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Welcome, Sabrina Moura!

In early July, art historian Sabrina Moura joined global dis:connect as a new fellow. Welcome to Munich, Sabrina! Sabrina Moura is a teacher, researcher and curator from Brazil. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Campinas. She authored Arqueologia da Criação [Archeology of Creation, 2022] — a book on the work of Brazilian artist Rossini Perez — and edited Southern Panoramas: Perspectives for other geographies of thought (2015), which presents historical and artistic perspectives on the Global South. Her work has featured in Mousse MagazineZeitschrift für KulturwissenschaftenStedelijk Studies JournalAfrican ArtCritical Internventions3rd Text Africa, among others.   At global dis:connect Sabrina is developing Cabinet Exotica Performing Absent Agencies from the Dawn of Natural Sciences, a project that focuses on contemporary visual and performative strategies. Continue Reading

Nic Leonhardt commences fellowship at global dis:connect

Nic Leonhardt from the University of Cologne joined global dis:connect in early July. Nic Leonhardt is a theatre scholar and writer commenting on global theatre history; media, popular and visual cultures; and archiving and curating theatrical history. She has served as a senior researcher and fellow in multiple projects. Her latest monograph, Theatre Across Oceans. Mediators of Transatlantic Exchange (1890-1925), was published in 2021. She edits Global Theatre Histories and created the theatre history podcast Theatrescapes. Nic is co-president of SIBMAS. Together with artist Reza Nassrollahi, she runs the global art and charity project 1001SOUL.   At global dis:connect, Nic will address the challenges of global theatre histories and the difficulties in understanding and writing a globally interconnected history of the performing arts. Continue Reading

Ross Truscott joins global dis:connect

A warm welcome to our new guest Ross Truscott who joins global dis:connect in early June.

Ross Truscott is a researcher at the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR), University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Prior to joining the CHR in 2015, he held a postdoctoral fellowship in interdisciplinary feminist studies at Duke University. His work, drawing on psychoanalytic and postcolonial theory, is in the transdisciplinary field of psychosocial studies.

Ross’ current book project, The Order of Empathy, apprehends how empathy has been posited since the end of apartheid as a relation all South Africans should assume towards each other—what schools should inculcate in children, universities in students, and what the Constitution asks of every citizen. The book offers a genealogy of the injunction to put oneself into the position of others.

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Roii Ball takes up fellowship

In April, historian Roii Ball commenced his term as a fellow at global dis:connect. Welcome, Roii! Roii Ball is a social historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century Germany and Central Europe and their colonial entanglements. He is a postdoctoral lead researcher at the Religion and Politics Cluster of Excellence at the University of Münster. Ball earned his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2021 with a dissertation on the social dynamics and bureaucratic practices of German colonisation in the Polish provinces of Prussia before WWI (Advisor: David Sabean).   Ball’s work focuses on family and kinship to explore histories of colonisation and their intersection with empire-making and nation-making. His research interests include the history of knowledge, history of childhood, environmental history, and digital history. He has held fellowships at the University of Cologne, the German Historical Institute in Warsaw, and the Leibnitz Institute for European History in Mainz. During 2023 and 2024, he will also be a visiting research fellow at global dis:connect. Continue Reading

Cathrine Bublatzky joins global dis:connect

A warm welcome to our new guest Cathrine Bublatzky who joins global dis:connect in early April. Cathrine Bublatzky is a media anthropologist and senior lecturer at the University of Tübingen. She was formerly assistant professor at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies. She researches diaspora and exile, archives, visual and digital media cultures, photography, art, activism, and the aesthetics and politics of belonging throughout Europe, South Asia and the Middle East. Cathrine has been speaker of the DFG Network Entangled Histories of Art and Migration: Forms, Visibilities, Agents (2018–2022) and author of Along the Indian Highway: An Ethnography of an International Travelling Exhibition, a monograph published by Routledge. Her project Contemporary Photography as Cultural Praxis of Iranians in the European Diaspora, which she will continue at global dis:connect, was awarded a scholarship by the Baden-Württemberg Foundation.   Continue Reading

12 April 2023, workshop: istanbul on display

On 12 April 2023, the Centre will hold a workshop centring on the representation of Istanbul in Germany through several exhibitions since 2000.

