What’s new about New Materialisms?

Friday - Saturday
4 May - 5 May 2012

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

The social sciences and humanities have long been engaged in the study of matter, materiality and materialisms. So what to make of recent announcements of the arrival of a variety of “new materialisms”? This conference brings together scholars from across the university and country to discuss a multiplicity of orientations and critical approaches to the use—and in some cases misuse—of the term and conceptual apparatus of “new materialisms” in their own work. Intentionally named as a question, What’s New About New Materialisms? is intended as an exploration of the benefits and limitations to “new” modes of thinking about and through the material. The four questions that guide contributors’ presentation are: What is new about matter? What is a method adequate to a new matter? Do “new materialisms” mark the limit of discourse? How might we attend to materiality as a property of the digital? The first day of the conference will feature faculty presentations, including two keynote addresses, and the second day will feature papers by graduate students.


Location: Tan Oak Room in the MLK Student Union

8:45am :: Registration
9:00am :: Welcome
9:15am :: Keynote Karen Barad, UC Santa Cruz
10:00am :: Paper Jenna Burrell, UC Berkeley
Materiality of Rumor
10:30am :: Break
11:00am :: Panel Conversation Kim TallBear, Environmental Science, Policy, & Management, UC Berkeley
Benedikte Zitouni, Environmental Science, Policy, & Management, UC Berkeley
Mel Chen, Gender & Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley
12:15pm :: Lunch
1:30pm :: Paper Jean-François Blanchette, Information Studies, UCLA
A Material History of Bits
2:00pm :: Coffee Break
2:30pm :: Panel Conversation Donna Jones, English, UC Berkeley
Jenny Reardon, Sociology, UC Santa Cruz
Tim Choy, Science & Technology Studies, UC Davis
Ruth Tringham, Anthropology, UC Berkeley
3:45pm :: Keynote John Borneman, Anthropology, Princeton
4:45pm :: Closing Remarks


Location: 470 Stephens Hall

9:00am :: Welcome
9:15am :: One: things Peter Ekman, UC Berkeley
Thinking New Ruins: Materialisms and the Afterlives of Built Space
Nicholas D’Avella, UC Davis
Architectural Design Practices and the Matter of Care
Cynthia Schairer, UC San Diego
Prosthesis as Actant: Accounting for the Materialism of Artificial and Organic Body Parts
Michael D’Arcy, UC Berkeley
Pharmaceutical Poiesis: Psychosis, Radical Materiality, and the Practice of the Gap
10:30am :: Two: concepts Jordan Kraemer, UC Irvine
On tactics and infrastructure: the virtual materiality of digital and social media
Ashwin Mathew, UC Berkeley
My Feet on the Ground, My Head in the Clouds: On the Production of Networked Virtual Spaces from Material Physical Infrastructures
Mather George, UC Berkeley
Agential Matters: Running with the Pack through Its Deployment as Concept in Sociology, Philosophy and Ethology
Elizabeth Goodman, UC Berkeley
Let’s (mis)behave: Enacting digital materialities
11:45am :: Lunch
12:30pm :: Three: signs Maria Cristina Visperas, UC San Diego
Material Life and Social Death: Countenancing Black Objec-hood through Politics of Matter?
Mara Green, UC Berkeley
Alcohol Drinking and Alcohol Drinkers: Corporeal Practice & Semiotic Typification in Nepali Local Sign
Liz Kelley, UC Berkeley
The “G” in “Gihad”: Political Discourse and the Materiality of Language in English Translations of Arabic Novels
Shannon Meyer, UC Santa Barbara
Literary Materialism and the Agency of the Text
2:00pm :: Closing

Graduate Student Organizers: Eric Plemons, Daniela Rosner, Michael D’Arcy

Questions: newmaterialisms@gmail.com

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies • Department of Anthropology • School of Information

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