22 Sep 2016

Ideas presented in the circle, part 1

Here is Plarent Aleksi's presentation from Summer 2016 in Orivesi.

And below, a short synopsis of Max Ryynänen's talk in Feb 2016 in Riga.
In my presentation I tried to ask if political concepts were actually at least partly aesthetic, i.e. if the meaning of e.g. "activism" in the end connects in a significant way to the forms of activism seen (flags, demonstrations, people making vegetarian food in flea market clothes) sometimes even more than to the political ideals which are at stake. One point in my presentation was that the culture of resistance often is more just culture without as much political impact as wanted, but I was not actually critical about this. On the contrary I think that if people don't go to the city council to change the world when there are plans to destroy an old building but rather come when it happens to repair bikes, play drums and so on, it is maybe some form of experiential culture which is good for the political health.

14 Sep 2016

CfP: AESTHETICS, POLITICS AND MATERIAL CULTURE (Wroclaw, Feb 24-26)

AESTHETICS, POLITICS AND MATERIAL CULTURE

Appearances of the Political 3/6 Winter Symposium: February 24-26, 2017, Wrocław, Poland,
in collaboration with the University of Wrocław

We invite scholars, students, artists and third sector agents to study together the forms, appearances and the aesthetic functions of the political. These can be discussed in social, artistic, aesthetic and cultural terms and with any method which is able to shine light on the problematics. We aspire to articulate the ideological forces underlying today’s political thinking. We also want to inaugurate a debate on the role of cultural approaches in political analysis. We wish to break new paths in connecting the cultural humanities and the political sciences and invite participants to bravely explore new ways of studying these issues. We believe that experimentation is crucial for rethinking the political.

Theme of the Symposium

What kind of objects (flags, megaphones) do we use in demonstrations and what is their actual role? What is the material culture of party politics – besides suits, microphones, soup kettles at marketplaces where politicians meet the people and the big black cars, which take the politicians from place to place? What is the material culture of administration, or has it all just become embedded in the computer screens?

What are the aesthetic orders and material resources of the human rights, human catastrophes and the warfare producing them - and how are these issues tackled in art? What is the future of the role of these orders and resources?

How do neoliberal and capitalist forces occupy spaces with material culture? In what ways do they embody certain political ideas, not the least ideas anchored to the free market and the consumer society. Benches are not anymore good for sitting, in many places, as many want the people to just walk and shop.

Design in general contributes to forming physical space in accordance with ideologies and intentions and plays a role in how we view space: how it is accessible, hierarchies, limitation of certain actions. Design is also used for changing actions like forming social and environmental sustainability.
And how are Western democracies constructing physical answers to migration and refugees? When borders are made again visible, camps for refugees established and also different forms of personal appearances such as dress codes become battlefields for ideologies.

The symposium is hosted by the University of Wrocław and will be organized together with the NSU-circles Understanding Migration in Nordic and Baltic Countries, Crisis and Crisis Scenarios and International Relations and Human Rights. There will be joint sessions shared by all circles.
About the Study Group The intention of Appearances of the Political is to create a platform for future collaborations and applications, and to exchange knowledge and share common interest. It is important for the group to consult a variety of fields as broad as possible including political theory, philosophy, communication, social sciences and cultural studies, and we hope that scholars from all areas of interest would join us. Participating in this third meeting of the group does not imply any obligation for participating in future meetings or participation in previous meetings. We hope, however, that participants will be involved in building a strong community on this topic for future activities reflecting the diversity of interests in the community.

Format(s) of the presentations

We encourage people to do both traditional and non-traditional presentations:
1) Oral presentation of ideas:
We strongly encourage giving a free oral presentation rather than reading a paper. We wish to facilitate open debates for sharing and ask for presentations creating platforms for debate. A presentation cannot exceed 20 min. but we encourage very short presentations (5-10 min.) of an idea and motivation making space for creating a discussion around this idea.
2) Performance, object or alternative forms:
You can present ideas, examples or reflections through other formats including inviting the participants to engage in experiments, situations, or individual and group activities. Please indicate the optimal time for this form of presentation, however there is a maximum of 30 min including time for feedback.

Please submit via email to the coordinators:
circle2@nsuweb.org

A written proposal (max. 350 words) with a title. This text should include your presentation proposal, its format, its duration, and technology and/or facilities you may need as well as a short bio (max. 100 words)

If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting, please email a short bio. Participants with presentations will be given priority.

The study circle provides a space for theoretical experimentation and the cross-fertilization of methodologies. It aims at developing insights that can be used in further research. We invite you for exchange and debates in an open environment of people with different backgrounds.
The deadline to submit proposals is December 15, 2016. Notification about acceptance will be given before 31 December. A preliminary program will be announced on January 15, 2017 on http://nordic.university/study-circles/2-appearances-of-the-political/appearances-of-the-political/ where you can also find more information about NSU. Applicants will be informed by e-mail.

