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Urban Matters: Material Engagements with Communities and Borders in Times of Movement

Plenary Panels

The conference will host four plenary panels.


1. Community in cities, migration, and the materiality of media (artist talks; organized by Maaike Bleeker)


2. Material approaches of religion in relation to the new materialisms narrowly or more broadly conceived (organized by Birgit Meyer)

Confirmed speakers: Dr. Marian Burchardt and Prof. Dr. Peter Braeunlein (Universität Leipzig), and Dr. Pooyan Tamimi Arab (Utrecht University). Discussant: Prof. Dr. Iris van der Tuin (Utrecht University).


3. Taking Stock of New Materialism (organized by Rick Dolphijn and Iris van der Tuin)

New materialism has a long history at Utrecht University, alongside and intersecting with other material theoretical approaches. This plenary panel goes back to the futures of this living history and takes the measure of the new materialisms, broadly conceived, by discussing genealogies, methodologies and conceptual innovations in an interdisciplinary conversation. Acknowledging that a ‘Utrecht School’ of new materialism may not exist as a totality, as we facetiously argued in a September 2008 edition of the Contemporary Cultural Theory seminar, but that it nonetheless functions as a hub of scholarly production, what coherence can be discerned in new materialist scholarship? How do scholars from the Faculty of Humanities contribute in diverse ways to provoke a turn to matter, materials, materiality? How is a material turn interdisciplinary? How do we relate to post humanism, animal studies and the critique of species-ism, and matters still unthought? To the materialist vital philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, posthumanism, OOO and different variants of speculative realism, social theory, linguistics? What perspectives do we offer for the Humanities in the 21st century? Discussants come from cultural inquiry, media theory, comparative literature, gender and performance studies, and include Prof. Rosi Braidotti, who coined the term ‘new materialism’ in the mid 1990s, Dr. Rick Dolphijn and Prof. Iris van der Tuin, who published New Materialism: Interview and Cartographies in 2012, Prof. Maaike Bleeker, Prof. Kiene Brillenburg Wurth and Dr. Kári Driscoll.


4. The study of religious and urban matters (organized and introduced by Martijn Oosterbaan)

Confirmed speakers: Dr. Stephan Lanz (European University Viadrina) on ‘The Urban Infrastructure of Entrepreneurial Religion in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas,’ Prof. Abdoumaliq Simone (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity) on ‘Social Memory and the Potentialities of Verticality’ and Dr. Markha Valenta (Radboud University Nijmegen) on ‘Our Bodies, Our Walls: The Substance of Sanctuary.’


Full details will be announced asap. Thank you for your patience!