Conference

Final Reminder: Educational Eliminationism symposium, Nov 7th

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Educational Eliminationism & Cultural Colonization
Friday 7th November, 2pm – 6pm (followed by drinks reception)
Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T

A HEAT (Higher Education & Theory) Symposium, co-hosted by Institute for Modern & Contemporary Culture (IMCC) and the Higher Education Research Centre (HERC) at the University of Westminster.

David J. Blacker, author of The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame, defines educational eliminationism as a state of affairs in which elites no longer find it necessary to utilize mass schooling as a first link in the long chain of the process of the extraction of workers’ surplus labour value but instead cut their losses and abandon public schooling altogether. In The Art School and the Culture Shed, John Beck and Matthew Cornford have charted the decline of local art schools and concordant rise of the ‘destination’ art gallery, and asked what this tells us about the changing relationship between the function of education and art in the new creative economy. Nina Power (One-Dimensional Woman) argues that current attacks on the education system are part and parcel of a broader war on cognitive and immaterial labour, upon which the art world provides a peculiarly privileged vantage point.

Drawing on the etymological and political association between culture and colonization, this symposium seeks to investigate the currently shifting relationship between education and culture through the themes of eliminationism and colonization.

rsvp to the organizer: M.Charles1@westminster.ac.uk

Educational Eliminationism & Cultural Colonization, Nov 7th

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Educational Eliminationism & Cultural Colonization
Friday 7th November, 2pm – 6pm (followed by drinks reception)
Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T

A HEAT (Higher Education & Theory) Symposium, co-hosted by Institute for Modern & Contemporary Culture (IMCC) and the Higher Education Research Centre (HERC) at the University of Westminster.

David J. Blacker, author of The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame, defines educational eliminationism as a state of affairs in which elites no longer find it necessary to utilize mass schooling as a first link in the long chain of the process of the extraction of workers’ surplus labour value but instead cut their losses and abandon public schooling altogether. In The Art School and the Culture Shed, John Beck and Matthew Cornford have charted the decline of local art schools and concordant rise of the ‘destination’ art gallery, and asked what this tells us about the changing relationship between the function of education and art in the new creative economy. Nina Power (One-Dimensional Woman) argues that current attacks on the education system are part and parcel of a broader war on cognitive and immaterial labour, upon which the art world provides a peculiarly privileged vantage point.

Drawing on the etymological and political association between culture and colonization, this symposium seeks to investigate the currently shifting relationship between education and culture through the themes of eliminationism and colonization.

rsvp to the organizer: M.Charles1@westminster.ac.uk

Educational Eliminationism and Cultural Colonization seminar, Nov 7th

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HEAT Flyer

 

Educational Eliminationism and Cultural Colonization
Friday 7th November, 2-6pm
Westminster Forum, University of Westminster, Wells St., London W1T 3UW

John Beck and Matthew Cornford (The Art School and the Culture Shed)
David J. Blacker (The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame)
Nina Power (One-Dimensional Woman)

Co-organised by the IMCC and the Higher Education Research Centre (HERC)

Photography and Abstraction May 9th Programme Announced

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Photography and Abstraction: A Symposium

REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. Apologies – we have been inundated with an unexpectedly large number of RSVPs and can no longer fit in any further attendees.

Friday 9 May 2014, 10.00 – 6.00 (followed by drinks)
Room 501, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

PROGRAMME:

10.00 Coffee

10.30-12.30 Panel 1

Mark Dorrian (Edinburgh), “Medium/Violence/Abstraction”
Andy Fisher (Goldsmiths), “On the Scales of Photographic Abstraction”
David Bate (Westminster), “Daguerre’s Abstraction”
Chair: David Cunningham (IMCC)

12.30-1.30 Lunch

1.30-3.30 Panel 2

Clare Birchall (King’s, London), “Aesthetics of the Secret”
Peter Adey (Royal Hollway), “Capture and Testimony in the Art of Levity”
Ella Chmielewska (Edinburgh), “Writing Between the Photograph and Abstraction”
Chair: John Beck (IMCC)

