Call for readers!
Deadline February 18 2019
MATTER IN FLUX is an online study group co-led by the hosts of The World in Which We Occur. 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 looks 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.
If you wish to join the study group please write to us by February 18th at firstname.lastname@example.org to express you 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 do write to us, we are eager to hear from you.
What would be the perfect hacking operation you would aim to conduct in 2019? In your description please consider political, ecological and infrastructural shifts. Feel free to embrace fiction and hard science or whatever suits your fancy.
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 8 to 10 participants will be accepted. Participants will be notified via email.
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
Session 6 - 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
–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.
–Specific sessions will be accompanied by occasional invited guests, including but not limited to authors of assigned texts.
–Sessions are held online at Google Hangouts.
–The group will consist of 8-10 participants.
–There is no participation fee.