News

Online roundtable and workshop: Sinophone creative responses to Covid-19, racism and xenophobia

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Wednesday 21 October 2020, 2:00 – 6:00 pm BTS

Online roundtable and workshop: Sinophone creative responses to Covid-19, racism and xenophobia

Following overwhelming public response to a roundtable on Covid-19 and racism back in March 2020, our friends and colleagues in the Contemporary China Centre at the University of Westminster are following up with another online roundtable and workshop on how different Chinese communities have continued to combat Covid-19 related racism.

All are welcome but registration is required.

For Chinese-speaking communities in the UK and elsewhere, Covid-19 has witnessed a steep rise in racism and xenophobia. Alongside efforts to combat Covid-19 related racism and support those who have experienced discrimination, Chinese-speaking communities have been producing and circulating Chinese-language materials about the virus through various creative means and media, in an attempt to foster new forms of understanding about their respective communities to broader audiences. Building on the overwhelming public response to the previous roundtable on racialised discourses and Covid-19, this workshop is part of a series of events exploring the ways in which different Chinese communities have been responding to Covid-19 and the ensuing wave of racism and xenophobia. Through collaboration with academics, activists, and local communities, the aim is to map out the creative responses emanating from a diverse range of Chinese cultures and build new alliances and networks to fuel resistance, action, and change. What strategies, resources and ideas can be shared for intervening in prevailing Covid-19-fuelled racisms to build towards a more equitable future?

Dr Diana Yeh, Flair Donglai Shi, Sam Phan and Dr Shzr Ee Tan will share their reflections on how the fear and ignorance around Covid-19 have continued to fan pre-existing racisms and expose social faultlines, and the kinds of responses that have sought to resist and challenge such practices. This second half of the event will a workshop led by Dr Denise Kwan in which participants move into breakout groups to explore the themes: Anger/Joy as Resistance; Collective Care; and Political-Hearts.

Note: Those who have registered will be sent a link to Zoom before the event starts.

technē Doctoral Training Partnership studentships

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The University of Westminster (including staff in the IMCC) is one of the nine universities that now make up the AHRC-funded technē Doctoral Training Partnership.

technē supports outstanding students pursuing the ‘craft’ of research through innovative, interdisciplinary and creative approaches across a range of the arts and humanities. For more information on technē and the kinds of projects it funds, please see http://www.techne.ac.uk/

As well as fully-funded financial support, technē offers a developmental framework for doctoral researchers across the collaborating institutions, with research training, supportive community networks, professional and public engagement opportunities and a space for both independent and collaborative scholarship. Studentships include maintenance and fees for three years for a full time student; or six years for a part-time student. International students are eligible to apply for studentships but will be expected to pay the difference between the home and international fee rate themselves (as the studentship will only cover fees at the home rate, plus the stipend).

For an informal discussion about applications in the IMCC’s subject areas, including modern literary studies and visual culture, please contact Dr Helen Glew: h.glew@westminster.ac.uk

The deadline for applications is Thursday 1 December 2020 by 5.00 pm. Interviews will be held in the week commencing 18 January 2021.

Further details, including how to apply, can be found here:
https://www.westminster.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research-degrees/studentships/techne-ahrc-doctoral-training-partnership-studentships-0 

Preserving and Annotating Publishers’ Data, October 16 2020

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October 16 2020, 15:00 – 16:00 CEST

RDA IG-PTTP and Frankfurter BuchMesse #20: Preserving and Annotating Publishers’ Data

Presenters: Peter Cornwell (ENS-Lyon, IMCC, Data Futures), José Gonzalez (CERN), Tom Lamberty (Merve Verlag)

Details on how to register and participate here and here.

The second seminar of this series, co-organized with the Frankfurt Book Fair, addresses digital preservation solutions for the publishing enterprise. Presenting experience from the 2015-2020 open access project of Merve Verlag—winner of the 2020 German Publishers’ Prize—the seminar focusses on delivering the full book content of the publisher catalogue: creation of technology-agnostic digital editions; open access and support of the research community; and strategies for future-proof accessibility and long-term preservation.

The preservation trajectory also addresses digital capture and accessibility for historic information about the publisher, such as author and rights correspondence, launches, events and archives—although this will be addressed in a subsequent event.

