Dr. Tara Mehrabi’s Talk at KTH Royal Insitute of Technology Stockholm (6th November)

The Posthumanities Hub has a great pleasure to welcome to KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm our guest, Dr. Tara Mehrabi (University of Turku, FI/Karlstad University, SE).

On 6th November Dr. Mehrabi gives a talk on “Queer Ecologies of Death” at KTH.

OBS!!! The event takes place in the seminar room at Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH Royal Insitute of Technology in Stockholm (address: Teknikringen 74 D, 5th floor).

It is open to the public and free of charge.

Queer Ecologies of Death

Abstract:
In this paper I explore the human-fly relation within the context of laboratory sciences. I rely on my ethnographic material collected from one year of participatory observation in an Alzheimer’s laboratory in Sweden in which scientists work with Drosophila Melanogaster, commonly known as fruit flies. Drawing on new materialism, posthuman theories and queer theories I explore queer ecologies of death. In other words, I explore how flies bodies as waste crosses the boundaries of natural/artificial, inside/outside, nature/laboratory, safe/hazardous and life/death. I argue that thinking with queer ecologies of death suggests understanding of nature, agency, non/human, and intimacy in ways that goes beyond the limits of human exceptionalism and hierarchical binary logic.

Bio:
Tara Mehrabi, PhD, is a Postdoc at the Unit of Gender Studies, University of Turku (Finland) and Lecturer at the Centre for Gender Studies, Karlstad University (Sweden). She is a feminist technoscience studies scholar who is interested in the intersection of gender studies, medical humanities and environmental humanities. Her doctoral dissertation, Making Death Matter (2016), is an ethnographic study of Alzheimer’s sciences in a Drosophila lab from a feminist materialism perspective. She is a founding member of Queer Death Studies Network. Website: https://taramehrabi.wordpress.com/.

Re-launch of The Posthumanities Hub at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 28th May 2018!

Meet the Posthumanities Hub programme image

Welcome to the official re-launch of The Posthumanities Hub that takes place on 28th May 2018 at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden!

For a pdf version of the programme, see here.

Meet the Posthumanities Hub! The program of this day represents a smorgasbord of the many projects and activities – and of course some of the collaborating scholars – working together within The Posthumanities Hub.

Programme

Part I. Venue: Salongen, KTHB.

10.15-12.00 “Practicing posthumanities” – introductory lecture with Prof. Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths University of London, UK and, The Posthumanities International Network. Commentary: Renée Valiquette, PhD, Nipissing University, Canada.

Welcome with Cecilia Åsberg, prof of Gender, nature, culture LiU, Founding Director The Posthumanities Hub (PH), and KTH Guest Prof of Science and technology studies of Gender and Environment, and VR-postdoc Marietta Radomska, Co-Director of The PH.

Part II. Venue: Seminar room, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH.

13.15-13.30 Welcome with the Posthumanities Hub, a community of scholars now also at KTH, by Cecilia Åsberg, Prof and Founding Director, and Marietta Radomska, PhD, Co-Director of The PH and VR-postdoc. Welcome words by Sabine Höhler, PhD Head of Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment – host of the PH.
13.30-13.35 “Deep Time and Intragenerational Justice” by Christina Fredengren, PhD, Docent Archeology (SU), Research Director at National Historical Museums.
13.35-13.45 “Prion Stories”, and “Tears for Fish” by Justin Makii and Vera Weetzel, PhD-students.
13.45-13.50 “Flock Frequency” by artist Janna Holmquist, PhD.

13.50-13.55 “A Feminist Feeling for the Forest” by Olga Cielemęcka, PhD, The Seed Box Postdoc.
13.55-14.00 “Popularizing Posthumanities” by Lotten Wiklund, The Posthumanities Hub science journalist.

— Break —

14.15-14.20 “Ecologies of Death” by Marietta Radomska, PhD, VR-postdoc, Co-Director of the Hub.
14.20-14.25 “Death in the Life Sciences” by Tara Mehrabi, PhD.
14.25-14.30 “Feminist Environmental Humanities”, and “Herbaria 3.0” by Lauren LaFauci, PhD.
14.30-14.45 Virtual messages from honorary members.
14.45-15.00 Wrapping up with Cecilia Åsberg and Marietta Radomska.

