COSMOPOLITANISM, POLITICS AND AESTHETICS

A master class with Nikos Papastergiadis, University of Melbourne 4 December 2012, 9-13h University of Copenhagen, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies
Karen Blixens Vej 1, 2300 Copenhagen, Building 21, 2nd floor, room 21.2.04
Network for Migration and Culture in cooperation with Copenhagen Doctoral School in Cultural Studies, Literature and the Arts

Much has been written in the past decades on the interrelations of art and politics. This interest has helped consolidate the cross-pollination of these two areas as vital to contemporary understandings of the roles of culture and the arts in society, as they have been articulated in recent critical theory and philosophy. This, alongside the proliferation of globalisation theories and a renewed interest in the concept of cosmopolitanism with its implications of citizenship, civilised dialogue, ‘conviviality’ and heightened ethico-political responsibilities, makes it natural to organise a master class with Professor Nikos Papastergiadis. In his latest book, Cosmopolitanism and Culture (Polity Press, 2012) Nikos Papastergiadis redirects attention away from the much debated dyad ‘art and politics’ to the triad ‘cosmopolitanism, politics and aesthetics’; e.g., by introducing the concepts of a ‘cosmopolitan imaginary’ and an ‘aesthetic cosmopolitanism’ and by exploring the roles of artists in reclaiming the condit ions of hospitality.

Program 9:00 9:10 9:45 10:00 Welcome: Frederik Tygstrup and Anne Ring Petersen Nikos Papastergiadis: Introducing ‘Cosmopolitanism, Politics and Aesthetics’ Coffee Break Student presentations (15 min presentation followed by 30 min response & discussion) Interventions Migration, Transculturation and Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Latin American Literature

Runa Johannessen Fredrik Olsson

11:30 Sidsel Nelund

Short Break Cosmopolitan imaginary and the production of knowledge in Contemporary Art Cosmology and Aesthetics between Wifredo Lam and Aimé Césaire

Joseph Ballan

Ca. 13:00

Walk & talk to Café Alma, Isafjordsgade 5-7 2300 Copenhagen S

and how it relates to his own characterization of his work as a portrayal of the “drama of [his] country” in such a way as to “disturb the dreams of the exploiters. she has completed a range of public art commissions and projects and in 2005 & 2007 she received the Art Plus Award for Art in Public Places from the Arts Council England and SEEDA. writer and educator. Katy Beinart Katy Beinart is an artist. Publications include among others Modernity as Exile (1993). Installationskunsten mellem billede og scene (Installation Art between Image and Stage . My proposed presentation will suggest that some poems of Césaire’s. and forged alliances with Martinican writers Aimée Césaire and Édouard Glissant. Dialogues in the Diaspora (1998). she went on to develop an interdisciplinary practice combining art. an area of Cape Town. but oblique. South Africa . It is impossible to approach the painting of Wifredo Lam without accounting for its transnational dimensions.www. and the Politics of Religious Aesthetics. We shall attempt to identify a religious dimension to négritude. offer a substantive interrogation of the link between politics. architecture and participatory methodologies. written in explicit. Denmark. sites that are spatial and otherwise. His research and writing has focused on cultural theory and artistic practice in relation to place. Lam studied in Spain. a nd she has published widely on modern and contemporary art in exhibition catalogues. University College London. The Turbulence of Migration (2000) and lately Cosmopolitanism and Culture (2012). architectural designer. Lam was not as interested in accurate representation of already existing religions as he was in imagining and perhaps inventing a spiritual form of life that would disturb colonizing dreams. She teaches architecture at the University of Brighton and University of Hertfordshire. Physical sites of contested memory can be labelled as 'Salted Earth' (a term first used to refer to District 6. RIHA Journal and Column. was taken under Picasso’s wing in Paris. currently pursuing a PhD by Architectural Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture. 2009). Robert Linsley has pointed out that Lam’s appropriations of African spirituality do not accurately represent the sources from which he borrowed. dialogue with Lam. and completed a Masters in Development Practice. which survive in various ways in Afro-Cuban culture. Germansk og Romansk. Her work has been exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. Institut for Engelsk.katybeinart. Since 1999.uk Salted Earth: Extracting and Preserving Migrant Histories in London's Sites of Contested Identity My research addresses a number of contested sites. aesthetico-political project that would be common to Lam and Césaire. and religion in the latter’s oeuvre. anthologies and journals such as Third Text. Anne Ring Petersen Anne Ring Petersen is an art historian and Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen. It is frequently noted that after returning from Europe. Having trained as an architect at UCL and Oxford Brookes University. Joseph Ballan PhD Fellow.” is less clear. Wifredo Lam. But precisely how this spiritual dimension in his artwork manifests itself. he mined the world of African religions.Participants Nikos Papastergiadis Nikos Papastergiadis is Professor for Cultural Studies and Media & Communications at the University of Melbourne. migration and globalization. University of Copenhagen Landscape with Spirits: Aimé Césaire. Recent publications include the anthology Contemporary Painting in Context (2010) and a monograph on installation art. ‘Network for Migration and Culture’. for inspiration. art. taken as a transnational.co. Evoking cultural particularity without adhering rigidly to any one cultural or national form of life. She is the coordinator of the interdisciplinary research network. Born in Cuba.