  The global curatorial and artistic narratives about artists from Turkey have resulted in several critiques of European representational strategies that are predominately centred on geographical, cultural and national identities. In consequence, an increasing number of critical artistic and curatorial practices have emerged that attempt to transcend and challenge the art world’s reductionist, Eurocentric tendencies, such as casting doubt on conventional stereotypes of East vs. West and the construction of ‘Other’. With global connectedness and disconnectedness as framing concepts, this workshop aims to explore the tensions that emerge from this dichotomy and how they relate to representations of Istanbul through several exhibitions in Germany since 2000. By exploring this context as a complex relationship of global interconnectivity, it aims to identify gaps, limitations and tensions in the globalisation processes of contemporary art from Turkey by considering the politics of art and exhibition politics in Europe. This workshop’s main objective is to contribute to a decolonial discussion on the globalization of contemporary art from Turkey by focusing on exhibition strategies and artistic forms of resistance. This involves sharing knowledge to understand globalisation and its intricate structures from a variety of perspectives. The workshop is a forum for debate and dialogue, bringing together scholars, artists, and curators to further develop this research and share from their own areas of expertise.  

Programme:

  09:00–09:30 Welcome; Introduction (Burcu Dogramaci, Ayse Güngör)   09:30–10:00 Coffee break   10:00–10:45 Levent Soysal, Seeing east: Istanbul, art, civilizing process   10:45–11:30 Barbara Wolbert, Hung up on Istanbul: contemporary art from Turkey in Germany - exhibition strategies and artists’ resistance until the 2000s   11:30–12:15 Banu Karaca, From multiculturalism to diversity: The continued seductiveness of orientalism and its discourses   12:15–13:45 Lunch   13:45–15:00 - Erden Kosova, Contacting with the external gaze: promises and failures of the contemporary art practice in Turkey   15:00–15:45 Isil Egrikavuk – “But You Don't Look Turkish”: From Everyday Life Experiences to Academic Work, Stories of Identity Labeling   15:45–16:15 Coffee break   16:15–17:00 Ayse Erek, Spatial imagination and contemporary artistic practice in Istanbul   17:00 – 18.00 Comments and discussion   Registration via this link Continue Reading

Call for papers: global dis:connect summer school 2023

Concept and organisation by Hanni Geiger and Tom Menger, Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, LMU, Munich. Presenters include Florian Bachmeier and Eckehard Pistrick, Constance de Gourcy, Celeste Ianniciello and Renata Poljak. Participants are also invited to attend an evening lecture by Eva Mayer and Eran Schaerf taking place at the centre on 26 July.

Sea of absence? Globalisation, the Mediterranean and beyond

Munich, 24-27 July 2023 The global dis:connect Research Centre invites MA, doctoral students and creative professionals in all stages of their careers to meet in Munich for a summer school on the absences produced by globalisation processes, focusing on the Mediterranean, particularly on the aspects of migration, tourism and (post)coloniality, in the past, present and future. Like globalisation research generally, some of the most famous scholarship on the Mediterranean Sea has focused on the different connections that bind the ‘Middle Sea’ together (Braudel, 1949; Horden & Purcell, 2000). Its connections, however, have also created and obfuscated many absences: of people, of cultural belonging, of institutions, of personal and collective memories, of regions, of (art) objects, in archives, epistemologies, discourses, in stories and representations of and about the Mediterranean, and finally in our scholarship. The summer school aims to combine subjects such as art history, history, social sciences, media and film studies, theatre studies, literary and cultural studies with artistic approaches. It will allow the participants to present their own projects and will feature several master classes by renowned scholars, as well as art and film presentations. All sessions will be held in English. global dis:connect promotes dialogue between scholarship and art as equal means to approach dis:connective phenomena of globalisation. Such phenomena leave few traces in archives and defy direct observation, but artistic practice can reveal them. Recent years have seen increased attention to the global Mediterranean and its absences, particularly in art, film, theatre, design and architecture. Dissertation projects, grant proposals, exhibition projects and artistic interventions are all welcome. Participants can propose whatever format best suits their work, be it a traditional presentation, a film screening, an artistic intervention, a moderated discussion or a slide show. The deadline for applications is 15 May 2023. There are no participation fees. The Centre will cover accommodation and travel costs for all participants.  