Part III. Venue: Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH.

15.00-16.00 Snacks and “mingle” with the companions of The Posthumanities Hub.

The Posthumanities Hub is a research group, a lively community, and a platform for postdisciplinary humanities and more-than-human humanities, for philosophy, arts, and sciences informed by advanced cultural critique and some seriously humorous feminist creativity. In our research, we specialize in the human and more-than-human condition, and inventive feminist materialist philosophies. This entails work in environmental humanities, human animal studies, cultural studies of science and technology, new media, citizen science/citizen humanities, digital and techno-humanities, medical humanities and environmental health (especially toxic embodiment), the posthuman, a-human, inhuman, nonhuman, and trans-, queer or anti-imperialist theory-practices, feminist science studies, and other inter- and/or postdisciplinary areas of researching a complex and changing world that does not admit to old academic divisions of labour (i.e., that research on “culture” is for the humanities and “nature” for science.) We work to meet up with pressing societal challenges, across the natureculture divide and target specific cases. Curiously, creatively, and critically.

 

Mini-symposium ‘Becoming with Alien Encounters and Speculative Storytelling’: Part 4 (and last)

Radomska - Archives of LichenologyImage: Marietta Radomska, Archives of Lichenology  (2017)

There are only three days left till the Symposium “Becoming with Alien Encounters and Speculative Storytelling”, co-organised by The Posthumanities Hub and TEMA GENUS Higher Seminar Series at Linköping University, and thus, we continue to provide you with some sneak peeks into what you’ll be able to fully enjoy on 5th April at Tema Genus!

More specifically, every other day we’ve given you a little insight into what our speakers are going to talk about. Or, in other words, every other day you’ve been able to learn a bit more about each presenter and their paper!:)

Today we present our last speaker, Dr. Marietta Radomska!

Bio:

Marietta Radomska is a Postdoc at Linköping University, SE; co-director of the Posthumanities Hub; founder of The Eco- and Bioart Research Network, co-founder of International Network for Ecocritical and Decolonial Studies and a founding member of Queer Death Studies Network. Her current research project focuses on ecologies of death in the context of contemporary art. She is the author of the monograph Uncontainable Life: A Biophilosophy of Bioart (2016).

Paper abstract:

Non/Living Archives of Lichenology: Between Stories of Living and Dying in a More-than-human World

The ‘Postmodern Synthesis’ of evolutionary biology (Koonin 2009) challenges the paradigmatic ideas of evolutionary decent, reproductive transmission of genes, and the notion of the individual (be it an organism, a population, or a species). As biologist Scott F.Gilbert argues, instead of individuals, we should talk about ‘holobionts’: composite organisms becoming through multiple cooperative processes.
This paper, being itself a piece of speculative storytelling, aims to explore what thinking with and through the figuration of the lichen – a primary example of a holobiont – can do to the cultural imaginaries and our understandings of the ontologies (and ecologies) of living and dying in a more-than-human world.

Mini-symposium ‘Becoming with Alien Encounters and Speculative Storytelling’: Part 3

Void person_horisontalImage source: Chuck Tingle’s Complete Guide to the Void (2017)

Dear all,

There are only a few days left till the Symposium “Becoming with Alien Encounters and Speculative Storytelling”, co-organised by The Posthumanities Hub and TEMA GENUS Higher Seminar Series at Linköping University, we also continue to provide you with some sneak peeks into what you’ll be able to fully enjoy on 5th April at Tema Genus!

More specifically, every second day we give you a little insight into what our speakers are going to talk about. Or, in other words, every second day you’ll be able to learn a bit more about each presenter and their paper! Stay tuned! 🙂

Today we have a great pleasure to present our next speaker, Dr. Line Henriksen!