Tom Lamberty, managing director of Merve, will present strategies for creating a publishing data resource—from digitization of out-of-print books, as well as conversion of current publications originated digitally using tailored re-delivery workflows, to produce a digital corpus to support conventional print and distribution, print-on-demand and a digital edition which can supply both open reading access and the research community.

Peter Cornwell, research fellow at ENS-Lyon and the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture at the University of Westminster, and director of Data Futures GmbH, addresses development of multi-function online access using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). Automated production of IIIF services from publishers’ digital editions supports not only existing and future electronic reading applications, but also new research platforms generating preservable Web Annotation Data Model collections, which can be output directly to repositories.

José Gonzalez, head of repository technologies at CERN, charts the history as well as current developments surrounding long-term access and preservation technologies for research data in the physical and life sciences. Since the 1960s, increasing data volumes and enormous international research investment has driven continuous preservation efforts focussing on software engineering, and CERN has become a prominent developer and user of reliable data repositories. Its technology now underpins the Zenodo global catch-all repository for research data, and the forthcoming release of InvenioRDM gives new communities such as the publishing sector radical new data distribution and preservation opportunities.

This seminar, which is part of the 20th Frankfurt Book Fair programme, is intended as an introduction to creation and deployment of new data resources from existing publisher data and especially, long term operation and maintenance aspects— to ensure preservation of investment in such activities. Organized jointly with the Preservation Tools, Technologies and Policies (PTTP) Group of the Research Data Alliance, a series of more specific seminars, shaped according to participant feedback is planned in early 2021 as part of RDA’s ongoing program. An update on this seminar will be included in the annual RDA Plenary 16 meeting, November 9th-16th. The second seminar of this series, co-organized with the Frankfurt Book Fair, addresses digital preservation solutions for the publishing enterprise. Presenting experience from the 2015-2020 open access project of Merve Verlag—winner of the 2020 German Publishers’ Prize—these talks proceed from creation of a homogeneous digital corpus, to adoption of APIs for future-proof internet access and platforms for scholarly research, and long-term preservation. The seminar focusses on delivering the full book content of the publisher catalogue—three talks will present this activity.

Details on how to register and participate here and here.

Online Symposium: Photography Beyond the Image, Saturday 28 November

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Saturday 28 November 2020, 9.30am – 1pm

Photography Beyond the Image

Recent years have seen photographic studies move beyond the analysis of the visual product. From a focus on photographs as the privileged points of access for studying photography, thus supporting a predominant understanding of the medium as a representational tool, the field is today embracing a more holistic approach. This has brought photography into a much needed interdisciplinary and intermedial analytical environment, and alerted us to the social, cultural and commercial entanglements that shape and are shaped by photographic practices.

This one-day symposium seeks to examine these intellectual trends by reflecting on their postulates, methodologies and future directions.

Speakers:
Professor Geoffrey Batchen (Oxford)
Dr Geoffrey Belknap (National Science and Media Museum)
Professor Patrizia Di Bello (Birkbeck)
Professor Elizabeth Edwards (Victoria and Albert Museum Research Institute and De Montfort University)
Professor Steve Edwards (Birkbeck)
Professor Michelle Henning (University of Liverpool)
Dr Nicoletta Leonardi (Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan)
Dr Gil Pasternak (De Montfort University)
Dr Annebella Pollen (University of Brighton)
Convened by Dr Sara Dominici (IMCC, University of Westminster)

Individual contributions will be recorded and made available to attendees one week before the event (Saturday November 21). On the day of the event, Saturday November 28, each panel will start with a chaired discussion stemming from the recordings, followed by Q&A.

Full details available here.

The event, which is free, will take place on Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed out to everyone who has reserved a ticket on Saturday 21 November, together with a link to access the pre-recorded contributions. To book your place please click here.

Humanities PhD Studentship for BME Applicants at Westminster

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The University of Westminster has one of the most diverse student bodies in the UK, with a high percentage of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students. Yet BME students remain relatively under-represented at the higher levels of research, with a significantly lower proportion of BME doctoral students. As part of the ongoing effort to ensure equal access to research opportunities within our subject areas, the School of Humanities at Westminster, which houses the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, intends to fund a full studentship for a PhD student starting their studies in January 2021, which will be available to BME applicants only.

The successful candidate will have exceptional research potential in one or more Humanities disciplines: English Language, English Literature, History, Linguistics, Modern Languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish), Translation Studies or Cultural Studies and Visual Culture.

