Seminar 1

Wikis > Seminar 1

Disrupting the scholarly establishment. How to create alternative and affirmative humanities institutions?

Theoretical Format

This seminar focuses on alternative ways of doing scholarship in a posthumanities context, bringing together scholars and practitioners that have actively tried to rethink our current dominant humanities institutions in an affirmative way by setting up and experimenting with new academic institutions and organisations. This seminar directly connects to some of the core themes that we investigate at the Centre for Disruptive media: rethinking and reperforming art and media education and digital scholarly publishing.

In the first panel, the speakers will explore scholarly initiatives that are trying to rethink scholarly publishing by setting up there own structures whilst questioning established practices. Currently there is a lack of interest from the established (commercial) publishers in experimentation, in specialised work, and in publishing works in open access. These initiatives are thus actively involved in rethinking the current relationships of scholarly material production that exist between authors, publishers, distributors, libraries and readers.

The second panel will then focus on initiatives that have tried to break through the boundaries between artistic practices and scholarly research by focusing on developments in practice-based research in academic settings and on experiments in open art education. How can we establish and set up new structures and new institutions that question the divisions that still exist between art practices and scholarly research, between the lecturer and the learner and between the confined learning space of the classroom and the outside world of knowledge and expertise.


13:15 Coffee /tea and registration
13:45 Introduction (Janneke Adema – Coventry University)

Panel 1. Scholarly publishing: scholar-led initiatives and experiments in digital publishing

14:00 Sarah Kember (Goldsmiths/CREATe)
14:30 Endre Dányi (Mattering Press)
15:00 Craig Saper (UMBC)
15:30 Discussion

16:00 Tea/coffee

Panel 2. Art education: practice-based research and open art education: new structures and new institutions

16:30 Karen Newman (Coventry University)
17:00 Mark Amerika (The University of Colorado Boulder)
17:30 Discussion
18:00 End


Sarah Kember

Sarah Kember is a writer and academic. She is Professor of New Technologies of Communication at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work incorporates new media, photography and feminist cultural approaches to science and technology. Publications include a novel and a short story The Optical Effects of Lightning (Wild Wolf Publishing, 2011) and ‘The Mysterious Case of Mr Charles D. Levy’ (Ether Books, 2010). Experimental work includes an edited open access electronic book entitled Astrobiology and the Search for Life on Mars (Open Humanities Press, 2011) and ‘Media, Mars and Metamorphosis’ (Culture Machine, Vol. 11). Her latest monograph, with Joanna Zylinska, is Life After New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process (The MIT Press, 2012). She co-edits the journals of photographies and Feminist Theory. Previous publications include: Virtual Anxiety. Photography, New Technologies and Subjectivity (Manchester University Press, 1998); Cyberfeminism and Artificial Life (Routledge, 2003) and the co-edited volume Inventive Life. Towards the New Vitalism (Sage, 2006). Current research includes a feminist critique of smart media (iMedia. The gendering of objects, environments and smart materials, Palgrave, forthcoming) and an affiliated novel, provisionally entitled A Day In The Life Of Janet Smart. With Janis Jefferies, Sarah Kember is co-PI of an RCUK funded project on digital publishing, part of CREATe (Centre for Creativity, Copyright, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology). Towards this project, she is currently writing an article entitled ‘Why write? Feminism, publishing and the politics of communication’. Kember is in the process of setting up The Goldsmiths Press and at weekends she does kung fu (recently awarded her green belt).

Endre Dányi

Endre Dányi is co-founder and co-editor of Mattering Press, and postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Sociology at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Prior to this, Endre was doctoral researcher at the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. Inspired by science and technology studies (STS), his PhD thesis was a material-semiotic analysis of liberal democracy through the Hungarian parliament building. Endre’s current research focuses on three themes: the role of numbers in democratic politics, the ways in which bodies become political, and the politics of knowledge making practices in STS.

Frankfurt website:

Mattering Press:

Craig Saper

Craig Saper is Professor and Director of the Language, Literacy, and Culture Ph.D. Program at UMBC in Baltimore, Maryland, US. He is the author of Intimate Bureaucracies (2012), Networked Art (2001), Artificial Mythologies (1997) and has edited or co-edited volumes on Posthumography (2010), Imaging Place (2009), and Drifts (2007). He has published widely on Fluxus and visual poetry and serves as the Reviews Editor and Blog Report columnist for Rhizomes. His curatorial projects include exhibits on Assemblings (1997), Noigandres: Concrete Poetry in Brazil (1988) and TypeBound (2008), and (2003-6). In addition, he has published two other pamphlets On Being Read (1985) and Raw Material (2008) as well as editions of Bob Brown’s Words (2010) and Readies (2010). Saper is presently writing a biography of the poet-publisher-impresario-writer in every imaginable genre, Bob Brown, who invented an avant-garde reading machine; the simulation of the reading machine can be found at Saper’s website

Karen Newman

Karen Newman is Research Fellow (Digital Media) at Coventry University’s Centre for Disruptive Media, where she is developing a pioneering new centre for applied research and collaborative practice. Birmingham Open Media will bring together artists, computer scientists and researchers to produce new commissioned artworks and online interventions, exploring the impacts of emerging technologies on society and hacktivist culture. Newman’s previous curatorial research outputs include award-winning commissioned projects with some of the most influential and exciting artists. She was Curator at FACT, the UK’s leading centre for art and technology between 2005 – 2010 where she contributed to Liverpool’s flagship Capital of Culture programme and commissioned Apichatpong Weerasethakul?s critically acclaimed multi-platform artwork Primitive, which toured internationally and resulted in the Palm d’Or winning feature film at Cannes Film festival, 2010.

Mark Amerika

Mark Amerika has exhibited his interdisciplinary artwork in many venues including the Whitney Biennial, the Walker Art Center, the Denver Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the Istanbul Biennale, the Biennale de Montreal, and the American Museum of the Moving Image. His comprehensive mid-career retrospective was recently exhibited at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens. A cult novelist, media theorist, web publisher, and live audio/visual artist who has performed internationally, Amerika is the author of many books of fiction and nonfiction including his recently published book, remixthebook (University of Minnesota Press), and a large collection of artist writings entitled META/DATA: A Digital Poetics (The MIT Press).

Venue and Date

Friday March 7th
Coventry University
Jordan Well
Ellen Terry Building, Room 130 (ET130)
CV1 5RW Coventry
United Kingdom