CNM and ARI Research Talk: The Question of China and the West in World Philosophy- Presented By Steve Fuller

Abstract:

This talk will survey the changing relationship between the ‘West’ and ‘China’ as representative of certain cultural and philosophical ideals, especially the contemporary significance of that relationship, given the recent re-emergence of China as a global superpower. In this context I will pay special attention to the claims made in Bryan van Norden’s new book, Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto, which appeals in part to Chinese philosophy as a foil for Western philosophy.

Speaker: 

Steve Fuller is Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK. Originally trained in history and philosophy of science, Fuller is best known for his foundational work in the field of ‘social epistemology’, which is the name of a quarterly journal that he founded in 1987 as well as the first of his more than twenty books. From 2011 to 2014 he published a trilogy relating to the idea of a ‘post-‘ or ‘trans’ human future, all published with Palgrave Macmillan under the rubric of ‘Humanity 2.0’. His most recent books are Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History (Routledge 2015) and The Academic Caesar (Sage 2016). His works have been translated into over twenty languages. He was awarded a D.Litt. by the University of Warwick in 2007 for sustained lifelong contributions to scholarship. His latest book, Post-Truth: Knowledge as a Power Game, is published by Anthem Press in 2018.

24 April 2018
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Block AS8, #04-04
ARI Seminar Room

If you are an NUS Staff or Student, register online at: https://cnmn.us/taSr6

 

CNM Research Talk: Queer will: Hikikomori as willful subjects- Presented By Dr Rosemary Overell

Abstract:

This presentation considers hikikomori as willful subjects. The hikikomori are a portion of the Japanese population who withdraw into their homes. These are mostly young people (between 15 and 35) and mostly young men. The focus of this presentation is how hikikomori constitute a challenge to dominant national imaginaries of Japan as a ‘corporate-family system’ (Allison 2013). This presentation analyses popular media and psychiatric representations of hikikomori, particularly from Saitô’s (2013) work as exemplifying Ahmed’s (2014) notion of willful subjects. It is argued that the hikikomori’s apparent willfulness produces them as Queer subjects who are out of place and pace with the dominant heteronormative, masculinist culture of contemporary Japan.

Speaker: 

Rosemary Overell completed a doctorate, majoring in cultural studies and Japanese studies, at the University of Melbourne in 2012. Her thesis, Brutal: Affect Belonging In, and Between, Australia and Japan’s Grindcore Scenes, explored how fans of grindcore metal music feel ‘at home’ in scenic spaces. Rosemary’s research included two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Osaka, Japan, as well as in Melbourne, Australia. Rosemary has taught for a number of years at the University of Melbourne in cultural studies, Asian studies, media studies and cultural geography. Between 2011 and 2013 she co-ordinated subjects on popular music cultures and lifestyle and consumer cultures.

In 2014, Rosemary published her book Affective Intensities in Extreme Music Scene with Palgrave. Currently, she is teaching two second-year communications subjects and working on nikkeijin migrants and youth cultures in Nagoya, Japan. She is also interested in experimental ethnographic methodologies.

She is also a member of the Performance of the Real research theme steering group.

20 April 2018
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

NUS Central Library
CLB-04-04, Theatrette 1

If you are an NUS Staff or Student, please register at cnmn.us/queer

CNM Research Talk: Defamiliarisation and Poetic Gameplay in Art Games- Presented By Assistant Professor Alex Mitchell

Abstract:

Certain video games tend to be perceived as somehow different from the mainstream, not conforming to the expectations that most players bring to games. One common feature of these art games is the way that they often defamiliarize some aspect of the game experience by undermining player expectations so as to achieve a poetic effect.

Starting from Shklovsky’s notion of defamiliarization and Utterback’s concept of the poetic interface, Alex Mitchell draw parallels between poetic language and the techniques used in games to create what he refers to as poetic gameplay: the structuring of the actions the player takes within a game, and the responses the game provides to those actions, in a way that draws attention to the form of the game, and by doing so encourages the player to reflect upon and see that structure in a new way.

In this talk, Alex will provide an overview of the work done to develop the concept of poetic gameplay, including a series of close readings of art games, empirical studies of player response to art games, and the development of a collection of “literary devices” that appear in these games. He will also discuss ongoing work to describe these literary devices in the form of design patterns, and preliminary results from a study of the use of these patterns by game designers. He will then conclude by sketching out proposed future work to explore the relationship between defamiliarization and repeat experience of interactive artworks, and to understand the relationship between poetic gameplay and aesthetic experience.

