Event

“Show thy queere substance”: The Queer, the Early Modern and the Now

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Friday 7th & Saturday 8th July
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

“Show thy queere substance”: The Queer, the Early Modern and the Now

Hosted by our friends in the Queer London Research Forum at Westminster, a one-day symposium which seeks to consider two questions: firstly, what can queer frames tell us about Early Modern texts and contexts? Secondly, in what ways can the Early Modern (be it literature, culture or politics) speak to queer cultures in the present? Or, what do queer reiterations of Early Modern texts and contexts achieve in the present?

The conference begins on Friday 7th July at 5:30pm (in the Cayley Room in the 309 Regent Street building) when Andy Kesson is going to run a performance workshop, titled ‘Playing Queerness’, which showcases the work he’s been doing with director Emma Frankland, as part of the Before Shakespeare project, on John Lyly’s Galatea. The workshop will be followed by a wine reception in the foyer.

The programme for the papers on Saturday can be found at:
https://showthyqueeresubstance.wordpress.com/saturday-8th-june/

Attendance is free, but registration is required. You can register for the conference here.

Alexander Galloway at Carroll / Fletcher

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May 24, 2017, 7pm
Carroll / Fletcher, 56-57 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8EQ
£5 tickets available here.

How Did the Computer Learn to See?
Alexander Galloway

How did the computer learn to see? A common response to the question is that the computer learned to see from cinema and photography, that is, from modernity’s most highly evolved technologies of vision. In this talk Alexander Galloway will explore a different response to the question: the computer learned to see not from cinema but from sculpture. With reference to the work of contemporary artists, along with techniques for digital image compression, we will explore the uniquely computational way of seeing the world.

This event is organised by IMCC in collaboration with Carroll / Fletcher. It will feature as part of a Critical Digital Humanities project run by the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster and Dartmouth College, USA, funded by the British Academy.

Alexander R. Galloway is a writer and computer programmer working on issues in philosophy, technology, and theories of mediation. He is author of several books, most recently a monograph on the work of François Laruelle, and is a professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.

For more information, please contact Kaja Marczewska: k.marczewska@westmister.ac.uk

Proving Grounds: Biosphere 2 – Then and Now

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Friday May 19th, 6pm
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW, Room UG04
Free admission, but please book here as space is limited.

Kathelin Gray, Biosphere 2 co-founder, in conversation with Dr Rob La Frenais, independent curator

Biosphere 2 was a massive project in the Arizona desert which, in 1991-94, completely enclosed 2 teams of humans, animals and plant life in a closed, sealed environment, creating laboratory conditions to study interactions in a biospheric system, to better understand global ecology, and as a spinoff, towards bio-regenerative conditions in space travel. When Biosphere 2 closed its doors in September 1991 for a two-year experiment in closed systems living and experimental ecology, it was, as it remains, years ahead of its time. The antagonisms which led to the termination of the Biosphere 2 experiment, in 1994, seem all the more absurd in retrospect, particularly in respect of the then involvement of Steve Bannon, now in the Trump administration.

Kathelin Gray who was involved throughout the experiments, says: “ It is ironic that with the reopening of the ‘space race’ to Mars, this work is now being re-examined and in some cases re-invented. The passage of time shows just how important this work was. We need to revisit ways in which we can demonstrate our impact on the ecology and the complex inter-relationships which make human existence on earth possible yet so fragile to our own impacts. Physiologically, culturally and chemically we are all earthlings. Our fate is indissolubly linked with the health of our fellow earthlings: microbes, soils, plants, animals, a concept that was once considered alternative thinking”.

There is still considerable debate about the continuing resonances of the largest project of this type that has ever taken place in the world. Much scientific knowledge was gained from Biosphere 2, despite controversy at the time. What was equally important was that it was also an art-science project, with the Institute of Ecotechnics as scientific coordinator. ‘Theatre of All Possibilities’ and ‘Theatre for the Reconstitution of Reality’ partnered in the experiment, bringing in an ongoing radical cultural experiment taking place inside Biosphere 2, “redefining performative architecture and the role of historical innovation on the world stage” (Gray). This collective, collaborative initiative has established multidisciplinary projects still ongoing worldwide, based in different ecosystems, with the Institute of Ecotechnics.

Rob La Frenais, curator of The Arts Catalyst for 17 years, founder editor of Performance Magazine and now an independent curator, himself visited and interviewed the Biospherians through the glass in the 90’s and will engage Kathelin Gray in a lively and provocative conversation about the legacy of Biosphere 2.

