Category Archives: Announcements and Listings

Civilisation, Infrastructure and the City

Friday 7th Nov, 9:45-15:00
UCL Taviton 433, 16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW

The world is concurrently urbanising and digitising, and both phenomena are routinely admitted amongst the most important drivers of change in the 21st century. Yet, how do processes of urbanisation and digitisation affect the creation and perpetuation of everyday local culture? Are they mechanical drivers which deterministically imprint themselves on society or is the question of their efficacy a more complicated matter?

 This one-day workshop will explore these questions, contextualising them with recent research from the field. Held with the generous support of the UCL Centre for Research into the Dynamics of Civilisation (CREDOC), it will bring together researchers from the fields of urban studies, human geography, digital anthropology, finance and ICT for development. The workshop will be held at UCL on November 7th. With spaces for the workshop limited, people interested in participating as delegates should sign up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Please see the attached poster for more and register you interest here.

Cultures of Mending: A collaborative workshop

Mending is a multifaceted practice.  It has long-established roots spanning centuries of human productive effort.  Today it is experiencing a revival as a result of grassroots innovation movements and initiatives which seek to foster repair, re-use, upcycling and other creative forms of waste prevention.

Whilst it may be argued that mending practices never went away for some (Bond et al. 2013; Hackney 2013), in recent decades they have largely been marginalised by more spectacular and conspicuous forms of contemporary consumption, leisure and/or domestic practice, as well as the widespread acceptance of product ‘disposability’ (Cooper 2005; van Nes 2010).  Yet – and partly as a direct response to the phenomena of premature product obsolescence – an enthusiastic minority has remained committed to the political potential of mending as a critique of capitalist society (e.g. Fickey 2011; Maycroft 2009).  Further, the persistence of austerity for many in the UK and beyond has necessitated for some households a return to ‘making do’ practices associated with historic periods of war and recession (Hall 2011; De Silvey 2012).

Mending is therefore a rich field of enquiry for both academics and activists, and one that deserves further investigation in relation to contemporary trends and socio-technical systems. MEND*RS seeks to contribute to the discussion through a workshop at the forthcoming conference on Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE).  The PLATE conference aims to review current research on how and why increased product lifetimes have become an important element in resource efficiency, waste reduction and low carbon strategies for sustainability. The need to prolong the usable lives of material objects as a means of reducing waste and conserving resources has been made explicit (Bulkeley and Gregson 2009; DEFRA 2011), and mending is a clear ally of this drive.  This is not only because it employs human agency and ingenuity to divert objects back into the realm of use and value (Gregson et al. 2009; Parsons 2008; Lepawsky and Mather 2011), but because it simultaneously negates the need for further resource use in the production of a replacement.

The focus of this collaborative workshop is the production of mending cultures by individual and collective human and non-human agencies; in other words, shared practices oriented around prolonging the usable lives of material things, recognising the durability of both the object and the value(s) and meaning(s) associated with it.  In conjunction with practitioners, activists, and thinkers from diverse disciplinary background we seek to explore the practices and knowledges at the heart of mending culture(s); the meanings created and drawn upon; how such a culture is – or could be – produced; and the most significant barriers to its long-term sustainability.

We are interested in discussion that touches on any of the following:

  • The role of ‘deep’ engagement with material objects, as facilitated by mending, in awakening human sensitivity to the situatedness of consumption in environments which necessarily must absorb its impacts (e.g. Brook 2012);
  • Repair as a mechanism for achieving novelty through production rather than consumption, i.e. that idea that what is needed is effort to make new relationships with things rather than making new things (Gill and Lopes 2011);
  • Maintenance and repair as a vital source of improvement, variation, customization, improvisation and innovation (Graham & Thrift, 2007)
  • Cultures and socialities of repair as facilitators of increased human wellbeing, self-esteem and self-efficacy associated with the pleasure of competence (Crawford 2010; Gauntlett 2011; Hackney 2013);
  • The human/non-human/material configurations and spatial locations/arrangements conducive to the emergence and sustainability of mending culture;
  • Conceptualisations of waste vis-à-vis repair: how do we conceptualise waste and our role in its production; and how might this be mobilised in support of mending culture(s)?
  • How different ways of engaging with mending as ‘alternative’ consumption speak to the interests of different population segments, such as anti-capitalist disengagement from the market, or a means of achieving distinction in style and practices in a homogenised material culture.
  • The temporalities of a sustainable mending culture: how to contest the anachronism associated with some kinds of mending practice and, instead, draw positively from historic practices.
  • The new DIY trend: how mending can be considered a focus for distributed production systems (e.g. FabLab, Techshop) and the wider impact of these systems on the environmental implications of production (Troxler 2013).
  • Grassroots innovation for mending and repair: what kinds of windows of opportunities are there for scaling-up and what barriers may be encountered?