Bio: 

Line Henriksen is a lecturer in Gender Studies at the University of Copenhagen and holds a PhD in Gender Studies from the Unit of Gender Studies at Linköping University, Sweden. She has published on the subjects of monster theory, hauntology and digital media in journals such as Women & Performance and Somatechnics, and her fiction has appeared in Andromeda Spaceways and Tales to Terrify, among others. She is a founding member of the Monster Network.

Paper abstract: 

From the Void – Speculative Storytelling and Encounters with Nothingness

The void is a recurring figure within the genre of speculative fiction. Whether in the shape of the emptiness of outer space or the depths of the sea, the void embodies nothingness as well as the limits of human understanding and imagination. This, the void’s associations with emptiness and the ‘beyond-human’, makes it a favoured antagonist within speculative fiction, but also a space of infinite possibilities – a blank page that is never quite as blank as one expects. In this paper, I explore contemporary speculative tales of nothingness as they relate to questions of storytelling and encounters with the (never fully) blank page.

Mini-symposium ‘Becoming with Alien Encounters and Speculative Storytelling’: Part 2

Nina Lykke Cliffs of Fur built of algae (2017)Image: Nina Lykke, Cliffs of Fur built of algae (2017)

As the Mini-Symposium Becoming with Alien Encounters and Speculative Storytelling approaches, we continue the presentation of our speakers (see also: Part 1).

Today it is our great pleasure to introduce you to our second speaker, Prof. Nina Lykke!

 

Bio

Nina Lykke, Professor Emerita, Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden. Co-founder of Network for Queer Death Studies, and Network for Ecocritical and Decolonial Research. Her current research focuses on queering of cancer, death, and mourning in queerfeminist materialist, decolonial and eco-critical perspectives, and on autophenomenographic and poetic writing. Recent publications: Queer Widowhood. Lambda Nordica. 2015:4; Academic Feminisms: Between Disidentification, Messy Everyday Utopianism, and Cruel Optimism. Feminist Encounters. 2017:1(1); When death cuts apart: On affective difference, compassionate companionship and lesbian widowhood. T.Juvonen and M.Kohlemainen (eds): Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships. Routledge, New York, London (2018).

Paper abstract

Becoming with algae. Exploring Speculative Stories of Reimagining the Imperceptible.

Diatomite earth is fossilized remains of diatoms, single-celled aquatic algae. In the paper, I use diatoms as lens to ask, what diatomite earth may tell about a flat life/death ontology, and which possibilities for speculative story-telling it may open. My focus is a diatomite cliff formation on the Danish island of Fur – and my life partner’s ashes, spread in the waters beneath. I reflect on my co-becoming with my partner through a combination of poetic, autophenomenographic, and philosophic-cultural reflections on her becoming imperceptible in a Deleuzean sense, and her transforming into a body of ashes, now mixed with diatomite sand. The paper’s analysis is based on examples from these writings.

 

The symposium takes place on 5th April 2018, 13:15 – 16:30 at Linköping University (room: Faros; Tema building; Campus Valla).

Mini-symposium ‘Becoming with Alien Encounters and Speculative Storytelling’: Part 1

C-A-R-E-T-O-D-A-N-C-E0_Aglert

Image: Still from ‘Dial: C-A-R-E-T-O-D-A-N-C-E  (the first encounter) II’, by Katja Aglert (2017). 

 

Dear all,

As there is only nine days left till the Symposium “Becoming with Alien Encounters and Speculative Storytelling”, co-organised by The Posthumanities Hub and TEMA GENUS Higher Seminar Series at Linköping University, we’ve decided to provide you with a bit of sneak peek into what you’ll be able to fully enjoy on 5th April 2018 at Tema Genus!

More specifically, every second day (counting from today) we’ll give you a little insight into what our speakers are going to talk about. Or, in other words, every second day you’ll be able to learn a bit more about each presenter and their paper! Stay tuned! 

And of course, we start the presentation series with our very special guest, artist Katja Aglert!