Absences, globalisation and the Mediterranean

  Starting from the concept of absences, including voids, erasures, exclusions and disappearances, the summer school will focus mainly on three distinct manifestations of absences in the Mediterranean: migration, tourism and (post-)coloniality. Absences are not simply ‘absent’ and therefore invisible. Rather, as Derrida noted, they leave ‘traces’. Recent work has expanded on this notion and has even argued that absences can have spatiality, materiality and agency (M. Meyer & Woodthorpe, 2008). They are objects of research in addition to a perspective; they necessitate their own methodologies, combining different disciplines, theories and practices. The arts have proven particularly fruitful in illuminating absences, finding ways to visualise the repressed and the excluded, drawing attention to individual destinies and disappearances and addressing cultural belonging in connection with absences. Many of the absences of today’s Mediterranean are inextricably linked to globalising processes. This is more than evident in the fact that many migrants crossing the sea (or dying in the attempt) are not from those shores, but from Sub-Saharan Africa, Iran, Bangladesh and further afield. Therefore, it is unsurprising that Mediterranean absences have been addressed in the context of migration recently (CRISALIDE, 2017). This research has re-emphasised Abdelmalek Sayad’s notion of ‘double absence’ in the Mediterranean migrant experience (particularly of migrant labourers from Algeria). As conditions have changed in recent decades, this notion has been largely superseded by a ‘double presence’ (Saada, 2000). However, as Constance de Gourcy has shown, absence continues to be relevant and even constitutive of relations between origins and destinations (Gourcy, 2018a, 2018b). Of particular interest are Mediterranean borders, border regimes and the absences they create, like those that become visible in the Lampedusian project Porto-M, a project collecting the objects lost, washed ashore or abandoned by those migrating across the sea (Askavusa, 2009). Migration in the Mediterranean has always been entangled with tourism since the 19th century — a second lens through which to view absences in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean as an idyllic vacation destination, where tourists can contemplate the origins of Western civilisation as reified in its archaeological ruins, swim in the turquoise sea and enjoy the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, has overwritten other conceptions of the region and marginalised many groups and areas (Terranova & Chambers, 2021). Apart from migration and tourism, (post)coloniality would provide a third lens to think through Mediterranean absences. Colonialism in the Mediterranean basin generated many absences for scholarship and art to address, such as settler-colonial processes of erasure (for instance, in colonial Algeria) and the dominance of colonial epistemologies that privilege the Mediterranean’s northern, European shore (Chambers & Cariello, 2019). Modern artists, such as Alessandra Cianelli and Beatrice Ferrara, have responded to these absences by opening a (post)colonial archive of Italy with subtle, personal works (Ferrara et al., 2014). Furthermore, links have also been drawn between the Mediterranean and the ‘Black Atlantic’, both as seas of dispossession and unbelonging, with biopolitical power over black and brown bodies today being replicated on the Mediterranean frontiers of the European Union (Terranova & Chambers, 2021). The notion of ‘absences’ has always played a prominent role in postcolonial thought. Léopold Senghor, for instance, mused on absence and global Black (in)visibility in his poem L’absente, while for Édouard Glissant and Frantz Fanon, the Mediterranean was either a reference point or a lived historical experience (Glissant, 1997, p. 33; Proglio et al., 2021). The summer school is an opportunity to consider the conceptual links among postcolonial thought, absence and the Mediterranean. Absences have also affected cultural belonging throughout the region, either forming a basis of group identity (as for the Sephardi Jews) or as the result of nation-states’ attempts to conceal more cosmopolitan social realities, such as that of Levantinism in the eastern Mediterranean (Yehoshúa, n.d.; E. Meyer & Schaerf, 2022). The various invisibilities induced by advancing nationalism in the region are made manifest, for example, through digital techniques of erasure in film by Kamal Aljafari (Grunebaum, 2021). Beyond Mediterranean absences in past and present, the summer school is equally interested in exploring Mediterranean futures. What futures can be (re)imagined for a region affected by ongoing financial crises, mass migration and climate change? We would like to stress that we conceive of the Mediterranean as broadly as possible and welcome proposals that go beyond the sea itself. Starting from the perspective of absences, possible topics for the summer school include:
  • absent regions, agents, artefacts, institutions, discourses, theories and perspectives in/on the Mediterranean
  • Mediterranean epistemologies/narratives, histories and the ‘unlearning’ of the Mediterranean (Chambers) through the lens of absences
  • methodologies (artistic or scholarly) to explore Mediterranean absences
  • the agencies, spatialities and materialities of absences
  • invisible or hidden routes of migrations or borders
  • lost, abolished or vanished objects and actors
  • (mass) tourism and what it hides or removes
  • colonial erasures
  • postcolonial thinking on absences and their (im)possible overcoming
  • absences and personal/collective affects and memories
  • the (hegemonically curated) construction and concealment/disappearance/exclusion of Mediterranean cultural belongings and groups
  • imagining Mediterranean futures through an engagement with absences (materially and ideologically/theoretically)
  Global dis:connect is a research centre dedicated to exploring historical and contemporary globalisation processes. We’ve conceived the summer school to overcome disciplinary disconnections and bring together different subjects, approaches and geographies.  