Registration and fee

Professors, lecturers and other professional scholars 50€
Students, unemployed, freelancers and participants from Baltic countries and Poland: 30 € Fee covers expenses for lunch Saturday and Sunday, coffee breaks and reception Friday evening The fee should be paid ABSOLUTELY NO LATER THAN JANUARY 10. The letter of acceptance will contain a bank account. NOTE: Bank fees are at the charge of the participant. Please notice that fee or other costs will not be reimbursed if the participant cancels.

The Nordic Summer University (NSU) is a Nordic network for research and interdisciplinary studies.
NSU is a nomadic, academic institution, which organises workshop-seminars across disciplinary and national borders. Since it was established in 1950, NSU has organised forums for cultural and intellectual debate in the Nordic and Baltic region, involving students, academics, politicians, and intellectuals from this region and beyond.

Decisions about the content and the organisational form of the NSU lay with its participants. The backbone of the activities in the NSU consists of its thematic study circles. In the study circles researchers, students and professionals from different backgrounds collaborate in scholarly investigations distributed regularly in summer and winter symposia during a three-year period.

For more information www.nordic.university

29 Aug 2016

Wroclaw, here we come



Appearance of the Political will travel to Wroclaw Poland in late February and organize a syposium there. It will be organized together with the circles Understanding Migration in Nordic and Baltic Countries (1), Crisis and Crisis Scenarios (3) and International Relations and Human Rights (5). There will be joint sessions shared by all circles.

More info and CFP soon.

Papers from summer 2016

Plarent Aleksi, Political and Social Reality, “Panama Papers”; false politics and the social consequences (adherence to IS of young Europeans)
Epp Annus, Being singular plural: community, agency, authenticity in the context of Socialist realism
Corinna Casi, ”Political”: What does it mean. Open workshop.
Carsten Friberg, The Production of genius loci. Reflections on the ideologies of modern places
Aniruddha Gupte, Synthesizing Solutions. An exploration of the modern relevance of socialist East German design principles through the medium of plastics
Johann Aarup Hansen, Inventing the future – The making of neoliberal hegemony
Gioia Laura Iannilli, Design and Fashion, or the aesthetics of surface. How the immediacy of the aesthetic shape our everyday lives.
Iiris Konttinen, The Berlin wall as a heterotopian site
Noora-Helena Pauliina Korpelainen, Aesthetic Experience and Yoga Practice
Karolina Enquist Källgren, Figura, expression and the inauthentic subject in the thinking of María Zambrano
Eret Talviste, Affect and Nationalism: The Singing Revolution in Estonia between 1988 and 1991
Bill Thompson, What Happens to Deduction in the Here and Now?
Emma Ward, ‘The Real of Sex’: Identity and Authenticity, Sex and Gender Politics in Mina Loy’s Short Stories and Unpublished Manuscripts
Raine Vasquez, Towards the Possibility of a Political Art
Margus Vihalem, Is there a Soviet aesthetics? Experiencing the sensible of the Soviet era

Participanting also:
Stine Avlund
Þórný Barðadóttir
Max Ryynänen

Summer, CFP and report

Appearances of the Political was active in Orivesi July 24-31 as a part of the Summer Session of the Nordic Summer University. There were again over 20 active participants in the sessions. This time Max Ryynänen was taking part in organizing the infrastructure for the whole Summer Session and Raine Vasques was the coordinator together with Carsten Friberg.

Below you find the CFP for July 2016.

CALL FOR Presentation 2016

Appearances of the Political in 20th century culture

Appearances of the Political

Summer Symposium: 24-31 July, Orivesi, Finland

Invitation We invite scholars, students, artists and practitioners to take part in investigating the many forms by which we experience the presences of political reality, and in approaching these forms from social, artistic, aesthetic and cultural analysis. We wish to articulate the ideological forces underlying today’s political thinking. We also want to inaugurate a debate on the role of cultural approaches in political analysis. We wish to break new paths in connecting the cultural humanities and the political sciences and invite participants to bravely explore new ways of studying the issue. We believe that experimentation is crucial for rethinking the political.



Theme of the symposium:



In this summer session we explore historical examples from the 20th century of how the political has appeared, both intentionally and unintentionally. Examples can be movements with explicit programs for forming the modern, or future, world such as Russian Constructivism, Modernist architectural program and sub- or countercultural movements. Examples can also be cultural forms that are unintentionally, or at least without an explicit awareness, appearances of political ideologies, such as urban planning, consumer culture and fashion.



