The Nonhuman Turn Conference

This conference takes up the “nonhuman turn” that has been emerging in the arts, humanities, and social sciences over the past few decades. Intensifying in the 21st century, this nonhuman turn can be traced to a variety of different intellectual and theoretical developments from the last decades of the 20th century:

actor-network theory, particularly Bruno Latour’s career-long project to articulate technical mediation, nonhuman agency, and the politics of things

affect theory, both in its philosophical and psychological manifestations and as it has been mobilized by queer theory

animal studies, as developed in the work of Donna Haraway, projects for animal rights, and a more general critique of speciesism

the assemblage theory of Gilles Deleuze, Manuel DeLanda, Latour, and others

new brain sciences like neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence

new media theory, especially as it has paid close attention to technical networks, material interfaces, and computational analysis

the new materialism in feminism, philosophy, and marxism

varieties of speculative realism like object-oriented philosophy, vitalism, and panpsychism

and systems theory in its social, technical, and ecological manifestations

Such varied analytical and theoretical formations obviously diverge and disagree in many of their aims, objects, and methodologies. But they are all of a piece in taking up aspects of the nonhuman as critical to the future of 21st century studies in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Preliminary Schedule
Thursday, May 3rd

Curtin Hall 175, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
3243 N Downer Ave

1:00–3:00        REGISTRATION, Curtin Hall 939

3:00–3:15        WELCOME, Richard Grusin (C21 Director)

3:15-4:30         PLENARY: Brian Massumi“Animality and Abstraction”
                          Introduced by Rebekah Sheldon, UW-Milwaukee, C21 Provost Fellow

4:30–4:45        BREAK

4:45–6:00        PLENARY: Erin Manning“Another Regard”
                          Introduced by Nathaniel Stern, UW-Milwaukee, Art and Design

6:00 – 7:30       RECEPTION at Sala de Pranzo, 2613 E. Hampshire St.

Friday, May 4th
Curtin Hall 175, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
3243 N Downer Ave

8:30–9:00        COFFEE

9:00–9:30       CONFERENCE INTRODUCTION: Richard Grusin, “Why Nonhuman? Why Now?”

9:30–10:45      PLENARY: Jane Bennett“Systems and Things: a materialist and an object-oriented philosopher walk into a bar…”
Introduced by Kennan Ferguson, UW-Milwaukee, Political Science

10:45–11:00    BREAK

11:00–12:15    BREAKOUT SESSION 1

Objects 1: Curtin Hall 175
Panel Moderator: Jason Puskar, UW-Milwaukee, English

“Rhetorical Carpentry and Becoming Object” – James J. Brown, Jr., University of Wisconsin-Madison, English

“Thinking with Trees: Material-Imagination”  – T. Hugh Crawford, Georgia Institute of Technology, Literature, Communications and Culture

“The Eco-Poetics of Hyper-Objects: Evelyn Reilly’s Styrofoam”– Lynn Keller, University of Wisconsin-Madison, English

Death: Curtin Hall 124
Panel Moderator: Peter Paik, UW-Milwaukee, Comparative Literature

“Stretched Skulls: Anamorphic Games and the Memento Mortem Mortis” – Stephanie Boluk, Vassar College, Media Studies and Patrick LeMieux, Duke University, Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies

“The Corpse and other (Post)Human (Non)Objects”– Sarah Juliet Lauro, UC-Davis, English

“The ontology of a visceral-object: notes on commercial (or cosmercial) practices in the meat industry” – Emma Roe, University of Southampton, Geography and Environment

12:15–1:30      LUNCH

1:30–2:45        PLENARY: Steven Shaviro“Consequences of Panpsychism”
                          Introduced by:  Elena Gorfinkel, UW-Milwaukee, Art History

2:45–3:00        BREAK

3:00–4:15        BREAKOUT SESSION 2

Ethics: Curtin Hall 175
Panel Moderator: Stuart Moulthrop, UW-Milwaukee, English

“Tektology Transfer” – McKenzie Wark, The New School for Social Research, Culture and Media

“Companionable Objects, Companionable Conscience: Ethics and the Predicaments of Dwelling with Things” – Kenneth M. George, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Anthropology

Ethology become ethics: exploding Uexküll”  – Arun Saldanha, University of Minnesota, Geography

Objects 2: Curtin Hall 119
Panel Moderator: Sandra Braman, UW-Milwaukee, Communication

“Process-Relational Theory and the Eco-Onotological Turn: Clearing the Ground Between Whitehead, Deleuze, and Harman” – Adrian Ivakhiv, University of Vermont, Environmental Studies

“New Media Ontology: Interacting with Object-Oriented Philosophy and Computational Objects” – Bruno Lessard, Ryerson University, New Media

“Against Deleuze’s Joy: Vitalism beyond Affectionate Immanence” – Ben Woodard, University of Western Ontario, Theory and Criticism

Animals: Curtin Hall 118
Panel Moderator: Nigel Rothfels, UW-Milwaukee, Office of Undergraduate Research

“Talking with Animals”  – Marilyn Cooper, Michigan Technological University, Humanities

“Compulsory Affectivity: Affect, Animality, and the Nonhuman Turn” – Donovan Schaefer, Syracuse University, Religion

