Category: Opportunities

Participate in the Object Ethnography Project

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The Object Ethnography Project is sponsored by New York University’s Lucrece Project: Creative Experiments in Critical Practice, which aims to foster spaces where scholars and artists  work collaboratively to explore the overlaps between different methods and working practices. Our team, whose membership continues to grow,  is made of artists, anthropologists, members of The Fixers Collective, economists, designers, and communication scholars. The project is designed to investigate how stories include the value and circulation of objects, and provides an opportunity for academics to study the stories people tell and how they tell them, decisions they make about exchanges, and other social interactions that occur within the trade event. The results of these studies will be presented at the Lucrece conference at New York University in March 2012.

How it Works

Each of the objects in the Object Ethnography Project have been donated by ordinary people. Each object has a story attached. Some talk about the history of the object, why it has meaning to the donor, or why the donor felt the need to part with their object.

On March 15th, 2012, the objects will become available for exchange. You, or anyone else, can trade for any object by offering a new story about it. What attracts you to the object? What will you do with it? How will the object spend its time in your possession?
Once a story has been offered for exchange, the object will be mailed to its new owner. The Object Ethnographers will contact new owners a few months after the exchange to see how things are getting on. Has the object met expectations? Has it been given away (in which case we will follow up with the new owner)?  A new story will be recorded.

The final online exhibition will consist of a photograph of each object and its three stories.



Cultures of Digital Economy Conference: Call for Abstracts – Due 1/31


CoDE: Cultures of the Digital Economy 2012

1st Annual Conference

Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK, 27-28 March 2012

Call For Abstracts

The 1st Annual Conference of CoDE: Cultures of the Digital Economy will be held at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK on 27-28 March 2012. Participants from a range of scholarly disciplines are invited to present research related to digital culture and the digital economy.

Confirmed keynote speakers are Dr Jussi Parikka and Dr Astrid Ensslin, whose biographies are included below. Paper abstracts of up to 300 words can be submitted to until 31st January 2012. In particular, abstracts related to the following conference themes are sought, though abstracts addressing other aspects of digital culture are also welcome:

Theme 1. Materiality and Materialism
It is straightforward enough to understand computation as a relationship between material objects (hard drives, screens, keyboards and other input devices, scanners, printers, modems and routers) and nominally immaterial ones (software, programming languages, code). This approach to the “stuff” of the digital risks ignoring a set of crucial questions around the relationships digital technologies construct with a range of material objects: from the “analogue” world modelled in weather systems and battlefield simulations to the body of the information worker interacting with spreadsheets and databases; from the range of artefacts that form the subject of the digital humanities to the materials, bodies, spaces and places of art practice and performance.

Theme 2. Performance, Production and Play
Innovative aspects of our interaction with performances and the production of artefacts for continuous engagement have evolved exponentially through the digital age, particularly with the development of ideas related to play and serious gaming, which brings novel opportunities for creative expression, not to mention innovative approaches related to parallel disciplines in science, education, healthcare and business. The collaboration between performance, production and play and adjacent academic fields is of particular interest given the cross-disciplinary requirements of the Digital Economy Act.

Theme 3. Digital Humanities – Archives, Interfaces and Tools

Digital Humanities works at the intersections of traditional research and technological innovation. Its techniques have helped to prove that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare, for instance, and have even been used by the FBI to determine the authorship of sensitive documents. Today scholars in the digital humanities are primarily concerned to offer a gateway to previously hidden records of culture and heritage. A high-resolution digital photograph of a Chaucer manuscript, for instance, reveals its delicate pen strokes, and when placed on the internet, can pave the way for school children, university students, and those interested in culture generally, to learn about medieval literature from primary resources.

See for more details–or click here.

“Seeing Matter(s): Materiality and Visuality” Heidelberg Seminar – Call for Applications


Call for Application

The Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” welcomes applications for its Summer School “Seeing Matter(s): Materiality and Visuality” to take place at the Karl Jaspers Centre from Sunday, July 29, to Saturday, August 4, 2012.

This year’s Summer School “Seeing Matter(s): Materiality and Visuality” will explore the role of visual and material culture in the context of transcultural exchange processes between Asia and Europe. In highlighting the tensions between visual culture studies, art historical approaches and recent material culture studies, the Summer School will address questions such as: How can we move “beyond representation” to take on images in all their tangibility and material presence? Is “thing theory” a site for us to analyse the confluence of materiality and visuality? How can we look at images and objects differently when we approach them from transdisciplinary and transcultural perspectives? In what ways do such perspectives challenge concepts and methods of our own disciplines?

Another aim of our Summer School is to address the transgressing mobility of images and objects as a key challenge for today’s Humanities, by tying it to current theoretical debates on this subject within various disciplines and testing it in case studies derived from the participants’ research projects and regions.

The programme is designed to provide stimulating discussions and new inspiration for graduate and junior research work, to exchange ideas and test methods from individual research projects and to actively engage with an international group of peers and senior scholars who share an interest in transcultural visuality and materiality. Keynotes will be presented by Kenneth George (Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Janice Bardsley (Japanese Humanities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Invited speakers include Kajri Jain (South Asian Visual Culture, University of Toronto Mississauga), Sumathi Ramaswamy (History, Duke University), Kavita Singh (Art History, Jawaharlal Nehru University), and Paola Zamperini (Asian Languages and Civilizations, Amherst College). Contributions from Heidelberg University come from Christiane Brosius (Visual and Media Anthropology), Monica Juneja (Global Art History), Barbara Mittler (Chinese Studies), and Melanie Trede (Ja!
panese Art Histories).

Applications are accepted until April 15, 2012. The application form and additional information on fees, scholarships and the programme can be found at

The Cluster’s Summer School 2012 is organised by Christiane Brosius (Heidelberg) together with Barbara Mittler (Heidelberg) and Sumathi Ramaswamy (Duke), coordinators of project B4 “Transcultural Visuality”. Christiane Brosius holds the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Cluster, Barbara Mittler is Speaker of Research Area B “Public Spheres”, Sumathi Ramaswamy, Professor of History, is one of the Key Partners of the Cluster.