Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Durham Geography Charlie Hebdo Event

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Today I spoke at a Durham Geography workshop on Charlie Hebdo organised by Angharad Closs Stephens

Here’s a summary of what I said:

1. The January attacks on Paris are representative of a form of violence that is urbanised. A form of urban insurgency that is increasingly common in cities around the world – Mumbai, Madrid, London, Boston, Nairobi. It exploits urban technologies/infrastructures – cars, rails, roads – and urban morphology – enclosed spaces, crowded spaces – for maximum effect. It is not new, but it’s effective. Military doctrine has warned of the complexity of urban space for a while, but this urban insurgency demonstrates a lack of effective response – partly because, as I will discuss in a minute, the proposed responses erode the core attributes of the urban environment that we value – freedom, plurality and so on. (more…)

Critical War/Military Studies: A Workshop

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Crit_War
I am pleased to be able to announce details of a workshop I have organised to take place later this month – 29th May – at Newcastle University. The workshop highlights the important agenda of critical war and critical military studies. The workshop will highlight some of the excellent work being conducted in this growing field of study. Participants will discuss what it means to study to study war and the military critically and the issues and problems this entails. Email me (martin.coward@ncl.ac.uk) if you would like to attend.

The program for the workshop is as follows:

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James Ash: Commodifying Affect

Thursday, January 20th, 2011


highscore
Creative Commons License photo credit: baboon™

I’ve been busy for the last month or so, so have fallen behind with a few things. One of the things I wanted to publicise before Christmas was James Ash‘s New Voices seminar at Newcastle Politics on November 17th 2010. James gave a paper entitled ‘Commodifying Affect: Videogames and the Technics of Affective Amplification‘. James discussed the manner in which videogames modulate affective states in order to draw the player further into their diegetic world. He effectively used Modern Warfare 2’s Second Sun sequence as an example of how affect is modulated through the interplay of scripted an unscripted events. Overall the thing I found most interesting was the way in which he suggests affect is modulated in order to make gameplay absorbing – that is to make it an experience that occupies attention to the detriment of reflection. This helps to explain the lack of attunement to moral judgement that occurs in games where players are asked to kill and maim in ways that outside the games diegetic space they may find unpalatable.

The event was podcast – you can download it here.

The Political Life of Things: Podcasts

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Nagra SNST Recorder
Creative Commons License photo credit: Matt Blaze

As I mentioned in a previous post, on 3rd December the BISA poststructural politics working group and the BISA/PSA Art and politics working group organised a one-day conference entitled ‘The Political Life of Things’ at the Imperial War Museum. The event was a success despite snow disrupting travel plans. Many thanks to all of the speakers for a provocative set of presentations. A final program for the event can be found below.

This event sought to explore questions of materiality, politics and artistic practice within the context of the Imperial War museum. The Keynote was given by Jane Bennett (Johns Hopkins).

Sound recordings of the presentations at the event are now on-line. You can access them here: http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2010/12/the-political-life-of-things/; Many thanks to backdoorbroadcasting for recording and posting this archive.
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The Political Life of Things

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

3B
Creative Commons License photo credit: hide99

Along with my colleagues Angharad Closs-Stephens, Debbie Lisle and Emily Jackson, I am organising a one day workshop at the Imperial War Museum London on 3rd December 2010. The workshop will be a joint BISA Poststructural Politics Working Group and BISA/PSA Art and Politics Group event.

Since my work turned to consider critical infrastructure and I encountered Jane Bennett’s thought provoking account of role of thing-power in the North American Blackout of 2003, I have been intrigued by the question of the materiality of political life – a question that is often only obliquely answered in the disciplines of Politics and International Relations. I hope that the discussions that are started in the December workshop will allow further explanation of the complex ecologies of political subjectivity.

I’m very excited by the group of speakers confirmed at the event so far. I also hope that we will be able to add more in the near future.We are very lucky to have Jane Bennett as well as Jeremy Dellerwhose work is currently on display at the Imperial War Museum – as keynote speakers.

For those interested, here are the full details:
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