News and events

  • Interconnections vol. 1 no. 2 is now published!

    We are proud to announce that issue 2 of Interconnections. Journal of Posthumanism/Interconnexions. Revue de posthumanisme is now published. You can access the issue here.

     

    Categories: news

  • DESMONTE – A performance and talk by Pedro Oliveira

    This performance for pre-recorded voice and live electronics explores vocal timbre at the limits of the (juridical and symbolic) body. It offers a study on the so-called “automated dialect recognition” software in use by the German migration authorities since 2017 on cases of undocumented asylum seekers. It explores the fabricated connection between voice and citizenship, it explores the failures of machine listening to partake in the “overrepresentation of Man” (to follow Sylvia Wynter), while at the same time understands the spaces delimited by such failure to be generative of different pathways in which it might be possible for the voice to refuse to announce the body and thus rethink (or unthink) the figuration of the “human.” The piece is entirely constructed with and through the voice of Brazilian death metal singer Fernanda Lira, originally commissioned by Festival Novas Frequências 2021 and the INITIAL funding program of the Berlin Senate for Culture and Europe and the Akademie der Künste Berlin.

    The performance will be followed by a discussion with the artist hosted by Dr. Christine Daigle (PRI) exploring the affordances of the piece in the ongoing conversation on posthumanisms and coloniality.

    Pedro Oliveira is a researcher, sound artist, and educator working in decolonial and sonic thinking (https://oliveira.work/). He has previously worked as a Postdoctoral fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies; a lecturer in Musicology and Media Studies at the Humboldt-University Berlin; as well as a teaching and research associate in Media and Cultural Studies at the Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf. Artistic residencies include the Max-Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, and IASPIS/EMS, both in Stockholm. He is a founding member of the research platform Decolonising Design; he holds a PhD from the Universität der Künste Berlin, and an MA from the Hochschule für Künste Bremen.

    Oliveira’s work inquires the coloniality of listening and its implications on racialized violence and the policing of bodies in urban and border spaces. He is currently researching the historical, aesthetic, and material articulations of so-called “dialect recognition technologies” and their deployment in the asylum system of Germany; this project has so far been partially funded by the Goethe-Institut BrusselsSenatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa BerlinDeutschlandfunk Kultur in collaboration with the CTM FestivalKonstnärsnämnden Sweden, ZKM Karlsruhe in partnership with Akademie Solitude, and the Max-Planck Gesellschaft.

    Categories: event

  • Performing Planetarity: Presentation by Joanna Zylinska on September 21st, 2022 – 1pm ET

     

    Link to Event: https://stream.lifesizecloud.com/extension/12627650/edf0a4e1-a920-44e8-8744-5dacc2c88b7c

    Link to Bio

    ABSTRACT: This talk will present an overview of Joanna Zylinska’ performative method of working within an academic context, as a theorist and artist. Departing from the problem of the constitution of the human as both a species and a historical subject, Zylinska will use the geological probe of ‘deep time’ to analyse the emergence of the human in conjunction with the surrounding technologies. These include tools and other artefacts but also communication in its various modes, be it everyday language, storytelling, ethics, art and media. The planetary perspective of Zylinska’s work – as highlighted in the theoretical concepts and practical projects presented in her talk – finds its anchoring in the socio-political concerns of the here and now: from the ecological and economic crises through to the problem of individual and social coexistence. It is through the notion of praxis that an encounter between thinking, seeing and making in Zylinska’s work yields both a methodology and a ‘minimal ethics’. Bringing the two together, the talk will negotiate the complex set of responsibilities that need to be exercised by humans not just towards one another but also towards nonhuman beings – including planet Earth as our habitat.

    Categories: event

  • Rescheduled round-table: “More Than Human. Posthumanism, Human-Technological Relations, and Bioethics

    This round-table will now take place on May 4th, 2022, 16:00 (EST). Please see the poster for how to join the meeting.

     

  • Posthumanism in Practice: A Talk by Dr Matthew Hayler

    Please join the Posthumanism Research Institute for our upcoming event:

    Posthumanism in Practice: A talk by Dr. Matthew Hayler,

    University of Birmingham and Series Editor for Posthumanism in Practice (Bloomsbury)

    April 21, 2022 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm (ET)

    LifeSize event link: https://stream.lifesizecloud.com/extension/12627650/edf0a4e1-a920-44e8-8744-5dacc2c88b7c

    What might we mean by posthumanism? What kinds of practice are available? What does it mean to do posthumanism?