Bio

Katja Aglert is an independent artist and researcher who’s practice is transdisciplinary in nature, and includes both individual and collaborative projects. She exhibited widely in Sweden and internationally including solo exhibitions at Polarmuseet, Tromsø, Norway (2017/2018); Biologiska Museet, Stockholm (2016); FLORA ars+natura, Bogota, Colombia (2015/2016) Museum for Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile (2015/2016); Marabouparken, Stockholm (2014). As artist she teaches regularly at institutions such as Stockholm University, and Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design. For more info: katjaaglert.com

 

Paper abstract

< > ‘Dial: C-A-R-E-T-O-D-A-N-C-E  (the first encounter)’ > <

This presentation unfolds some of the research related to the artistic project ’Dial: C-A-R-E-T-O-D-A-N-C-E  (the first encounter)’. It discusses how speculative forms of storytelling developed through artistic experiments in practice, can become means for new materialisations and worldings beyond the binary views. The project explores possibilities of inter-species communication with alien aquatic beings through sound frequencies in marine environments. Exchange between diverse beings has a rich spectrum and is, amongst other things, related to the preference of speed. In other words, we cannot greet a crab on the same frequency as a clam. Furthermore, will someone reply, and how?

 

We too talk about #metoo

Welcome to the We too talk about #metoo panel talk event at Linköping University!

metoo event 28th Feb LiU

Welcome to the “We too talk about #metoo” panel talk event on #akademieuppropet and gender in the academia that takes place on 28th February 2018 at Linköping University.
The discussion will take place in both Swedish and English.
Hope to see you there!

What’s Up at the Hub?

2001-09-14 20.48.22
Here we  share with you news and updates on new jobs, visiting scholars at the Posthumanities Hub, various events, seminars, and workshops that are organized by the Hub or its mothership, Tema Genus (the Gender Studies at the interdisciplinary department of TEMA, at Linköping University, Sweden).

News

  • Our warmest congratulations on their great success to the amazing Marietta Radomska and Lisa Linden, both of TEMA LIU, who received VR grants! Marietta will be working on her project entitled ”Dödens ekologier: miljön, kroppen och etik i samtida konst” and Lisa on “Empowerment och stigmatisering: Patientorganisationer, gynekologisk cancer och identiteter i omvandling.”
  • Congratulations to “hubbers” Desirée Ljuncrantz (Tema G, Liu) and Marianna Szczygielska (Central European University, visiting PhD student at Tema G in 2015/16) who successfully defended their PhD theses!
  • A special issue of Angelaki on “Tranimacies: intimate relations between animals and trans*studies” edited by our fantastic colleagues Marianna Szczygielska, Eliza Steinbock, and Anthony Wagner is now out! With contributors from our hubbers, Marietta Radomska and Vera Weetzel, and our Tema Genus Professor Madina Tlostanova, among others, this issue is pushing the boundaries of thinking beyond the human/animal binary.
  • Congratulations to Christine Daigle from Brock University and to her team for receiving a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) partnership development grant to support Posthumanism Research Network. We’re happy and proud to be Posthumanities Research Network partner and collaborator and we’re thrilled about these new opportunities to work together.
  • Have a look at this, it’s from our friends in international posthuman studies: The 9th Beyond Humanism Conference https://vimeo.com/228020059
  • We recommend you look up Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities‘ website for more information on interdisciplinary relations between geography and arts and humanities scholarship and practice; blog, forum, call for papers, and more!

Call for papers

  • We are pleased to announce that a call for abstracts intended for a special issue of an environmental humanities journal on a theme of “Plantarium. Human-Vegetal Ecologies” is now open. For this special issue, edited by Olga Cielemecka and Marianna Szczygielska, we invite contributions that look into human-botanical ecologies, relationalities, and histories.  We seek both traditionally academic submissions, as well as visual materials, provocations, review essays, activist reports and commentary pieces, and other varying genres. Please submit abstracts (500 words) to plantarium2017[at]gmail.com as word documents (.doc or .docx) until September 29, 2017. Call available here.

Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events

  • Curated talks around Automata, a thought-provoking performance on stage at Orionteatern in Stockholm are now available online here. A a recording of a discussion “Free-spirited cyborgs and controlled bodies” is also available online. Chaired by Carl Åkerlund this panel discussion between Samira Ariadad, Helena Granström, Waldemar Ingdahl and the founder and director of Posthumanities Hub, Cecilia Åsberg, took place on May 6th in Orion Theatre following a staging of Automata.