3.30 Coffee

4.00-6.00 Panel 3

Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths), “Photography After the Human”
John Roberts (Wolverhampton), “Ideation and Photography: Critique of Laruelle’s Concept of Abstraction”
Chair: Sas Mays (IMCC)

6.00 Drinks

Free Entry. All Welcome. RSVP: cunninda@wmin.ac.uk

Natural History of Memory Inaugural Seminar

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The Natural History of Memory Inaugural Seminar (hosted by the Cultural Memory Seminar Series, sponsored by the Department of English, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies, University of Westminster)

17th May, 11 am – 4 pm. Room G37, Senate House, University of London.

Speakers:

Professor Anna Reading (King’s College London), ‘Where Do Clouds Come From? A Natural History of Digital Memory’

Dr Frank Uekoetter (University of Birmingham), ‘The Boll Weevil, the Post-Slavery Plantation, and the Global World of Monoculture’

Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (UCL), ‘London Submerged: Eco-Fictions of a Vanishing Present’

Chairs: Drs Lucy Bond (Westminster), Rick Crownshaw (Goldsmiths), Jessica Rapson (King’s)

The Natural History of Memory explores the ways that environments register and mediate the memories of catastrophe and injustice. Moving beyond Walter Benjamin’s conception of natural history as the naturalization of historical events and their representation in teleological fashion, the project examines the manifold imbrications of landscape and the lived experience of violence over time. While memory studies typically positions historical sites and landscapes as the places where past catastrophes unfolded, this project understands these environments as the very media through which these disasters took place, lent agency and co-opted by the perpetrators of those events, thereby enabling their occurrence. Challenging the construction of ‘nature’ as a passive canvas for the inscription and organization of history, this research seeks to develop an environmental literacy for reading (or reconstructing) memory where landscapes and experiences have become indistinct. The Natural History of Memory thus frames strands of research that seek to examine environmental agency in both catastrophic events and their remembrance.

The Natural History of Memory Partner Institutions: Goldsmiths University of London, King’s College London, University of Westminster, and University of Ghent.

Photography and Abstraction: A Symposium, May 9th

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Photography and Abstraction: A Symposium

Friday 9 May 2014, 10.00 – 6.00 (followed by drinks)
Room 501, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Participants include:
Peter Adey (Royal Holloway)
David Bate (Westminster)
Clare Birchall (Kings)
Ella Chmielewska (Edinburgh)
Mark Dorrian (Edinburgh)
Andy Fisher (Goldsmiths)
John Roberts (Wolverhampton)
Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths)

Hosted by:
John Beck, David Cunningham, Sas Mays (IMCC, Westminster)

There are at least two ways in which photography might be said to address abstraction. The first is at the level of appearance: photographs that are not recognisable as straightforward representations. This mode of abstraction might include the deployment of modernist strategies of abstraction; photographs that appear to be abstract due to issues of scale, such as aerial or microscopic images; the direct capture of light without a camera; the combination of photographic images with other media; the use of found images; the manual or electronic manipulation of images; the framing of images to stress formal arrangement.

Alongside this category of abstract photographs or photographs that depict abstract form, a second dimension to the relationship between photography and abstraction is associated with issues of the visible and the invisible. This involves photography’s capacity to give form to unseen relationships and to register otherwise undetectable currents, flows, and networks. How does photography visualize the real abstractions of capitalism? In what ways are photographic images deployed to capture and control data through, for example, electronic monitoring devices? How is the indexical function of the photograph mobilized in order to serve as evidence across a range of scenarios, including military and police action, juridical, biopolitical, and radical political modes of representation? Can, then, photography address and give visible form to the quasi-ontological abstractions that structure economic and social relations? Finally, is there a relationship between the two scenarios outlined above? In other words, what, if any, is the relationship between non-figurative images and photography’s political, institutional, or theoretical histories?

