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Cultural Analysis

New Engagements – New Frameworks – New Objects

An IKK-Conference 2018


According to the recent Research Quality Assessment at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, interdisciplinary research is the core of the IKK’s mission: “it is what gives the department a unique profile and the foundation for its international reputation.”

This IKK Conference will suggest the term “cultural analysis” as a starting point for a common endeavor across the individual disciplines. In other words, the conference will explore whether the unique profile of the department is due to the fact that the researchers, in a variety of different ways, are practicing what might be termed cultural analysis.

Meanwhile, the practice of analyzing cultural phenomena is currently undergoing radical changes. Building on the methodological frameworks of the traditional art disciplines, of German Kulturwissenschaft, and of British cultural studies, cultural analysis today is challenged by new kinds of political conflicts, new kinds of theoretical insights, new kinds of cultural objects, and new kinds of relations to such ‘objects’ and their ’affects’. Perhaps the label cultural analysis – rather than, for instance Kulturwissenschaft and cultural studies – can open up a reevaluation and rethinking of the analytical practices exerted at the department.

In the words of the Research Quality Assessment, “the department researchers have developed a climate that prompts and encourages innovative thinking across disciplines.” With this conference, we wish to further a climate that enables innovative thinking across disciplines. We would suggest three main questions for discussion:

  1. Which political engagements can define the way we analyse cultural phenomena?
  2. Where do we find the theoretical inspiration to reformulate the project of cultural analysis?
  3. How are we to think about the objects of cultural analysis? 

Programme

10:15 – 10:30  Welcome by the organizers

10:30 – 12:00  New engagements: The Political Impact of Cultural Analysis on
                          Society
(Panel 1)

Questions:

  • Which political engagements can define the way we analyse cultural phenomena? Should or must political engagements of one kind or another help define the way we analyse cultural phenomena?
  • How are we to think about the relations, if any, between political engagement and academic work?
  • How do actual political engagements define the ways researchers interact with the social and political life outside the university?

Contributors (5-minute statements with 1 example & plenum discussion):

  • Michael Wilson
  • Michael Kjær
  • Christian Dahl

Chair: Erik Steinskog

12:00 – 13:00  * * * Lunch break * * *

13:00 – 14:30  New frameworks: Current Research Projects and Research
                          Traditions 
(Panel 2)

Questions:

  • Where do we find the theoretical inspiration to reformulate the project of cultural analysis?
  • Are there forgotten or underestimated traditions of cultural analysis which we should take into account in research these days?
  • Which methodological and theoretical inadequacies should be addressed by contemporary cultural analysis?

Contributors (5-minute statements with 1 example & plenum discussion):

  • Kristin Veel
  • Mikkel Bolt
  • Tue Andersen Nexø

Chair: TBA

14:30 – 15:00  * * * Coffee break * * *

15:00 – 16:30  New Objects: The Strange New Affects & Objects of Research (Panel 3)

Questions:

  • How are we to think about the objects of cultural analysis?
  • What does it mean that analytical practices no longer only focus on artworks or traditional cultural artefacts but also on “silly objects” (Berlant) – and on complex constellations such as collective affects, sensory practices and social interactions?
  • What are the relations between cultural analysis and anthropological and ethnographical research?

Contributors (5-minute statements with 1 example & plenum discussion):

  • Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt
  • Melissa Van Drie
  • Mathias Danbolt
  • Laura Luise Schultz

Chair: Holger Schulze

16:30 – 17:30  * * * Reception & finish * * *