Posts from October 2014

Mnemoscape 1: The Anarchival Impulse

Written by on Monday, posted in Papers (No comments yet)

A quick plug for the first issue of Mnemoscape Magazine, “The Anarchival Impulse”, and for their brand new website:

Mnemoscape Magazine is a biannual online magazine dedicated to furthering research into contemporary visual culture and art practices that operate at the interstices of political and historical scrutiny, with a special focus on issues of memory, methodology and the archival impulse.


0.The Anarchival Impulse / editorial by Mnemoscape

1.the Archive of Destruction: Pedro Lagoa interviewed by Elisa Adami

2.Anarchaeology Series. A Project by Az.Namusn.Art / article by Alessandra Ferrini

3.Watered down modernity. Iconoclastic fluids in Alexander Apóstol’s archival mediations / Alexander Apóstol in conversation with Lisa Blackmore

4.Against Historiographical Positivism: Some Skeptical Reflections about the Archival Fetishism / article by Giulia Bassi

5. Art Criticism 2.0 / article by Paolo Chiasera

6.Showcase: Alessandro Di Pietro, dOCUMENTA (13) Das Begleitbuch / The Guidebook KATALOG / CATALOG 4/3

7.Between the Archive and the Unarchivable / article by Wolfgang Ernst

8.Simon Starling’s Show ‘Analogue Analogies’ at Staatsgalerie Stuttgart / exhibition review by Yvonne Bialek

9.(An)Archival Experiment through the ICA / article by Lucy Bayley, Ben Cranfield and Anne Massey

10.The Pathological Rhythm of the Archive / article by Eirini Grigoriadou

11.Multiple Signatures of Subtraction / article by Robert Luzar

12.Showcase: Emilio Vavarella, The Sicilian Family

13.Returning to the Tabularium / curatorial essay by Alana Kushnir (with showcase by Lawrence Lek, Memory Palace)

14.Retrograde Stairwell / short story by Chris Mason

Fridtjof Nansen’s Farthest North and the Arctic route to Romantic Nationalism seminar, Oct 29th

Written by on Thursday, posted in Event (No comments yet)

Wednesday 29 October, 4.15pm
Room 311, University of Westminster, Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

Professor Cian Duffy, St Mary’s University
‘[T]hat voyage will not cease to stir the imagination’: Fridtjof Nansen’s Farthest North, the Sublime, and the Arctic route to Romantic Nationalism

This talk will examine the various ways in which Fridtjof Nansen’s celebrated account of his attempt to reach the North Pole in 1893-96 draws upon a Romantic aesthetics of natural sublime in order to formulate arguments about the relationship between social and natural histories. The paper considers Nansen’s contribution to the developing relationship between science writing and literature, the importance of a Romantic construction of the natural sublime to Norwegian nationalism at the end of the nineteenth century, and Nansen’s debts to British as well as Norwegian Romantic writers.

Educational Eliminationism & Cultural Colonization, Nov 7th

Written by on Thursday, posted in Conference, Event (No comments yet)

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:

Tommi Kakko on Dr. Hibbert’s Theory of Apparitions and Hallucinations

Written by on Monday, posted in Event (No comments yet)

Wednesday 15 October, 4.15pm
Room 311, University of Westminster, Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

Dr Tommi Kakko, University of Tampere / Visiting Research Fellow, IMCC
“Dr. Hibbert’s Theory of Apparitions and Hallucinations”

Samuel Hibbert’s (1782–1848) Sketches of the Philosophy of Apparitions (1824) is a famous early attempt to understand the phenomenon of hallucinations from a scientific perspective. He and his colleague John Ferriar (1761–1815) wrote studies to counter ghost stories, superstitions and esoteric beliefs. The doctors believed these had filled nature with absurd and terrifying imaginary creatures. Ferriar wanted to ease the fears of his contemporaries and erase the stigma of madness from hallucinations. Hibbert’s book was much more ambitious. He created a theoretical framework based on associationism and wrote a great deal about the history of hallucinations in alchemy and other occult arts. He also sketched out theories of the conscious and unconscious mind. Hibbert’s theories are particularly interesting when one focuses on the problem of second hand information in his analyses. The theories rely heavily on stories about apparitions, but actually do very little to examine their nature. Literary critics like John Dryden and Meric Casaubon did, but their works are notably absent from Hibbert’s book.

