Dr. Birgit Hopfener:

Aesthetic Strategies of Temporalization: Towards a pluriversal critical framework of contemporary art and culture

As holder of the Ruth and Mark Phillips Professorship in Cultural Mediations, Dr. Birgit Hopfener will lead next fall the following seminar: an interdisciplinary research seminar on the topic of Aesthetic Strategies of Temporalization: Towards a pluriversal critical framework of contemporary art and culture

Seminar description: The seminar explores aesthetic strategies of temporalization in contemporary art and culture such as appropriation, collage, copying, citation, looping, montage, memes, inscribing, intermediality, intermateriality, re-enactment, re-writing, transmission, and seeks to contribute to a pluriversal critical framework to make sense of them. The pluriversal critical framework takes into account the multiple and transculturally entangled temporalities, historiographies and narratives, epistemologies, ontologies, cosmologies, and socio- and geo-political contexts that constitute the heterogeneity of our time. Institutionalized contemporary art history, theory and aesthetics continue to be dominantly rooted in the universalized, self-referential Euro-American modern-postmodern genealogy, its respective temporalities and discourses centered around critiques of Western representationalism.” Meaning and status of contemporary art have been critically framed and explained through the aesthetic idiom of attacking modernist medium-specificity, and the related temporality of containment through processuality in the 1960s. Obviously, the Euro-American modernist-postmodernist tradition is only one of multiple genealogies in the production of global visual culture in the 21th century.

The seminar adopts an interdisciplinary perspective and examines what various narratives (e.g. narratives of co-evalness and con-temporaneity, decolonization, change, revolution, dispossession, futurism, pessimism, the digital, the Anthropocene) and their respective linear, cyclical, relational temporal models and regimes, what philosophical concepts of time and their respective histories, and what traditional aesthetics and practices of temporalization can be adopted and (re-)activated to makes sense of aesthetic strategies of temporalization today.

We will be combining close readings of art and visual culture, analyses of aesthetic strategies, aesthetics of material, media and technique with readings of theoretical texts in the discursive fields of critical contemporaneity, global art history and theory, times studies, global culture theory, polyphonic aesthetics, comparative aesthetics, specific regional and cultural aesthetics and epistemologies, and digital image cultures. The seminar seeks to reflect on ways of how to think beyond conventionalized critical frameworks and hierarchies through situated, yet collaborative learning and knowledge production that is interested in “cognitive justice” and a pluriversal world.

Dr. Birgit Hopfener is an art historian of contemporary art and theory in the global context. She is an Associate Professor in the School for the Study of Art and Culture at Carleton University, cross-appointed with the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture. Her research and teaching are situated in the field of critical global art history with a regional expertise in Chinese art


Dr. Barbara Leckie: Co-Writing the Climate Crisis  

Seminar description: This course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the climate crisis through the lens of co-writing. The idea of co-writing will be treated capaciously: writing through and with other voices, conversations, people, places, and things. It will envision writing as a kind of craft or making in which we think out loud together. With respect to the climate crisis, humans write on and with land and climate; this course will, accordingly, ask if co-writing can broaden our sense of what writing means. The course will approach questions of cowriting via three interconnected categories: conversation; correspondence; and cohabitation. While each of these terms have a bearing on the larger questions of climate and the planetary that the course will address, they will also be approached, more narrowly, in relation to talking, writing, and teaching, respectively. Our discussions will be underpinned by the ways in which ideas of the co-, in general, help us to rethink the individual, the nation, and the land. Overall, we will read the work of Judith Butler, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Achille Mbembe, Anna Tsing, and Sylvia Wynter, among others, to consider more closely how disciplines in the humanities can contribute to climate action.

Dr. Barbara Leckie‘s research addresses the impact of cultural forms and representations on social and political change and knowledge production. Dr. Leckie is a Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture. She is a founding member of Carleton Climate Commons, a group which brings together faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students to discuss climate change issues in relation to the humanities and social sciences. Her most recent book, Climate Change, Interrupted (Stanford UP) is forthcoming September 2022.

For all proposed courses in 2022-2023, read here.