Now announcing, MATTER IN FLUX, third annual call for readers and members.
Apply via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a one page pdf by March 23, 2020. Participants will be notified via email by if selected. This year we are inviting 3-4 new members to join the group.
MATTER IN FLUX is an online initiative spearhead by The World in Which We Occur (twwwo.org) and currently led by Jennifer Teets, convener, in collaboration with group members. It is premised on the notion that in order to respond to emergent political and ecological challenges we need to broaden our channels of exchange. Research, reading, and analysis requires time, and in the current work panorama which most of us co-inhabit today there is seldom enough of it. Establishing modes of inquiry can lead to a better understanding of our world and how we can step back and reflect. Posing questions also helps us to observe, and meditate on, how our environments are mutating, under which circumstances, while triggering steps for future action.
Our intention is that the MATTER IN FLUX online study group will probe these conditions. Broadly, it will look at the history of materiality and examine the scientific criteria that sets matter into motion, so as to grant agency to social inquiry and conceptual labor. Inherent to the study group’s research line and interrogative approach are: politically enmeshed scientific affairs in ecological politics and policy, economies of transition, history of science, material studies, and gender studies in science. MATTER IN FLUX will pay particular attention to metabolic transactions, plasmatic fictions, and various degrees of para-scientific approaches. Fiction will also play a role in the consideration and portrayal of these subjects.
Please write to email@example.com by March 23, 2020 to express your interest in joining the group by responding to the question below. Also, send a description of yourself in one sentence (your research aims). You are not required to be a specialist of the drafted themes to participate in the group. However, you should express a capacity to tease apart the concepts at hand with intellectual rigor, aptitude, and passion. If you have a question about the group, please send an email, we are eager to hear from you.
The coronavirus COVID-19 is currently striking the world (at the time of outlining this call) having numerous ripple down effects. Research tells us that “zoonotic transfer” is responsible for this outbreak. Describe the role of metabolism in this process and what it sketches out for planetary health. In your description please consider political, ecological and infrastructural shifts. Feel free to embrace fiction, prose or hard science in your response.
–Participants are encouraged from different sectors and parts of the world.
–1 session per month at 19:00 (CET time) on the last Tuesday of the month. Sessions are comprised of reading, analysis, and discussion.
–Sessions begin with an introduction by one group member, followed by a collective discussion.
–Specific sessions will be accompanied by occasional invited guests, including but not limited to authors of assigned texts.
–Sessions are held online on Skype. Please have a good connection.
–The group will consist of 8-10 participants. This year 3-4 members are being accepted to join.
–There is no participation fee.
Application to MATTER IN FLUX is designed for anyone interested in the concerns outlined in this call, encouraging diverse approaches to research methodologies that stretch beyond typical academic profiling. Participants are expected to commit to all sessions considering that only 3 to 4 participants will be accepted. Please only apply if you can commit!
Texts read so far:
"Woman have no Fatherland" by Maria Mies, included in Ecofeminism co-edited with Vandana Shiva
Chapter 18 from Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
Introduction from The Weird and the Eerie by Mark Fisher
"Can Rocks Die - Life and Death Inside the Carbon Imaginary", from Geontologies a Requiem to late Liberalism by Elizabeth Povinelli
"This Stone" a poem by Ursula K.LeGuin
Session 3 - introduced by special guest Barbara Orland, Historian of Food and Nutrition, University of Basel
"Matter in Flux" by Barbara Orland
“Treatise on the Powers of Medicine” by Boerhaave
“Hydrofeminism: Or, on how to become a body of water” by Astrida Neimanis
“Amniotechnics” by Sophie Lewis
“The necessary gap: Chaos as self in the education of Henry Adams” by N.Katherine Hayles in Chaos Bound: Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science
“Chaos 1870” in The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams
Introduced by special guest Esther Leslie, Professor in Political Aesthetics. Co-director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
"Flowing Crystals" from Liquid Crystals - The Science and Art of a Fluid Form by Esther Leslie
"Photography and Liquid Intelligence" by Jeff Wall
“The Metabolism of Philosophy, in Three Parts” by Hannah Landecker in B. Malkmus and I. Cooper, eds. Dialectic and Paradox: Configurations of the Third in Modernity
“Crystals, Fabrics, and Fields: Metaphors of Organicism in Twentieth-Century Developmental Biology” p.62-63 by Donna Haraway
“Form’s Effortless Efficacy” from How Forests Think by Eduardo Kohn
“The Imperative of Responsibility” p106 by Hans Jonas
Introduced by special guest Elizabeth Povinelli, Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies, Columbia University
"Bloodchild" from Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler
"Closed place, Open Word" from Poetics of Relation by Edouard Glissant
Introduced by special guest Tim Ingold who presented his paper “What if the city were an ocean, and its buildings ships?”, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen
"The Weather" from In the Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe
“Ossuary VIII” from Ossuaries by Dionne Brand
“When the Sick Rule the World” from When the Sick Rule the World by Dodie Bellamy
“Exhaustion and Creation” from Cartographies of Exhaustion by Peter Pál Pelbart
Introduction to Ontology of the Accident by Catherine Malabou
“Hepatitis Diary” by César Aira (translation by H.A. Halpert, group member)
Introduced by special guest Elvia Wilk, author of Oval
Garments Against Women by Anne Boyer
“Responding and suffering bodies in human-animal worlds” by Vinciane Despret
Introduced by special guest and group member Lukáš Likavčan reading from his debut book Introduction to Comparative Planetology together with "Earthside (Why I Never Go) Smyth's Myths: 19102142-5" from Sundogz by Mark von Schlegell
The Passion According to G.H by Clarice Lispector
The Inhuman: Reflections on Time by Jean-François Lyotard
“Homo Microbis” from Sounding the Limits of Life by Stefan Helmreich
“Hookworms Make Us Human: The Microbiome, Eco-immunology, and a Probiotic Turn in Western Health Care” published in Medical Anthropology Quarterly by Jamie Lorimer
Matter in Flux discusses collective writing, in light of their experimental text work inside of “Head with Many Thoughts” at CAC Vilnius
Introduced by special guest Michael Marder
Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and Ikerbasque: Basque Foundation for Science, Spain
Michael Marder will present “Being Dumped” published in Environmental Humanities May 2019 (upcoming)