This event marks the launch of Proving Grounds, a new series of workshops and events organised by IMCC and the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) at the University of Westminster. The aim of the series is to critically engage with issues of inter- and trans-disciplinarity in relation to speculative, hypothetical or experimental research at the intersections of the arts, humanities and sciences. More information about Proving Grounds will be available at the event.

Making Nature walking tour

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Thursday 1th May, 6.00 – 6.45 pm
Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1

Making Nature: How We See Animals walking tour

Our former MA student Talita Jenman is leading a special tour of the Wellcome Collection exhibition ‘Making Nature: How we see animals‘. Talita ran the Arts & Culture programme at ZSL London Zoo before taking her MA in Art and Visual Culture. She has previously given talks at the National Gallery on artists and animals and wrote her dissertation on animals and their representation on social media.

There is no need to book (though spaces are limited). Just meet your guide beside the Information Point on level 0. Further details here.

Panel Discussion on Lady Macbeth at Soho Curzon, with Monica Germana, April 25th

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Our colleague Monica Germanà will be taking part in a panel discussion following a showing of the new film Lady Macbeth organised by Birds Eye View at the Soho Curzon on Thursday 25th April at 6.30pm. Other panellists include actor Florence Pugh, Alice Birch (Writer), Empire Magazine’s Terri White, The Debrief’s Sophie Wilkinson and Dr. Kaja Franck.

Lady Macbeth is directed by William Oldroyd and is based upon the novel by Nikolai Leskov. Birds Eye View is a non-profit organisation established in 2002, which is dedicated to turning up the volume of the female voice in film through “action!” not just words.

Find out more and book tickets here.

Tasty & Smelly, Tate Modern, April 27-30 2017

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April 27-30 2017
Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London

Tasty & Smelly: A different way to connect to art

Could appreciating art have more in common with savouring a cup of coffee than you thought? Could our senses of taste and smell help define who we are?

Taste and smell give us a nuanced sense of what we like and are powerfully linked to emotions and memories. Just the hint of a smell can take us back to another time and place. The tang of something on your tongue can unravel thoughts and associations. Some aspects of taste and smell are things always we carry with us and others are things we acquire over time. They can reflect our individuality and our cultural backgrounds. They reveal how we grow through our changing circumstances, histories and journeys across the globe. In Tasty & Smelly you are invited to play, explore and experiment with your senses of taste and smell, and discover how they shape your sensory world, individually and collectively. From designing multi-sensory labels for artworks, creating teas that respond to the architecture of the building, chilling out in a scented mediation pod to re-organising the Tate collection by spicyness, these events and installations encourage you to playfully engage with taste and smell and the associations that they create.

Produced by students and graduates from our MA programmes at the University of Westminster the activities aim to tease out some of the many ways we carry our tastes, preferences and cultural histories with us when we enter into an art museum. Plus, through interactive demonstrations and hands-on experiments presented by researchers from the Centre for Experimental Aesthetics, Technology and Engineering, University of London, you can discover the unexpected strategies your brain uses to make and share matters of taste, from the most sensory ones to the art-world.

To register for one of the workshops or activities or to find out more email: tastyandsmellyevent@gmail.com  Or see: https://www.facebook.com/tastyandsmelly/

Reminder: Researching, Writing and Exhibiting Photography, April 8th

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Saturday 8th April, 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6UW

Researching, Writing and Exhibiting Photography

Speakers: David Bate (University of Westminster); Benedict Burbridge (Sussex); Sara Davidmann (UAL); Anna Dannemann (Photographer’s Gallery); Christopher Morton (Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford); Russell Roberts (University of South Wales); Karen Shepherdson (Canterbury Christ Church); Kelley Wilder (De Montfort)

This one-day symposium seeks to explore current practices of researching, writing and exhibiting photography, three activities central to the production of knowledge about photography. The symposium will consider the intertwined relationships between these activities from two main standpoints. The first is the ways in which the practices of researching, writing and exhibiting photography draw from, influence and critique one another as they produce our understandings of the photographic. The second is the ways in which the photographic, understood here as technical forms and associated images, operates as a transformative force within society, and in doing so produces the field for researching, writing and exhibiting photography.

Unfortunately, this event is now FULLY BOOKED. However, please complete the form in the link below if you would like to be added to the waiting list. We will be in touch if places become available:
http://rwepsymposium.weebly.com/contact.html

You can find further details of the programme on the RWEP website here.

