizers: Alexander Dunst (Paderborn), Elahe Haschemi Yekani (Flensburg), Anja Schwarz (Potsdam), Gudrun Rath (Linz)
Cultural Studies Association of Australasia
Minor Culture creates a space for inter-disciplinary dialogues around the study of place, identity and marginality, and addresses research on everyday cultural productions and media texts, cultural policy and discourses of sustainability, digital life and creative industries, and public cultures in the Asia-Pacific region. The conference also invites responses to the following questions:
- How are minor cultures inhabited? When do minor cultures become uninhabitable?
- Is the concept of minority still useful in explaining contemporary forms of cultural marginality?
- How do categories such as indigeneity and Aboriginality, gender and sexuality, class, disability, race and citizenship produce minoritising effects? How might these categories change when mobilised through governmental discourses, newsmedia, and everyday usage?
- Who narrates experiences of minoritisation? For whom are these narratives produced? How is minoritarianism articulated through film, music, television, literature, performance, and digital cultures?
- In what ways do practices of government and cultural policy shape relationships between local, national and transnational cultures? To what extent are legal regulations implicated in the formation of minoritarian practices?
- How do new minor or major cultural formations emerge? Through which means do political practices resist or intervene in these formations?
- Do minor cultures require novel theoretical tools or research methodologies? What do “experimental” approaches to cultural research look like? What alternative kinds of knowledge could such approaches make available?
- Is minority a humanist concept? What place could “majority” and “minority” have within post-anthropocentric thinking?
- And when do minor cultures cease to be minor?
Find more information here.
In his contribution “Inhabiting Photography – Between Medium and Mediality” to the debate section Saadi Nikro considers the life of photographs as embodied circulations and social economies of affect.