The studentship will be open to students eligible for home fees and consists of a fee waiver and an annual stipend of £17,285 (for 2020/21, raising each year in line with UKRI increases) for three years. This includes London weighting. The studentship will include a comprehensive personal and professional development training and mentoring programme provided through the University of Westminster Graduate School. The researcher will also have the opportunity to join the University’s BME Network.

For queries about any aspect of the application process, or informal enquiries about areas of research, please contact the School of Humanities PhD Co-ordinator, Dr Helen Glew, at h.glew@westminster.ac.uk.

Applications should be submitted by Friday 16 October. Interviews will take place in late October.

Full details on the studentship and how to apply here.

David Cunningham on Kraftwerk in Radical Philosophy

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Kraftwerk

“We are the children of Fritz Lang and Werner von Braun. We are the link between the ‘20s and the ‘80s. All change in society passes through a sympathetic collaboration with tape recorders, synthesisers and telephones. Our reality is an electronic reality.”

David Cunningham, Deputy Director of the IMCC, on Kraftwerk, modernism and the late great Florian Schneider in the latest issue of Radical Philosophy here.

Lecturer in Digital Humanities at University of Westminster

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Lecturer in Digital Humanities

We are looking for an enthusiastic teacher and active researcher who will contribute to the development of digital humanities in the School of Humanities at the University of Westminster in which the IMCC is based.

Teaching will be largely on our MA Museums, Galleries and Contemporary Culture, but the post holder will also be expected to contribute, as appropriate to expertise, to other areas in the School, which hosts undergraduate programmes in English, History and Modern Languages and MA courses ranging from Visual Culture to Translation.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate an active research record supported by publications. They should also have appropriate teaching experience of digital humanities in higher education, with an ability to teach in the broad field of museum studies. Candidates may have or be working towards a PhD in a discipline relevant to the work of the School although this is not essential.

For further information and to apply for this post, please click apply and you will be redirected to our website.

Closing Date: midnight on 9 April 2020

Interviews are likely to be held on: W/C 27 April 2020

Administrative contact (for queries only): Recruitment@westminster.ac.uk

Please note:  The University is unable to accept applications by email. All applications must be made online. CV’s in isolation or incomplete application forms will not be accepted.

Further details here.

Gothic Sounds of the 1790s seminar with Emma McEvoy, Feb 19th 2020

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Wednesday 19th February, 5.00-7.00 pm
UG04, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Gothic Sounds of the 1790s
Emma McEvoy (University of Westminster) 

Gothic novels of the 1790s tend to be noisy affairs, filled with references to sounds and music. They are punctuated by echoing footsteps, thunder and distant screams. Heroines play the lyre and harp, monks chant, peasants pipe and dance, heroes might even serenade (though this turns out to be a morally suspect practice). This unprecedented attention to sound stems from the Gothic novel’s close relationship to theatre. In this paper, Emma McEvoy will argue that we need to learn to hear the Gothic novels of the 1790s. She will look at the part played by music and sound in a number of works of the period and identify the influential, but contrasting, approaches to sound in the novels of Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis. Whereas Radcliffe constructs something that might be said to resemble a soundscape, Lewis’s novel structures itself through a soundtrack. Finally, in an attempt to recover the lost aural dimension of these texts, Emma will bring along excerpts from the Gothic musical theatre of the period to listen to. Expect to hear works by Thomas Busby, Lewis’s collaborator, the Irish tenor Michael Kelly, and Lewis himself.

Emma McEvoy is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Westminster. She is author of Gothic Tourism (Palgrave 2015) and co-editor (with Catherine Spooner) of the Routledge Companion to Gothic (2007). She also wrote the introduction and notes for the Oxford World Classics edition of Matthew Lewis’s The Monk.

All welcome, but guests from outside Westminster should RSVP Frankie Hines: frankie.hines@my.westminster.ac.uk OR Baptiste Danel: baptiste.danel@my.westminster.ac.uk

Sink Without Trace at the Westminster Difference Festival

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Thursday 27 February 2020, 18.00 – 20.00 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Sink Without Trace: Investigating the Truth about Migrant Deaths at Sea

Part of the University of Westminster’s annual Difference Festival, this roundtable discussion will consider the misreporting of the deaths that have been occurring amongst migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe by media and governments, the widespread use of misleading statistics and the lack of regulation relating to the recovery and identification of migrant’s bodies. This will be the first in a series of discussions aimed at creating a document of agreed truths on the subject of migrant deaths at sea. Leading experts from NGO’s, media organisations and government bodies will be invited to investigate the myths surrounding the subject and to discuss possible solutions.