All welcome!

Contemporary China Centre Seminars

Written by on Monday, posted in Event (No comments yet)
Tagged as

Contemporary China Centre University of Westminster
2014 Autumn Semester Seminars

All seminars take place in The Westminster Forum, Fifth Floor, University of Westminster, Wells Street, London W1T

Dr Joanne Smith Finley
‘Controlling Terra Nullius: Truth and Consequences of the ‘National Partner Assistance Programme’ in Xinjiang, China.’
Wednesday 29 October, 5-7pm

Joanne Smith Finley is Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies in the School of Modern Languages at Newcastle University. Her monograph The Art of Symbolic Resistance: Uyghur Identities and Uyghur-Han Relations in Contemporary Xinjiang (Brill) was published in 2013. She is also co-editor of Situating the Uyghurs between China and Central Asia (Ashgate, 2007).

Dr Heather Inwood
‘Contemporary Chinese Literature as Participatory Culture: Viral Verse and Transmedia Worlds’
Wednesday 12 November, 6-8pm

This talk explores the digital transformation of literary practices underway in China by focusing on case studies from contemporary Chinese poetry and popular fiction. Since the 1990s, the rapid growth of the Chinese internet has helped make literature the tenth most popular online activity, ushering in an age of mass participation in the creation and evaluation of literature. This talk considers the implications of participatory literary production for the definition and status of Chinese literature.

Heather Inwood is Lecturer in Chinese Cultural Studies and Undergraduate Programme Director for Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. Her book, Verse Going Viral: China’s New Media Scenes, explores the fate of modern Chinese poetry an age of the internet and consumer culture and was published by the University of Washington Press in 2014.

Guo Xiaolu, in discussion with Professor Chris Berry
‘Beyond Identities – Artists as Avatars of Narrative Force’
Wednesday 26 November, 5-7pm

Xiaolu Guo is a British/Chinese novelist, essayist, filmmaker and poet. As one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, Xiaolu has published several novels and short story collections by Random House UK/USA. She has also directed a number of feature films and documentary essays. Her first feature, How Is Your Fish Today, a hybrid of documentary and fiction, was selected at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and received Grand Jury Prize at the International Women’s Film Festival in Pairs. Her second feature She, A Chinese, a homage to Godard’s La Chinoise, received the Golden Leopard Award at Locarno Film Festival. Late At Night: Voices of Ordinary Madness is her most recent essay film, selected for the London Film Festival and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC in 2014.

Please note that non-University of Westminster attendees for any of the following seminars should register with Helena Scott at

Frankfurt Book Fair

Written by on Wednesday, posted in Data Futures, Exhibition (No comments yet)


IMCC’s Data Futures project launches its Merve Electronic Back-Catalogue at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

In collaboration with Berlin publisher Merve Verlag and Hybrid Publishing Consortium, IMCC has re-delivered more than a hundred previously out of print books in three independent electronic formats – book-in-browser, ePub2 and PDF – plus print-on-demand. Initially a research project accessible at using a workflow developed by Data Futures using its freizo software platform, the project is now focusing on reader customization of the texts and internet delivery models.

Data Futures has imported the original books as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) files and created a workflow for contributors in several countries to address OCR errors and to markup structure, such as chapter headings, illustrations, footnotes and citations. freizo then exports html5 which can be processed and re-paginated into multiple formats.

Review of Jameson’s Antinomies of Realism

Written by on Sunday, posted in News (No comments yet)


David Cunningham’s review of Fredric Jameson’s recent The Antinomies of Realism in the latest issue of Radical Philosophy is currently up as a freebie on the RP website.

You can download it here:

Educational Eliminationism and Cultural Colonization seminar, Nov 7th

Written by on Friday, posted in Conference, Event (No comments yet)

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)