Launching later this month, ‘The Speculative Space of Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums’ project will comprise a series of creative workshops that explore the critical ground that exists between science fiction (sf) and Gallery, Library, Archive and Museum (GLAM) spaces and collections. It will consider depictions of GLAM spaces in sf media, existing collections and exhibitions which contain sf media, and sf as a creative practice for engagement and critical reflection within GLAM spaces, looking to the imaginative futures and alternate presents of sf to critically reflect on the futures of these spaces and institutions.
In November 2022, Noriko Suzuki-Bosco, Amy Butt, and I ran a workshop at Winchester School of Art called ‘Retracing the Library’. The workshop was part of the UK’s Being Human Festival, an annual event that showcases work across the Arts and Humanities.
We came together to try and find ways to make something new and collaborative out of our shared interests in artists’ books, critical making, science fiction, environment, and the institutional spaces we occupy. For the first workshop we settled on Winchester School of Art library as a location, both because Noriko and I are based in Winchester, and because the library here has a particularly interesting environment and history.
Over the course of two hours, participants traced the library’s journey from the overflow shelves at its current location, to the gallery space it was rescued from during the flood of 1999, to the moated glass Rotunda where it began life in 1965. In each space participants were asked to remake and reimagine the library in a way that was meaningful to them.
Join artist David Blandy and curator and researcher Annie Jael Kwan as they discuss Blandy’s major new John Hansard Gallery solo exhibition, Atomic Light. The discussion reflects his use of archives, from pop cultural collectables, through to historic records and collective memories. The talk will be chaired by Dr Megen de Bruin-Molé. This event is in-person at John Hansard Gallery.
Join us for a free creative workshop where you will become part of the strange ebb and flow of Winchester School of Art Library! This session is part of both the Creative Posthumanism series and the UK’s Being Human Festival. It will take place in person on 16th November, 2022 (2-4pm UK time) and will start at Winchester School of Art library, West Side Building, Park Avenue, Winchester.
This summer I’ll be launching a series of pilot workshops as part of the Creative Posthumanism project, including sessions on zine-making, scrapbooking, and performance art. More news on these sessions will follow soon, but in the meantime I wanted to share a little bit about the rationale behind the project. Humanistic principles underpin key discourses in biology (we are individual entities), psychology (we are individual actors), economics (we are rational actors), law (we are responsible for our actions), art (we are individual authors of human stories), AI research (the goal is to produce computers which “think like us”), medicine (there is a clear idea of a healthy human which we should aim to remain in line with), and ecology (the earth should be optimised for human habitation). In many of these areas, however, the centrality of such thought is being questioned. Critical posthumanism is an academic field of inquiry that deconstructs the human (and humanitarian) impacts of these liberal humanist systems and institutions, particularly in the ways that they have been accelerated and exacerbated by advancing technologies.
We (founding members of the Critical Posthumanism Network and editors of the Genealogy of the Posthuman) are excited to share that our new co-edited Palgrave Handbook of Critical Posthumanism is now in production! This handbook boasts 54 chapters on figurations and prefigurations of the posthuman, posthumanist practices and methodologies, processes of institutional and disciplinary transformation, and more.
Around 30 chapters are already available online, with more coming very soon. A hard copy will follow later this year.
How might posthumanist approaches illuminate current issues in bioethics? This is the central question asked throughout Bioethics and the Posthumanities, a new edited collection published with Routledge Focus. The book comes out of a series of workshops for researchers and policymakers that took place back in 2019.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how writing can make a difference in the world, and even more so about what academic writing has to do with it. Though barely a start, some of my own reflections and research on this topic are now available in the form of this Open Access (i.e. free) article on activism, Rivers Solomon, and the utopian work of salvage. The article is part of a special issue on ‘Post-Utopia in Speculative Fiction’, available through the MDPI Journal Humanities, which examines various histories and ways forward for utopia in contemporary SF/F.
Are you interested in the politics of contagious bodies and their representation in contemporary culture? Join us for a free roundtable discussion on Wednesday, 14 July 2021, from 4:00-5:30pm BST.
Bringing scholars from cultural and media studies into conversation with scholars from the medical humanities and social sciences, this roundtable event aims to give readers a fuller picture of the viropolitics of contagious bodies in contemporary global culture. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and share your own perspective on the topic.
You can register for this free online event through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/embodying-contagion-roundtable-and-book-launch-tickets-158699064173
From Outbreak to The Walking Dead, apocalyptic narratives of infection, contagion and global pandemic are an inescapable part of twenty-first-century popular culture. Yet these fears and fantasies are too virulent to be simply quarantined within fictional texts. The vocabulary and metaphors of outbreak narratives have permeated how news media, policymakers and the general public view the real world and the people within it. In an age where fact and fiction seem increasingly difficult to separate, contagious bodies (and the discourses that contain them) continually blur established boundaries between real and unreal, legitimacy and frivolity, science and the supernatural. Where previous scholarly work has examined the spread of epidemic realities in horror fiction, the essays in this collection also consider how epidemic fantasies and fears influence reality. Initiating dialogue between scholarship from cultural and media studies, and scholarship from the medical humanities and social sciences, this collection gives readers a fuller picture of the viropolitics of contagious bodies in contemporary global culture.