Lecture Series

Invitation to Lecture Series Dis/Entangling Perspectives in Material Research, every Monday, starting 25.10.2021 @humboldtuni @exc_moa

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Materials such as water, sand, coal or crude oil are essential resources for industrial production, technological and infrastructural development. Although they are omnipresent in everyday life, their genealogies, epistemologies and ontologies are rarely called into question. This lecture series focuses on the ecological, sociopolitical and symbolic interrelations that unfold around the industrial utilization and commodification of materials. A critical historical perspective shows, among other things, that materials are often the result of and object to precarious geopolitics and biopolitics as well as unsustainable modes of production and consumption. As such, the lecture series connects to discourses on material/political and power/knowledge relations.

It aims to problematize the understanding of materials as passive matter and to question a dualistic, modernist interpretation of nature and culture. In contrast, and in line with new materialist thought, materials have increasingly been understood and researched as active entities and elementary components of hybrid nature-culture constellations, relational ontologies and diversified knowledge systems.

The contributions to this lecture series come from cultural history and theory, social and cultural anthropology, design, arts and media studies. They use different case studies and examples to illuminate the multiple entanglements and disentanglement associated with material politics and structures. The contributions also show different methodological approaches emerging at the interface of humanities, arts, design and curatorial practices.

The lecture series is organized by Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis, with Michaela Büsse, Anke Gründel and Léa Perraudin in cooperation between the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity. Image Space Material« and the Department of Cultural History and Theory at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

To attend the online lectures, please register on the website.