21.07.22 12:15 – 13:45 Lecture

Lecture “Narratives of Displacement and Placemaking: Notions of Diaspora in Indigenous Literatures” with Prof. Dr. Katja Sarkowsky (American Studies, Uni Augsburg)

We will be joined on the 21st of July 2022 for a lunchtime guest lecture by Prof. Dr. Katja Sarkowsky. Visiting us from the American Studies department at the University of Augsburg.

Narratives of Displacement and Place-Making: Notions of Diaspora in Indigenous literatures

‘Place’ is a central issue in Indigenous literatures and, as numerous Indigenous writers and scholars have highlighted, in Indigenous epistemologies, with communal and political practices, as Anishinaabe writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson puts it, “reflective of the relationality of the local landscape” (2017, 3). The settler colonial politics of displacement and dispossession over the past centuries thus present a violent disruption of fundamental relations; land rights, accordingly, are crucial to contemporary struggles for Indigenous sovereignty in Canada and the United States, with ‘place’ inextricably interwoven with notions community, its history, its land relations, and its language.
But geographical displacements have also at times led to new land relations and community formations that did not erase memories of the community history and place connections so violently disrupted, but incorporated them into processes of renewed place-making. Some writers, for instance the Chamoru poet Craig Santos Perez (2021), use the term ‘diaspora’ to account for community building away from but tied to ancestral lands. For many scholars, ‘diaspora’ is a term antithetical to Indigenous experiences and constellations (e.g., Clifford 1994; Coleman 2017); for others, it offers a potentially productive avenue to capture complexly interlinked processes of place-loss, place-experience, and place-making (e.g., McCall 2010).
In light of these debates, this talk will explore the potential and the limits of ‘diaspora’ in the work of Muscogee poet, musician, playwright, and memoirist Joy Harjo, the incumbent United States Poet Laureate. In her more recent work, Harjo pays increasing attention not only to Muscogee territory of her youth in Oklahoma – a constant in her poetic engagement with place for decades – but also to the lands in Alabama from which the Muscogee were expelled in the 1830s to be forcibly resettled in the ‘Indian Territory’ that was to become Oklahoma. This talk does not seek to make claims regarding the general valence of ‘diaspora’ in Indigenous contexts; rather, I am interested in how this specific poet’s work might help complicate notions of place-making and diaspora.

Clifford, James. “Diasporas.” Cultural Anthropology, vol. 9, no. 3 (1994), pp. 302-338.
Coleman, Daniel. “Indigenous Place and Diaspora Space: Of Literalism and Abstraction.” Settler Colonial Studies, vol. 6, no. 1 (2016), pp. 61-76.
McCall, Sophie. „Diasporas, Indigenous Sovereignties, and Metis Writing in Canada.” Canadian Literature, vol. 204 (2010), p. 121.
Perez, Craig Santos. Navigating Chamoru Poetry. University of Arizona Press, 2021.
Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake. As We Have Always Done. Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

19.05.22 – 20.05.22 18:30 – 12:30 Lecture

Lecture and Workshop on “Mediating infrastructures. On the materiality and temporality of socio-technical networks” with Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schabacher (University of Mainz)

We will be joined on the 19th of May for a lecture from Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schabacher, professor of Media and Cultural studies at the University of Mainz. The lecture is an open event from 18.30-19.30 at KGA-205.

You can also join via Zoom: https://kuei.zoom.us/j/64726594064?pwd=N2dXN0FsSjBqSzU2Vy9sR2RVV043Zz09

Meeting ID: 647 2659 4064
Passcode: 351201

‘Mediating Infrastructures. On the Materiality and Temporality of Socio-Technical Networks’

Infrastructures are regarded as the backbone of modern societies. They represent the state’s provision of public services and are a sign of increasing economic interdependence in the context of international trade relations. They circulate goods, people, animals, but also energy, water, waste and information, thus organizing the spatial and temporal transfer of a wide variety of entities. It is this performance of infrastructural systems that constitutes their medial quality. But what exactly does this quality consist of? From a media and cultural studies perspective, the talk explores the materiality and temporality of infrastructures and proposes three perspectives that are relevant for their mediality: the in/visibility of infrastructures, the scalings they accomplish between the global and the local, and their processuality.


Prof. Schabacher will then be leading an internal workshop on Friday the 20th of May, in Marktplatz 2, with open to fellows, faculty, and associated members.


Gabriele Schabacher is professor of media cultural studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and co-speaker of the Collaborative Research Center 1482 “Humandifferenzierung.” Her research focuses on media and cultural theory, media history of transport, mobility and infrastructures, cultural techniques of repair, digital regimes of surveillance, media history of seriality and theory of autobiography. Her recent publications include the volumes she co-edited on the cultures of repair (2018) and on the practices of workarounds (2017), and the articles “Time and Technology. The Temporalities of Care” (2021), and “Staged Wrecks. The Railroad Accident between Infrastructural Lessons and Amusement” (2019). Her new book on infrastructures, entitled Infrastruktur-Arbeit, will be published in June 2022.

28.04.22 18:00 – 19:30 Lecture

Lecture “What’s in a place? Locating Traces of the Past as a Strategy for Remembering Christoph Mayer’s The Invisible Camp – Audio Walk Gusen” with Dr. Tanja Schult (Art History / Stockholm University)

Christoph Mayer’s The Invisible Camp – Audio Walk Gusen (2007) leads users through three market towns in Upper Austria which during World War II were the sites of concentration camps. Mayer’s artistic sound collage succeeds to visualize a long supressed past in an individual listener’s mind, and establishes an intimate and reflective form of commemoration which leads to critical questioning of neglected or institutionalized practices of commemoration. My talk reflects on how Mayer succeeds to bridge the distance to this past and makes it relevant for us today, and explains in which way his artistic practice can act as a guideline for the creation of other memory works elsewhere – especially in places where most traces of the past were erased and where everyday life goes hand in hand with a will to remember a painful past which happened right there.

 The event is going to be filmed and will be uploaded to our YouTube channel shortly after.


ZOOM: https://kuei.zoom.us/j/8535747861


08.06.21 17:00 Lecture

Professor Ryan Burns (University of Calgary) »Epistemic Practices«

Everyone is welcome to attend this talk; to receive the Zoom-Link, please send an email to: gk-practicingplace@ku.de

01.06.21 17:00 Lecture

Professor Ryan Burns (University of Calgary) »Practicing Place«

Everyone is welcome to attend this talk; to receive the Zoom-Link, please send an email to: gk-practicingplace@ku.de