Archives for the Future: An Art and Visual Culture Conference, March 29

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Saturday 29th March 2014, 9.00-5.00
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Organised by Mnemoscape with the support of the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture and the International Association for Visual Culture.

Keynote Speakers: Francis Gooding (Birkbeck) and Uriel Orlow (Westminster)

Archives are becoming increasingly fetishized and (an)aestheticized in contemporary art practice and academic discourse. Archives have generally been considered as conservative institutions aimed at preserving the past in the present – and so perpetuating the traditional structures of power. In contrast, this conference is interested in bringing to light the generative and creative side of the archive. How can archives be used to generate the ‘new’ and to convey possible alternatives to the present status quo? How can we turn archives from historical records into instruments of future planning and agencies of radical thinking?

Full programme now available at: http://archivesforthefuture.wordpress.com/programme/

For any further information about the conference, please contact the conveners, Elisa Adami and Alessandra Ferrini at mnemoscape@gmail.com

Reminder: Cold War Systems Symposium, Feb 27th

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The Continuities of Cold War Systems: A Symposium
Thursday 27th February 2014, 9am-6pm.
The Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street

Hosted by John Beck (Westminster) and Ryan Bishop (Winchester School of Art), participants include Ele Carpenter (Goldsmiths), Fabienne Collignon (Sheffield), Mark Coté (King’s), Dan Grausam (Durham), Ken Hollings (Middlesex), Adrian Mackenzie (Lancaster), Jussi Parikka (Winchester), John Phillips (Singapore), Adam Piette (Sheffield), Jennifer Pybus (Winchester), James Purdon (Cambridge), Aura Satz (London Consortium), Neal White (Bournemouth).

From the late 1940s through the 1980s systems analysis, cybernetics, and information theory came to shape military, business, government and academic thinking on a wide array of subjects. The influence of such thinking is also evident in the arts, from the so-called systems novels of the 1960s and 70s, to minimalist and electronic music, conceptual art, and the emergence of electronic media. The end of the Cold War did not end systems thinking; indeed, given the phenomenal expansion of computer technologies into every aspect of contemporary life it is fair to say that we are now living in a world imagined and engineered during the Cold War. This event seeks to address the ways the Cold War, particularly through a consideration of systems thinking, continues to shape the contemporary.

RSVP John Beck: j.beck@westminster.ac.uk.

Reading and Exhibiting Nature: An International Conference, Feb 7-9

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February 7-9 2014
University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS

Reading and Exhibiting Nature: An International Conference

In January and February 2014 Ambika P3, the flagship exhibition space at the University of Westminster, will present Out of Ice by visual artist Elizabeth Ogilvie. This new commission will involve environments created with ice and ice melt, constructions, films of ice systems, film of scientific expedition from Antarctica, and poetic film, much of it created through collaborations with Inuit in Northern Greenland, and reflecting on their deep and sustaining relationships with ice. The exhibition will portray the psychological, physical and poetic dimensions of ice and water and draw attention to ice processes. It will describe the presence of ice in the world from a human perspective in which the observational traditions of fieldwork will be combined with the artist’s trademark visual splendour.

In concert with the exhibition, the University of Westminster is convening ‘Reading and Exhibiting Nature’, a three-day conference examining how nature is being understood in contemporary cultural and artistic production. With a focus both in and beyond the polar regions, we will explore how artists and scientists are apprehending and representing natural phenomena, engaging with emerging non-human materialities and translating environmental data into aesthetic experience. The conference seeks to explore the shifting definitions of nature and how nature, including plants, animals, land, water/ice and weather inserts itself into human affairs and is represented culturally.

The ‘Reading and Exhibiting Nature’ conference is planned in association with the University of Westminster and co-hosted by Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh and Anchorage Museum, Alaska.

Keynote Address will be by Professor Tim Ingold, Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen

Full conference: Standard rate £200. One day rate £110; Student rate £90. One day rate £65.

Please see the draft programme and some hotel suggestions.

