The geographies of capitalism, a king of Geography, and the destruction of political dreams

Camila Bassi with her take on the despicable events at my university (Warwick) over the past few weeks.

Anaemic On A Bike

“It would be difficult to deny the difficult days that the world is going through. One might say that the four horseman [sic] of the apocalypse have moved from a quiet trot to a full gallop and this increase in activity has been accompanied by the rise of Right-wing politics of various kinds which are clearly associated with a series of state and corporate ideologies and practices that must be denied any more room in the world and that, in time, must be rolled back.” (Nigel Thrift and Ash Amin, What’s Left? Just the Future, 1995, 236)

Did you foresee when you were writing this, Nigel, the danger of you becoming a horseman of capitalism? When naming as a value for the Left, “a constant and unremitting critical reflexivity towards our own practices” (Amin and Thrift, 1995, 221), at what point did you relinquish and decide on the other side? In proposing for the Left, “an…

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Call for PhD Summer School of Cultural Transformations‏

2nd Ph.D. Summer School of Cultural Transformations:

Please circulate to PhD students

Cultural Im/materialities: Contagion, Affective Rhythms and Mobilization

International PhD course, 23-27 June 2014, Aarhus University, Denmark

The summer school is funded by the Ph.D. programmes Art, Literature and Cultural Studies and ICT, Media, Communication and Journalism and by Centre for Sociological Studies Aarhus University (all Aarhus University). The event is part of a cultural studies summer school network with Warwick University, University of Southern Denmark, Södertörn University and Aarhus University as partners. The first event in 2013 was hosted by Warwick University.              


Associate Professor, PhD, Britta Timm Knudsen; Associate Professor, PhD, Mads Krogh; Assistant Professor, PhD, Carsten Stage; Associate Professor, PhD, Anne Marit Waade

Partners: Warwick University, UK, University of Southern Denmark, DK, Södertörn University, SE, CESAU, DK, Copenhagen Business School, DK

Confirmed keynotes

Professor Georgina Born (Music and Anthropology, Oxford University), UK
Reader Tony D. Sampson (Digital Culture and Communications, University of East London), UK
Professor John Protevi (Philosophy and French Studies, Loyola University Chicago), US
Senior Lecturer Luciana Parisi (Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths), UK

Lecturers / workshop organizers / discussants

Jenny Sundén, Södertörn University
Nathaniel Tkacz, Warwick University
Christian Borch, Copenhagen Business School
Representative from University of Southern Denmark
Anne Marit Waade, Aarhus University
Carsten Stage, Aarhus University
Mads Krogh, Aarhus University
Britta Timm Knudsen, Aarhus University
Christoffer Kølvraa, Aarhus University
Louise Fabian, Aarhus University
Camilla Møhring Reestorff, Aarhus University


Time: June 23-27 2014

Room and Place: Aarhus University
Cost/ Policy: No cost fee, each participant covers travel & accommodation.
Max. number of participants: 30