Such historical examples can take many forms, like the transformation of personal appearances in dress and hair-style in the '60s and '70s displayed in the period’s fashion and anti-fashion, including specific styles like punk and fetishized expressions of the military forms of guerrilla soldiers and freedom fighters. Or, for instance, the cold war had many forms of political expressions in both Soviet ideas of political manifestations in ideological decorations as well as the organisation of build environments.



The examples are numerous in art, literature, design and fashion as well as in organisation of work, culture, communication and entertainment, and include explicit political actions in fights for rights (workers, women, and minorities), movements of liberation across the world, and of political struggles, as well as the implicit forms of oppression preserved through cultural exercised routines.
We encourage the participants to share analysis and criticism of concrete examples and discussions hereof or to share texts throwing light on the topic and offering platforms for critical discourses.
Format(s) of the presentation:



We are encouraging traditional and non-traditional presentations, including:


1) Presentation of work:
We strongly encourage giving a free oral presentation rather than reading a paper. We wish to facilitate open debates for sharing and ask for presentations creating platforms for debate.
A presentation cannot exceed 20 min.


2) Presentation of a text:
You can offer to present a text, which can be either your own writing or the examination and presentation of another’s published text. The text will be distributed to all participants beforehand and should not exceed 25 pages. The presentation should have the form of a short introduction of the argumentation, facilitating participants to engage in discussion.
The presentation of the text cannot exceed 15 min followed by discussion


3) Performance, object or alternative forms:
You can present ideas, examples or reflections through other formats including inviting the participants to engage in experiments, situations, or individual and group activities.
Please indicate the optimal time for this form of presentation.


Please submit via email to the coordinators:
carsten.friberg@nsuweb.org
raine.vasquez@nsuweb.org


1. A written proposal (max. 350 words) with a title and descriptive subtitle. This text should include your presentation proposal, its format, its duration, and technology and/or facilities you may need.


2. A short bio (max. 100 words)
If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting, please email a short bio. Participants with presentations will be given priority.


The study circle provides a space for theoretical experimentation and the cross-fertilization of methodologies. It aims at developing insights that can be used in further research.
We invite you for a week of exchange and debates in an open environment of people with different backgrounds. Presentations are meant to be rather short, while space for discussions pursuing ideas are central for the circle and will be given considerate space during the week.
The deadline to submit proposals is 8 May, 2016. The preliminary program will be announced on May 15, 2016 on www.nordic.university where you can also find more information about NSU and sign up for the newsletter.


Application process and registration: The application process has two steps: (1) Application to coordinators for acceptance. Application starts 1st of April and closes on 8th of May.
(If you wish to participate without presentation you can apply until 25th of May. Also, you can still apply late in case of vacant slots by contacting the coordinators and submitting an abstract.)
(2) After you have been accepted, the next step is registration and payments, which closes on 1st of June. All registration and payment will be done electronically.
Note: if you apply late, the payment must still be completed by the 1st of June.


Accomodation – the prices include all meals during the entire seminar. All priaces in €: Single room: 550 Double room: 320 Family members (in double room): 380 Children over 12 years: 380 Children between 4-12 years: 250 Children between 2-4: 46 Children less than 2 years: 0
NSU offers a number of grants and scholarships: Grants: 100 Sholarships: 80
Application for grant or scholarship must be send to the coordinators no later than 15 April
Please cite motivation for the application for a grant (such as being freelance or unemployed).
We favour participants from Baltic countries for grants.
Notification for applicants is given 1 May.


Arrival: 24 July
Departure: 31 July


For any questions about presentation, registration and NSU, please contact:
carsten.friberg@nsuweb.org or raine.vasquez@nsuweb.org
About the Study Group The intention of Appearances of the Political is to create a platform for future collaborations and applications, and to exchange knowledge and share common interest. It is important for the group to consult a variety of fields as broad as possible including political theory, philosophy, communication, social sciences and cultural studies, and we hope that scholars from all areas of interest would join us. Participating in this meeting of the group does not imply any obligation for participating in future meetings. We hope, however, that participants will be involved in building a strong community on this topic for future activities reflecting the diversity of interests in the community. Future seminars will focus on Material Culture, Activism, Political Art and Aesthetics in the Everyday, and Communication. We are open to any propositions concerning collaboration, partners and sites. Please bookmark the study circle on NSU’s webpage: http://nordic.university/study-circles/2-appearances-of-the-political/ and the blog of the study circle: http://appearancesofthepolitical.blogspot.com


The Nordic Summer University (NSU) summer session is a one-week seminar bringing all 8 NSU study circles together. While each circle holds their seminar, the week also contains common activities, including two Key-note’s each giving two presentations, (this summer Professor Robert Pfaller and Professor Elizabeth Povinelli) as well as a cultural program. There is an additional Children’s circle, where caretakers look after the children while the parents are in their respective seminars - it is thus possible to bring family to the summer session. The summer session includes NSU’s political institutions and any participant is eligible. Participants are a mix of university professors, academics in different positions inside as well as outside institutions, PhD-, and MA-students, artists, cultural producers and any others with a relation to academic work.
The Nordic Summer University (NSU) is a Nordic network for research and interdisciplinary studies.