In order to facilitate close collaboration, a limited number of applicants will be selected for participation in the workshop. Candidates are invited to apply via the submission of a 1,000 to 1,500 word position statement outlining their vision, ideas or experiences in relation to one topic from the above list.

Please email your position statement to by 17th December 2014.  Accepted submissions will be confirmed by 19th January 2015. The proposal for this workshop will be submitted to the PLATE conference organisers by 16th February 2015, including the list of participants and topics of discussions.



Jonnet Middleton, Lancaster University

Giuseppe Salvia, Nottingham Trent University

Rebecca Collins, University of Chester

Blanca Callén, Open University of Catalonia

Call for Papers: Photography in Print

Via Prof. Elizabeth Edwards, De Montfort University
22-23 JUNE 2015
Photographic History Research Centre De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

The 2015 PHRC Annual International Conference will address the complex and wide range question of ‘photography in print.’ The conference aims to explore the functions, affects and dynamics of photographs on the printed page. Many of the engagements with photographs, both influential and banal, are through print, whether in newspapers, books, magazines or advertising. We would like to consider what are the practices of production and consumption? What are the affects of design and materiality? How does the photograph in print present a new dynamic of photography’s own temporal and spatial qualities? In addition, photography can be said to be ‘made’ through the printed page and ‘print communities’. What is the significance of photography’s own robust journal culture in the reproduction of photographic values? How has photographic history been delivered through the printed page? What are the specific discourses of photography in the print culture of disciplines as diverse as history and art history, science and technology?

Photography in Print continues the theme of previous PHRC conferences, which have explored photographic business practices and flows of photographic knowledge. We would, therefore, like to invite abstracts for papers on these important themes of photography in print. We welcome papers not only on the printed media itself but also on its contextualising processes (e.g. techniques, reception, work practices, design and social impacts). We also welcome interdisciplinary studies from, for example science, history, anthropology, and mass-media. Papers might consider the following key topics but, of course, are not limited to them:

  • Photographic Press
  • Journals and Magazines
  • Photographic Books
  • Writing about Photography (historiography)
  • Photography’s printed ephemera
  • Printed photographs and social as well as technical change

Papers are welcome from all career stages. The PHRC can offer three small bursaries of £100 to help Ph.D. students with travel and accommodation expenses. Please indicate when submitting your abstract if you would like to be considered.

Abstracts of no more than 200-300 words should be sent to: by December 1st 2014.

Museums at the Crossroads: Local Knowledge, Global Encounters May 14-21, 2015

Via Jason Jackson, Mathers Museum

The Indiana University Mathers Museum of World Cultures and School of Global and International Studies invite applications for up to eight Museum Partners who will take part in an innovative international workshop on the future of museums of culture and history. The call for applications for Museums at the Crossroads: Local Knowledge, Global Encounters closes November 15, 2014.

Across the world, as academically based scholars of social and cultural theory graft new shoots onto the older disciplinary roots of their work, their counterparts in the museum are drawing new meaning from the artifacts and images that fill their galleries and storerooms. This project leverages Indiana University’s resources in both humanities scholarship and museum practice to bring those groups together-marrying global theorists with practitioners of learning in localized, sensory environments, and asking what each can teach the other about the ties that join world cultures.

Today’s international museum professionals–many of them working in institutions whose missions and collections still reflect that institution’s Enlightenment-era faith in categorization, hierarchy, empiricism, and disciplinary clarity–must navigate their way through a series of challenges to the very relevance of their work. Which way will they turn through these crossroads?

For the purpose of this program, we identify three such crossroads as particularly pertinent to the ongoing vitality of museums as places of learning and discovery:

Cultural Crossroads: the challenge of understanding interconnected, global cultures that are no longer easily categorized, as they were in the era in which many of the world’s most prominent museums came into being, along a traditional normative scale ranging from “civilized” to “primitive”

Disciplinary Crossroads: the challenge of adapting institutions steeped in disciplinary tradition (as sites for the practice of history, anthropology, natural history, etc.) to the new work of scholarly disciplines increasingly inclined to draw upon one another’s methods and sources in their shared pursuit of understanding of the human condition

Artifactual Crossroads: the challenge of adapting to the blurred lines that now separate traditionally defined categories of “virtual” and “real” in our encounters with the material world

The challenge faced by museums–such as the Mathers–that seek to understand global culture is, in other words, no longer simply one of ensuring global coverage. It is instead to restore to the museum the vibrancy, nimbleness, and sense of opportunity that led scholars, curators, and their audiences alike to see in places such as the Smithsonian (or, more than a century later, the MMWC) the genuine opportunity for both the discovery (“increase”) and teaching (“diffusion”) of new knowledge about the world.