Further information from Sara Dominici at: s.dominici1@westminster.ac.uk

Post-Punk, Politics and Pleasure – seminar, April 5th

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Wednesday 5th April, 5.00 – 6.30 pm
Room 206, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

Post-Punk, Politics and Pleasure
David Wilkinson (Manchester Metropolitan University)

As the Sex Pistols were breaking up, Britain was entering a new era. Punk’s filth and fury had burned brightly and briefly; soon a new underground offered a more sustained and constructive challenge. David Wilkinson’s new book Post-Punk, Politics and Pleasure in Britain situates post-punk in its historical and political context, showing how residual flickers of utopianism illuminated the movement’s monochrome gloom. The book also locates post-punk in the crossfire of a key ideological struggle of the era: a battle over pleasure and freedom between emerging Thatcherism and libertarian, feminist and countercultural movements dating back to the post-war New Left. Tracing these tensions through a series of case studies on bands such as Scritti Politti, The Fall and the Slits, the book concludes by examining how the struggles of post-punk resonate down to the present.

The seminar will be followed by our last visit of the semester to the Green Man pub … All welcome!

Language and the Problem of Female Authority, Deborah Cameron, Friday 28 April

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Friday 28th April 2017, 5.30 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

Language and the Problem of Female Authority
Professor Deborah Cameron (Worcester College, Oxford)

The inaugural public lecture hosted by the Westminster Forum for Language and Linguistics.

Professor Cameron is Professor of Language and Communication and a Fellow of Worcester College at Oxford University. Her research interests are Language, gender and sexuality; language attitudes/ideologies and ‘verbal hygiene’; discourse analysis; language and globalization. She is also actively involved in communicating with a wider audience about language and linguistic research. Parts of her book The Myth of Mars and Venus were serialized in The Guardian newspaper and she has contributed to numerous BBC radio programmes, including Woman’s Hour, Word of Mouth, Thinking Allowed and Fry’s English Delight.

Reserve your free ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/language-and-the-problem-of-female-authority-tickets-33205721206

Technostalgia Launch at Carroll / Fletcher, March 23rd

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March 23rd 2017, 6.30 – 8.00 pm
Carroll / Fletcher, 56-57 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8EQ

Technostalgia Launch Event, with Alison Craighead in Conversation

To mark the opening of the Moving Museum’s new platform of web-based anthologies, Alison Craighead of Thomson & Craighead and the IMCC will be in discussion with Professor Beryl Graham, Professor of New Media Art at University of Sunderland, and co-founder and editor of CRUMB at Carroll / Fletcher in London. Moderated by Carroll / Fletcher Associate Director Coline Milliard.

Technostalgia, the inaugural anthology edited by Coline Milliard, will go live next week and explore the aesthetics of early technologies, their legacy and impact, as well as their fetishization and appropriation in a contemporary artistic context. Participating artists include Cory Arcangel, Constant Dullaart, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Peter Luining, Lorna Mills, Paper Rad, Mark Richards, Gustavo Romano, Evan Roth, Paul Slocum, Thomson & Craighead, and Ubermorgen.

The event will be live streamed by this is tomorrow
Please RSVP@themovingmuseum.com

Jackie Chan vs. Walter Benjamin seminar, March 8th 2017

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Wednesday 8th March, 5.00 – 7.00
Room 206, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T

Jackie Chan vs. Walter Benjamin: Postcolonial ‘utopias of the body’ in kung fu comedy cinema
Luke White (Middlesex University)

In the late 1970s, Hong Kong martial arts cinema took a turn from the tragic-heroic register to that of comedy, propelling Jackie Chan – the genre’s pioneering and most successful kung fu comedian – to first local and regional, and then global, superstardom. Many critics have read the rise of the kung fu comedy, which coincided with a shift away from the militant nationalist or anti-colonial themes of movies such as Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury (1972), as turning away from politics, reflecting the waning of the turbulence of the 1960s and the new accommodation to a globalised neoliberal order. The research project from this paper derives, however, explores the performing body as a key site where a continuing politics is played out.

The paper analyses Jackie Chan’s performance style in the film Project A (1983) in relation to Walter Benjamin’s readings of the slapstick violence of Mickey Mouse cartoons and American silent-era performers such as Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. The ‘utopia of the body’ that Benjamin discovered in these both offered a critique of capitalist modernity and also promised to fulfil the emancipatory potential lodged within it. The paper sets out to rethink the relevance of Benjamin’s arguments to the specifically postcolonial situation of Chan’s filmic production in 1980s Hong Kong, and to consider what kind of a response (both accommodated and also subtly subversive) his performances might constitute.

