PhD Course – Social Pragmatics within Contemporary Art and Media Studies

When: 8th – 10th of May

Where: New York

Application Deadline: ASAP

Contact: yael.levin@uit.no

What everyday parlance refers to as society is not a given, self-sustaining ontological reality. Albeit itself productive, providing stability as well as reference, “the social world” is first and foremost the product of agencies, protocols and power relations. Hence “the social”, constantly being assembled, maintained and differentiated, is less an analytical category than a category in need of analysis.

As Bruno Latour reminds us, whenever social scientists “add the adjective ‘social’ to some phenomenon, they designate a stabilized state of affairs, a bundle of ties that, later, may be mobilized to account for some other phenomenon.” Latour’s critical remarks are not aimed at the concept of the social as such; they are rather an invitation to rethink the way we conceive of the social by shifting the perspective from an objectifying to a practice-orientated one. Obviously Bruno Latour is far from being unique in this pragmatist approach to social analysis. Thus Michel Foucault investigated the genealogy of the concepts of the social, the political and the state, and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s pioneering work on abstract social machines is also an obvious point of reference for our discussion.

Following the lead from Latour, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari (and many others), this seminar will examine the usefulness and the bearings of such a social pragmatics within contemporary art and media studies. We invite participants to reflect on their work from the point of view of social practices – how these practices involve sets of objects, how these circulate, by the help of what media, channels, or milieus, and, least but not last, what subject positions (and subjectivities) they allow for. In other words, what kind of set-up, of arrays and assemblages, can be identified, and what functions and distributions do they facilitate.

We suggest three different entries to the discussion: Media, art and aesthetics. As media were always social, they provide, both from a historical and a contemporary view, an excellent example of a social technology, entailing protocols of code and conduct, formats of time and space, and genres of subjectivity. Artworks too are medial phenomena that can be analyzed in a number of different ways; in this context, however, we will focus specifically on how artistic mediality also encompasses a set of political and economic relations embedded in its historical forms. Aesthetics, finally, stand out in our perspective not only as pertaining to the ‘rules of art’ or to sense experience, but rather to the interface between the human sensorium and affective capacities with the social world at large.

Alexander Galloway and Andrew Ross, both from New York University are invited as speakers. Galloway’s research interests include media theory and contemporary philosophy. He is a programmer and artist and a founding member of the Radical Software Group (RSG). Ross focuses on labor, the urban environment, and the organization of work, from the Western world of business and high-technology to conditions of offshore labor in the Global South.

 

Deadline for submissions is April 16. Please include a short abstract (300 words) for a 20 minutes presentation.

 

Do you want to represent TODOS at the SiN AGM?

The association of doctoral organizations in Norway (SiN) was officially founded in Oslo, in January 26th 2003. SiN is a joint committee of local organizations for doctoral candidates and post doctors at Norwegian colleges and universities. Currently there are 8 local member organizations.

The SIN Executive Board advocates on behalf of its members to gain resources for their benefit, allocates resources among them and arbitrates among them and any other involved parties. In general, the SIN oversees member unions’ activities and is the governing body of the doctoral organization in Norway.

SiN is a network promoting contacts between its member organizations and expressing joint opinions on political issues concerning education and research, and other issues relevant to the member organizations.

The SiN AGM is held in Oslo on the 7th of May. TODOS offers to send one representative to the SiN AGM. This representative will get travel costs reimbursed and should ideally think about becoming a member in the SiN board. If you want to go to the SiN AGM or have any questions related to being a member of the SiN board, please send a short e-mail about yourself to todos@uit.no.

2nd International Conference on Statistical Language and Speech Processing

When: 14th – 16th of October, 2014

Where: Grenoble, France

 

SLSP is a yearly conference series aimed at promoting and displaying excellent research on the wide spectrum of statistical methods that are currently in use in computational language or speech processing. It aims at attracting contributions from both fields. Though there exist large, well-known conferences and workshops posting contributions to any of these areas, SLSP is a more focused meeting where synergies between subdomains and people will hopefully happen. In SLSP 2014, significant room will be reserved to young scholars at the beginning of their career and particular focus will be put on methodology.

URL: http://grammars.grlmc.com/slsp2014/

PhD Course – Global Challenges: Urbanization, Livelihoods and Food Security

When: 7th of July – 15th of August, 2014

Where: Botswana

 

The course is a mutual effort of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the University of Botswana, the EU-Africa Doctoral Student Network (DocLinks) and the African Network of Agriculture, Agroforestry, and Natural Resources Management (ANAFE).

The course will take place between July 7th and August 15th 2014. During the first two weeks, the course participants will spend time at home reviewing the literature and preparing for the course. Then between July 28th and August 8th, the students will attend the course in Botswana together with other course participants and facilitators from around the world. The course programme will include lectures, discussions and four field trips. Lastly, the time between August 9th and August 15th, the students will be expected to complete their individual written assignments to successfully complete the course.

 

URL: http://phdcourseulfs.weebly.com/

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