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Culture and Analysis: Engaging Method

Culture and Analysis: Engaging Method

This project belongs to the following research constellations:

Cultural & Social Critique

Coordinator:

Murat Aydemir

Participants:

Mireille Rosello, Jan Hein Hoogstad, Christoph Lindner, Joost de Bloois, Esther Peeren, and Murat Aydemir

Description:

This project is dedicated to the discussion of the possibilities and pitfalls for research in the aftermath of the theoretical, interdisciplinary, and cultural turns in the humanities. Participants, contributors, and guests are invited to engage in theoretical reflection as well as self-reflexive practice to put to the test the divergent methods we use to connect objects, culture and theory. We propose that our reflections on method may be enriched by acknowledging the non-coincidence of method and practice. What we do and what we think we do are rarely the same thing. Research may produce results despite, but also because of, the gap between the two. Indeed, the exorbitant, unpredictable connections between what we think we do (method), what we actually do (praxis), and the research results that emerge may be most valuable, both epistemologically and politically. Considering the gap between method and practice will help us to criticize ways in which the methodologies of the humanities function not only as neutral research protocols but also, in their capacity as normalizing determinations of the human subject, as disciplinary formations in a Foucauldian vein. Our engagement with methods of, as well as case studies in, cultural analysis inquires anew into the questions whether and to what extent the methodologies of the humanities may have disciplinary and/or critical effects.

We invite proposals for new directions, priorities, affiliations and objects for cultural analysis, as well as a renewed reflection on our basic terms. Topics for debate may include: the relevance of the material specificity, textuality, and/or mediality of the object of analysis; cultural analysis in relation to close reading, criticism, critique, and hermeneutic interpretation; the place of the particularizing case study in relation to generalizing contextual and/or conceptual frames of knowledge; the place of ‘culture’ in the practice of cultural analysis; the practice of interdisciplinarity in relation to aesthetic criticism, history, philosophy, the social sciences, and cultural studies, as well as to artistic, activistic, and everyday ways of knowing; and finally, the contemporary politics of the academy, the humanities, the disciplines, and of cultural analysis.

Activities/Output:

Series of meetings that combine position papers with roundtable discussion. All ASCA members are invited to attend and contribute to meetings, as well as to propose lecturers to invite and topics to debate.