“Animals, Assemblage, and Abstraction: Towards a Dark Ethics” – James K. Stanescu, Mercer University, Philosophy and Communication Studies

4:15–4:30        BREAK

4:30–5:45        PLENARY: Tim Morton“They Are Here”
                          Introduced by Peter Paik, UW-Milwaukee, Comparative Literature

Saturday, May 5th
Curtin Hall 175, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
3243 N Downer Ave

8:30–9:00        COFFEE

9:00–10:15      PLENARY: Wendy Chun“Imagined Networks”
                          Introduced by Anne Frances Wysocki, UW-Milwaukee, English

10:15–10:30    BREAK

10:30–11:45   BREAKOUT SESSION 3

Mediation 1: Curtin 124
Panel Moderator: Michael Newman, UW-Milwaukee, Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies

“Mediation for Nonhuman Cognitions” – James J. Pulizzi, UCLA, English

“The Good Hyperlink” – Anne Helmond, University of Amsterdam, Media Studies

“Simple solutions: Slashdot and the articulation of web culture as information system” – Michael Stevenson, University of Amsterdam, Media Studies

[…] Human: Curtin 119
Panel Moderator: Annie McClanahan, UW-Milwaukee, English

“Digital Extinction” – Joshua Schuster, University of Western Ontario

“Towards a Supra-Human Metaphysics of Media” – Aaron Pedinotti, NYU, Media, Culture and Communication

“Posthuman: next steps” – Lucia Santaella, São Paulo Catholic University, Technologies of Intelligence and Digital Design

Arts: Curtin 118
Panel Moderator: Ryan Holifield, UW-Milwaukee, Geography

“Immediation as Process and Practice of Digital Mattering” – Christoph Brunner, Zurich University for the Arts, Institute for Critical Theory

Brimming with Vitality: Experiencing Colour Beyond Human Perception in Seurat’s La Grande Jatte”  Troy Rhoades, Concordia University, SenseLab

“In the Dome of the Parliament of Things”: Media Art’s Engagement with Bruno Latour (with Peter Sloterdijk as Best Man) – Marc Tuters, University of Amsterdam, Media Studies

11:45–1:00      LUNCH

1:00–2:15        PLENARY: Mark Hansen, “Against Clairvoyance: The Future of 21st Century Media”
                          Introduced by Sandra Braman, UW-Milwaukee, Communication

2:15–2:30        BREAK

2:30–3:45        BREAKOUT SESSION 4

Performance: Curtin 124
Panel Moderator: Heather Warren-Crow, UW-Milwaukee, Art and Design

“Ecology Without Nature, Theatre Without Culture: Towards an Object-Oriented Ontology of Performance” – João Florêncio, Goldsmiths, University of London, Visual Cultures

“’Call me Ishmael’ and other (new) material performa(c)tivities and ontological entanglements” – Lissa Holloway-Attaway, Blekinge Institute of Technology, English/Literature, Culture and Digital Media Programs

“DesignLab and Performative Scholarship: The Revelations of Dr. Kx4l3ndj3r” – Jon McKenzie, UW-Madison, DesignLab

Rhetoric: Curtin 119
Panel Moderator: Rebekah Sheldon, UW-Milwaukee, C21 Provost Fellow

“’From the Dustbin of History’: Rhetoric and the Problem of Abundance” – Casey Boyle, University of Utah, English

“Tooling Affections from Allure: an Algorythmic #inhabitation of Foreclosed Remains” – Jamie “Skye” Bianco, University of Pittsburgh, English

“The Invention of the Impossible Object: Ethical Techne in Object-Oriented Media Studies”– Steve Holmes, Clemson University, Rhetorics, Communication and Information Design

Mediation 2: Curtin 118
Panel Moderator:

“iResearch: Using Smartphones to do Materialist Media Theory” – Mark Cote, Victoria University, Media and Communication Studies

“The Materiality of Mobile Media: An Object-Oriented Approach to Mobile Networks” – Jason Farman, University of Maryland, American Studies and Digital Cultures and Creativity

“Happy Accidents—Facebook and the Autonomy of Affect” – Tero Karppi, University of Turku, Media Studies

Queer/Feminist/Gaga: Curtin 109
Panel Moderator: Susan Bernstein, UW-Madison, English

“Object-Oriented Gaga: Theorizing the Nonhuman Mediation of Twenty-First Century Celebrity” – Shane Denson, Leibniz Universität Hannover, English

“Becoming Queer/Queer Becoming: Art, Affect, and the Dissolution of Being (Human)” – renée c. hoogland, Wayne State University, English

“Relationality and the Revitalization of Nature In Materialist Feminisms” – Janet Wirth-Cauchon, Drake University, Study of Culture and Society

3:45–4:00        BREAK

4:00–5:15        PLENARY: Ian Bogost“The Aesthetics of Philosophical Carpentry”
                          Introduced by Michael Newman, UW-Milwaukee, Journalism, Advertising          and Media Studies

5:15–5:30        CLOSING REMARKS: Richard Grusin

Travel and Registration Information

Nonhuman Turn Curricular Guide


6 Responses to The Nonhuman Turn Conference

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