Joint initiative of the Centre for Global Knowledge Studies (GloKnos) at the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and the Culture, politics and global justice research cluster (CPGJ) at the Faculty of Education of the University of Cambridge, this reading group combines perspectives from different disciplines – including but not limited to anthropology, sociology, political theory, gender studies, STS and philosophy – to create discussions about the politics of being in late liberalism, particularly in view of challenges such as climate change and the development of artificial intelligence. Recognising that the question of what lives (or survives) in the ‘Anthropocene’ is inextricable from the question of what (or who) is recognized as an actor/agent and/or the subject of rights, the group interrogates the implications of different ways of knowing, defining, and governing existents.

The reading group meets fortnightly in term time, Thursdays 4-5.30, starting October 11, in room S2, Centre for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Alison Richard Building, CB3 9DT. Once per term, the reading group will include activities such as a walk, visit to an exhibition, or film screening, related to the overall theme; some activities are suggested, but specific dates and activities will be fixed during the year, in conversation with members. The group is open to all participants within and outside Cambridge, irrespective of education, background, or disciplinary affiliation.

The selection of readings aims to reflect recent publications on the topic; we always welcome suggestions. Where possible, links are provided to online versions of readings available either for free or to University members via IDiscover/Raven; if you need access to any of these, get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

Updates to the schedule and reading list can be found on the CRASSH website. Please address any questions to Dr Jana Bacevic (jb906@cam.ac.uk).

Michaelmas: Concepts

11 October

Mol, A. 1999. Ontological Politics. A word and some questions. In J. Law, & J. Hassard (Eds.), Actor network theory and after (pp. 74-89). (Sociological review. Monographs). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Mbembe, A. 2003. Necropolitics. Public Culture, 15 (1): 11-40.

25 October

Rose, N. 2007. The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-first Century. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

8 November

Mezzadra, S. & Neilson, B. (2017) On the multiple frontiers of extraction: excavating contemporary capitalism, Cultural Studies, 31:2-3, 185-204, DOI: 10.1080/09502386.2017.1303425

22 November

Povinelli, E. 2016. Geontologies: A requiem to late liberalism, see also: https://www.e-flux.com/journal/78/81514/geontologies-the-figures-and-the-tactics/

 

Lent: Politics

 

17 January

Massumi, B. 2015. Ontopower: War, Powers, and the State of Perception Duke University Press.

31 January

Mann, G. and J. Wainwright. 2018. Climate Leviathan: a political theory of our planetary future. London: Verso.

14 February

Liboiron, M., Tironi, M, and Calvillo, N. 2018. Toxic politics: Acting in a permanently polluted world, Social Studies of Science, Vol 48, Issue 3, pp. 331 – 349, https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312718783087

Davies, T. 2018. Toxic Space and Time: Slow Violence, Necropolitics, and Petrochemical Pollution, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2018.1470924

Alexis-Martin, B, and T. Davies. 2017. Towards Nuclear Geography: Zones, bodies and communities. Geography Compass, https://doi.org/10.1111/gec3.12325

[walk to Cambridge’s nuclear bunker]

28 February

Lakoff, A. 2015. Global health security and the pathogenic imaginary. In: Sheila Jasanoff and San Hyung-Kin, eds., Dreamscapes of modernity, pp. 300-320.

Thompson, C. The Cryopolitics of Survival from the Cold War to the Present: a Fugue, in: Radin, J. and Kowal, E (eds.). 2017. Cryopolitics: Frozen Life in a Melting World. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Anderson, W.:The Frozen Archive, or Defrosting Derrida; in: Radin, J. and Kowal, E (eds.). 2017. Cryopolitics: Frozen Life in a Melting World. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

14 March

Grayson, K., and Mawdsley, J. 2018. Scopic regimes and the visual turn in International Relations: Seeing world politics through the drone, European Journal of International Relations Online First

Mantello, R. 2016. The machine that ate bad people: The ontopolitics of the precrime assemblage, Big Data and Society, https://doi.org/10.1177/2053951716682538

[Watching: Minority report]

 

Easter: Life/non-life: beyond extinction

 

25 April

Stengers, I. 2010. Including Nonhumans in Political Theory: Opening Pandora’s Box? In: Braun, B. and Whatmore, S. (eds). Political Matter, Technoscience, Democracy, and Public Life. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Marres, N. 2010. Frontstaging Nonhumans: Publicity as a Constraint on the Political Activity of Things.  In: Braun, B. and Whatmore, S. (eds). Political Matter, Technoscience, Democracy, and Public Life, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Barad, K. 2012. On touching: the inhuman that therefore I am, Differences, 23 (3): 206-223

9 May

Braidotti, R. 2013. Four theses on posthuman feminism. In: Richard Grusin, ed. Anthropocene feminism. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

TallBear, K: Beyond the Life/Not-Life Binary: a Feminist-Indigenous Reading of Cryopreservation, Interspecies Thinking and the New Materialisms, in Radin, J. and Kowal, E (eds.). 2017. Cryopolitics: Frozen Life in a Melting World. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hester, H. 2018. Xenofeminism. Cambridge: Polity.

23 May

Parikka, J. 2018. Planetary Memories: After Extinction, the Imagined Future, in Grusin, R. (ed). After Extinction. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Mirzoeff, N. 2018. It’s Not the Anthropocene, It’s the White Supremacy Scene; or, the Geological Color Line.  in Grusin, R. (ed). After Extinction. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

6 June

Andersson, J. and Westholm, E. 2018. Closing the Future: Environmental Research and the Management of Conflicting Future Value Orders, Science,Technology and Human Values (2018), 1-26.

Svenning, J-C. 2017. Future Megafaunas: A Historical Perspective on the Scope for a Wilder Anthropocene. In: Tsing, A., et al (eds). Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Pringle, A. 2017. Establishing New Worlds: The Lichens of Petersham. Tsing, A., et al (eds). Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.