Matters of Life and Death symposium

Dear all,

The next kitchen meeting will be the ‘Matters of Life and Death’ symposium, organised by Endre Dányi, Martina Kolanoski and Thomas Scheffer. The event will take place on 3 and 4 July 2018, in the university’s guest house (Fraunlobstr. 1), and include Sven Opitz, Alain Pottage and Lucy Suchman among other STS scholars.

Please find a short description of the symposium below. If you wish to attend, please drop Endre a line.

We are witnessing a renewed urgency of dealing with ‘existential problems’ – problems that are reducible neither to ‘ordinary problems’ modern institutions were developed to handle, nor to ‘crises’ that signal extraordinary failures of those institutions. The first tenet of this symposium is that existential problems, such as climate change, are matters of life and death: they challenge ways of life, but they do so in a distributed manner. In this sense, they are both ordinary and extraordinary, potentially anti-democratic, urgent, collectivist, globally interwoven, inter-dependent and recursive. As such, they call for totalizing societal mobilizations and, by doing so, tend to weaken functional differentiation and institutional divisions of labour. In the symposium, we engage with existential challenges in a problem-focused and practice-oriented manner.

More specifically, we examine how – depending on our theoretical vocabularies – collectives, social systems, members, institutions, and state apparatuses perform, frame, deny, and scale up/down existential problems. In other words, how life and death come to matter and are being appropriated. The second tenet is that law and legal modes of doing play a central role in such problem-solution-combinations. They do so, for instance, by offering a horizon for possible solutions, as liberal scholars have suggested, or by constraining (causes of) problem-solving capacities, like Marxist, feminist and anarchist thinkers have proposed.

In light of existential problems, we ask how legislation or law enforcement restrict or prescribe problem-solving efforts. The symposium will take place on 3-4 July 2018 at the Westend Campus and the Goethe University’s Guesthouse (Fraunlobstraße 1, about a 15 minute walk from the Westend Campus).

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Elements of a Sociology of Digital Economic Geographies

Co-organised by the Human Geography and the Cultural Anthropology departments, the next kitchen session will be centred around Koray Çalışkan’s visit to Frankfurt on the 18th and the 19th June. Please find below a detailed description of the programme.

***

The Elements of a Sociology of Digital Economic Geographies

Monday, June, 18th 2018, 18:00
Seminarhaus SH 0.109

The lecture is part of the new MA STS and jointly organized by the Institut für Kulturanthropologie und Europäische Ethnologie and the Institut für Humangeographie.

Koray Çalışkan is associate professor of politics at Bogazici University. He received his Ph.D. with distinction from New York University with which he won the Malcolm Kerr Social Science Award from MESA. His book Market Threads came out from Princeton University Press and focused on markets in Egypt, Turkey and the US. Currently he works on wind energy markets and political regimes.

On Tuesday, June 19th, 10 -12 am, PEG 2.G202 (Besprechungsraum des Instituts für Humangeographie), there will be an opportunity to continue our discussion with Koray on 1) marketization 2) ethnographies of global stuff and 3) political transformation in Turkey.

***

The Elements of a Sociology of Digital Economic Geographies

Koray Çalışkan 

This paper aims at describing the universe of new economic geographies, built by blockchains and funded via digital monies such as Bitcoin. Following the 2008 Crisis and in part as a result of it, trust in conventional banking has plummeted to a new low.  In response to this development, economic actors have begun to pursue new initiatives, often bypassing the state and banks. Since 2008 and for the first time in history, people are issuing their own digital money with the help of blockchain technology, and without a central authority. Companies and a few communities had previously experimented with their own monies, yet none of them had 1) found a way to do this with no central authority, 2) managed to address issues of trust conclusively, at least in theory. Blockchain technology seems to be successful on both fronts. This paper analyses new markets of ICOs in critical conversation with recent developments in social research on non-digital market geographies. It shows that new digital markets of ICOs require social theory to go beyond analogical thinking and imagine new concepts to represent a novel relationship of exchange, production, valuation, redistribution, and representation.

 

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Doing politics in meeting talk and text

The next guest of the STS kitchen will be Richard Freeman from Edinburgh, who at 18:00 on the 17th May will give a lecture on doing politics in meeting talk and text. The lecture will be held in the Normative Orders building – please register in advance by sending an email to Linda Monsees (monsees-at-normativeorders.net).

On the 18th May Richard will also participate in a workshop, which will take place on the 5th floor of the Normative Orders building, starting at 10:00 and end around 12:30 -13:00. Again, please drop a line to Linda, if you wish to participate.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Interspecies Relations in Industrial Ruins

Our next meeting will take place on the 26th April, in the soc. kitchen area (PEG 3G 202) between 18:00 and 20:00.

This time, we will look at a very fresh article by Elaine Gan, Anna Tsing and Daniel Sullivan. Elaine is an artist and scientist, who has done wonderful multispecies work on rice. She has also recently co-edited a book titled Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet. No doubt, Elaine and her colleagues’ article will be an interesting read, and also give us a chance to discuss the Haraway documentary.

Looking forward to seeing many of you next week!

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Storytelling for earthly survival

This week is our last session this term: we’ll meet at 18:00 on the 8th February to watch a recent documentary on Donna Haraway titled ‘Storytelling for earthly survival‘. You can watch the trailer here, if you wish:

The plan is that we watch the film in the kitchen and then have a discussion (please note, that this time the session might run a bit longer than usual).

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The politics of the anthropocene

As you know, next week we’ll have two exciting events with Andrew Barry: on the 18th January he’ll deliver the inaugurating lecture of the new STS masters programme, followed by a roundtable discussion on STS and interdisciplinarity (18:00-22:00 in HZ15).

On the 19th January, between 10:00 and 12:00, we’ll then have a kitchen STS session in Café Caramel (Oeder Weg 95). Andrew has suggested that we read a recent dialogue between him and Mark Maslin on the politics of the anthropocene.

Looking forward to seeing many of you next week!

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Prototyping

The next meeting will be held on the 7th December, between 18:00 and 20:00 in the soc. kitchen area (PEG 3G 204). Following up on our discussion in October, and to some extent Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s talk in November, we’ll read a text by Alberto Corsín Jiménez on prototyping – many thanks, Markus, for the suggestion.

You can download the text from here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17530350.2013.858059

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Against the ontological exceptional position of ‘our species’

As many of you already know, next week Eduardo Viveiros de Castro will be in Frankfurt. He’ll deliver this year’s Kantorowicz lecture on Wednesday the 15th November; on Thursday the 16th November he’ll participate in a discussion in Mousonturm; and on Friday the 17th November an exhibition of his photographs will open at the Weltkulturen Museum.

Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s works – especially his paper on perspectivism – have been widely discussed in STS, so it’s more than justified to dedicate next week’s kitchen session to him and his oeuvre. Hope to see many of you at the Wednesday lecture and the Thursday discussion.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Economies, Governance, Life

The title of this post is the name of a new STS masters programme in Frankfurt, ran jointly by the cultural anthropology department, the human geography department, and the department of sociology (http://www.uni-frankfurt.de/66719699?).

Our first meeting, together with some of the new masters students, will take place on the 19th October, between 18:00 and 20:00 in the soc. kitchen area (PEG 3G 204).

Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Taking different worlds seriously

Our special guest this week will be Andy Pickering, with whom we will continue our ongoing conversation about the analytical and political implications of holding different worlds together. We’ll meet at 6pm on the 4th July, in the soc. kitchen area (PEG 3G 204) to discuss one of Andy’s recent papers on the ontological turn. (Do let Endre know if you can’t access the PDF.)

See many of you soon!

Posted in General | Leave a comment