To apply, please send the following documents by 15 May:

 
  • A CV (max. one page).
  • A cover letter of no more than one page explaining your motivation.
  • A description of what you intend to present at the summer school (0.5-2 pages). Proposals for artistic presentations can include images, links to videos, film stills and other media.
Please send us your application as a single PDF file by email to: Hanni.Geiger[a]lmu.de and T.Menger[a]lmu.de. Please click HERE to download the Poster.     Continue Reading

CfP: Theatre, globalisation and illiberal regimes after 1989, 7-8 September 2023

A workshop at global dis:connect, 7-8 September 2023     The two-day workshop hosted by global dis:connect intends to explore the relationship between the global trajectories of illiberal regimes and their theatre cultures following the Cold War. The war in the Ukraine has accentuated the globalising propensities of states such as Russia, China and Iran. In the past year, we have seen Cold War alliances and networks resurface and soft-power strategies employed to receive support in international fora. There is a strong sense that alternative, illiberal, global interconnections are being (re)forged.   We invite participants to debate and map various cases from the illiberal spectrum – from one-party states to theocracies and various forms of authoritarianism (competitive or one-person rule) to elaborate commonalities of illiberal engagement with globalisation via theatre. The workshop’s aim is to conceptually frame the role of theatre in illiberal regimes’ international relations as a global, post-Cold War phenomenon.   Recent scholarship on the Cold War emphasises the spatial and conceptual diversity of illiberal interconnections in the realm of cultural diplomacy under the term of ‘alternative globalisations’. However, patterns of the late-Cold War have carried over into the post-1989 period, as Western-guided globalisation has hardly been ‘the only game in town’ in recent decades. This phenomenon raises the question of how to approach theatre history and non-Western-centric interconnectedness after 1989. The workshop will address this central question by proposing the post-Cold War as a period in which new polarities have emerged. These novel alignments and their impact on theatre have yet to be comprehensively studied.   Globalisation has pushed many illiberal states to venture into market economics, sometimes radically changing the landscape of subsidised cultural production and its international distribution. The new synthesis of market and command economies has affected national theatre communities, engendering new partnerships between states and artists as well as new modes of resistance. While independent and private theatre initiatives may persist alongside state-led engagement with the international theatre community, governmental involvement remains crucial in illiberal regimes. It shapes the careers of local practitioners and influences choices about performance production, international tours and participation in festivals.   The workshop will focus on the following questions:
  • What are the characteristics of illiberal cultural diplomacy in the post-Cold War period, and what role does theatre play?
  • Upon what institutional and organisational scaffolding do illiberal states globalise their theatre cultures?
  • How do illiberal global dynamics affect local theatre communities? How does it affect theatre practice and reception?
Participants are welcome to suggest other related topics.   The workshop will be held in Munich at global dis:connect, a Käte Hamburger research centre, on 7-8 September 2023. Abstracts of no more than 400 words and short CVs of no more than 200 words should be sent by 30 April to: theatreglobalization@gmail.com Papers are to be submitted to the organiser, Viviana Iacob, a fellow at global dis:connect, by 24 August for review by Christopher Balme, the keynote speaker, and the other participants. Short presentations of no more than 10 minutes will allow for extensive discussion in each panel.   Accommodation and meals during the workshop will be covered. Some financial support for travel costs is available, but we ask participants to explore and exhaust other funding sources.   Continue Reading

The Singer of Shanghai Scottish Premiere

Kevin Ostoyich spoke in Edinburgh, Scotland following the Scottish Premiere of The Singer of Shanghai on 31 January 2023. Ostoyich co-wrote the play with Prof. Kari-Anne Innes and the students of the course, Historical Theatre: The Shanghai Jews at Valparaiso University. The play narrates the true story of the Abraham family as they fled from Germany after Kristallnacht and found a haven in Shanghai, China. The play was performed in Edinburgh by students of Broughton High School. The event was sponsored by the Edinburgh Interfaith Association; the Edinburgh Jewish Cultural Centre; and Adam and Kyeon-ah Leven and Family. Ostoyich is currently working on two more plays titled Three Girls of Shanghai and Three Boys of Shanghai. Ostoyich hopes the plays will be performed at schools around the world in order to spread awareness about the history of the Shanghai Jews. If you or anyone you know is interested in performing any of these plays, please contact Ostoyich at Kevin.Ostoyich@valpo.edu. Continue Reading