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This event is part of “Conserving Active Matter: A Cultures of Conservation Research Project,” a collaboration between Bard Graduate Center, the Humboldt University (Berlin), and the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam). This initiative aims to bring new developments in materials science and new ways of thinking about matter to create new ways of thinking about the future of conservation. The project is articulated through semester-themed explorations along four axes: Indigenous ontologies (spring 2018), history (fall 2018), materials science (spring 2019), and philosophy (fall 2019).

The working group on “Active Matter and History” aims to contextualize the current interest in active matter. Probing the boundaries of dualistic thought, from Pre-Socratics to plastics, this workshop will help us understand exactly how we got to the point that the activity of organic matter had to be rediscovered at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Beyond genealogy, however, the recognition that conceptual scene-setting is itself an artifact raises new possibilities for rethinking activity along the arc of all those other victims of dualization, such as the subject/object, archaic/modern, living/non-living, human/non-human, and West/Eastern dichotomies.

Convened by Peter N. Miller and Ittai Weinryb, Bard Graduate Center. Speakers include Wen-shing Chou, Hunter College, CUNY; Surekha Davies, The John Carter Brown Library; Daniel Garber, Princeton University; Moshe Idel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Frank Klaassen, University of Saskatchewan; André Laks, Panamerican University; Fabio Rambelli, University of California, Santa Barbara; Joyce Tsai, University of Iowa; Nicolas Weill-Parot, École Pratique des Hautes Études.

Thursday, November 1
9:15 am–6:15 pm
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall

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BGCTV Logo BGCTV This event will be livestreamed. A link to the video will be posted to the event listing the day of the talk.
Cultures of Conservation Logo This event is part of our “Cultures of Conservation” initiative, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.