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Jour Fixe

WINTER TERM 2015/ 2016

Thursday, 19 November 2015 4-6 pm

Beatrice von Bismarck (Leipzig): Of(f) Museums.The Presentation of Anthropological Photographs in the Open Air

Chair: Monica Juneja (Heidelberg)

Exhibitions not only de- and re- contextualize their exhibits, but they also create and structure encounters among all the other agents involved in them. Thus they allow for processes of questioning, resisting and reshaping which affect not least the exhibiting institution itself. The talk addresses these effects taking as its starting point the triple re-contextualization of photographs which the German anthropologist Egon von Eickstedt (1892-1965) had brought back from  the „German Indian expedition“ (1926-1929), which more than 80 years later travelled back to the Indian Tejgadh in 2012, were subsequently exhibited in the Leipzig Grassi Museum before they were discussed again in New Delhi.  The central argument will focus on the  function images take on under the condition of presentational situations for a critical analysis of the historical and contemporary issues of racial, national and cultural representation.

Thursday, 21 January 2016 4-6 pm

Maria Puig de la Bellacasa (Leicester): Soils Enlivened. Transforming human-soil affections

Chair: Daniel Münster (Heidelberg)

“In a sense we are unique moist packages of animated soil”. These are the alluring words of Francis D. Hole, renowned for his efforts in propagating love for the soil and promoting understanding of its vital importance for humankind. In this paper I engage with moments in scientific, activist and cultural practice in which soils are perceived as ‘coming alive’, revealing the life within them, or even their spirit, altering the perception of soil as inert matter subjected to human use and inviting to transformative human-soil affections. I read these instances of transformative human-soil relationalities against the general background of anthropocenic alarm in which soils appear as yet another objectified natural resource brought to exhaustion by a dominant productionist ethos. In contrast, these moments of soil enlivening offer glimpses of alternative existential timescapes at the heart of technoscience, where a sense of human-soil interdependency is intensified, drawing practitioners into ecopoietic co-involvements.

Maria Puig de la Bellacasa teaches at the University of Leicester. Her latest book Matters of care. Speculative ethics in more than human worlds, is forthcoming with University of Minnesota Press.


General Information

Karl Jaspers Centre
Voßstraße 2, Building 4400
Room 212
69115 Heidelberg

The Jour Fixe is organised by the four Research Areas of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at Heidelberg University.


Poster Winter JF II