Speakers include, Marchu Girma (Women for Refugee Women), Laura Padoan (External Relations Officer, UNHCR), Lorenzo Pezzani (Forensic Oceanography, Goldsmiths), Maurice Stierl (Watch the Med, Alarm Phone and University of Warwick), Daniel Trilling (Journalist, The Guardian).

The event will be followed by a drinks reception. Book your free tickets here.

How gays almost became French: Republican homophobia, queer banalisation, and the limits of sexual nationalism seminar, Thursday 13 February 2020

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Thursday 13th February 2020, 5.30-7.00 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

How gays almost became French: Republican homophobia, queer banalisation, and the limits of sexual nationalism
Sébastien Chauvin (University of Lausanne)

Sébastien Chauvin is an associate professor at the Social Sciences Institute (ISS) of the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), where he is also the co-director of the Centre for Gender Studies (CEG). He previously taught at the University of Amsterdam, Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne University and the University of Chicago. His many publications include (with Arnaud Lerch) Sociology of Homosexuality, and, in English, contributions to Public Culture and Work, Employment and Society.

Part of the series French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’, co-organised by the IMCC in collaboration with our friends in the Centre for the Study of Democracy, and with the support of the French Embassy and the Political Studies Association.

Free to attend, but booking via eventbrite is essential.

Fundubbing: From Traditions to Convergence Culture seminar, Feb 13th 2020

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Thursday 13 February 2020, 5.00-6.00 pm
Room 501, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Fundubbing: From Traditions to Convergence Culture
Dr Rocio Banos Pinero (UCL)

Organised by our colleagues in Modern Languages, the aim of this presentation is to delve into the phenomenon of fundubbing by investigating its origins and situating it in its current context. Fundubbing is here understood as the practice of replacing the original dialogue track of an audiovisual text with another track containing a mostly new script created with humoristic purposes. Although this practice is often associated with online media and current technical developments, this paper will show fundubbing as an old innovation, used in the past to entertain audiences, but also as a form of subversion and a political act. The goal is thus to provide an overview of this cultural phenomenon, from its origins in the 1930s and 1940s, often involving the dubbing of relinquished audiovisual texts (e.g. silent movies or audiovisual material produced within cultures afar), to the current times, where virtually any user with basic technical knowledge can manipulate audiovisual content (adding subtitles or an audio track, for instance) and upload it online to be shared with the rest of the world. By doing so, this paper reflects on how dubbing has been used as a site of experimentation and innovation, as well as an ideological tool, across time and space, from traditions to convergence culture.

Chaired by Lindsay Bywood

Homes and Homelessness in NYC Poetry seminar, February 5th 2020

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Wednesday 5th February, 5.00-7.00 pm
UG04, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

‘A fragile system, easy to subvert’: Homes and Homelessness in NYC Poetry
Rona Cran (University of Birmingham) 

This talk emerges from research into how poets dwell creatively in new York, into how they dwell politically, and into what is means to dwell queerly, to offer alternative modes of being/dwelling/thinking in New York, alternative models of private space, and, beyond that, alternative models of the history of New York. Laurent Berlant and Elizabeth Freeman, in Michael Warner’s Fear of a Queer Planet, reveal the ways in which AIDS activist art collective Gran Fury ‘transform[ed] the passive public space of New York into a zone of political pedagogy’. Following them, this talk will explore the presentation of housing, homes and homelessness in the poetry of four queer New York poets – Langston Hughes, James Schuyler, Audre Lorde and Eileen Myles – in order to think about the ways in which they transform the city’s private spaces into similar zones of political pedagogy, reframing the idea of home and of what it means to be rooted, un-rooted and sometimes uprooted.