Archives for the Future conference, March 29th

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Archives for the Future: An Art and Visual Culture Conference
Saturday 29th March 2014, 9.30-5.00
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Organised by Mnemoscape with the support of the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture.

Keynote Speakers: Francis Gooding (Birkbeck) and Uriel Orlow (Westminster)

Archives are becoming increasingly fetishized and (an)aestheticized in contemporary art practice and academic discourse. This conference comes out of a shared sense of frustration at this. In response, it intends to explore the present and futuristic potential embedded in the archive. Archives have generally been considered as conservative institutions aimed at preserving the past in the present – and so perpetuating the traditional structures of power. In contrast, we are interested in bringing to light the generative and creative side of the archive, what Derrida has defined as its ‘institutive’ power. How can archives be used to generate the ‘new’ and to convey possible alternatives to the present status quo? How can we turn archives from historical records into instruments of future planning and agencies of radical thinking? Is it possible to build an archive which works as an open space of imagination and a mean of projection into the future? Is it possible to archive the future to come and, at the same time, to remain open to the unpredictable and the unknown?

Further details and programme at: http://archivesforthefuture.wordpress.com/

For more information about the conference, please contact the conveners, Elisa Adami and Alessandra Ferrini at mnemoscape@gmail.com

Call for Papers: Football, Fiction, and Culture, June 2014

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Call for Papers: Football, Fiction, and Culture
Kingston University, June 19-20 2014

The aim of this event is to examine the culture that develops around football, with particular focus upon the influence of the sport on other cultural media. Football is a prominent part of contemporary culture, and the strong influence that it has on social and political identities is often reflected in wider cultural production. Despite this, it is sometimes argued that football is an example of low or “mass” culture, removed from “high” cultural forms. This event will interrogate this viewpoint and attempt to demonstrate the sport’s influence upon a wide variety of cultural forms. We welcome abstracts examining any aspect of the role that football plays in cultural production.

Conference fees are yet to be decided, but our aim is make this an affordable event. We also hope that presenters will join us afterwards to watch a World Cup match or two.

Please send abstracts to the event organisers, Dr Anthony May (Kingston University) and Dr Christopher Daley (University of Westminster) at: footballfictionandculture@gmail.com.

The deadline for abstracts is 28th February 2014. Papers should be the standard 20 minutes and panel proposals should consist of three speakers.

Important: Historical Novel symposium change of venue, Dec 3rd

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Because of the projected national university strike on December 3rd, the Historical Novel of the Contemporary Symposium scheduled for that afternoon will now be run as an independent event to be held in the downstairs space at the Carroll / Fletcher Gallery in central London. We are extremely grateful to Carroll / Fletcher for the generous offer to host.

Revised details as follows:

The Historical Novel of the Contemporary: A Symposium
Tuesday 3rd December, 2-6pm
Carroll / Fletcher Gallery, 56 – 57 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8EQ

Speakers: Emmanuel Bouju (Rennes), David Cunningham (Westminster), John Kraniauskas (Birkbeck), Fiona Price (Chichester), Leigh Wilson (Westminster)

The subject of a revival in recent decades, in both its ‘literary’ and ‘popular’ forms, for Georg Lukács the historical novel was, above all, that which narrated the ‘pre-history of the present’. Discussing authors ranging from Roberto Bolano to David Peace, Hilary Mantel to Wu Ming, this afternoon symposium considers the historiographic and political forms of the historical novel today as it might narrate the pre-history of our own contemporary.