such as the one on female genital mutilations. the intentionally temporal structure of the refugee camps has become permanent. Memory and Place” Conference with the paper “Of Tamarind & Impossible Getting Back”: Images of Mogadishu in the Somali Diaspora[A1] Literature”. The practice of architectural interventions in contested territories could be seen as sharing certain pitfalls on these fields. thus obfuscating fields of aid and fields of battle. These authors are interested also in the construction of a feminist agenda. My sitedness as a practitioner between art and architecture working in the public realm is another site of contestation. And weaving my personal autobiographical story of diaspora and migration with other's experiences of 'sucking salt'. They have been participating to specific debates. the spatial and material arrangement of the delineated territory of the camp. and versions of history. Humanitarian and military interventions seems to have conflated through the last decades. can be materialised and made visible. in its first instance. specified through refugee camps. evidently manifested as urbanized areas in a constant state of exception. attending the “Migration. and between personal and collective memories of place. both operating on the same scene. Interventions My research takes a starting point in the configuration of Palestinian refugee camps. Through generations of existence. In order to address these contestations. yet many questions remain. By establishing a comparison between Nuruddin Farah’s fictional and non -fictional production and texts by diasporic authors such as Igiaba Scego and Cristina Ali Farah (writing in Italian) or Nadifa Mohamed (writing in English). both in Somalia and in the diaspora. . or surviving against the odds through migratory journeys and re-rootings. mainly contained in the oral and social. where a sustained temporal state justifies a state of emergency shown also on the spatial level within refugee camps. Lorenzo Mari PhD Program in Comparative and Postcolonial Literature. where their positions clash with the one of a mainstream author. My current PhD research focuses on narrations and representations of Somali families in the Somali postcolonial and diasporic literature. transnational audiences. University of Bologna. focusing on the Palestinian refugee camps. and is currently pursuing her PhD studies at the University of Copenhagen. The ‘specific weight’ of this cosmopolitan intellectuality ca n be assessed both within Somali national/diasporic communities and larger. The poor physical conditions are impossible to ignore. and the voices of others? Runa Johannessen Runa Johannessen has an architectural degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. This addresses another set of questions which concern the site between art and architecture. School of Architecture. What are exactly the contents of the spatial configuration of a camp? I would like to discuss architectural interventions on the backdrop of political and violent conflicts. Italy. namely how one can bridge the metaphorical and material. such as the Somali-born journalist and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. in the Western conservative area. 2010). suggesting contestations over past and present ownership. I will do this in the framework of what has recently been coined as military and humanitarian government (Fassin and Pandolfi. The issues tackled by these authors range from the persistence of racism in Euro-American societies to Somali ‘clannism’ and civil war. She is doing research on architectural strategies in states of emergency. I want to explore whether the intangible material of migrant memory. And is it possible to do this representing and acknowledging both one's own subjective voice. I am also working on the different status and function of their intellectual work.demolished by the Apartheid Government). highlights a contestation between the subjective and objective role of researcher and subject(s) of research. As an architect (myself) the impulse to improve through material and spatial means comes natural. making the poetic physical in ways that address the in-between of art & architectural practices in the public realm.

