Friday 27 May 2016 | Keynes Library | 14:00-17:00

This interdisciplinary seminar will debate the role of ‘structuring structures’ in media cultures, followed by a screening of Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, 1975) in Birkbeck Cinema, from 18:00-20:00.

This event is free, but booking is required.

Organised by Güneş Tavmen and Hannah Barton, co-winners of the BIRMAC 2015-16 Student Competition, the seminar will feature presentations from:

Dr. Emily LaBarge | writer and researcher based in London. She has a PhD from the RCA, where she is currently a visiting lecturer. She contributes to esse arts + opinions and teaches occasionally at Kingston University and Christie’s Education, London.

Dr. Maan Barua | Research and Teaching Fellow at Sommerville College, Oxford. His research interests include cultural geography, postcolonial environmental history and political ecologies of biodiversity conservation. His doctoral research was on ‘The Political Ecology of Human-Elephant Relationships in India’ and his current postdoctoral research focuses on the fields of human and environmental geography. His current research engages with political economies of nature through ‘more-than-human’ perspectives.

Dr Lisa Mullen | Wellcome Trust ISSF researcher at Birkbeck, where she is working on an interdisciplinary project examining how medical tools and technologies are felt and lived by patients and doctors. She is also preparing a monograph based on her doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Midcentury Things: uncanny objects in British post-war literature and culture’.

Media cultures provide and (re)enforce ways of interpreting the world, influencing perceptions of matters social, political and ecological. How do complexes of structures – technologies of production, circulation, affiliation and definition – determine media narratives and shape the way we understand, interpret, and act in everyday life?

BirmacWhat things are refers to material structures and their affordances: as city planning is to free movement, as media technologies are to broadcasting, as hardware is to software, code and communities.

What things do refers to the sociological, affective and soft-cultural consequences of infrastructure, all of which relate to power.

This  event aims to create a forum in which practitioners from the fields of sociology, media studies, critical writing and the arts can respond to these questions, with presentations delivered in the seminar, coming from different disciplinary perspectives (followed by a film screening in the evening). By evoking varied, discrete modes of articulation, ‘What Things Are, and What Things Do,’ aims to foster opportunities for engagement in alternative modes of discourse.