Others are facing this challenge already. Museum scholars and practitioners have considered elements of these problems in conferences, exhibitions, and published research. Nowhere, however, have we seen our crossroads defined as discrete elements of a single, common challenge: that of making museums-localized sites of interaction among humans and material artifacts-work in a world increasingly characterized by abstract social relationships and immaterial experiences. Such a challenge requires intellectual tools beyond those traditionally employed within the professional world of museums, just as it demands a level of engagement-with artifacts and with audiences-beyond that commonly associated with scholars in the academy.

Museums at the Crossroads accomplishes its goals through an eight-day program of workshops, tours, charrettes, and social interactions among its participants. The result of their collaboration will be threefold:

For IU: The institute yields a set of program or exhibition proposals, based on the MMWC’s mission and collections, intended to maximize the museum’s future impact on research and teaching within the College, the SGIS, and across the campus.

For conference attendees’ home institutions: The institute results in a corresponding “take-home” project based on two shared questions designed to force these local sites into a global dialogue: “What can your museum teach the world?” and “What can your museum learn from the world?” Through additional fundraising and intellectual collaboration beyond the initial grant period, we hope to realize these projects and link them to one another through virtual sites or traveling components.

For the larger community of scholars and practitioners: The work of the institute and its follow-on projects will be documented in diverse publishing venues, including Museum Anthropology Review, the MMWC’s peer-reviewed, open access journal. Published materials deriving from the institute will include a publicly and permanently available (via IUScholarWorks Repository) project report authored by the principal investigators in cooperation with campus faculty participants.

This project has been made possible by the School of Global and International Studies, Indiana University.

For media inquiries: Judith Kirk, Assistant Director,, or 812-855-1696

For general questions or applications: Sarah Hatcher, Head of Programs and Education,, or 812-855-0197.

Survivor Objects

“Survivor Objects” considers the meanings of material objects that have been tempered by trauma. By bearing historical witness, such objects can come to hold a privileged place in cultural memory and, as a result, play a powerful role for present-day communities. The symposium features faculty, graduate students, curators, and conservation specialists from across the country.  Please see the full program for panel and paper topics.

Details are available on the website


CALL FOR PAPERS: The Craft Museum: Ideals and Practice

March 13, 2015, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

Keynote: Sir Christopher Frayling, former Rector, Royal College of Art

Paper submissions from senior and emerging museum professionals, scholars, and educators are invited for this symposium, which will examine the role of the craft museum in modern culture. Coinciding with the renovation of the Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian’s national craft museum, this program seeks a lively dialogue on craft’s institutional mission, and the execution of programming devoted to the collection, conservation, presentation, and study of craft. The issue of how to interpret the field of craft in a museum setting is increasingly urgent as the boundaries of its teaching, practice, reception, and the discipline’s very definition shift dramatically in the first quarter of the 21st century.

Potential topics include:

-       The museum as an engine of craft research and scholarship

-       Diversifying audiences for craft

-       Materiality and the digital museum

-       Viewing craft: new approaches to museum design

-       Evolving interpretations of skill

-       The conceptual turn in an aesthetic field

-       STEAM? Museums and craft education

-       Competing interpretations of craft in museums of art, anthropology, and archaeology

-       Museum citizenship, ethics, and the public trust

-       Interpretive and collection strategies for post-studio craft

-       The future of studio craft collections

-       The relationship between museums and the academy

-       Craft’s position within large institutions

-       The state of the dedicated craft institution

-       The history of craft museology

Please submit a 300-word abstract and short CV to Nicholas Bell, The Fleur and Charles Senior Curator of American Craft and Decorative Art, and Nora Atkinson, The Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, at Proposals are due by December 5, 2014. Applicants will be notified of their status by January 2, 2015. The symposium will be webcast.