Rona Cran is Lecturer in Twentieth-Century American Literature and Co-Director of the American and Canadian Studies Centre at the University of Birmingham. Her first book was entitled Collage in Twentieth-Century Art, Literature, and Culture: Joseph Cornell, William Burroughs, Frank O’Hara, and Bob Dylan (Ashgate, 2014), exploring the influence of Europe’s artist-émigrés on New York City culture from 1912 onwards. She is currently writing her second monograph, Multiple Voices: New York City Poetry, 1950-1995, which combines close reading, creative writing and archival research to explore the relationship between poetry and the urban, political and social changes that the city underwent during this time, arguing that socially-situated poetry offers particular sites of resistance.

All welcome, but guests from outside Westminster should RSVP Frankie Hines: frankie.hines@my.westminster.ac.uk OR Baptiste Danel: baptiste.danel@my.westminster.ac.uk

On the Cunning of National Reason: French Postcolonial Disputes over Race, Gender and Equality seminar, January 30th 2020

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Thursday 30 January 2020, 5.30 – 7.00 pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

On the Cunning of National Reason: French Postcolonial Dispute over Race, Gender and Equality
Silyane Larcher (CNRS/IRIS)

Silyane Larcher was born and educated in Martinique. She is a tenured Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in political sciences and works on the history of citizenship in the French Atlantic (post)colonial context, with a particular interest in the tensions between race, gender, and universalism.  She is the author of The Other Citizen: The French Republican Ideal and the West Indies after Slavery [French title: L’autre citoyen. L’idéal républicain et les Antilles après l’esclavage, 2014] and co-edited, with F. Germain , Black French Women and the Struggle for Equality, 1848-2016 (2018). Her next book will be about the historical and sociopolitical conditions of contemporary Afrofeminism in contemporary continental France.

Part of the series French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’, co-organised by the IMCC in collaboration with our friends in the Centre for the Study of Democracy, and with the support of the French Embassy and the Political Studies Association.

Free to attend, but booking via eventbrite is essential.

Environmental Racism in the US at the British Academy, Thursday 6th February

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Thursday 6th February 2020, 18.30 – 19.45
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

Environmental Racism in the United States

Environmental racism is on the rise in the United States, with minority and impoverished communities much more likely to live near polluters and breathe polluted air. In this event, the IMCC’s own Lucy Bond and Jessica Rapson (Cultural and Creative Industries, KCL) will draw on their recent research to highlight how the tourist and heritage industry in the American Gulf States (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) is helping to conceal environmental racism as well as being complicit in the air and water pollution crisis that is blighting predominantly African American neighbourhoods.

Booking required
£5, £3 concessions

This event is part of the British Academy’s season on Sustainable Futures 

Lorna Piatti-Farnell on ‘Evil, Reborn: Remaking Disney Villains and the Gothic Intertext’, Weds 11th December 2019

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Wednesday 11th December, 5.00-7.00 pm
Room 152-153 (Cayley Room), University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Evil, Reborn: Remaking Disney Villains and the Gothic Intertext
Lorna Piatti-Farnell (Auckland University of Technology) 

In an age when the film industry has given us a prolific stream of remakes, sequels, prequels and other creative off-shoots, it is not surprising to see Disney jump enthusiastically on the retelling bandwagon. Disney has recently developed their own distinctive form of ‘re-make’: the live-action re-make. Within this, Disney villains have often taken central stage. Aesthetically, the roots of Disney’s villains can be traced through fairy tales, Gothic literature and horror. The twenty-first century, however, has added a layer of complication. Narratives of redemption are constantly associated with well-known villains, often changing or reshuffling both physical and perceived moral characteristics that were once seen to be untouchable. In the contemporary era, animated Disney villains cannot be considered as singular entities, but must be perceived as intertextual figures that are continuously remade and reborn across narrative and media spectrums.

Lorna Piatti-Farnell is Director of the Popular Culture Research Centre at AUT. Her many books include Consuming Gothic: Food and Horror in Film (Palgrave 2017) and The Vampire in Contemporary Popular Literature (Routledge 2014).

All welcome, but guests from outside Westminster should RSVP Frankie Hines: frankie.hines@my.westminster.ac.uk OR Baptiste Danel: baptiste.danel@my.westminster.ac.uk

CANCELLED: Fabien Jobard, “Liberal, Authoritarian, or Police State? Defining the French State According to its Police” seminar, Weds 4th December 2019

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Due to a major strike in France, including on the French railways, we are sorry to have to cancel tonight’s event with Fabien Jobard. We will try to reschedule this session of the seminar series “French Politics: A Neighbour’s History of the Present” next year. Apologies for any inconvenience. 