a clear tendency to emphasize the relational aspects of art in public spaces can be discerned in many of today’s artistic practices. Thus. Santiago de Chile. I am writer of a series of articles on contemporary art. Last year I was a visiting doctoral research student in the department of Visual Culture at Goldsmiths University of London. where I participated in the PhD research program called Curatorial/Knowledge. few contributions concern the global character of knowledge production and the political strategies of its art practices. Instead. Thus. Thus. In the first part I present and discuss different theoretical perspectives on the notion of public space. I’m the author of Det fotografiske rum (Rævens sorte bibliotek. This claim i s still intensely debated (Sarat Maharaj. I finalise by focusing on an ethnographic fieldwork-in-progress on the regional exhibition event Home Works (since 2002) in Beirut. how? Sabine Nielsen I am a PhD-student from Copenhagen University and KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces. Copenhagen. Following up on Nikos Papastergiadis’ Cosmopolitanism and Culture questions for discussion arise: How does Home Works move between the global and the local? What knowledge does the art it presents offer? Does Home Works express an aesthetic cosmopolitanism and. At the same time. The geographical and social frame of reference is usually towns and cities. In the third and final part of my project I intend to open up a discussion about how these . Thus. contemporary art is incorporated as a significant factor in developing urban areas. more and more contemporary artists are rejecting the opportunity to leave a lasting mark in the city. Irit Rogoff and Simon Sheikh). I show how art theorists define the term in opposition to neo-liberal ideas and then go on to identify global art practices of the field. especially its development in a global perspective. how knowledge is produced in today’s global art scene needs more scrutiny. specific spaces and personally experienced spaces. Taking these analytical case studies as a point of departure. catalogues. To methodologically grasp these practices I use George Marcus’ strategy of ‘multi-sited ethnography’ in combination with aesthetic analysis. Scholars. I show how the art projects reflect upon and contest the social context in which they are realized. and the urban realm of experience thus plays a central role in the world explored by art. which has resulted in a wider range of media going beyond classical decoration or traditional monuments. the new – and often transient and temporary – practices of contemporary art have expanded the aesthetic field and contributed to the redefinition of the role of art in public spaces. She has collaborated on a series of independent art projects concerned with knowledge production. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Copenhagen and Université Denis Diderot – Paris 7 and an MA in Modern Culture from the University of Copenhagen with additional MA studies in Aural and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths University of London. Instead. Art in Public Spaces -Conflicts and Negotiations as Critical Spatial Practices Today. My project is divided into three main parts. Fritz Machlup and Michael Gibbons) and its way into art. and reviews. I analyze a series of urban art projects that fall within the following three artistic strategies: temporary monuments. 2011) and the editor of the Danish photo magazine FILTER. artists and curators have since the 1990’s claimed that art produces knowledge. Furthermore. In this way. I am a regular writer for the Scandinavian review of architecture called Arkitekten. architectural interventions and street art.Sidsel Nelund Sidsel Nelund is a PhD fellow at the University of Copenhagen. Lebanon. if yes. however. performative art writing and site-specificity mainly in Beirut. they are experimenting with transient and temporary art practices with the intention of questioning the legitimacy and relevance of eternal statements. a growing number of artists are creating community-based projects that focus specifically on the social context in which they are embedded. Her PhD dissertation investigates the field of knowledge production in contemporary art. I point to the fact the art projects in question succeed in turning public urban spaces into sites of conflict and negotiation. curatorial strategies and urban development for anthologies. The presentation starts with a brief clarification of the terminology of knowledge production from its development in economics (Friedrich Hayek. In the second part. On the international contemporary art scene many artists work with projects that deal with space – local spaces. especially with regards to artworks and institutional frameworks. There is also a growing impetus to move art into public spaces.

