Posts Tagged ‘thing’

Nicht die Sprache der Dinge, sondern das Sprechen mit den Dingen.

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Bild vom Buchumschlag Darum geht es in meinem Beitrag zum gerade beim Waxmann Verlag erschienenen Buch Die Sprache der Dinge. Ich freue mich sehr darüber, in diesem Buch dabei zu sein, da die meisten anderen Beiträge aus der Volkskunde/Ethnologie kommen und da das Buch zur Ausleuchtung des in Deutschland noch unterbelichteten Felds der materiellen Kultur beisteuert. Mein herzlicher Dank geht natürlich an die Herausgeberinnen des Bandes.

Essays zu Dingen.

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Dank der aufgeschlossenen Mitarbeit von den Studierenden, die im letzten Sommersemester in meinem Seminar Materialität & Dinge, Wahrnehmung & Handeln einen Schein gemacht haben, kann ich jetzt fünf Essays zu verschiedenen Dingen ins Netz stellen:

Es gibt auch eine Übersicht zum Seminar. Viel Spaß beim Lesen!

Doorology or social science making the news.

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

I am glad that the catchy titles of presentations such as Alana Clifton-Cunningham’s The sock – A reflection of the sock in society or Rita Colavincenzo’s Peasant Food in Disguise: Cheese as Class Indicator in the Retail Market or my Opening, Closing, and Revolving – Studies in Doorology (all to be presented on the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences) were not taken as indicators of postmodern irony, or as symptoms of the waning significance of the social sciences in the article published two days ago in Canada’s National Post (written by Anne Marie Owens). Many people in the social sciences fight hard and frustrating struggles for their work, trying to steer clear between the Scylla of science whose economic interests, scientific trends, and academic establishment threaten to devour you and your work, and the Charybdis who will swallow those who linger to long on their work, getting lost in the esoterics of in-depth research. The hardest thing is to steer clear of these monsters and still remember where you wanted to go, when you originally left your safe harbor…

Opening, Closing, and Revolving – Studies in Doorology.

Monday, February 6th, 2006

Things are working out very well conference-wise: the abstract I submitted for the panel on Everyday stuff: narrating the social lives of material objects of the annual meeting of the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association (CSAA) in Toronto, May 30th – June 2nd, has just been accepted. The abstract:

This contribution will unfold the life of an artifact on the border: the door. Based on field observations and digital video recordings of doors and their use in railway and ferry terminals I want to present the door as an entity that participates in the everyday lives of commuters and travelers, old and young, men and women. The door has many aspects that make it a very peculiar and highly interesting object of study for researchers in the social sciences. One of the most prominent aspects is its inherent duality – it is one of the most basic devices of exclusion and inclusion. It can be inviting and open but it can also shut out the unwelcome or unable. The door establishes a visual and material barrier that has to be taken to access whatever lies on the other side. But the door also is a mundane technological artifact with quite specific properties depending on the way it is designed. Sliding doors make up a very thin barrier while revolving doors cover a large amount of space. Doors may work automatically or be pushed and pulled by the hands, feet and shoulders of the people that walk or roll trough them. The presentation will focus on the way in which the life of different kinds of doors is intertwined with the lives of the people that use them. Some of the stories that will be told are linear narrations that talk about reaching a goal lying far away from the door itself. Other stories will be of a more Kafkaesque nature – they will revolve around doors that confront some people with a weakness they probably do not like to display in public while others pass through seemingly undisturbed, pursuing their everyday lives and ignoring the door as an entity with its own curious life. Telling these stories, the presentation will alternate between talk, the showing of video clips, and still photographs of doors or the people using them. Particular focus will be put on the social reconfigurations that happen in contact with the door.

The only backdraw is the funding. I do not have any money to pay for the flight and the conference fees. To my shock, the four month deadline for the German Research Foundation’s (DFG) conference grants has passed one week ago. Perhaps they will accept a late submission, but probably not. I’ll have to look for other sources, which probably won’t be easy to find…

Automatic Irritations.

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Following is my abstract for the session Ordering / Disordering Space and Matter of the 2006 Meeting of the AAG, March 7-11, Chicago, Illinois.

Based on ethnographic research in railway stations and passenger terminals for ferries, this paper wedges itself between people and the things they encounter. Detailed analysis of digital video recordings allows insight into the brief exchanges between men, women and artifacts. Sometimes, these exchanges do not unfold as planned, irritations arise and expectations are thwarted causing a reordering of conduct. Artifacts like the ticket selling machine or the materiality of a revolving door can break established routines thereby opening spaces for play or interaction with others. Terminals with their ticket selling counters, their shops and waiting facilities are places of a distinct phenomenologically accessible materiality; this paper will get involved in this materiality, tracing the relations between people, things, and socio-spatial constellations to understand how the rule of a certain normality is established in terminals and when and how it is destabilized.

Mit einiger Verzögerung.

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004

Den Text habe ich zwar schon im Mai geschrieben, und die Seite auch schon im Juni fertig gecodet, aber erst heute mache ich meinen Text zu den Begriffen Dinge und Materialität, Praxis und Perfomativität online verfügbar. Ich habe den Text im Anschluß an meine Präsentation im Graduiertenkolleg am 21. Mai geschrieben, um in der Diskussion aufgekommene Fragen zu klären und dem provisorischen und offenen Charakter der Präsentation noch etwas solideres folgen zu lassen. Bevor ich den Text ins Netz befördere wollte ich unter anderem noch Rücksprache mit meinem Betreuer und anderen halten; dies ist nun geschehen und jetzt solls endlich neue Inhalte auf meiner Seite geben!
In den nächsten Tagen werde ich auch den ersten Teil meiner Merleau-Ponty Verwurstung fertig geschrieben haben und ihn ebenfalls auf den Webserver hochladen.