All welcome! Followed by the usual drinks in the Green Man.

Spatial Justice at the Tate

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Saturday 4th March, 12.00 – 6.00 pm
Tate Modern, London

Spatial Justice Workshop

Friend of the IMCC, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, is playing the leading part in a great day’s events at the Tate this Saturday, organised by the Westminster Law & Theory Lab with Tate Exchange and People’s Bureau. Free to all – including tea and cake!

Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos defines spatial justice as the conflict that emerges when one body wants to move into the space of another body. This opens up questions of symbiosis, creative confluence and regeneration, but also issues of power imbalances. The event hopes to explore ideas about the role of developers, art institutions and artists in dealing with issues of spatial justice and productive ways of reflecting them in their practices. The programme includes a Clay Workshop and Tea Trolley Dances, as well as an interview and discussion with Andreas.

Researching, Writing and Exhibiting Photography Symposium, Saturday 8th April 2017

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UPDATE: This event is now FULLY BOOKED. Please complete the form in the link below if you would like to be added to the waiting list. We will be in touch if places become available:
http://rwepsymposium.weebly.com/contact.html

Saturday 8th April, 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6UW

Researching, Writing and Exhibiting Photography

We’re delighted to announce details of the upcoming Institute of Modern and Contemporary Culture’s one-day symposium on Researching, Writing and Exhibiting Photography.

Speakers: David Bate (University of Westminster); Benedict Burbridge (Sussex); Sara Davidmann (UAL); Anna Dannemann (Photographer’s Gallery); Christopher Morton (Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford); Russell Roberts (University of South Wales); Karen Shepherdson (Canterbury Christ Church); Kelley Wilder (De Montfort)

This one-day symposium seeks to explore current practices of researching, writing and exhibiting photography, three activities central to the production of knowledge about photography. The symposium will consider the intertwined relationships between these activities from two main standpoints. The first is the ways in which the practices of researching, writing and exhibiting photography draw from, influence and critique one another as they produce our understandings of the photographic. The second is the ways in which the photographic, understood here as technical forms and associated images, operates as a transformative force within society, and in doing so produces the field for researching, writing and exhibiting photography.

Organised into three successive panels – “Researching Photography”, “Writing Photography” and “Exhibiting Photography” – the event brings together researchers, writers and curators working in academic and commercial contexts, and whose interests span from photographic archives to contemporary photographic practice. The symposium will provide a platform to discuss conceptual, theoretical and practical approaches to the study, discourse and display of photography; and how their intertwined relationship(s) can offer reflections on approaching the opportunities and challenges presented by working in the arts and humanities today.

You can find further details of the programme, and can book your free ticket, on the RWEP website here.

Further information from Sara Dominici at: s.dominici1@westminster.ac.uk

The Chinese Experience in London discussion Monday 27 February 2017

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Monday 27 February, 1.00 – 2.00
Room UG05, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

The Chinese Experience in London
A Conversation with Derek Hird  & Anne Witchard 

Derek Hird: A Brief History of the Chinese in London, focussing on some of the interesting human stories of the Chinese presence in London over the centuries

Anne Witchard: British literary and cinematic depictions of the Chinese in the early twentieth century, including the silent film ‘Broken Blossoms’ (1919) which is to be shown in the Regent St Cinema on Friday 3rd March.

Book your free ticket for the event here.

Part of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Westminster’s week-long Difference Festival.

Lampedusa: Debating the Representation of Migration in an Age of ‘Crisis’

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Thursday 2nd March, 6.30 – 8.30
University of Westminster, Portland Hall, 4-12 Little Titchfield Street, London, W1W 7BY

Lampedusa: Debating the Representation of Migration in an Age of ‘Crisis’

Federica Mazzara (Modern Languages and Culture, University of Westminster) – Federica is currently writing a monograph for Peter Lang entitled Re-imagining Lampedusa which explores the geographical, legal, artistic and political framing of asylum seekers and migrants.

Côme Ledésert (film maker/PhD student at University of Westminster) – Côme is the author of Persisting Dreams, a short film about Lampedusa that questions our perception of migrants in Europe.

Maya Ramsay (artist) – An award-winning artist, Maya works with historically and politically important sites including, most recently, the graves of migrants who lost their lives whilst trying to reach Europe by sea.

Lucy Wood (artist) – Lucy set sail from Lampedusa to London in a rescued North African migrant boat on World Refugee Day, 20 June 2013.

Find out more and book a free ticket via Eventbrite.