however. and German memorials. that deal with diverse cultural practices.A.”) Based on this premise.S. ethnicity and genre in migrant and ethnic narratives. Workers’ Movement Literature.S. such as hip hop. with special focus on El Corrido de Dante (Dante’s Ballad) and Los sueños de América (American Dreams) by the Peruvian writer Eduardo González Viaña. in collaboration with the University of Seville. ethnicity and race. ethnicity. there is an eclectic mix of references to canonical texts such as the Bible. The thesis explores how these works are characterized by tensions between foregrounded narratives of cosmopolitan inclusion and unsaid exclusions. I would like to initiate a critical discussion of questions of global/local. belonging. television and advertisement. These intertexts and incorporated genres are sometimes used for political ends in order to undermine hegemonic discourses or present alternative. who resides in the U. such as radio. Department of languages and literatures. In González Viaña. I argue that their aesthetic imaginaries of Brooklyn. Transculturation and Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Latin American Literature I am working on a thesis on identity. he is the author of several articles and book chapters on urban imaginaries. I study the articulation of discourses such as the “American Dream”. With my presentation.” A former fellow of Fulbright and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Candidate in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Columbia University. in comparative literature from Freie Universität Berlin and is currently a Ph. techno music. NY.-American literature. borders and undocumented migration to the U. modernity). place. (I submitted my Master’s thesis in Comparative Literature at Freie Universit ät. I argue that that studies on literature and rap music should be integrated to investigate the complexities of contemporary aesthetic experiences of metropolitan cultures more accurately. they may also contribute to cultural nationalism or reinforce clichés and stereotypes.D. home.socially and politically produced effects and affects might become more actively incorporated into experimental curatorial practices when presenting such art works within art institutional contexts. in contemporary Latin American narrative fiction. Moreover. University of Gothenburg Migration. are informed by a ‘Black subaltern cosmopolitanism’ (Mos Def) and a ‘(White. cosmopolitanism. the “discourse of failure” and the “dream of the return” and how notions of space. Christoph Schaub Christoph Schaub holds an M. gender and class. His dissertation is tentatively titled “Weimar Conta ct Zones: Modernism. Fredrik Olsson Doctoral candidate in Spanish. dwelling and travel are dealt with in the texts. as well as cosmopolitanism are staged. I will part from the work of Ángel Rama (transculturation. and Urban Imaginaries. focusing on how social and cultural diversity and division. it delineates the “limited locations” (Donna Haraway) from which these artists imagine metropolitan cultures. and is known for his defense of the rights of Latin American immigrants. elements of Latin American and Latino/a popular culture. the Divine Comedy and the Odyssey. The results were recently published in Amerikastudien/American Studies 56:3 (2011) as “Brooklyn Cosmopolitanisms: Situated Imaginations of Metropolitan Cultures in Paul Auster’s The Brooklyn Follies and Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides. regionalism/cosmopolitanism. contemporary U. and influences of mass culture. high/popular/massive in relation to intersecting discourses of nationality. Antonio Cornejo Polar (cultural heterogeneity) and Néstor García Canclini (hybridity. popular culture. but also certain other Latino/a or Chicano/a writings. middle -class) cosmopolitanism of the . I put into conversation works of rap-artist Mos Def and novelist Paul Auster. ethnic narratives. For the master class I propose a discussion of hybridity. Cosmopolitanism and Urban Imaginaries: Brooklyn in the Works of Paul Auster and Mos Def // Labor Internationalism and Cosmopolitanism In my Master’s thesis. modernism/regionalism). and politics of memory. Employing an intersectional approach and drawing on feminist standpoint theory.S. I am primarily interested in the constitution of the migrant subject in these narratives and how this subject is positioned in intersecting discourses of nationality.

