History seminars at the IHR

Marxism in Culture

Convenors:  Matthew Beaumont, Dave Beech, Alan Bradshaw, Warren Carter, Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Larne Abse Gogarty, Esther Leslie, David Mabb, Antigoni Memou, Chrysi Papaioannou, Nina Power, Dominic Rahtz, Pete Smith, Peter Thomas & Alberto Toscano.

Contacts: For further information, please contact Larne Abse Gogarty at larne.gogarty.09@ucl.ac.uk or Chrysi Papaioannou at chrysi_p@yahoo.co.ukThe link to the web-site is http://www.marxisminculture.org.

Venue: Wolfson Room I, unless otherwise stated in the programme below.

Time: Friday, 5.30pm

Some podcasts from this Seminar are available online

Spring Term 2015
DateSeminar details
23 January Nanotechnology: Imagining the Invisible

Norah Campbell (Trinity College)

Abstract: Advertisements for high-technology products and services visualize processes and phenomena which are unvisualizable, such as globalization, networks and information. We turn our attention specifically to the case of nanotechnology advertisements, using an approach that combines visual and sonic culture. Just as phenomena such as complexity and networks have become established in everyday discourse, nanotechnology seizes the social imaginary by establishing its own aesthetic conventions. Elaborating Raymond Williams’ concept of structures of feeling, we show that in visualizing nanotechnology, its stakeholders employ spaces, verbs, and objects of feeling. These favorable nanotechnology structures of feeling are woven into the social imaginary, recursively producing the reality they describe.
Norah Campbell teaches in Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin. Her research is interdisciplinary and currently focuses on psychoanalysis and climate change, the philosophy of technology and speculative realism.

6 March A special session on music and radical politics convened by Cesura Acceso with the following speakers:

Time Negatives of Variable Universe: On Sun Ra and Amiri Baraka

Sean Bonney

Sean will present an extract from his (still in progress) book on Amiri Baraka, about the impact Sun Ra had on Baraka's ideas about the meaning of politically engaged art, and in particular, upon his work with the Harlem based Black Arts Repertory Theatre.
Sean Bonney's books include Happiness, The Commons and Document: Poems, Diagrams, Manifestos. His work has been translated into several languages, and he has performed it at occupations, on demonstrations, in the back-rooms of pubs, in seminar rooms, on picket lines and at international poetry festivals. He lives in Walthamstow, East London.

Walter Benjamin and the Black Atlantis
Ayesha Hameed

Ayesha will present a series of sounds and images that she has been collecting in an assembly called Black Atlantis – a project that looks at the Black Atlantic and its afterlives in contemporary illegalized migration at sea, in oceanic environments, through Afrofuturistic dancefloors and soundsystems and in outer space. Using Walter Benjamin's concept of the dialectical image she will examine how to think through sound, image, water, violence and history as elements of an active archive; and time travel as an historical method.
Dr. Ayesha Hameed is a writer and artist who explores historical and contemporary borders and migration in her research. She is currently completing a monograph entitled Walter Benjamin and the Black Atlantis. A second project, A Rough History (of the destruction of fingerprints) was exhibited as part of the Forensic Architecture group exhibition in the House of World Cultures (Berlin) in 2014.

The Loss of Innocence and the Growth of Despair: The Contradiction of Childhood in Contemporary Music
Paul Rekret

Rarely remarked upon, the child's voice has frequently featured as a trope in pop musics; from folk, to soul, to hip hop; from Magical Power Mako, to Archie Shepp, to Jay Z. Drawing on social theories of children and childhood, this paper seeks to understand the ways in which young voices have been employed to evoke particular musical affects.
Paul Rekret teaches political theory at Richmond University.


20 March Title and abstract to be confirmed

Nick Beech (Oxford Brookes)

Please note:  this session takes place in the Torrington Room, 104, in the South Block, on the first floor