RAI Horniman Museum Collecting Initiative (2014-2015)

As part of Collections People Stories: Anthropology Re-Considered, an Arts Council England (ACE) funded project taking place at the Horniman Museum, 2012-2015, we are seeking PhD Students or Postdoctoral Fellows, who plan to carry out fieldwork in 2014-2015 to make small collections for the museum.

Deadline: 30 September 2014

Collections People Stories: Anthropology Re-Considered is undertaking a detailed review and documentation of the Horniman’s Anthropology collections, highlighting the range, scale and importance of both its stored collections and those on display. The project sets out to investigate new and innovative ways of collections research, engagement and interpretation. It will facilitate academic and community consultation and debate, to both unpack the legacy of the anthropology collections and unlock their values for communities and visitors today. The different activities and events over the course of the project will feed into establishing a vision, and funding bid, for a major new anthropology gallery at the museum.

The Horniman has had a long legacy of fieldwork collecting. As part of the Collections People Stories project, they are keen to further expand on their remit of contemporary collecting at the museum.

We would like applicants to collect a single object or small selection of objects related to their own research area that would be of interest to the museum. The object needs to be visually appealing and culturally significant, an object that would easily lend itself to being displayed at the museum. The object/s collected should also have a rich context and we strongly encourage the use of photographs and videos showing the object being used and/or being made.

We are also interested in proposals that employ different models of field collecting, for instance asking local people what they would collect to represent themselves etc.

Please send us a proposal (up to 1,500 words) outlining, in brief, your research interests, fieldwork plans, including a proposal of objects you would like to collect for the museum.

£500 in expenses will be given to 3 people, selected by the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Please note: This fee includes object acquisition, packing and transport costs, so please take this into account within your proposal. Please also bear in mind museum conservation and storage issue when choosing your object. The Horniman’s Acquisition Policy can be found here:

Those selected will be expected to meet with Horniman curators before fieldwork, write a short report for the museum and an object narrative which will be posted on the museum’s website,

If you have any questions regarding the Horniman Museum collections, or want to know more about the holdings from your specific research areas, please contact Sarah Byrne,

All submissions should be sent by 30 September 2014 to: Amanda Vinson, Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT (

Copies, Copyright and Preservation

Special Issue co-edited by Ines Weizman and Jorge Otero-Pailos

Future Anterior invites essays that explore the relationship between copyright and preservation from a historical, theoretical and critical perspective. Both copyright and preservation laws are aimed at protecting unique human achievements, but they point to different, even opposing threats. Whereas copyright is meant to protect private interests from public encroachments, preservation mostly aims to safeguard the public interest against private forces. But as the categories of private and public are redrawn under the pressures of globalization, what challenges and opportunities lay ahead for preservation?

Both preservation and copyright law attempt to answer a basic question: Who has the right to make a copy? This question has a long but unexplored history within preservation. Carlo Fea, the Italian neo-classical jurist and preservationist, passed laws to forbid overzealous collectors form taking original sculptures from churches and using poor replacement copies as payments for cash-strapped priests. But as copying techniques improved, it became common to place copies outdoors and to move original works of architecture and sculpture inside museums (think of the copies that replaced the original capitals of the Doge’s Palace, or the replica of Michelangelo’s David in Piazza della Signoria). These days, preservation and copyright are both challenged by new modes of digital production, which put new pressure on the notion of absolute authorship and ownership.

What makes mechanical architectural copies so interesting is that, even though they emerge at the same time as reproductions in other fields, they escaped the same association as representative phenomena of modernity. Yet, just like the print, the photograph, the film or the digital file, architectural copies are a product of architecture and a media form in themselves, part of an endless series of ‘aura-less’ multiplications. Legal scholar Bernard Edelman has shown how in nineteenth-century France photographs were at first considered to be mere mechanical reproductions of reality, and hence in the public domain. It was only when photography became accepted as an artistic practice that it received legal protection and ‘the real as object in law [became] susceptible to appropriation, sale and contracts’. To what degree does contemporary art still serve as the measure and instrument for the regulation of copies? Can copyright law help explain the opposition to consider preservationists as artists, or even authors? Essays may investigate these questions, as well as critically analyze modes and practices of appropriation in preservation as they compare to other fields.

As the production of architectural copies is becoming more digital, networked and diffused, we are witnessing more aggressive legal attempts to control the right to reproduce architecture. As Winnie Won Yin Wong wrote (Future Anterior 9.1) recent legal attempts to define “trade dress” signal an attempt to regulate, not just architectural form, but also ambiance and atmosphere as property. From the perspective of preservation, which relies heavily on design guidelines to implement legally binding decisions, what is the future of aesthetic regulation? We welcome essays that explore how objects (and specifically architectural interiors, buildings and cities) have been and are today presented, discussed and contested (in court, or other legal debates) as a dispute over authorial, private or public property.