NSU is a nomadic, academic institution, which organises workshop-seminars across disciplinary and national borders. Since it was established in 1950, Nordic Summer University has organised forums for cultural and intellectual debate in the Nordic and Baltic region, involving students, academics, politicians, and intellectuals from this region and beyond.
Decisions about the content and the organisational form of the NSU lay with its participants. The backbone of the activities in the NSU consists of its thematic study circles. In the study circles researchers, students and professionals from different backgrounds collaborate in scholarly investigations distributed regularly in summer and winter symposia during a three-year period.

6 Apr 2016

RIGA, Feb 22-23 (2016): Identifying the Political




Appearances of the Political had a nice start (1/6) in Riga with IDENTIFYING THE POLITICAL. Conceptual Analysis: Rhetoric, Poetics and Populist Talk in Contemporary Politics. It was held in the main building of University of Latvia (Raiņa bulvāris 19). Our partners, scholar Pauls Daija, dean Dace Balode, and the Faculty of Theology at the University made us very happy by being great in both dialogue and infra-structure.

The sessions were held February 22-23, 2016 and the program can be found here. The weather was fine (for the Northern Hemisphere) and we had a public / participatory group between 25 and 30 throughout the seminar, two great dinners and a couple of nice lunches at the university's own canteen.

After the Summer session in Orivesi July 2016 - see CFP here (Raine Vasquez will take Max's role here) - we will organize a winter session together with the International Relations and Human Rights circle run by Olga Breskaya and Mogens Chrom Jakobsen next winter in St. Petersburg. More info coming in the fall!

We are also negotiating about becoming one event in the next Biennale of Athens. Thumbs up!

5 Feb 2016

Program

program
IDENTIFYING THE POLITICAL
Conceptual Analysis: Rhetoric, Poetics and Populist Talk in Contemporary Politics
Appearances of the Political 1/6
Winter Symposium: February 22-23, 2016, University of Latvia (Main Building, Raiņa bulvāris 19) in collaboration with University of Latvia
Monday 22 Feb
9.00-10.30      Welcome, presentation of seminar, circle, NSU, participants
10.00-10.30     Johanne Aarup Hansen, The political aspects of form
10.30-10.45     Break
10.45-11.15     Eret Talviste, The Appearance of the Political in Fictional and Non-Fictional Peripheral Areas
11.20-11.50     Raine Vasquez, Challenges in Outlining the Possibility for a Political Art
11.55-12.25     Laine Kristberga, The Unnoticed Art in Latvia: Pantomimes, Happenings and Carnivals
12.25-13.30     Lunch
13.30-14.00     Corinna Casi, Political Decisions in Landscape Choices: How the choice of a landscape or a natural species can be political?
14.05-14.45     Minna Heikinaho, The body relates with other and begin to speak. The author is not required (outside)
14.45-15.00     Break
15.00-15.30     Henrik Juel, A Study in the Rhetoric of the TV-camera – How powerful political figures are being presented on TV and video
15.35-16.05     Sergei Kruk & Ilva Skulte, Disappearance of the political. Computer analysis of Latvian parliamentary discourse
16.10-16.40     Valdis Teraudkalns, Performing morality: recent debates on values in Latvia
16.45-  Conclusions, comments, chatting
Tuesday 23 Feb
9.00-9.30       Reflections on yesterday
9.30-10.00      Ott Puumeister, The original finitude of the population and the discourse of survival
10.30-10.45     Break
10.45-11.15      Max Ryynänen, Could political concepts be studied as aesthetic concepts?
11.20-11.50     Nils S. Konstantinovs, Catchers in the Rye: The Politics of Childhood. Constructing Image of a Child in Latvian Political Discourse
11.55-12.25     Carsten Friberg, The End of Enlightenment? – Or, how did academia loose its ideals?
12.25-13.30     Lunch
13.30-14.00     Bill Thompson, Solipsism as a Research Method
14.05-14.45     Ann Mirjam Vaikla, Endeavour of Remembrance Descriptive. Investigation of the phenomenon memorial
14.45-15.00     Break
15.00-15.30     Marija Semjonova, Searching for Woman Face of the Age of Perestroika: Sofi Oksanen’s “Stalin’s Cows” (2003)
15.35-16.05      Olga Petrova
Possible security and economic consequences for the European countries during the migration process from the Middle East
16.10-                 Conclusion