The summer school wants to explore the role of affect, suggestive rhythms and contagion for the somatic mobilization of agents across a range of socio-cultural situations (e.g. protest events, dance halls, online forums, catastrophes), practises and processes (e.g. political mobilization and engagement, school bullying, youth loneliness, xenophobic/nationalist panics). In recent years an increasing interest in materiality, space, technology and embodiment has developed in the humanities and social sciences combined with an ëaffective turní (Clough, Massumi, Thrift, Seigworth and Gregg, Ahmed) to immaterial dimensions of these phenomena.
This has re-actualised early sociological theories about affective suggestion, contagion and imitation (e.g. Gustave Le Bon and Gabriel Tarde), which offer valuable insights to the analysis of a contemporary cultural landscape characterised by for instance viral/memetic phenomena, mediated/networked/rhythmically coordinated crowds, affective online communication and political modulation of citizen affects (Blackman, Borch, Gibbs, Sampson, Butler). During the summer school we wish to collectively explore the immaterial dimensions of the material social world and vice versa, discuss the potentialities, implications and risks of such analysis in an open interdisciplinary environment.
The event will attract PhD students from a range of academic fields (anthropology, geography, media, cultural studies, aesthetics, sociology, political science etc.) interested in, and doing research on, the affective turn, processes of imitation/suggestion/contagion, the rhythmically attuning mobilisation of bodies, and the im/material dimensions of culture and the social world.
Possible areas/topics:
  • The affective dimensions of materiality, space, technology and things
  • Aesthetics and affectivity, sensual design
  • Mobilization within public and private spheres of action
  • Viral communication, virality in the media, memes, social media
  • The methodological challenges of analysing cultural materialities and immaterial processes
  • Theoretical legacies to the ëaffective turní and new materialist orientations within the humanities and social sciences; early sociologies of contagion, suggestion and imitation
  • Moral, media and financial panics
  • Music culture, sound, dance and rhythm
  • Industries of affect, affective consumption
  • Tourism, black spot/dark tourism
  • Artistic agency, idols and fandom
  • Crowds, protest culture, social movements, (creative/eventful) activism, political events
  • Depression, loneliness, bullying, affective exclusion
  • Charity, empathy and sympathy
  • Affect, emotion and power, war and affective modulation
  • Xenophobia, nationalism, the strategic production of fear and hate
  • Atmosphere, aura, prestige
  • Sexuality, porn, love and care
  • The affectivity of catastrophes
  • Blasphemy, fanaticism and provocative politics
The Ph.D.-summer school will be based on keynote presentations, workshops and studentsí own project presentations and organized feedback sessions.


The examination will consist of three parts: 1. Full paper hand-in (deadline May 15); 2. Attending workshops and doing group assignments; 3. Paper presentation and discussion of papers.

Deadline for submission

Deadline: March 1 2014
Send an email to: Marianne Hoffmeister
Attach a description of your research topic and project (max. 300 words).
March 15: You will get to know if you participate, and you will be asked to confirm your  participation.

Preparation for PhD students

April 1: The organizers will form groups out of the participants (5 in all) and each group has to organize a slot of one hour each with a social and/or academic content (e.g. academic speed-dating, guided tours in Aarhus for strangers by strangers, exercises between the slots).

May 15: Deadline for submitting a full paper (10 pages).

Preparation for teachers

March: Organizers must read the abstracts and form participants groups.

Medio May: The group of teachers will be responsible for 3-4 papers, that he/she has read  carefully in advance in order to 1) place the paper within the theme of the summer school 2) to be a discussant of the paper and to give an open and constructive feedback at the summer school.

About the summer school network (SSCT)

The series aims at creating an international environment of constructive academic discussions in the field of cultural studies in order to strengthen this discipline in our respective academic communities and to develop the discipline of cultural studies according to actual developments and new theoretical paradigms. The series aims at improving teaching in cultural studies through a meticulous work on theoretical, methodological and empirical challenges. It is also our intention to build stronger research relations and exchange opportunities between the involved institutions and participants. Network coordinator: Carsten Stage (

Image and Performance Summer school / conference, 8-12 July, Warwick

CIM Conference

Further details are available from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies. Applications are welcome from PhD students, early career researchers and anyone else with a working interest in the field. Please contact Dr. Olga Goriunova to find out more.

Bernard Stiegler Lecture & Workshop

Bernard Stiegler will be talking at University of Warwick on 29th January 2013 on ‘General Organology, Digital Studies and the Neurosciences’. This will be followed by a workshop discussion with the following contributors:

Christina Howells (Oxford): ‘”Le défaut d’origine: the prosthetic constitution of love and desire in Stiegler’s Technics and Time

Miguel Beistegui (Warwick): ‘The New Critique of Political Economy’

Seán Hand (Warwick): ‘Stiegler’s Stupidity’

Gerald Moore (Durham): ‘Conditions of the University: the Humanities and “la crise de l’esprit”’

Lecture is at 3-4.30pm. Discussion from 5-8pm.

More details can be found on the philevents website and Warwick’s Philosophy pages.