CFP Sensing Communities

Rethinking the Haptic: Touch, Movement, and Surfaces

University of Hamburg, Juni 16-18 2017
The summer school is funded by the Ph.D. program Loose Connections:

Collectivity in Urban and Digital Space (Prof Urs Stäheli, Michael Liegl), University of Hamburg. The event is part of a cultural studies summer school network with Warwick
University, University of Southern Denmark, Södertörn University, University of Hamburg, and Aarhus University as partners.

Deadline for proposals: April 3 2017


Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Assistant Professor Nerea Calvillo, PhD – Centre for Interdisciplinary
Methodologies, Warwick University, UK
Assistant Professor Anne Harris, MD, PhD – Technology & Society
Studies, Maastricht University, NL
Post Doctoral Researcher Dr. Hanna Göbel – Human Movement Sciences
/ Performance Studies, University of Hamburg, Germany
Assistant Professor Mark W.D. Paterson, PhD – Sociology, University of
Pittsburgh, USA

This summer school explores human and nonhuman collectivities as
sensory, haptic beings. Classically, collectivities have been conceived of
as visual and (to a lesser degree) auditory entities, most famously with the
frontispiece of Hobbes’s Leviathan. The visual promised an imaginary
totalization whereby the elements of a collectivity merged into a whole;
likewise, the auditory focused on the self-referential moment wherein a
collectivity—for example, a cheering crowd—heard itself. In contrast to
these well-established approaches, we want to ask how the haptic senses,
such as touching and kinesthesia, figure in the construction and dissolution
of collectivities (think, for example, of the handshake as social touch). The
haptic is often overlooked but is a central dimension of modernity; one
might even wonder, as Walter Benjamin did, whether the tactile sparks a
new ordering of the modern sensorium. To inquire into sensing is to move
beyond the distinctions between subject and object or between self and
other. Jean-Luc Nancy has put this paradox beautifully as “se toucher toi”:
through its reflexive nature, touch blurs the boundaries of collectivities and
points at new nonrepresentational analytical strategies for analyzing
collective sensory processes.

Read the whole call and download the PDF.

Find out more about: SSCT Summer School Network

Contact: Michael Liegl (Hamburg), michael.liegl[at]

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