Public conference ‚New Materialism: Naturecultures’ with LeineRoebana and opening of art exhibition ‘Companion Sculptures’
On 7 April, 2011 the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University organises a conference around Donna Haraway’s concept ‚naturecultures’. Apart from scholars (from all around the world) who will rewrite Haraway’s concept in various practices, dance company LeineRoebana will perform fragments of recent work expressing a similar problematics. The concepts given rise to (through dance) will be elaborated upon by the choreographers themselves. On the same day the art exhibition ‘Companion Sculptures’ opens which brings together the scholarly work of Donna Haraway and the artistic production of sculptor Piet van de Kar. Several sculptures will be on display in the buildings around Drift in Utrecht. Donna Haraway, one of the most significant science, technology and culture scholars in the world, will be visiting the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University from 4 to 14 April (see http://www.uu.nl/faculty/humanities/NL/Actueel/nieuws/ Pages/20110218-donna-haraway.aspx).
The conference takes place in the Nicolaï Church, Nicolaaskerkhof 8, Utrecht from 9:30 to 17:00 on April 7, 2011. All lectures and discussions are plenary events.
Participation is free of charge. Please register via firstname.lastname@example.org with subject ‘Conference Materialisms’.
For more information: please contact I.vanderTuin@uu.nl or R.Dolphijn@uu.nl
One of the conceptual innovations stirred by debates in contemporary cultural theory that want to rewrite the linguistic turn concerns ‘naturecultures’. This concept is created by Donna Haraway in The Companion Species Manifesto (2003) in order to write the necessary entanglement of the natural and the cultural, the bodily and the mind, the material and the semiotic, et cetera. ‘Naturecultures’ offers us an important route to rewrite these modernist oppositions in such a way that rather than representing parts of the world, a transcription with the world is being proposed. Concepts thus do not capture or mirror what is ‘out there’, but are fully immersed in immanence. ‘Naturecultures’ rewrites not only femininity but in the end all subversive material practices as an ethical break through of for instance phallologocentrism. Karen Barad would call this ‘ethico-onto-epistemological’.
This conference uses ‘naturecultures’ as a point of departure. We intend to study conceptual innovation in contemporary cultural theory from seemingly different ‘disciplinary’ and ‘paradigmatic’ angles in order to demonstrate how similar movements in thought are at work in the emerging paradigms of what we call a ‘new materialism’, but what is also referred to as a post-humanism, an agential realism, and of which traces can be found in many contemporary intellectual movements that traverse philosophy, the humanities and the natural sciences.
Morning Sessions: Rick Dolphijn (chair)
9:30-10:00 Introduction: Dr. Iris van der Tuin (UU)
10:00 – 10:45 Playing Cat’s Cradle with Companion Species: Naturecultures-in-the-making
Prof. Donna Haraway (UCSC)
10:45 – 11:00 Respondent: Dr. Cecilia Åsberg (Linköping University)
11:00 – 11:45 “Originary Humanicity”: Rethinking Anthropocentrism
Dr. Vicki Kirby (UNSW)
11:45 – 12:00 Respondent: Prof. Rosemarie Buikema (UU)
12:00 – 13:00 Performance by LeineRoebana (featuring Heather Ware and Tim Persent)
With a discussion between Andrea Leine and Dr. Rick Dolphijn
Lunch break (not provided)
Afternoon Sessions: Iris van der Tuin (chair)
14:15 – 14:45 ‚Open life’? Embodied data and devices in the making of bio-digital materialism
Dr. Adrian MacKenzie (Lancaster University)
14:45 – 15:15 Media Milieus, or Why Does Nature Do It Better?
Dr. Jussi Parikka (Anglia Ruskin University)
15:15 – 15:30 Q&A
15:30 – 16:00 Vocalities as environmental rhythmics on a nature–culture continuum: Rethinking voice studies with new materialism
Dr. Milla Tiainen (Anglia Ruskin University)
16:00 – 16:30 ‘Civilizing’ Modern Abstractions? A.N. Whitehead and the Importance of Religious Vision
Melanie Sehgal (Potsdam University)
16:30 – 16:45 Q&A
16:45 – 17:00 Closing: Prof. Rosi Braidotti (UU)
Reception and opening of exhibition ‚Companion Sculptures’
During the conference LeineRoebana, the modern dance company of Andrea Leine and Harijono Roebana, will “dance theory” and comment on several important concepts raised in their recent work (the mind-body problem, Otherness, the earth) posed to them by dr. Rick Dolphijn. The dances will be performed by Tim Persent and Heather Ware, who was recently awarded the Gouden Zwaan for the most impressive dance performance of 2010.
The public exhibition ‘Companion Sculptures’ brings together the scholarly work of Donna Haraway and the artistic production of Piet van de Kar. The project entails the exhibition of several sculptures of Van de Kar in the buildings around Drift in Utrecht.
The conference is organised by Dr Iris van der Tuin and Dr Rick Dolphijn. The first ‘New Materialism’ conference, organized by Dr. Jussi Parikka and Dr. Milla Tiainen, took place in June 2010 at Anglia Ruskin University/ CoDE in Cambridge, the UK. This second conference is an initiative of the Center for the Humanities, the Graduate Gender Programme, and the Department of Media and Culture Studies, all located at the Faculty of Humanities of Utrecht University. It is funded by these three partners, as well as by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Posthumanities Hub (Tema Genus, Linköping University), the Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play (Utrecht University), and the Research Institute for History and Culture (Utrecht University).