In preservation, intellectual copyright is hard to define and regulate – harder than in most other arts. Its potential scope is also overwhelming, implying that almost every gesture in the construction of space would have to be protected. What sorts of architectural and urban copies are subject to copyright? If copyright is the right to copy, replicate, duplicate and receive the financial benefits of this act, could one argue copyright law in fact enabled architecture to be copied, replicated, mass produced and exported across the world? How did the circulation of copies help or undermine the idea of preservation in-situ? How could the history of national and international copyright laws inform that of modern preservation?

Future Anterior invites papers from scholars in preservation and its allied fields (juridical studies, architectural history, art history, anthropology, archeology, geography, political science, urban studies, and planning) that explore these and related questions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Future Anterior is a peer-reviewed journal that approaches the field of historic preservation from a position of critical inquiry. A comparatively recent field of professional study, preservation often escapes direct academic challenges of its motives, goals, forms of practice and results. Future Anterior invites contributions that ask these difficult questions from philosophical, theoretical, and practical perspectives.

Articles submitted for peer review should be no more than 4000 words, with five to seven illustrations. Text must be formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition. All articles must be submitted in English, and spelling should follow American convention. All submissions must be submitted electronically. Text should be saved as Microsoft Word or RTF format, while accompanying images should be sent as TIFF files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at 8” by 9” print size. Figures should be numbered and called out clearly between paragraphs in the text. Image captions and credits must be included with submissions. It is the responsibility of the author to secure permissions for image use and pay any reproduction fees. A brief author biography (around 100 words) must accompany the text.

For further manuscript guidelines, please visit:

Acceptance or rejection of submissions is at the discretion of the editors.

Please do not send original materials, as submissions will not be returned.

Please email all submissions to:

CFP: Studies and Dialogues between Anthropology and Art

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers and Visual Projects for the Conference Studies and Dialogues between Anthropology and Art organized by the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. The conference will take place in Lima on November 19 -21, 2014.

The keynote speakers for our conference will be Dr. George Marcus, Chancellor´s Professor of Anthropology at University of California Irvine, and Dr. Fred Myers, Silver Professor of Anthropology at New York University.

The deadline for submissions is August 05, 2014. The language of the Conference will be Spanish. For more information and conference updates, please visit our website at

We look forward to submissions!


Giuliana Borea, Conference coordinator

Theorising Personal Medical Devices: New Perspectives

CfP, Symposium hosted by the Social Analysis of Health Network, Cantab

Closes Monday 14 July

Having worked with Professor Julienne Hanson at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies for some time, I became increasingly aware of the relationships between materiality and social well-being. Indeed, there is currently some fascinating scholarship on the issues dealing with ethnography and technology as well as the home, the indi-vid(s)ual and collective forms of medical care.

This current symposium CfP is a fine example of this, featuring medical anthropologists known in the UCL community as well as within EASA and other networks.

For further info please see:

Social Analysis of Health Network (SAHN) website:


18-19 September 201, Post-doctoral Suite, 16 Mill Lane, University of Cambridge.

Fuelled by the accelerating pace of technological development and a general shift to personalised, patient-led medicine alongside the growing Quantified Self and Big Data movements, the emerging field of personal medical devices is one which is advancing rapidly across multiple domains and disciplines – so rapidly that conceptual and empirical understandings of personal medical devices, and their clinical, social and philosophical implications, often lag behind new developments and interventions. Personal medical devices – devices that are attached to, worn by, interacted with, or carried by individuals for the purposes of generating biomedical data and/or carrying out medical interventions with/on the person concerned – have become increasingly significant in clinical and extra-clinical contexts owing to a range of factors including the growth of multimorbidity and chronic disease in ageing populations and the increasing sophistication and miniaturisation of personal devices themselves.

Paper proposals should of: a paper title, authors/co-authors, a short abstract of fewer than 300 characters, a long abstract of fewer than 250 words.

Submissions from both early career and more established researchers are welcome, with a small number of the presentation slots reserved for early-career researchers (i.e. doctoral students or researchers in their first post-doctoral position). Thanks to Wellcome Trust funding we are also able to offer a limited amount of funding towards travel costs and cost of attendance for three early career presenters. Please specify if you would like to be considered for this.