April 5, 2017 – Matthew Fuller, “In Praise of Plasticity”

Plasticity, in neurology, is the ability to adapt, change, grow and find new forms at multiple scalar levels whilst retaining, rerouting or developing function. Professor Fuller examines the notion of plasticity as it is articulated by cybernetics, machine learning, and anarchism. Matthew Fuller is Professor of Cultural Studies and Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies […]

April 12, 2017 – Ewa Domanska, “Unbecoming Human: Necrotic Metamorphosis”

Necrotic metamorphosis is the biological transformation of the body after death. Humus, trees containing chemical elements drawn from human bodies, diamonds, and vestiges, all constitute figurations of the post-human. Professor Domanska describes manifestations of natural and technical metamorphosis, anticipating the future emergence of various new species. Ewa Domanska is Professor of History at Adam Mickiewicz University, […]

April 19, 2017 – Zac Zimmer, “Conquest, Contact, and Cosmovision: SF Rewritings of the Conquest of the Americas”

Zac Zimmer’s current project reads original narratives of the conquest of the Americas and the philosophical debates it engendered with and against recent aesthetic attempts to reimagine that historical moment in marginal genres, especially alternative history and first contact science fiction, creating a point of contact between the contemporary world and the hemispheric American colonial […]

April 26, 2017 – Eric Porter, ““The Future Appears Both Bleak and Promising”: The Politics of Jet Noise Around SFO

This talk is drawn from Professor Porter’s current book project examining the history of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and various social and political phenomena associated with it as a means of better understanding the core San Francisco Bay Area as a physical, social, and imagined urban space. Eric Porter is Professor of History, History […]

May 3, 2017 – Chris Connery, ” Contemporary Chinese Capitalism and Its Critical Landscape”

This talk draws on a work in progress entitled Revolutionary China and its Late Capitalist Fate, an analysis of the nature of post-reform China’s political economy, with particular attention to how this has affected everyday life, intellectual and critical work, ideological formation, cultural production, social movements, political action, and social space. Chris Connery is Professor of […]

May 10, 2017 – Debborah Battaglia, “Roots in Air: People/Plants/Ethics in Suspension”

Out of the urban ruins and food deprivation of World War II came the prototype for growing plants aeroponically. Aeroponics has since taken surprising turns as a technology for anthropocenic conditions – in Global South laboratories; “vertical gardens”; art installations; plant biology experiments for colonizing the cosmos. In its wake, questions open concerning the ethics […]

May 17, 2017 – Martin Devecka, “Socratic Economics”

Martin Devecka is in the early stages of a research project on leisure and labor in fourth-century Athens.  His work explores the processes through which competing claims to leisure and to the labor of others led to the privileging of politics as a way of thinking about collective action. Martin Devecka is Assistant Professor of […]

May 24, 2017 – Johan Matthew, “Smoke on the Water: Hashish Smuggling and Imperial Surveillance between Asia and the Middle East”

Johan Mathew’s current project, Opiates of the Masses: Labor, Narcotics, and Global Capitalism, explores the history of narcotics in order to interrogate the concepts of “consumer demand” and “rational choice” in market exchange, focusing on the consumption of narcotics by workers in Asia and Africa to alleviate the stresses of labor under capitalism. Johan Matthew […]

May 31, 2017 – Shahzad Bashir, “Islamic Pasts and Futures: Conceptual Issues”

This talk emerges from Professor Bashir’s current project, Islamic Pasts and Futures: Conceptual Explorations, a critique of the conceptualization of Islamic history in modern scholarship. Bashir suggests alternatives emphasizing multiple temporalities and engaging contemporary academic debates regarding language, historiography, and history on the basis of materials of Islamic provenance. Shahzad Bashir is professor in Islamic […]

January 18, 2017 – Susan Buck-Morss, “History as Translation”

January 18, 2017 – Susan Buck-Morss, “History as Translation”

Susan Buck-Morss’s current project, Year 1, dives into recent research on the first century in order to topple various conceptual givens that have shaped modernity as an episteme (and led us into some unhelpful post-modern impasses), and argues there is no way forward without retracing our steps and charting another course (while discovering surprising fellow-travellers along […]