When Concepts Become Norm: Copyright Law Through Conceptual Art seminar Thurs 23rd

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Thursday 23rd February 2017, 5.00 – 6.30 pm
Room 351, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

“When Concepts Become Norm: Copyright Law Through Conceptual Art”
Danilo Mandic (Law School, University of Westminster)
Respondent: Kaja Marczewska (IMCC)

The fourth of the new series of Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities Cross-Disciplinary Research Seminars at Westminster is a talk by our good friend Danilo Mandic on copyright and conceptual, with a response from the IMCC’s Kaja Marczewska. One not to miss!

All very welcome. Followed by drinks …

Shadows of the State: Mapping Intelligence Agencies seminar this Wednesday

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Wednesday 22nd February, 5.00 – 7.00
Room 206, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T

“Shadows of the State: Mapping Intelligence Agencies”
Lewis Bush (University of the Arts, London)

Shadows of the State employs methodologies derived from espionage in order to investigate so-called ‘Numbers stations’. These are shortwave radio broadcasts transmitting coded messages and widely speculated that they are the means by which intelligence agencies communicate with their operatives overseas. In this talk I will discuss the origin of these stations, the process of locating them and their continuing role in today’s new Cold War.

Lewis Bush studied history and worked for the United Nations before retraining as a photographer. Since then he has developed a practice exploring the way power operates in the world. Recent works include Shadows of the State, which involved tracking the communications of intelligence agencies. Bush also writes extensively on photography for a variety of titles and maintains the Disphotic blog. He frequently curates exhibitions, and is lecturer in documentary photography courses at London College of Communication and a visitor on a number of other courses.

All welcome! Followed by the usual drinks in The Green Man.

Transparency in International Relations, Law and Politics, Thursday 16 Feb

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Thursday 16th February 2017, 5.00 – 6.30 pm
Room 351, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

“Transparency in International Relations, Law and Politics”
Matthew Fluck (Politics & International Relations, University of Westminster)
Respondent: Eleni Frantziou (School of Law, University of Westminster)

The third of the new series of Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities Cross-Disciplinary Research Seminars at Westminster is a talk by Matt Fluck on transparency, with a response from Eleni Frantziou.

A reminder that the following seminar (with a particular IMCC flavour!) will be same time and place the week after:

February 23rd: Danilo Mandic, “When Concepts Become Norm: Copyright Law Through Conceptual Art”, with respondent Kaja Marczewska

All very welcome! Followed by drinks …

The Difference Festival, February 27th – March 3rd 2017

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Monday 27th February – Friday 3rd March 2017
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

The Difference Festival

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Westminster is hosting a week-long (and timely) celebration of Difference from February 27th to March 3rd that will pay homage to the history and roots of the institution, whilst showcasing the work of staff, students, alumni and friends, aspiring to ‘instruct and delight’.

Friends of the IMCC may be particularly interested in some events involving our members and affiliates – including Anne Witchard and Derek Hird discussing The Chinese Experience in London (Monday 27th, 1-2), Gwilym Jones on Shakespeare’s Storms (Tuesday 28th, 1-2) and Federica Mazzara, Côme Ledésert and the artist Maya Ramsay discussing the representation of the so-called ‘migrant crisis’ in the Mediterranean (Thursday 2nd, 6.30-8.30) – but there are a whole interesting events taking place during the week, including a screening on the Friday of the silent film Broken Blossoms (1919) at the Regent Street Cinema, with organ accompaniment.

All welcome! Full details here: https://www.westminster.ac.uk/difference-festival

The Return of the Art and Tech Lab: Transdiciplinary Gravy or Neoliberal Grey Goo?

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Thursday 2nd February 2017, 5.00 – 6.30 pm
Room 351, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

The Return of the Art and Tech Lab: Transdiciplinary Gravy or Neoliberal Grey Goo?
John Beck (IMCC)

Kicking off the new series of Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities Cross-Disciplinary Research Seminars at Westminster is our own John Beck, Director of the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, discussing the perils of transdiscplinarity. With a response from Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos.

Future seminars (same place and time) will run weekly as follows:

February 9th: Andrew Linn, “19thC Mass Migration and 21stC Technology”, with respondent Dan Conway

February 16th: Matt Fluck, “Transparency in International Relations, Law and Politics”, with respondent Eleni Frantziou

February 23rd: Danilo Mandic, “When Concepts Become Norm: Copyright Law Through Conceptual Art”, with respondent Kaja Marczewska

March 16th: Ludivine Broch, “The History of Objects in Post-War France”, with respondent Debra Kelly