Expanded Territories seminar, Dec 5th

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Thursday 5 December, 12.30 – 14.00
Room M324, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS

Measurement as Argument:
Planetary Constructions, PostNatural Histories, and the Will to Knowledge

Seth Denizen, Anna-Sophie Springer, Etienne Turpin
Organized by Lindsay Bremner

In this Expanded Territories seminar, Denizen Springer and Turpin will consider the relationship among the construction of systems of thought, our knowledge of the Earth System, and what Michel Foucault, following Nietzsche, describes as the will to knowledge. By examining several key episodes in the mid to late nineteenth century, including Antonio Stoppani’s argument for an “Anthropozoic” era, Vasily Dokuchaev’s proposal for a soil science distinct from geology, Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn’s early cartography of Java, and Alfred Russel Wallace’s theory of biogeographical distribution, they observe how measurement as argument has advanced our understanding of the Earth system in its manifold complexity. Because these systems of thought are not given, but produced, they suggest “what real struggles and relations of domination are involved in the will to knowledge.” As the Anthropocene as an object of knowledge is being constructed by stratigraphers and geologists, a series of affinities connecting measurement, aesthetic practices and the production of evidence can be discerned. How measurement as argument will challenge our inherited views of the architectural object in the Anthropocene remains to be seen; what is evident already is that this will to knowledge frames both our perception of the world and our capacity to change it.

Seth Denizen is a designer and researcher who currently teaches in the Division of Landscape Architecture at Hong Kong University. Anna-Sophie Springer is a writer, curator, and editor and co-director of the independent press K. Verlag in Berlin, Germany. Etienne Turpin is the founder and director of anexact office in Jakarta, Indonesia, and author of Architecture in the Anthropocene, Encounters among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy.

Call for Papers: The Mediated City, LA, Oct 2014

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The Mediated City, Part Two – Los Angeles
Woodbury University, Los Angeles , October 1-3 2014

Keynote Presentation: Kenneth Frampton

Taking as its starting point the 50 year anniversary of Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media and the idea of “the global village”, the conference aims to bring people from diverse backgrounds together around the issue of the modern city.

Deadline for abstracts February 15th; Deadline for full papers / detailed proposals June 15th

Visit: http://architecturemps.com/los-angeles/

Staging Science events, Dec 6 and 7 2013

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Hosted by our colleagues in the new Centre for the Study of Science and Imagination, a series of exciting events on Staging Science in December:

Staging Historical and Contemporary Science: A Roundtable
Friday December 6, 2013, 6.30-8.00pm (drinks from 6pm)
The Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street

Jim Al-Khalili (Physicist, Science Communicator and Broadcaster)
Tim Boon (Head of Research, Science Museum)
Imran Khan (Chief Executive, British Science Association)
Katrina Nilsson (Head of Contemporary Science, Science Museum)
Jonathan Renouf (Executive Producer, BBC Science Unit)

Staging Science ColloquiumSaturday December 7, 2013, 9.00-6.00pm
The Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street

Speakers include: Iwan Morus (Aberystwyth), Daniel Brown (Southampton), Robert Kargon (Johns Hopkins), Jeremy Brooker (Independent Researcher), Tiffany Watt-Smith (Queen Mary), Kirsten Shepherd-Barr (Oxford), Jean-Baptiste Gouyon (Science Museum, London), Bernard Lightman (York, Canada), Martin Willis (Westminster)

6.00-7.00pm: Drinks Reception and Book Launch for Jeremy Brooker’s Temple of Minerva (Regent Street Building Foyer)

followed by
A Performance of the Pepper’s Ghost Illusion with Charles Dickens’s ‘The Haunted Man’
Produced, directed and performed by Richard Hand and Geraint D’Arcy (University of South Wales)

There will be 2 performances of the Pepper’s Ghost Illusion – 7.00-7.30 and 7.45-8.15 (The Old Cinema)

Places for all the events that make up Staging Science are limited. Please apply early for each event as below. In your email please make clear which event or events you wish to attend. Many thanks.

To reserve a place at the Roundtable (Friday evening) please contact Rebecca Spear on rebecca.spear@my.westminster.ac.uk

To reserve a place at the colloquium (Saturday day), which comes with an invitation to the Pepper’s Ghost performance (Saturday evening), please contact Rebecca Spear on rebecca.spear@my.westminster.ac.uk.
Please do advise Rebecca if you wish to come to the colloquium but are not able to attend the evening Performance.

