ReadingRoom is a collaborative project of Terra Critica and Casco Art Institute. It offers an open and inclusive space for substantial and meaningful conversations in the humanities, the arts, and beyond. We understand reading as an active intervention into our present: a shared practice that sharpens our senses and enables new affective communities; a collective “action” that helps crystallize critical questions and affirmative refusals of/in this world. We see reading as a commoning act.
We are announcing new sessions soon, stay tuned!
Sign up by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. As always, ReadingRoom is followed by a vegan dinner (own contribution 10 euro), please let us know if you will join for dinner in your e-mail.
It is Time…
The last series of ReadingRoom (organized from October 2018 to June 2019 http://terracritica.net/readingroom-fifth-series/) looked critically at capitalism–patriarchy–colonialism (CPC) as the systemic weave shaping our current world-habitat. Our upcoming sixth series It is Time… takes up the thread of this troubling complexity rather than simply move elsewhere, to a new question or a different topic. But what does it mean to take up a thread? It means not just to continue with the same, but to continue and spin further, to involve another string. This image of working is inspired by the words of Bauhaus fabric artist Anni Albers, who writes in her book On Weaving (1965) that in weaving, as in study and thought, it is “possible to go from any place to any other, so also, starting from a defined and specialized field, can one arrive at a realization of ever-extending relationships” (xi).
ReadingRoom series six holds on to a focus on CPC as the fabric of our present, but it also wants to inter-weave another string. CPC is not “simply” a global capitalist-patriarchal-colonial formation, but also lives off human exceptionalism and ecological devastation that affect “us” all, different humans and non-humans alike, yet in foundationally asymmetrical ways. It is Time… considers how we can thread a critique of the on-going environmental destruction into our critical understanding of CPC. It is Time... to re-imagine futurity (or temporality itself), to invent new languages to speak different ecologies of living. It is Time…
This ReadingRoom series is in resonance with Casco’s exhibition Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons) (14 Sept – 3 Nov 2019) and will also host several guests, starting with Eva Hayward (U of Arizona) in our first session in October and Anirban Das (CSSSC Kolkata) in our second session in November.
Session Two: Monday, 25 November 2019, 17.30-19.30
During our second session of ReadingRoom, we will continue thinking about extinction and what ending something can mean and explore explicitly the temporalities of climate change and its uneven and global effects. We want to discuss these readings (made available upon registration):
Déborah Danowski & Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, The Ends of the World (chs 1, 2 and 3), Polity 2017, pp. 1-27.
Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement. Climate Change and the Unthinkable (part 2: History), U of Chicago Press 2016, p. 85-116.
Dipesh Chakrabarty, “Anthropocene Time” History and Theory 57/1 (2018), p. 5-32.
As always, ReadingRoom is followed by a vegan dinner (contribution of 10 euro per person). If you wish to participate in this session, please sign up by 15 Nov by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To keep everyone around one table during our conversations, we must unfortunately close registration at 20. Do also indicate in your registration email, if you want to stay for dinner.
ReadingRoom started in December 2014, and we have held five annual series so far: speculation & fabulation—critique in the SF mode (December 2014 to May 2015); relationality—envisioning new wor(l)dings (September 2015 to February 2016); WHO CARES?—politics and poetics in the affirmative (September 2016 to May 2017); un/learning: the p/re/distribution of knowledge (February 2018 to July 2018); Reading Rosa, Pink and Other Colours (October 2018 to June 2019). We base our conversations on texts from a wide range of fields, and our sessions are occasionally accompanied by film screenings.
Many special guests have joined us and often contributed artistic or reading material: among them Odile Ferly (2015), Denise Ferreira da Silva (2015), Melanie Gilligan (2015), Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor (2015), Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson (2014, 2016), Alex Martinis Roe (2016), Natasha Myers (2017), Wendelien van Oldenborgh (2015), Rolando Vázquez (2017), and Annette Krauss (2018). The list of participants from the local Utrecht communities (and beyond) is long and growing...
The two Terra Critica initiators, Birgit M. Kaiser and Kathrin Thiele; the Terra Critica interns Tjalling Valdés Olmos, Emilia Thorin, and Lara van Osch; and Casco Art Institute have choreographed the past series and hosted each meeting in collaboration. The funding for our invited guests comes from both Terra Critica and Casco.
ReadingRoom is an open and inclusive space for all. Join us, if you are interested in critical, speculative, and imaginative engagements with our present, in closely reading theoretical and artistic material, and if you are active in weaving alternative aesthetic and political practices for a common future. We only ask for close attention to the materials and to each other, in the generous and affirmative mode that ReadingRoom has worked to maintain—which also means wrestling with our own implicatedness and response-abilities.
For more information: terracritica.net/readingroom