OSL/NICA Symposium: Posthuman Futures in Literature and Art

Posthuman Futures in Literature and Art

Online OSL/NICA symposium | 3-4 June 2021

Organizers: Amalia Calderón and José Bernardo Pedroso Couto Soares (UvA)
Credits: 2 EC
Open to: PhD candidates and RMA students; OSL and NICA members have first access.
Deadline for abstract submissions: 15 December 2020.
Notification of acceptance/rejection: 13 January 2021.
Conference program available: 2 February 2021.

Registration will open 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. The organizing committee welcomes proposals on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Ecopoetics & ecofeminism
  • Speculative fiction
  • The science/art divide; fabulation and factuality
  • Posthuman rights
  • Multispecies and entanglement
  • Indigenous studies & reclaiming territories
  • Queer (in)humanities
  • Ecological exile & spatial justice
  • Gaia & systems beyond the Anthropocene
  • Caring as earthly resistance
  • Prosthetic memory
  • Storytelling as decolonial resistance
  • The posthuman artist´s methods
  • Oppressive art & propaganda narratives
  • Pandemic bodies
  • Neurodiversity as emancipation
  • Posthuman consciousness & psychedelics
  • Irrational epistemes of madness, spirituality, nature

We encourage proposals from scholars, artists, scholar-artists and researchers, including emerging and early-career professionals. Proposals can take the form of academic and/or artistic interventions i.e. research presentations, panels, video screenings, performances, installations. While there is a focus on textual work, we welcome research from any practice that actively engages with posthuman art forms. The presentation duration is of max. 10 minutes (plus 5 minutes for q&a) and submissions should include: (i) a title; (ii) a 400-word abstract of the presentation/performance; (iii) a brief biography of the author(s); (iv) duration of presentation; and if necessary, (v) an attachment with an illustrative example of the material (if applicable). These will need to be submitted electronically as a single document to: osl@rug.nl .

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 (deadline Wednesday 30 June 2021).

Organizing committee

  • Amalia Calderón
  • José Bernardo Couto Soares

Advisory Board

  • Alberto Godioli (OSL)
  • Pepitat Hesselberth (NICA)

References

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.