OSL/NICA Symposium ‘Posthuman Futures in Literature and Art’: Preliminary Programme

Posthuman Futures in Literature and Art

Online | Thursday 3 June (10:00-15:30) and Friday 4 June 2021 (10:00-16:00)

Organizers: Amalia Calderón and José Bernardo Pedroso Couto Soares (UvA)

Open to: PhD candidates and RMA students; OSL and NICA members have first access.

Credits: 2 ECs can be obtained either by presenting a paper/performance or by submitting a critical reflection on two chosen panels after the event (more details will be provided soon to all registered participants). NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Registration opened February 3, 2021


Within late capitalism, developments in the natural sciences, digital information technologies, and the study of ecological systems have altered the shared understanding of the basic unit of reference for the human. Critical posthumanism (Braidotti, 2016) works as an analytical tool that allows one to expose restrictive structures of dominant subject-formations as well as expressing alternative representations of subjectivity. This posthumanist agenda intersects with New Materialism (van der Tuin, 2012), building a discursive and material production of reality. Knowledge production is understood as situated and embodied visions (Haraway, 1988). Materialist feminism, with the speculative turn (van der Tuin, et al. 2015), develops analytical tools to think beyond the limit of human perception, refusing to make a separation from (non)human subjecthood.

The emergence of divergent epistemic processes have opened the spectrum of scrutiny to other disciplines, such as spiritual (Griffin, 1978), embodied (Alaimo, 2016) and artistic research (Cotter, 2017). From Kae Tempest’s feminist ecopoetics to the corporeality of  Yoko Ono’s world-making narratives, artistic methodologies are challenging the normative structures of present ontologies. Instead, art is presented as a planetary necessity and method for survival (Haraway, 2016); artistic processes reclaim spaces of contested heritage (Skawennati, 2016) and further reformulate themselves as a disruptive force beyond hierarchical epistemology. They envision a future wherein humanity has reformulated its own ontology in relation to the living, breathing world it coexists with; and whose power is gathered through alternative knowledge methods in the pursuance of a radical reality.

This symposium is co-sponsored by the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL) and the Netherlands Institute for Critical Analysis (NICA); it reflects a shared wish to increase hybridity between artists and scholars, in order to create spaces for affirmative ethics (Braidotti, 2017) and “thinking with” (de la Bellacasa, 2012) alternative onto-epistemologies. The interdisciplinary framework of this event intends to foment collaboration between artists, scholars and researchers, with the purpose to explore and reflect on the advancement in artistic research and literary studies in questions of the posthuman.


Preliminary Programme:*

(* More details on the introductory lecture and the roundtable with invited speakers will follow soon)


Day I: Thursday 3 June 2021

10:00-11:00 Welcome & introductory lecture  

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:15 Panel 1: Not Human at All? (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Jori Snels, ‘An Analysis of Lu Yang’s The Great Adventure of Material World
  • Pedro Manuel, ‘Theater Without Actors: Shapeshifting Actants’
  • Julia Visser: ‘Fictioning extended sensory systems in the meditative practice of 0rphan-Drift’ 

12:15-13:15 Lunch

13:15-14:15 Panel 2: Locating Crip Worldings (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Nina Spa, ‘Perceiving otherwise: Art as a lure towards thinking and living the “more-than”‘ 
  • Sonakshi Srivastava, ‘Res(crip)ting the Gaze: An Enquiry into the Posthuman Disability Aesthethics of “Animal’s People”‘
  • Lonneke van Kampen, ‘Employing Glitchspeak: Glitch Theories for a Crip Anthropocene’

14:15-14:30 Coffee break

14:30-15:30 Panel 3: Composting Bodies (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Karen van Minnen, ‘Post-Human: A Terrific Neoliberal Prosthetic’ 
  • Ren Ewart, ‘Work with the Hands: Mending and Repair in late 20th century art’
  • Rosa Marie Mulder, ‘Fermenting Posthuman Futures’


Day II: Friday 4 June 2021

10:00-11:00 Panel 4: Tech Language Wetware (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Emilio A. Aguilar, ‘Creativity or Paranoia? Machine (mis)Translation in the Interlingual Ecology’
  • Nuno Atalaia, ‘Resonant Memories: Voice and the Synthetic Wounding of History’
  • Bethany Crawford, ‘The evolutionary concrescence of Bethany Crawford’  

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:15 Panel 5: Queer Critters (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Ohad Ben Shimon, ‘Animal’
  • Emily Shin-Jie Lee & Sheng-Wen Lo,Becoming-Animals through Sheng-Wen Lo’s Artistic Research and Practices’
  • Gordon Meade, ‘Zoospeak’

12:15-13:15 Lunch

13:15-14:15 Panel 6: Entangled Becomings (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Natalia Anna Michna, ‘Being in the More-Than-Human World: Posthumanist Imagination of Olga Tokarczuk and Patricia Piccinini’
  • Jilt Jorritsma, ‘A View From a Distance: Transcending the (Non)Human in Posthuman Futures’
  • Aldo Kempen, ‘Diffractive Multi-Media Encounters: Reading Karen Barad´s diffractively through film’

14:15-14:30 Coffee break

14:30-16:00 Roundtable (with invited speakers) and conclusion 



Alaimo (2016) “Nature”, pp. 530 – 550 in Disch, L., & Hawkesworth, M. (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory. In The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.

Braidotti, R. (2017) Posthuman Critical Theory. Journal of Posthuman Studies. Vol. 1, No. 1. pp. 9-25. Penn State University Press

Braidotti, R. (2017). Generative Futures: On Affirmative Ethics. Critical and Clinical Posthumanities: Architecture, Robotics, Medicine, Philosophy. pp.288-308. Edinburgh University Press

Cotter, L. (2017). Reclaiming Artistic Research – First Thoughts. MaHKUscript. Journal of Fine Art Research, 2(1), 1–. https://doi.org/10.5334/mjfar.30

Griffin, S. (1978). Woman and nature : the roaring inside her. Harper and Row

Haraway, D. (1988). Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. Feminist Studies 14 (3):575-599.

Åsberg, Cecilia & Thiele, Kathrin & Tuin, Iris. (2015). Speculative Before the Turn: Reintroducing Feminist Materialist Performativity. Cultural Studies Review. 21. 145. 10.5130/csr.v21i2.4324.

de la Bellacasa, M. P. (2012). ‘Nothing Comes Without Its World’: Thinking with Care. The Sociological Review, 60(2), 197–216. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.2012.02070.x

Skawennati, 2016. She Falls for Ages. Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace. Montreal: Obx Labs. Watch film (21 min.) http://www.skawennati.com/SheFallsForAges/

Terranova, Fabrizio and Haraway, Donna. 2016. Donna Haraway: Storytelling for Earthly Survival. https://earthlysurvival.org/

Van der Tuin, I., Dolphijn, R. (2012) New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies. Michigan: Open Humanities Press.