    In this session, Dr. Hayler asks what it might mean to put posthumanist ideas into practice. Working with Professor Christine Daigle and Dr. Danielle Sands, Dr. Hayler has launched a new book series, Posthumanism in Practice, with Bloomsbury Academic and is excited to see how researchers interpret this idea. But there’s still a lot up for grabs – what might we mean by posthumanism? What kinds of practice are available? What does it mean to do posthumanism? In outlining his own approach, Dr. Hayler argues that posthumanism might not be a coherent philosophical stance, anymore than poststructuralism or postmodernism. Instead, like these broad moves in thought, the benefits and possibilities of posthumanism might be found in combinations of: i) outlining more nuanced thinking, ii) the defamiliarization of common sense, iii) identifying new ways of doing things, iv) bringing together insights from across disciplines that are doing related work, but not always with the same languages or frameworks. He will draw examples from a couple of recent publications on bioethics and the digital humanities in order to think about questions that might be raised for practical application, and also how some parallel discourses and disciplines might usefully be brought under a posthumanist umbrella.

    Categories: event, news

  • Performing Resilience / Experiences of Inequity

    Please join the PRI as we welcome artists Tarndeep Pannu and Meghan Moe Beitkis for a live stream talked entitled Performing Resilience/ Experiences of Inequity. In the talk, Pannu and Moe Beitiks will use the recently published book Performing Resilience for Systemic Pain as a jumping-off point for discussing experiences of inequality in arts and performance, and their relationship to ecologies.

    This live stream event will be held on April 5, 2022, at 1 pm (EST).

    Please click on the link here to join: https://stream.lifesizecloud.com/extension/12627650/edf0a4e1-a920-44e8-8744-5dacc2c88b7c 

    Meghan Moe Beitiks is an artist working with associations and disassociations of culture/nature/structure.  She analyzes perceptions of ecology through the lenses of site, history, emotions, and her own body in order to produce work that analyzes relationships with the non-human.  She was a Fulbright Student Fellow, a recipient of the Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists, a MacDowell Colony fellow, and an Artist-in-Residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. She exhibited her work at the I-Park Environmental Art Biennale, Grace Exhibition Space in Brooklyn, Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery in Chicago, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the House of Artists in Moscow, and other locations in California, Chicago, Australia and the UK. She received her BA in Theater Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her MFA in Performance Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. See her website here: www.meghanmoebeitiks.com

    Tarndeep Pannu is a graduate of Brock University’s Dramatic Arts program and has a minor in Political Science. She was heavily involved in her program through her roles as Student Representative for the Dramatic Arts Department, collaborator and performer in We Who Know Nothing About Hiawatha Are Proud to Present H…, and Assistant Director for 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress. After graduating from university, she was looking to combine her love for theatre into a career with a big social impact, creativity, and leadership. This pursuit led to Humber College, Canada’s leading training program for public relations and marketing professionals. She has interned at NKPR, leading to secured coverage in Seventeen Magazine, The Zoe Report, Dwell, and Holr Magazine, an internship with NATIONAL Public Relations where she was a part of the team spearheading the Pfizer vaccine campaign, Marketing Assistant and Project Manager at the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and Programs Coordinator at the Canadian Film Centre. Most recently she has joined the marketing team at Factory Theatre and will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Critical Theory with a specialization in Race and Diaspora this coming fall.

    Categories: event

  • Round-table: More than Human: Posthumanism, Human-Technological Relations, Bioethics

    The ‘Posthumanism: Cinema Philosophy Media’ Roundtable Series presents:

    MORE THAN HUMAN: Posthumanism, Human-Technological Relations, and Bioethics

    March 29, 2022 @ 7:00 P.M.

    Zoom Meeting: https://wilfrid-laurier.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEsduqtpzsoGdBH4VOdDieN4ykgVKgw4GKK

    Biohacking, biomedical advancements, bioengineering, and transhumanist hopes, aspirations and fixations – How do technological advancements extend what it means to be human?

    This roundtable discussion seeks to break down the barriers between different perspectives upon and methods of analysis of transhumanism, biohacking, and bioethics. From film studies, to a cultural studies lens on biohacking as a subculture, to the latest mind-body interface technologies, how we take up our relationships to and with technological advancements is central to how we understand what it means to be (or not to be) human.

