RECLAIM (Reclaiming Forgotten Cities) is a new project involving Dr. Calvillo from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (Warwick) to support Britain’s towns and cities as they adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The aim of the RECLAIM (Reclaiming Forgotten Cities) network is to create a multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral network to maximise the social, ecological, urban, and economic positive impacts of green-blue-grey-infrastructure. The network has a central ambition of addressing the levelling up agenda by incorporating both social justice issues and ecological quality into the design of multi-functional grey, green and blue space in cities, to ensure liveable cities which are sustainable and resilient to the future challenges.
The network has been awarded £1.5 million from UK Research and Innovation and is led by the University of Surrey in collaboration with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), as well as the Universities of Bath, Bangor and Warwick. The network already has more than 200 academic, non-academic and industrial partners and is rapidly growing.
To receive updates and get involved join the network here:
Naomi Waltham-Smith is a panellist at Mischon de Reya’s event on 22 June at 6pm about the Higher Education (Freedom of Expression) Bill and its ramifications for the sector. The panel, chaired by Prof Anthony Julius, includes barrister and ECHR Commissioner Akua Reindorf, Partner Robert Lewis, Senior Associate James Murray, Buckingham VC James Tooley, and President of the Union of Jewish Students Nina Freedman. At Warwick Dr Waltham-Smith is leading the work of the Senate working group to develop a new Code on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression.
CIM is delighted to announce the success of our REF2021 submission in three Units of Assessment (UoAs) across three Faculties. All three UoAs placed our research and impact in the top 12 in the UK: Sociology - 10th, Computer Science - 4th, and Music, Drama, and Film and Television Studies - 12th.
CIM’s mission to drive world-class research by pioneering, testing and promoting interdisciplinary methods and approaches put us in an excellent position to contribute to REF 2021, with its foregrounding of interdisciplinarity. In a little over ten years, CIM has created a truly unique and vibrant academic environment in which researchers with backgrounds in fields as diverse as computer science, media studies, sociology, musicology, anthropology, architecture and ecology share ways of working.
Key to CIM's strategy for research and impact during this REF period has been its focus on advancing a distinctive approach to interdisciplinarity which works across disciplines by focusing on methodological innovation. We design, conduct and study experiments in participation in collaboration with academic colleagues across disciplines and beyond academia, implementing participatory methodologies for knowledge creation and societal engagement. We develop critical, rigorous and reflective approaches to data collection and analytics, making use of inventive methods including crowd-sourced data collection, digital mapping, DIY sensors, apps and art installations.
This strategy has enabled CIM to establish research collaborations with scientists and scholars across a wide range of disciplines and a diverse set of partners and networks connecting across academia, public policy, industry, cultural institutions and activism. The success of CIM’s transformative interdisciplinary, inter-faculty, research and impact strategy is manifest in our varied sources of funding including the ESRC, AHRC, the Alan Turing Institute, NERC, EPSRC, ERC, Horizon 2020, the Wellcome Trust, the Newton Fund, and the Leverhulme Trust.
We would like to extend our gratitude to all members of staff in CIM who contributed to or supported our REF2021 submission, and to our colleagues in Computer Science, Sociology and the Arts for working with us over the REF2021 cycle.
Discover our interdisciplinary research: some highlights of our REF2021 submission by UoA here
This article proposes the methodological and conceptual tool of ‘recursion’ as a means of understanding the production of historical continuity and discontinuity between different forms of nationalism in Bulgaria. The recent case of the demolition of the socialist-modernist monument ‘1300 Years of Bulgaria’ and its replacement with an earlier memorial from the authoritarian period of the 1930s forms the point of departure for this examination. Adopting a media and cultural studies perspective, the text focuses on the symbolic function of lions in both monuments and how they are engaged in the production of nationalist rhetoric and imagery. In line with Ann Laura Stoler’s (2016) proposition that the method of ‘recursive analytics’ can allow us to overcome the impasse formed by attempts to postulate either continuity or rupture between present and past, I first account for the histories of the erection of both monuments before proposing to read the ‘Bulgarian lions’, featuring in both of them, as recursive figures.
