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Culture and Ethics [clear filter]
Thursday, May 12


Loose-ing Our Heads: Knowledge-Making Across the Social Body
Historically, the concept of embodied cognition distinguished itself from the assumption that cognition only happened in the brain. By contrast, Big Data promises the omniscience of surveillance and the infallibility of algorithms, offering disembodied processing as a way to render theoretical models, the people/bodies who generate them, and the geographies of their development irrelevant. In such a time, locating cognition in bodies and place becomes a distinction once again. But what are the affordances of once more tethering knowledge making to a set of bodies and their histories? Why, in practical rather than ethical terms, would an academic be interested in her body or her community as a knowledge-making resource?

Drawing on the fields of Communication, Education, Cognitive Science, and Science and Technology Studies, this workshop explores the qualities of the incongruent sets that result from computational, personal, and collaborative knowledge making practices. It first reminds us that approaching knowledge with an eye to its generative locations reveals a thick and socially located history out of line with the origin stories that seat “pure” science in nature. Then, it follows concepts of knowledge making from the brain, through the body, and into collaboration between multiple bodies. Finally, it offers extended hands-on engagement to both to demonstrate concepts and while reflexively generating understanding of our academic practices of embodied cognition.

During the majority of this workshop, participants will employ applied techniques drawn from open space practices, active learning, popular education, critical pedagogy, and applied theater, developing facility with these tools while performing them to generate a collaborative map of our embodied academic practices and the social dynamics in which they are located. The results of these practices will be visible both through material documentation and observable performances.

Thursday May 12, 2016 2:30pm - 3:45pm
COOR L1-18 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-18


An Archive and Repertoire of Digital Humanities and Media Projects in the Performing Arts
The digital has created not only new methods of communication and exchange, but also changed our ways of conceptualizing both performing arts generally, and the knowledge-production in and around the performing arts. In recent years, the digital humanities have been the locus for a more general, interdisciplinary conversation around these issues. While there is a long tradition of performance-based experimentation with technology — ranging from the futurists’ performances to contemporary motion capture dances by artists — the question of how the performing arts can fit into the discourse of the digital humanities seems to be a fairly new one. For many scholars, the digital humanities and performing arts have been equated with the quantitative study of plays and other textual elements of theatre as well as movement in dance-related projects.

This session queries the more wide-ranging impact of the digital humanities on theatre and performance studies and the artistic practices in the field but will also inquire about the impact of performance theory on the digital humanities. What might digital theories and practices offer to scholarly and critical analyses of theatre and performance practice? How has the field of the digital humanities been and continues to be impacted by performance theory and practice? What are some of the challenges and possibilities that the interconnected fields of digital humanities and theatre and performance studies are facing today?

Before the conference, participants create a collective bibliography, and a number of reflections on HASTAC.org. At the conference, participants will demo projects or performances. This is followed by a conversation about the questions above or other questions and commonalities coming up during the run of the session.

Concretely, the session, in its entire run, will generate a collaboratively created blog and conversation, reflecting on the impact of digital humanities-oriented projects on the field of theatre and performance studies as well as theatre, drama, and performance in itself, and the impact of performance theory and performance practices on digital humanities.

Thursday May 12, 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm
COOR L1-18 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-18
Friday, May 13


Eventuality: Imagining a Future for the Humanities Through Collaborative Storytelling
Eventuality is a narrative foresight engine; a way of crafting a collective story that draws out preconceived biases about the ‘default future’ and illuminates the ways that events, things that may happen, are connected, through the lives of fictional characters. Storytelling can be a useful tool for creating scenarios and gaining insight into futures. Narrative is an accessible form that can be used to engage imaginative capacities, flesh out vital details, illuminate surprising connections, and make the scenario seem more realistic and credible by “worlding the world” of the future. Eventuality is a system designed to help a group move through key questions efficiently in a way that resolves major disputes.

The goal of this Eventuality exercise is to imagine a future for the humanities in a neoliberal university, to draw out and critique what conference attendees believe will happen in their discipline, and to create a consistent and believable story that participants can use as a touchstone for resistance to further cuts in humanities education and research. Participants will be asked to imagine future humanities professors, students, administrators, and citizens, and key events in which a humanistic understanding makes a positive difference in the world and the university.

The end result will be a narrative that illuminates problems facing the humanities today and in the near future, and hopefully demolishes some cliches, as well as a participation in a novel technique for rapidly prototyping stories, which may be used as skeletons for further writing, raw material for thematic analysis, or an introduction to discussing the multiplicity of events and interpretation.

Friday May 13, 2016 1:00pm - 2:00pm
COOR L1-18 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-18