To inquire about a place at the Pepper’s Ghost performance only please contact Professor Martin Willis on m.willis@westminster.ac.uk

For updates on Staging Science connect to SCIMAG’s blog site at: http://scienceimagination.wordpress.com

Historical Novel of the Contemporary Symposium

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The Historical Novel of the Contemporary: A Symposium
Tuesday 3rd December, 2-6pm
Carroll / Fletcher Gallery, 56 – 57 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8EQ

Speakers: Emmanuel Bouju (Rennes), David Cunningham (Westminster), John Kraniauskas (Birkbeck), Fiona Price (Chichester), Leigh Wilson (Westminster)

The subject of a revival in recent decades, in both its ‘literary’ and ‘popular’ forms, for Georg Lukács the historical novel was, above all, that which narrated the ‘pre-history of the present’. Discussing authors ranging from Roberto Bolano to David Peace, Hilary Mantel to Wu Ming, this afternoon symposium considers the historiographic and political forms of the historical novel today as it might narrate the pre-history of our own contemporary.

Fu Manchu in London, Friday 4th October 2013

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Fu Manchu in London: Lao She, Limehouse and Yellow Peril in the Heart of Empire

Friday 4th October 2013
University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6UW

We are pleased to announce a special one-day conference on the occasion of three inter-related events this autumn: the publication by Penguin Modern Classics of Lao She’s forgotten masterpiece of 1920s Chinese London, Mr Ma and Son, the launch at the Ovalhouse Theatre of Daniel York’s satiric play, The Fu Manchu Complex (dir. Justin Audibert), and, to mark the centenary of the first appearance of “the Yellow Peril incarnate in one man”, Lord of Strange Deaths: The Fiendish World of Sax Rohmer, a collection of essays edited by Phil Baker and Antony Clayton (Strange Attractor Press, 2013).

The day’s speakers will examine the contexts and enduring fascination of one of the world’s most notorious fictional villains, from the fin-de-siecle racial anxieties and obsessions that spawned Rohmer’s oeuvre to the skewed perceptions that have arisen around his pervasive influence. Of all the overseas Chinese who came to England during the inter-war years, Lao She was the only one to confront the popular Sinophobia endemic in British society directly. Mr Ma and Son: Two Chinese in London (Er Ma, 1929) portrays the pernicious effects of the media on the lives of Chinese people in London. Based on his own experiences in London and written principally for a Chinese readership, the novel gives us a rare, if not unique, picture of the social and commercial affairs of the shop-keepers, café proprietors, and seafarers, that made up the major part of London’s small Chinese community, then based in Limehouse in the East End. Daniel York’s play, The Fu Manchu Complex challenges the resonances of ‘Yellow Peril’ stereotypes for the 21st century in a satirical pastiche of classic British cinema. Five East Asian actors ‘white up’ in the style of slapstick and Victorian music-hall comedy to play the traditional colonials in a murder mystery set in the East End.

Admission is free but please register by emailing Dr Anne Witchard at:
 anne@translatingchina.info

PROGRAMME

10.00AM – “Some Kind of Admiration or Respect”: Dr Fu Manchu as Hero
Phil Baker

10.45AM – The Case of the Yellow Peril Then and Now
Dr Ross Forman (University of Warwick)

11.30AM – 11.45AM – coffee

11.45AM – Fu Manchu, Orientalism and Arabophilia
Robert Irwin (SOAS /Times Literary Supplement)

12.30PM – 1.30PM – Lunch

1.30PM – Rohmer’s Odyssey
Antony Clayton

2.15PM – Mr Ma and Son: Limehouse and the Yellow Peril genre
Dr Julia Lovell (Birkbeck) in conversation with author Paul French

3.15PM – The Fu Manchu Complex
Daniel York and Justin Audibert will discuss their play, The Fu Manchu Complex, in production at the Ovalhouse Theatre in London.