Dr Zofia Bednarowska-Michaiel from CIM presented her latest research project “Mobilities injustice and regional inequalities in cycling to work”
Zofia’s presentation was delivered during the 4th ERSA Winter School. The event is aimed at young researchers, where they work together with top experts in the field of spatial methods. The 5-day training focused on applied spatial quantitative methods such as spatial econometrics, spatial statistics and spatial machine learning. These are used in regional sciences, economic geography and urban studies.
Zofia’s study aims to look for spatial dependence between regional inequalities and cycling inequity. Her ERSA presentation focused on the spatial model that shows spatial disparities in cycling among London boroughs. The research results will be presented in the upcoming journal publication.
Check out the collection Reactivating Elements: Chemistry, Ecology, Practice, co-edited by CIM member Maria Puig de la Bellacasa with colleagues Dimitris Papadopoulos and Natasha Myers, and published with Duke University Press, 2022
The contributors to Reactivating Elements examine chemicals as they mix with soil, air, water, and fire to shape Earth's troubled ecologies today. They invoke the elements with all their ambivalences as chemical categories, material substances, social forms, forces and energies, cosmological entities, and epistemic objects. Engaging with the nonlinear historical significance of elemental thought across fields—chemistry, the biosciences, engineering, physics, science and technology studies, the environmental humanities, ecocriticism, and cultural studies—the contributors examine the relationship between chemistry and ecology, probe the logics that render wind as energy, excavate affective histories of ubiquitous substances such as plastics and radioactive elements, and chart the damage wrought by petrochemical industrialization. Throughout, the volume illuminates how elements become entangled with power and control, coloniality, racism, and extractive productivism while exploring alternative paths to environmental destruction. In so doing, it rethinks the relationship between the elements and the elemental, human and more-than-human worlds, today’s damaged ecosystems and other ecologies to come
As part of the international App Studies Initiative, Michael Dieter and Nate Tkacz have published the findings of their study of Covid apps, funded by the ESRC. Here is the abstract, published in the Internet Policy Review:
This article provides an exploratory systematic mapping of the global ecosystem of COVID-19 pandemic response apps. After considering policy updates by Google Play’s and Apple’s App Store, we analyse all the available response apps in July 2020; their different response types; the apps’ developers and geographical distribution; the ecosystem’s ‘generativity’ and developers’ responsiveness during the unfolding pandemic; the apps’ discursive positioning; and material conditions of their development. Google and Apple are gatekeepers of these app ecosystems and exercise control on different layers, shaping the pandemic app response as well as the relationships between governments, citizens, and other actors. We suggest that this global ecosystem of pandemic responses reflects an exceptional mode of what we call ‘pandemic platform governance’, where platforms have negotiated their commercial interests and the public interest in exceptional circumstances.
Towards the end of Wes Anderson’s film Fantastic Mr. Fox is a much-discussed scene in which the eponymous protagonist, admitting to his phobia of wolves, attempts in vain to herald in various languages a lone wolf, whose lack of clothing marks him as “wild.” The scene brings into focus the cunning that appears to make the fox “more human” and less bête than other creatures, including the lion whose brute strength must be combined in Machiavelli’s prince with foxy know-how in order to frighten off the terroristic and voraciously savage wolves. I interrogate the “cunning of cunning” signified by the fox—the second-order feigning of the feint and sovereign capacity to efface one’s tracks supposedly proper to the human and by which Agamben he gets people to believe, if only for a while, that he is the first to know who will have been first. I track—à pas de loup—Derrida’s readings of Machiavelli, Agamben, and Lacan in the third, fourth, and twelfth sessions of the first year of La bête et le souverain in order develop and set out the political stakes of his indictment of Agamben’s strategic feint—an indictment that extends not only to his theory of biopolitics and of life but to his ontologization of power, potency, and (im)potentiality more generally.
We are pleased to announce a new job opportunity. We are recruiting for an Assistant Professor. Deadline for applications: 21 Feb For details of the position please follow this link:
Women in Theory has published a book forum on Naomi Waltham-Smith’s Shattering Biopolitics: Militant Listening and the Sound of Life (Fordham UP, 2021) with contributions from Erin Graff Zivin, Michael Gallope, Daniele Lorenzini, and Julie Beth Napolin, as well as a response from Naomi.
Link to forum: https://womenintheory.org/waltham-smith/