    Join an engaging roundtable with:

    • Jeremy Hunsinger, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
    • Andrea Austin, Associate Professor, Department of English and Film Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
    • William Brown, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre and Film, University of British Columbia
    • Alex Pearlman, Communications Director, Science and Technology Reporter, Research Affiliate at MIT Media LabConcentric by Ginkgo

    For more information contact: Russell Kilbourn rkilbourn@wlu.ca or Julia Empey empe3530@mylaurier.ca

    Categories: event, news

  • Talk by Dr. Myra Hird on Waste

    Dr. Myra Hird (Queen’s University) will be giving a talk on “Waste: a Tale of Two Problems” on March 21st, 2022, 11:00-12:00 ET. This talk is jointly hosted by the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, the Sustainability, Science and Society program (SSAS) and the Posthumanism Research Institute (PRI) and will be live-streamed here.

    Categories: event, news

  • Decentering the Nature-Culture Divide in Diplomacy

    The North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (NACDI) invites you to attend our virtual panel, Decentering the Nature-Culture Divide in Diplomacy, which carries forward the issues and debates that foregrounded our 2021 summit, Players: We Are All Practitioners. Hosted by NACDI in partnership with the Posthumanism Research Institute, our virtual event will be held on 16 February 2022 at 2:00 – 3:30 pm (ET), 1:00-2:30 pm (CT), and 11 am-12:30 am (PT).

    **Click here to register to attend this free event!*

    Building on the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative’s work to address the question of culture’s role in diplomacy, this event focuses on statist diplomacy as a Eurocentric practice to advance a discussion of diplomacy that is refracted by applying posthumanist and post-anthropocentrist lenses. Taking as a starting point forms of diplomacy on the North American continent that were, and continue to be practiced by Indigenous Peoples, the panel also brings into play Islamic perspectives and posthumanist discourses.

    This panel suggests that to properly examine “cultural diplomacy,” the centrality of a nation-state-based understanding of “culture” that excludes other ways of knowing and stands in opposition to “nature” must be problematized. Viewing diplomatic practice and orientation through the lens of what Glen Coulthard (2014) terms “grounded normativity”, this session challenges the ways in which Cartesian dualism of nature and culture provide a limited understanding of being in and relating to the world. Re-orientating our relationship to time and place, grounded normativity centers histories, practices, and ways of relating to one another which contest the state-centric and settler-colonial orders and broadens the scope of diplomacy to include non-human players.

    Categories: event, news

  • Roundtable on Posthumanism, Cinema, Memory

    We are happy to co-host this round-table event with a special guest presentation by Dr. Anna Amza Reading. The event takes place on Monday February 28, 2022, 11:00-14:00 EDT.

    What does it mean to approach memory from a critical posthumanist perspective?

    Please join us for a roundtable discussion on the intersection of cinema, posthumanism, and memory studies. The topic of memory affords unique opportunities for posthumanist inquiry, including (but not limited to): object-oriented memory; environmental memory; animal memory; Indigenous memory; feminist memory; radical alterity and memory; post-anthropomorphic memory; post-apocalyptic memory; multidirectional memory. Rosi Braidotti revalues memory as one of the “main criteria for posthuman theory,” a positive life-affirming force of imagination. Cary Wolfe maintains that, in a certain sense, memory has always been posthuman: in its cultural and institutional forms it has historically relied on prosthetic supports, technologies like writing, for the recording and storage of information or knowledge. Of these technical supports, writing is the “fundamental historically identifiable form” of the “exteriorization of memory.” This is the de-ontologization characteristic of modern memory whose roots, of course, are considerably older than modernity—a modern memory now supported by digital audiovisual media. In thinking about memory and its relation to cinema, posthumanist theory tends to privilege science fiction film, whether dystopian or otherwise. Yet, close attention to audiovisual style also allows for a critical interrogation of such questions as whether or not a given film text actually represents a given posthumanist concept, properly speaking, or whether the film ultimately perpetuates some form of anthropocentric or neo-humanist understanding of the relations between the human as currently understood and what comes after or falls outside or beyond. It remains to be seen to what degree posthuman memory names a modality of human experience that is as much about the present or future, marshalling these temporalities in the service of a memory that transcends a mere relation to the past—a ‘making present of the past’ (Richard Terdiman)—with the potential to operate at a global scale far beyond discrete social groupings. The ultimate question, perhaps, is whether such a posthuman memory will still wear a human face.

    Our four panelists will share their varied approaches to memory studies, posthumanism, and cinema in a discussion that hopes to further illuminate how audiovisual media as “prosthetic support” expresses and engages with memory in a posthumanist context. This will be an online event supported by Zoom to be held Monday February 28, 11:00am-2:00pm ET..

    Please see the poster for Zoom webinar registration information. Also available here.