As scholars continue to take stock of Agamben’s L’Uso dei corpi, it is clear that there is much that we’ve already heard before, if only faintly, in earlier parts of the Homo Sacer project. This finale echoes repeated attacks on the presuppositional structure of language, showing Agamben to be a thinker of the unthought and one who, as Derrida observes, claims he is the first to think the unthought. With deliberate irony, I excavate two unthoughts in L’Uso dei corpi that remain as yet unspoken among critical responses.
First, Agamben’s longstanding entanglement with deconstruction goes without any explicit mention in this text beyond subtle allusions to earlier or potential encounters. While Kevin Attell has rigorously examined the relationship between Agamben and Derrida up to 2005, I argue that this more recent, albeit silent, confrontation clarifies the proximity and distance between them. I set Agamben’s use alongside Derrida’s deconstruction of metaphorical usure, arguing that both are ultimately concerned with the Heideggerian theme of the withdrawal of being. I examine to what extent use succeeds in its ambition to deactivate the presuppositional logic of the transcendental.
Second, notwithstanding his preoccupations with sound and sense, there is another Heideggerianism that Agamben doesn’t thematize as such: hearing. Reading Agamben’s sparse references to aurality alongside Derrida’s extensive engagement, I reconfigure Peter Szendy’s overhearing specifically as an usure of the ear. Using the concept to describe how the protagonists mishear one another in trying to hear too much, I overhear the dissonant resonances through which deconstruction remains the presupposition of Agamben’s thought. I argue that an abandonment of the transcendental asks that nothing remain unheard, only modified by the ear.
As part of ongoing research into COVID-19 App Store and Dataflows Ecologies, CIM researchers Michael Dieter and Nate Tkacz will deliver a talk and workshop for SummerPIT 2020 with the University of Aarhus.
As an introduction to methods for studying the design of apps and overview of ongoing critical research into apps developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CIM researchers Michael Dieter and Nate Tkacz will deliver a talk and workshop as part the forthcoming Participatory Information Technology Centre (PIT) Summer School organized at the University of Aarhus.
The PIT Centre extends the Scandinavian participatory design tradition, which has historically focused on involving people in the introduction of technology to their workplaces. However, during the recent decades, information technology has become an integrated element of almost all parts of people’s everyday lives, including leisure, civic activity, art, and culture, thereby establishing new forms of participation and social practices. The pervasiveness of information technology in human life poses new challenges for the way participation occurs, is supported, and understood.
Accordingly, PIT poses the fundamental question of what participation currently means, and how it may be supported by IT, today and in the future.
Taking place on August 17-18 in a virtual setting, SummerPIT 2020 will bring together international researchers from across PIT-related research areas, local researchers, and PhD students to reflect on and discuss software-based and participatory responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
Online registration here: https://pit.au.dk/pit-talks-and-events/summerpit-2020/
Teaching Fellow (102024-0720)
The Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies seeks to appoint a 1 year full-time Teaching Fellow. You will contribute to our Masters programmes by teaching on one or more of our existing modules and may be required to develop your own module in collaboration with other members of the Centre.
Please find more information here
Application deadline: 5 August 2020
If you have any queries, please email prof. Noortje Marres (CIM Director) at N.Marres@warwick.ac.uk
A discussion about the hopes and challenges for Open Knowledge with Sarah de Rijcke and Ludo Waltman, co-authors of the Leiden Manifesto, and University of Warwick scientists and scholars from across the Faculties.
Recorded on February 5 2020
What could be the role of scholars and scientists in exploring and nurturing the partly unknown futures of “open research”? Openness is today promoted and implemented across diverse knowledge spheres as a transformative ideal, from academic publishing to research evaluation and engaged approaches in humanities scholarship. It should therefore not surprise us that understandings of what is at stake in the advancement of open research diverge widely, between the sciences and humanities, fundamental and applied research, and between different types of knowledge organisations (academic departments, research libraries, scientific journals). But"open research” may also enable new, still under-explored, connections that cut across these boundaries, as it invites experimentation with data tools, archival materials, publishing formats and citizen engagement.
This round table generated a wide-ranging discussion about the varied opportunities and risks of “open science” with two influential scholars and advocates of open research, prof Sarah de Rijcke and prof Ludo Waltman of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (University of Leiden), both authors of The Leiden Manifesto. Profs De Rijcke and Waltman will enter into conversation with leading Warwick scientists and scholars from different faculties: prof Robin Ball (Physics), Robin Green and Yvonne Budden (Warwick Library) and prof Sarah Richardson(History). Prof Noortje Marres (Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies) will act as moderator of the discussion.
This discussion was recorded on 5 February 2020, during a Round table event hosted by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick
Mission local, @MLNow, Twitter, May 22, 2020
Surfacing testing situations beyond the laboratory
Monday 22nd June & Tuesday 23rd June 2020, 1000-1600 BST
Co-organised by: the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (University of Warwick),
the Department of Digital Humanities (King’s College London), and the Public Data Lab.
“Test, test, test!” - Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
Over the last months, testing – and not testing - for COVID-19 has emerged as a central concern as our societies grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. Much of the debate has focused on the merits of different types of tests and testing infrastructures (PCR; anti-body; symptom-based testing through apps). However, equally remarkable about COVID testing is the locations in which it takes place and is expected to place, in everyday places beyond the laboratory, like the home, and the parking lots of superstores.
