Seminar 70 // 31 May, 1, 2 June 2018 // London


Curatorial/Knowledge Seminar, 30 May - 2 June 2018



Wednesday 30 May 2-6pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, room 307

MRes seminar
Irit Rogoff

For the final seminar of the year I would like to backtrack to two texts we have encountered before and think about the concept of Singularity and the concept of Practice in relation to all the texts we have been reading this year in and around the notion of affect. So below you find the links to the Stengers text and the Nancy text, please do look through them so we can work beyond them in the seminar.

- Nancy, Jean-Luc. Introduction and extract from chapter 1 “Of Being Singular Plural”. Being Singular Plural. Stanford University Press, 2000. pp. xi-xiii + pp. 1-37.
- Stengers, Isabelle. “Introductory Notes on an Ecology of Practices.” Cultural Studies Review, vol. 11, no. 1, Aug. 2013, pp. 183-196. 


Public Lecture: Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi
Professor Stuart Hall Building, room LG01

Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi
How to breathe inside the shitstorm

Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi is a writer and theorist based in Bologna. His work revolves mainly around the aesthetics of the contemporary psychosphere.
Bifo’s latest books include Futurability. The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility (Verso, 2017), and And. Phenomenology of the End (Semiotexte 2015). His forthcoming book is titled Breathing. Chaos and Poetry (Semiotexte, 2018).
In the 1970s Bifo was one of the founders of the pirate radio station Radio Alice, the magazine A/traverso and the political movement Autonomia. He has worked across media such as books, magazines, radio, TV and cinema.

For this Public Lecture, Bifo will deliver a 45 minute talk followed by a 30 minute Q&A on the subject of “How to breathe inside the shitstorm”.
The lecture is hosted by the Mountain of Art Research (MARs), which is based in the Department of Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
All are welcome!



Thursday 31 May 11am-5pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, room 355

11am – 1.30pm Morning session

MRes presentation: Katerina Genidogan
Discussion Chair: Irit Rogoff

Voicing Over Silences
The Invention, Making and Unmaking of Third World: An Apparatus of Development

Starting from the historical shift in the meaning of the term ‘Third World’, I am interested in understanding how specific knowledge systems operate and what sort of frames they presuppose and further create. For that purpose, I would like to problematize the way in which development became in the 20th century as central a concept as civilization was in the 19th century, weaving an interpretive grid through which the postcolonial world became known to us.

Approaching closer the historical post-World War II moment in the United States, I would like to suggest an analysis of development through Foucault’s model of apparatus. In an effort to articulate some of the elements of this apparatus, I would like to look at the Point Four Program (a technical assistance program for ‘underdeveloped areas’) in 1949 Truman’s inaugural address and modernization theory. Examining specifically the case of the Peace Corps program, which translated social theory to policy, I want to show the way in which discourse creates realities by focusing especially on the role of the image and desire.

Countering the economic and social theorists’ rhetoric of ‘traditional society’ being static, stagnant, dormant, I want to propose for this analysis a sonic equivalent and ask how voicing over silences overrides other possibilities.

- Cullather, Nick. “Development? It’s History.” Diplomatic History, vol. 24, no. 4, Oct. 2000, pp. 641–53.

1.30 – 3pm Lunch

3 – 5pm Afternoon session

Franco ‘Bifo' Berardi 
Breathing: Chaos and Poetry

According to Holderlin breathing is the intimate texture of being, and poetry is inspiration, respiration, and expiration tuning in to the vibration of time. The relation between the embodied mind and the surrounding chaos can be described in terms of rhythm: the inmost vibration of cosmos. 



Friday 1 June 11am-5.30pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, room 356

11am – 1.30pm Morning session

MRes presentation: Claudia Tsang
Discussion Chair: Stefan Nowotny

A Pause: Archiving memory after the Umbrella Movement

History and memory are two reciprocal concepts in forming a narrative of the past. With an intention to recuperate from the traumatic memory as well as to pass it on, we collect, document, and archive. But as Walter Benjamin has already told us “there is no document of culture which is not at the same time a document of barbarism”, it is unavoidable for a repression to occur in archiving an activism which is opposing the political regime and losing in despair, such as the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong – its archiving activities have come to a pause. Studying the situation of post-Umbrella Movement, I want to open up a discussion on these concepts of archiving: Why and what should we archive for an activism ended up a futile attempt, where activists ended up in estrangement? How can we go beyond the existing archival framework, in the light of digital age and other creative input, to open up the condition of possibility in the future to come? How can an archive perform our history and memory in a living way?

- Schneider, Rebecca. “Performance Remains.” Performance Research 6, no. 2 (January 1, 2001): 100–108.

1.30 – 2.30pm Lunch

2.30 – 5pm Afternoon session

Summary conversation on the year


Dinner at Irit’s 



Saturday 2 June 12-4pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, room 352

Reading Group led by Miguel Amado

Identity politics has been resurfacing in the West. My explanation for this is that, as capitalism in its neoliberal form spreads worldwide, populism rises in all corners, manifesting in a revival of a quasi-fascist mode of living in which the ‘other’ – bodies, minds, actions, and imaginations culturally different from the norm – is dehumanised, a phenomenon that racism encapsulates. It is this other that populism contests in its drive toward normalisation, and it is in reaction to this trend that identity politics emerges anew in Western countries.

A century ago, the Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci proposed the notion of ‘hegemony’ to explain the domination of the ruling class over the oppressed classes in terms of consciousness (and not exclusively in an economic sense, as traditional Marxist thinking proposed), the repository of which is culture (gender, ethnicity and other subjective elements). Through its hegemony, the ruling class imposes a single worldview, which excludes the other – the ‘subaltern’, as Gramsci called it – who in fact constitute much of the social fabric.

This and other concepts are considered by Stuart Hall in his analysis of Gramsci’s theoretical filiation and developments in the essay ‘Gramsci’s Relevance for the Study of Race and Ethnicity’. While Gramsci did not study racism, his thinking helped Hall to elaborate on contemporary understandings of race and racism, specifically around ‘the colonial experience or imperialism, out of which so many of the characteristic ‘racist’ experiences … in the modern world have developed.’ This discussion seems more relevant than never in the context of the renewal of the connections between identity and politics, in which issues surrounding race and ethnicity are prevalent.

- Stuart Hall, ‘Gramsci’s Relevance for the Study of Race and Ethnicity’, Journal of Communication Inquiry, 1986, 10: 5.



Seminar Dates: 
Wed, 30/05/2018 - 23:00 - Sat, 02/06/2018 - 04:00