Affective World Literature My PhD dissertation compares the novels and the literary theory of Japanese author Sōseki Natsume (1867 -1916). I have recently worked on the relationship between labor internationalism. and reproduced political and national hierarchies throughout its history. its attractiveness and importance as a cultural imaginary persisted. she also programs contemporary African and Middle Eastern films for different events in Berlin. there has been a call for a creolization of theories (Lionnet. for an evolving theory to meet the new cross-cultural and historical challenges in working with world literature and with world literary systems. However. he began to theorize how we read foreign literature. Both present attempts to imagine global inclusion. and ethnic boundaries. prose fiction and poetry. imaginary in times of political crisis (WWI). Moretti has argued for distant reading (as opposed to New Criticism’s emphasis on the close-reading of texts). being a focal point of identification for emancipatory activism up into the 1960s. this might be slowly changing.American Dream’ (Auster). Frauke Wiegand Frauke is a PhD fellow in Visual Culture at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies. aesthetics. In recent years comparative literary studies. Being a cineaste. Besides writing literary criticism. it concentrates on analyzing Soseki’s concept of continuity of consciousness in relation to world literature and affect theory. Denmark). My dissertation suggests bringing his work into a productive conversation with world literary theory and affect theory. gendered. University of Copenhagen and secretary of the Network for Migration and Culture. and maybe even illusionary. belonging. Labor internationalism also linked such imaginaries to a powerful political movement. and he places the question of feelings at the center of his research of cross-culturally diverse literatures. nor has it been discussed in relation to theories about world literature. labor internationalism proved to be a highly ineffective. More specifically. and solidarity beyond racial. I assume that including the tradition of labor internationalism in discussions about cosmopolitanism. Tokyo. and even for an entirely “new thalassology” of oceanic contact zones. As a scholar of English literature. Yet the theories circulated are still predominantly Western theories. with the recent translation of his theoretical and critical work into English. Annette Thorsen Vilslev Annette is a PhD fellow in Comparative Literature at the Department of Art and Cultural Studies. notably French theory or Euro-American theory. As a consequence. are facing new challenges in theorizing how to study world literature. It investigates how a literary genre like the novel was critically appropriated in a Japanese context. cultural. like postcolonial studies. So far Soseki’s work has not received a lot of attention in the ongoing discussion of world literature. he was also theorist of literature. Still. South Africa and the ruins of the ‘Atlantikwall’ in Blaavandshuk. could illuminate how cultural imaginaries of global belonging and emancipatory political movements relate. presents and futures at such sites is approached via their appropriation and mediation in the mundane tourist practices and media of memory such as . and in view of the fact that his fictional work is being continuously retranslated. th Sōseki is arguably one of the most central authors. Shu-Mei Shih). I think that it may be instructive to relate discussions about labor internationalism and cosmopolitanism.. not only in modern Japanes e but also in 20 century East Asian literature. However. The entanglement of pasts. and attempts to construct a proletarian world literature in 1920s and 1930s Germany. Furthermore. Memory and Vision in Tourist Encounters My PhD project is an attempt to map the interplay of situated experiential remembering and objects of cultural memory at tourist sites of ‘difficult heritage’ (Soweto Hector Pieterson memorial space. the thesis proposes an analytical understanding and a political construction of cosmopolitanism as fundamentally situated. and aesthetics. national. politics. Famously. University of Copenhagen and a former Monbukagakusho research student at Waseda University. In the context of my dissertation.

Architectural Design Bartlett.ku.co.dk annering@hum. Arts and Cultural Studies University of Copenhagen Associate Professor. Arts and Cultural Studies University of Copenhagen Professor.uk swd686@hum.se cs2808@columbia. Arts and Cultural Studies University of Copenhagen PhD fellow.gu. Arts and Cultural Studies University of Copenhagen PhD fellow.papastergiadis@unimelb.dk katy@katybeinart.dk n.edu atv@hum. Cultural Studies & Media Communication University of Melbourne bgv228@hum.ku.dk skn@hum. The project thereby also takes inspiration in contemporary visual art that is creatively working at or with these sites/sights and offers ways to imagine their future roles and the transformation of mnemonic dynamics.ku.dk lorenzo.ku. Arts and Cultural Studies University of Copenhagen PhD fellow. English.edu.dk fredrik. University College London PhD fellow and architect.au . Germanic Languages and Literatures Columbia University PhD fellow. Languages and Literatures University of Gothenburg / University of Seville PhD fellow. It is an exercise of recognizing the historical.ku.ku.photography and personal and popular narratives. Joseph Ballan Katy Beinart Runa Johannessen Lorenzo Mari Sidsel Nelund Sabine Nielsen Fredrik Olsson Christoph Schaub Annette Thorsen-Vilslev Frauke Wiegand Anne Ring Petersen Nikos Papstergiadis PhD fellow.mari4@unibo.it nelund@hum.olsson@sprak. Comparative and Postcolonial Literature University of Bologna PhD fellow. Germanic and Romance Studies University of Copenhagen PhD fellow and architect. Arts and Cultural Studies University of Copenhagen PhD fellow.ku.dk frauke@hum. political and cultural situatedness of actors and the ever new situations they enter and alter.