Recent Past Events

  • A two-day workshop Eco/Decolonial Arts: Open-ended Poetic/Philosophical Forays whose aim was to develop transversal dialogues between various ways of engagement with both ecocritical/ecological and decolonial perspectives took place at Tema G on June 28 and 29.
  • A Seed Box funded workshop “Plantarium: Re-Imagining Green Futurities” organised by Olga Cielemecka and Marianna Szczygielska took place in June, 1st-2nd, at Linkoping University. It brought together activists, artists, practicioners, independent researchers, and academics to rethink the generative potentialities of the botanical. More about the event. Many thanks to our invited keynote speakers Cate Sandilands and Michael Marder, Mirko Nikolic for a plant yoga session and Christina Sadlbauerand Regula Heggli for vegetal speed dating, and all participants for making it such a special event! Now we’re planning to work on a CfP for a special issue, intended for one of the top environmental humanities journals, on the theme of hum-vegetal ecologies. Stay tuned!
  • Professor Cecilia Åsberg, director and founder of the Posthumanities Hub, gave a keynote lecture at the 8th Annual Conference on the New Materialisms “Environmental Humanities and New Materialisms: The Ethics of Decolonizing Nature and Culture.” The conference took place at Maison de l’UNESCO in Paris on June 7-9, 2017. Professor Åsberg gave a lecture entitled “A Thousand Tiny Anthropocenes” on ecological humanities, mapping out their challenges and potentials as feminist posthumanities.

For archives of our news and events earlier in 2017, click here.

Iceberg
Iceberg 1999 by M A Felton

Feminist posthumanities is for everybody!

Human nature is not the oxymoron we imagined it to be. In this new planetary age of the Anthropocene, defined by human-induced climatic, biological, and even geological transformations, we humans are fully in nature. And nature is fully in us. This was, of course, always the case, but it is more conspicuously so now than ever before: people are entangled in co-constitutive relationships with nature and the environment, with other animals and organisms, with medicine and technology, with science and epistemic politics. We live and die, play, thrive, and suffer by each other. For example, think of “mad cow” disease, where humans feeding cows with by-products from slaughtered sheep infected with the prionic disorder “scrapie” in turn generates prion disorders in cows that get transmitted to human beef consumers through a series of transcorporeal (Alaimo 2010) gestures across species. We can think, too, of pollen allergies and their increased prevalence as an index of our environed embodiment. Or how hormone-like substances seep from plastics into microorganisms, fish bodies, human infants in increasingly aggressive polymere ecologies. While culture and nature never were in fact separated but for academic divisions of labour, we live in a time when the so called “human mastery”, alterations, and especially the “slow violence (Nixon 2011) of these naturcultural relationships of embodied environments and environed embodiments appear to us more clearly. For such power-imbued yet generative relationships, we need a more-than-human humanities. We also need expertise on human differences; those between men and women; between men and men, or women and women; transgender, and internal to our, after all, not-so-fully rational human (and microbial) Selfhood. More-than-human and human differences (gender, class, race, nationality, age, sexual orientation, specie- or land relationality, etc) interplay in intricate ways, socially. Our work at the Posthumanities Hub, take such differences very seriously as we make our case for diverse feminist forms of the posthumanities (Wolfe 2003). Our starting points are diverse too; a love for science, art and philosophy,  postnatural feminisms, technological empowerment, humanities disciplines like history, literature, philosophy, languages, the cyborg ontology and situated epistemology of Donna Haraway (1991), anti-racist justice movements and anti-colonial environmentalism, veganism, plant theory, and multispecies justice. All of these are critical and creative endevours that provide mind-sets and society’s psyche with new concepts to guide thought and practice.  At The Posthumanities Hub, we embrace a feminist posthumanities that stands able to frame naturecultures unfolding and recalibrate humanities analytics for an Anthropocene of many differences. We aim for alliances and research worthy of our complex times, a humanities for our  “postnatural” condition of human and nonhuman co-constitution of the planetary.