The Fu Manchu Complex runs at the Ovalhouse, Kennington
1 – 19 October, Tues-Sat 7.45pm
BOOK / BOX OFFICE: 020 7582 7680

Call for Papers: Archives for the Future: An Art and Visual Culture Conference

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Archives for the Future: An Art and Visual Culture Conference

Organised by Mnemoscape and supported by the IMCC.
Call for Papers: Deadline submission: 18 November 2013

Archives are becoming increasingly fetishized and (an)aestheticized in contemporary art practice and academic discourse. This conference comes out of a shared sense of frustration at this. In response, it intends to explore the present and futuristic potential embedded in the archive. Archives have generally been considered as conservative institutions aimed at preserving the past in the present – and so perpetuating the traditional structures of power. In contrast, we are interested in bringing to light the generative and creative side of the archive, what Derrida has defined as its ‘institutive’ power. How can archives be used to generate the ‘new’ and to convey possible alternatives to the present status quo? How can we turn archives from historical records into instruments of future planning and agencies of radical thinking? Is it possible to build an archive which works as an open space of imagination and a mean of projection into the future? Is it possible to archive the future to come and, at the same time, to remain open to the unpredictable and the unknown?

We invite submissions that are concerned with reinstating the archive as site of political confrontation, of action and intervention in the present, as well as as site of re-projection and re-imagination for the future. We are particularly interested in creating a dialogue between theory and practice and as such we welcome contributions from artists, thinkers and curators alike.

To submit a proposal please send an abstract (300-500 words), a CV, five key words and a short biographical note (100 words). Please send in a single Word document to: mnemoscape@gmail.com

For more information about the conference, please contact the conveners, Elisa Adami and Alessandra Ferrini at mnemoscape@gmail.com

Download the call for papers

Visual Activism conference, March 14-16 2014, San Francisco

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Call for Proposals: Visual Activism

The International Association of Visual Culture (IAVC) invites proposals for its third biennial conference in San Francisco, March 14-16, 2014.

The conference is centered on the concept of Visual Activism.  How can we better understand the relationships between visual culture and activist practices?  There are ways in which art can take the form of political/social activism and there are also ways in which activism takes specific, and sometimes surprising, visual forms that are not always aligned with or recognizable by art-world frameworks.  How can we engage in conversations about abstract or oblique visual activism, for instance as is demanded in conditions of extreme censorship?  How can we approach the complexity of governmental or commercial ‘visual activism’ to better address hegemonies of visual culture (for example, in advertising and the mass media)?  To what degree do forms of visual activism travel, and in what ways are they necessarily grounded in locally specific knowledge and geographically specific spaces?

Presentations should respond to these questions or related topics and may take the form of scholarly papers (20 minutes), artist talks (20 minutes), short performances (5 to 30 minutes), or lighting-round interventions (5 minutes).  Proposals should include a 400-word abstract, links to websites with additional publications or relevant images and information, and a CV. Please send proposals to edu@sfmoma.org (with ‘visual activism’ as the subject line) no later than October 1, 2013.

Please email edu@sfmoma.org to be added to the mailing list to receive updates about the conference such as registration, the calendar of events and participants.

For further information about the International Association of Visual Culture, or to join the IAVC, please click here.

Book launch and conference: Ali Smith: Contemporary Critical Perspectives, Sept 7th

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We are pleased to announce the book launch of Monica Germana’s edited collection on Ali Smith, which is published this month by Bloomsbury (co-edited with Emily Horton). To mark the publication of the first volume of essays on this important contemporary author, Monica and Emily are organising a one-day conference on 7 September 2013. The conference will conclude with a talk by Ali Smith chaired by Dame Gillian Beer. The book launch will take place in conjunction with the talk at 11 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3RF at 5pm.

You are all warmly invited to the book launch and the following wine reception. Please note that, although the event will be free of charge, places are limited. Please email Emily on emilische@hotmail.com to reserve your place.

More information about the conference can be found on this dedicated website:
http://alismith21cf.wordpress.com/

If you wish to attend the whole conference, registration is open and available from this website:
http://onlinestore.rhul.ac.uk/browse/product.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=430