In many dimensions of contemporary culture(s), it is becoming increasingly apparent how challenges of boundaries, their permeability and obduracy offer both great challenges and promising opportunities. Cultures and Practices of Belonging aims to explore some of those opportunities via cross-disciplinary dialogues and collaborations, with emphasis on experiential processes.
In some instances, questions about belonging (as connection, as ownership, as difference) are key to creating sustainable futures. In climate negotiations, economy is often pitted against ecology, externalities against interdependencies; in geopolitical and transnational issues, walls, biometrics and other technological assemblages become identity defining and 'boundary ordering devices' (Shackley and Wynne 1996); in knowledge systems, funding bodies define the realm of the valid and useful; worldwide, companies and local communities compete over the same resources; in urban planning, activists occupy and reclaim urban spaces; kinship dissipates with mobility and productivity… The list is long, and fluidly overlapping.
Understanding how such matters can be better (if not only) addressed by cross-disciplinary approaches, Cultures and Practices of Belonging proposes to explore how collaborations can bring together different perspectives and methodologies to look at problems differently, ask questions that are hard to formulate from inside disciplinary boundaries, and propose initiatives best engendered through multiple perspectives. As the dissolution of boundaries throws previous solutions into turmoil and invites kaleidoscopic understandings of territories, maps and connections (Strathern 2005), how can we reconsider where does knowledge belong, and to whom? Who owns the narratives that define our times and (in)action, and who formulates the questions we ask of the future?
Multidisciplinary questions in the symposium might look like these:
- Who has access to decision making and how knowledge is made (or not) available to others?
- Can the interior designer collaborate with the psychologist and the archaeologist to develop sustainable community environments?
- How do the connections between territory and gender inform dialogues between the anthropologist, the architect and social worker ?
- How can performance artists develop reach-out campaigns with urban planners and lawyers, to increase awareness of common or publicly owned resources?
- What might open source biotechnology look like?
- How do we use and share indigenous knowledge without assimilating into a dehumanising economy?
- To what discipline(s) does affect belong, and what is its role in social change? How to design affect into experiential vehicles for public engagement with technoscientific matters?
Join us to discuss questions such as the above, formulate new ones, and allow different methodological traditions to 'contaminate' each other towards designing creative interventions, collaborative texts, and artistic objects/objectives.
The symposium hopes to generate a network of collaborators that will design and submit a funding proposal to the AHRC based on collaborative triangles (or other polygons) of interested individuals.
Haraway, D. (1998) 'Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective'. Feminist Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3. (Autumn, 1988), pp. 575-599.
Shackley, S., Wynne, B. (1996) 'Representing Uncertainty in Global Climate Change Science and Policy: Boundary-Ordering Devices and Authority'. Science, Technology, and Human Values. 21, 3, p. 275-302.
Strathern, M. (2005) Partial Connections. Walnut Creek: Altamira Press.