In this two-day online workshop we will conduct a collaborative analysis of Twitter data relating to COVID-19 in order to facilitate a dialogue about the social life of testing, across expert – lay distinctions. The aim is to draw out from Twitter reporting on COVID-19 testing a social understanding of COVID-19 testing as everyday situation, and, potentially, as tests of society. We are also interested in developing and documenting approaches to curating and infrastructuring environments for collaborative interpretative data analysis, given the unusually large Twitter datasets that have been gathered across our institutions.
How to participate
We invite PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and interested researchers at Warwick, KCL and Public Data Lab affiliated centres (scroll down) to join us. If you are interested in participating, please email a brief introduction and expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org before 12 June.
If you have expertise in areas which are relevant to the workshop (e.g. social media analysis, sociology of testing, visual methods,) please do mention them in your email.
As this is a research workshop that will involve working together in small groups, we expect to be able to accommodate around 20-25 people, but we hope to be flexible. If you know of others who might be interested, please email email@example.com and we can get in touch.
For more recent work on the sociology of testing you can refer to this recent special issue on “Put to the Test ‐ The Sociology of Testing” in British Journal of Sociology: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/14684446/2020/71/3
This project is supported by the University of Warwick's Global Research Priority Innovative Manufacturing and the Future of Materials .
Image credit: "The new Tenderloin mobile site was supposed to make testing accessible and easy, but requiring a smartphone and Google account nixed that possibility” Mission local, @MLNow, Twitter, May 22, 2020
Special Issue of the British Journal of Sociology, April 2020
The issue investigates the changing and expanding role of testing in contemporary society, politics, economy and everyday life, through empirical studies of testing in society, from pregnancy testing to citizen tests by immigration agencies, social credit experiments in China and randomized controlled trials of development, and brings together leading international sociologists and scholars in science and technology studies.
The issue includes an introductory essayby the editors on why we need a new sociology of testing. Noortje Marres introduces the theme of the special issue, and its relevance to the current COVID crisis, in her video abstract. David Stark introduces the Special Issue on the Blindspot blog.
Contributors introduce their studies in video abstracts embedded in the articles, Most of which have now been published in early view:
- Jonathan Bach (New School for Social Research) - The red and the black: China’s social credit experiment as a total test environment
- Natham Coombs (Edinburgh University) - What do stress tests test? Experimentation, demonstration, and the sociotechnical performance of regulatory science
- Giovanni Formilan (University of Edinbrugh Business Shool) and David Stark (University of Warwick) Underground testing: Name‐altering practices as probes in electronic music
- Luciana de Souza Leão (University of Michigan) - What’s on trial? The making of field experiments in international development
- Janet Vertesi (Princeton University) - Testing planets: Institutions tested in an era of uncertainty
- Noortje Marres (University of Warwick) - Co‐existence or displacement: Do street trials of intelligent vehicles test society?
- Willem Schinkel (Erasmus University Rotterdam) - State work and the testing concours of citizenship
- Martin Tironi (University de Santiago de Chile) - Prototyping public friction: Exploring the political effects of design testing in urban space
- Joan Robinson (City University New York) - Sex reckoning: Pregnancy testing and intimate life
Measures undertaken to face the current COVID-19 pandemic have an impact on social relations on many different levels. In this moment, the task of sociology is to reflect on these consequences and their implications for ongoing social transformations. To this end, David Stark and the other editors of Sociologica offer the journal as an open forum to host contributions on these topics or on other research questions connected with the COVID-19 crisis.
As an international online journal for sociological debate, with neither pay-walled access nor pay-for-publication policy, Sociologica can allow for rapid dissemination and open discussion. We commit ourselves to peer-review any contribution at the highest standards and publish rapidly all accepted papers.
We welcome proposals by scholars or teams of scholars for: (1) symposia on strategic topics for the post-COVID-19 sociology, organized through open calls for papers or as groups of papers already commissioned by symposia editors (or a mix of open and commissioned papers); (2) papers reflecting on the most important challenges, in the standard format of scientific articles or in shorter form; (3) flashback and focus papers discussing the COVID-19 outbreak in the light of social history or using sociological tools to reconsider its challenges; (4) accounts and reconstructions of the COVID-19 events in unconventional formats.
Assistant Professor (102864-0320)
The Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM) at the University of Warwick is looking to appoint a permanent Assistant Professor with a record of internationally recognised research, and a strong track record in the design and delivery of teaching. We are interested in applications from scholars positioned anywhere on the interdisciplinary spectrum, ranging from arts and humanities, to social sciences, computer science, information, environmental and natural sciences.
Please find more information here
Application deadline: 5 April 2020
If you have any queries, please email prof. Noortje Marres (CIM Director) at N.Marres@warwick.ac.uk
Upcoming talk - Dieter, "Recounting Media Art and Net Criticism Mailinglists (1995-2019)" (DSI Lancaster)
CIM researcher Michael Dieter will co-present a keynote with David Gauthier titled 'Recounting Media Art and Net Criticism Mailinglists (1995-2019)' at the Data Science Institute, Lancaster University on 19th March as part of the Data Visualisation Workshop for Critical Computational Discourse. The presentation will draw primarily from material on computational methods and media art mailinglists recently published in the journal Internet Histories - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/24701475.2019.1674580.
For more information and to register, see: https://portal.lancaster.ac.uk/intranet/news/article/data-visualisation-workshop-for-critical-computational-discourse-19th-march