Wednesday 4 December 2019, 6.00 – 7.30 pm
The Boardroom, first floor, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Liberal, Authoritarian, or Police State? Defining the French State According to its Police
Fabien Jobard (CNRS / Centre for Sociological Research on Law and Penal Institutions)

Fabien Jobard specialises in matters concerning the police in France and Germany. He is a research director at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and at the Centre for Sociological Research on Law and Penal Institutions (CESDIP). He also is a visiting professor at Louvain Global College of Law. He recently published “Transformation of State’s Use of Force in Europe” in Desmond King & Patrick Le Galès (ed.), Reconfiguring European States in Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2017) and, with Daniel Schönpflug, Politische Gewalt im urbanen Raum (De Gruyter, 2019). Fabien Jobard is also the co-author, with Dave Waddington and Mike King, of the book Rioting in the UK and France (Willan, 2009).

Part of the series French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’, co-organised by the IMCC in collaboration with our friends in the Centre for the Study of Democracy, and with the support of the French Embassy and the Political Studies Association.

Free to attend, but booking via eventbrite is essential.

Processing Memory: Plantation Pasts and Petrochemical Futures on America’s Gulf Coast seminar, Weds 27th November 2019

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Wednesday 27th November, 5.00-7.00 pm
Room 152-153 (Cayley Room), University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Processing Memory: Plantation Pasts and Petrochemical Futures on America’s Gulf Coast
Lucy Bond (IMCC, Westminster) and Jessica Rapson (King’s College London)

Historically America’s premier region for the production of sugar and cotton, the Gulf of Mexico is now dominated by the oil industry. Many of the African-American communities in this region are descendants of workers who were enslaved on plantations and exploited as sharecroppers during the Jim Crow era. Today, structural racism continues to dominate life and, frequently, determine premature death in this area, as petrochemical manufacturers displace communities, pollute air and water, and destroy the wetlands that protect the coastline from hurricanes and flooding. Drawing on our recent fieldwork and interviews with environmental activists, heritage entrepreneurs and legal practitioners, this paper interrogates the historical imaginaries that have framed Louisiana’s transition from plantation to petrochemical economy. The paper explores the oil industry’s impact on heritage and tourist narratives in a cross-section of Louisiana, which stretches from Morgan City to Garyville, highlighting practices that challenge the petrochemical industry’s toxic and violent domination of the Gulf Coast.

All welcome, but guests from outside Westminster should RSVP Frankie Hines: frankie.hines@my.westminster.ac.uk OR Baptiste Danel: baptiste.danel@my.westminster.ac.uk

Ninon Grangé, The State and the Exception: Existence, Fiction, and Reality, November 14 2019

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Thursday 14 October 2019, 5.30 – 7.00 pm
Room UG05, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

The State and the Exception: Existence, Fiction, and Reality
Ninon Grangé (University Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis/LLCP)

The recent evolution of the state of emergency in France and the confusion between war on terrorism and social repression have required that we define the state of exception anew. The structure of the so-called “as if” (“as if we were at war”) seems to have pervaded our representations and our laws. Thus, the traditional challenges faced by the state (État), i.e. its preservation and the risk to collapse, have to be made more complex. The reality of the state should not be mistaken with its existence: it relies on a dialectical relation between power and powerlessness, on the one hand, and on belief and imagination, on the other hand. Through the study of contemporary French politics, the issue of political fictionalism will therefore be tackled.

Ninon Grangé teaches political philosophy at the University Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis and at the New College of Political Studies (NCEP). Her research focuses on war, political fictions, political identity, and political temporalities. Her publications include Emergency and Terror: The State of Exception, War, and Political Temporalities [French title: L’urgence et l’effroi. L’état d’exception, la guerre et les temps politiques, 2018], Forgetting Civil War? Stasis: Chronicle of a Disappearance [Oublier la guerre civile ? Stasis : chronique d’une disparition, 2015]; Carl Schmitt: Nomos, Law, and Conflict in International Relations [Carl Schmitt: nomos, droit et conflit dans les relations internationale, 2013]; and Of Civil War [De la guerre civile, 2009].

Part of the series French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’, co-organised by the IMCC in collaboration with our friends in the Centre for the Study of Democracy, and with the support of the French Embassy and the Political Studies Association.

Free to attend, but booking via eventbrite is essential.