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ASCA Theory Seminar: Methods and Forms

Convenors: Esther Peeren and Jaap Kooijman. Coordinator: Eloe Kingma | ​​​​​​13 October 2022; 10 November 2022; 7 December 2022; 9 February 2023; 9 March 2023; en 6 April 2023. | Methods and Forms: Videographic Criticism, Close Reading, Artistic Research, Field Work, Auto-Theory, Activist Scholarship.

2022-2023: Methods and Forms

We will meet, in person with a Zoom option for those unable to be in Amsterdam, from 15:00-17:00 on 13 October 2022, 10 November 2022, 7 December 2022, 9 February 2023, 9 March 2023 and 6 April 2023.

In this year's Theory Seminar, we will explore the different methods and forms we use in our research, with sessions focusing on videographic criticism, close reading, artistic research, fieldwork, autotheory and activist scholarship. Participants should commit to attending all sessions and should be willing to co-chair a session.

To register, please email Eloe Kingma at by 20 September 2022.

The aim of the ASCA Theory Seminar is twofold:

First, we propose to explore broad theoretical and methodological paradigms, and discuss influential texts in relation to ASCA PhD projects. Participants of the Theory Seminar will become acquainted with current practices in cultural analysis and learn how to integrate them in their own work.

The second important aim of the Theory Seminar is community building. The seminar aims to bring together PhD candidates from the diverse disciplines within ASCA to learn about each other’s research projects, struggles and joys, and to make new friends. To serve this latter purpose, each session will end in a café with drinks.

The ASCA Theory is a collective initiative of the PhD candidates and the ASCA directors. The ASCA directors, Esther Peeren and Jaap Kooijman, will be involved as ‘guides’, formulating a theme and selecting some of the readings. The sessions will be prepared and chaired by a team of (two to four) PhD candidates from different disciplines. They are expected to propose an additional reading and to show how the particular theoretical paradigm under discussion is of use to them in their project. 

We want to create a regular group for all six sessions, so if you register you are making a commitment to participate in all sessions. We recommend that all PhD candidates in their first and second year follow the ASCA Theory Seminar integrally. PhD candidates who are in their third year or further along are very welcome to join, too, as are ASCA staff members.

Please register for the ASCA Theory Seminar by sending an e-mail to Eloe ( with a short summary of your project (no more than 100 words) and a prefernce for one of the sessions you would like to co-organize. Please register before 30 September 2022.

Videographic Criticism – 13 October 2022

Eric S. Faden, “A Manifesto for Critical Media.” Mediascape (Spring 2008):

Kevin B. Lee, “What Makes a Video Essay Great,” (2014):

Chiara Grizzaffi, ‘Poeticizing the Academy: Poetic Approaches to the Scholarly Audiovisual Essay.” The Cine-Files 15 (Fall 2020):

Close Reading – 10 November 2022

Barbara Herrnstein Smith, “What was ‘close reading’? A century of method in literary studies.” the minnesota review 87 (2016): 57-75.

Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman, “Chapter Three: Living with Negativity.” In Sex, Or the Unbearable by Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman. Duke University Press, 2014. 63-117. 

Lydia Davis, “Break It Down.” In Sex, Or the Unbearable by Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman. Duke University Press, 2014. 127-133.

Artistic Research – Wednesday (!) 7 December 2022

Hito Steyerl, “Aesthetics of Resistance? Artistic Research as Discipline and Conflict.” Transversal texts 01 (2010).

Lucy Cotter, “Reclaiming Artistic Research–First Thoughts….” MaHKUscript. Journal of Fine Art Research 2.1 (2017).

Ben Spatz, “Artistic research and the queer prophetic.” Text and Performance Quarterly 41.1-2 (2021): 81-105.

Field Work – 9 February 2023

Artwell Nhemachena, Nelson Mlambo, and Maria Kaundjua, “The notion of the “field” and the practices of researching and writing Africa: towards decolonial praxis.” Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies 9.7 (2016): 15-36.

Gökçe Günel, Saiba Varma, and Chika Watanabe, “A manifesto for patchwork ethnography.” Society for Cultural Anthropology, 9 June 2020.

Nicolas Langlitz, “If only there was a Department of Fieldwork in Philosophy.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 11.2 (2021): 748-753.

Auto-theory – 9 March 2023

Robyn Wiegman. “Introduction: Autotheory Theory.” Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory 76.1 (2020): 1-14.

Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (2014).

Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts (2015).

Activist Scholarship – 6 April 2023

Introduction and selections from Stefania Milan, Emiliano Treré and Silvia Masiero (editors), COVID-19 from the Margins.Pandemic Invisibilities, Policies and Resistance in the Datafied Society, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2021:

Selections from Selçuk Balamir, Unsustaining the Commodity-Machine: Commoning Practices in Postcapitalist Design. PhD Dissertation. University of Amsterdam, 2021.