Speaker: 

Alex Mitchell teaches interactive media design in the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Alex’s current research investigates various aspects of computer-based art and entertainment, focusing in particular on games and interactive stories. He has a BSc and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, Canada, and a PhD from the NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering. His recent publications include “Rereading and the SimCity Effect in Interactive Stories” in Interactive Storytelling (2015), “Making the Familiar Unfamiliar: Techniques for Creating Poetic Gameplay” in DiGRA/FDG 2016, and “Making it Unfamiliar in the Right Way: An Empirical Study of Poetic Gameplay”, in DiGRA 2017. His creative work has been shown at venues such as the Displacements exhibition (13 Wilkie Terrace, 2013); Passports: Through the Red Dot Into Other Worlds (Lorong 24A Shophouse Series, 2013); Seni Mini (Mi Casa Su Casa, 2014); Print Lab (Grey Projects, 2014); Interstitium (Lorong 24A Shophouse Series, 2015); 50 Obsessions (LaSalle College of the Arts, 2015); and Repurposing Nostalgia (42 Petain Road, 2016). His fiction has been published in Dark Tales, Balik Kampung 2, and in several issues of the Twenty-Four Flavours series, a collection of flash fiction published by Math Paper Press. He was the general chair for the International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) 2014, and is a member of the ICIDS steering committee.

23 March 2018
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

NUS Central Library
CLB-04-04, Theatrette 1

Register at cnmn.us/gameplay.

CNM-CARE Research Talk: Rethinking Censorship In An Age of Authoritarian Resilience- Presented By Professor Cherian George

 

Abstract:

Most discussions on media freedom implicitly contrast it to totalitarian control. While it is intuitively appealing to think of liberty as the opposite of tyranny, this binary framework does not help us understand how today’s authoritarian regimes sustain themselves. Integrating empirical research on censorship practices, this presentation considers how media policies contribute to authoritarian resilience, with a particular focus on Asia, including Singapore. Although not ideologically opposed to spectacularly repressive methods, many states have shifted to stealthier forms of censorship. They also apply differential levels of censorship, allowing selective liberalisation to enhance their legitimacy among publics and co-opt large segments of the media and culture industries, while stifling communication that would potentially challenge their political dominance.

Speaker: 

Cherian George is professor of media studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. He researches media and politics, including freedom of expression, censorship and hate propaganda. He is currently working on a book on media and power in Southeast Asia for Cambridge University Press. His previous books include Hate Spin: The Manufacture of Religious Offense and its Threat to Democracy (MIT Press, 2016), and Freedom from the Press: Journalism and State Power in Singapore (NUS Press, 2012).

28 March 2018
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

VENUE CHANGED!

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Block AS4, #01-19

Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium
University Town

Register at cnmn.us/censorship.

CNM Research Talk: Journalism and Media in the Age of Trump- Presented By Professor Lars Willnat

Abstract:

This past year, the political press in the U.S. has faced relentless assault from President Trump. Media organisations are accused of bias and for circulating fake news. At the same time, Facebook, Twitter and other digital media have disrupted mainstream media, offering users a continuous stream of news curated by proprietary algorithms. While these developments have undermined the credibility of traditional media, persistent scandals in the White House have provided the U.S. press with an opportunity to demonstrate that Journalism Matters. Professor Lars Willnat examines the current state of the media in the U.S. and abroad, and delve into issues of political polarisation and populism.

Speaker: 

Lars Willnat is the John Ben Snow Research Professor, an endowed chair, in the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. He was previously the director of the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, and earlier taught at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He also served as a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Malaysia and South Korea and currently holds a 1000-Talent Chair Professorship at Tianjin Normal University in China. His teaching and research interests include journalism studies, media effects on political attitudes and behaviors, cross-national and comparative survey research, and international communication. He is author of more than 50 journal articles and book chapters and coeditor of five books: The American Journalist in the Digital Age (2017), Social Media, Culture and Politics (2014), The Global Journalist in the 21st Century (2012), Empirical Political Analysis: Research Methods in Political Science (2010), and Political Communication in Asia (2009).

16 March 2018
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

NUS Central Library
CLB-04-04, Theatrette 1

Register at cnmn.us/ageoftrump.

CNM Research Talk: See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception, The Sensory Apparatus And The Future Of Human- Presented By Professor Madeline Schwartzman

Abstract:

Did you know that we can see with our tongue? Will robotic hair become our next important digital tool? What ways will we use technology to remember plants after they have been destroyed? Madeline Schwartzman presents her research of artists and designers exploring the future of the human senses, the human head, and our technological relationship with nature. Her talk stems from her personal design, architecture, and artistic practices along with her research from her two books and current exhibition.

See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception (2011)– is the first book to survey the fascinating intersection between design, the body and the senses over the last fifty years, from the utopian pods, pneumatics and head gear of the 1960’s, to the high-tech prostheses, wearable computing, implants, and interfaces between computers and the human nervous system of the recent decade.

See Yourself X focuses in on our fundamental perceptual domain- the human head—presenting an array of conceptual and constructed ideas for extending ourselves physically into space. This includes all forms of physical head augmentation, including new organs, hair extensions and hairdos, masks, head constructions and gear, headdresses, prosthetics and helmets by artists, designers, inventors and scientists.

See Yourself E(x)ist looks at how artists envision our human future in nature- our poetic attempts at agency, our technological advances, and our futile role in the intricate and complex web of all living things.The art acknowledges the elegance of futility, the strangeness of attempts at permanence, and the absurdity of technological advances.

Speaker: 

Madeline Schwartzman is professor at Columbia, Barnard and Parsons. This writer, filmmaker and architect explores human narratives between art, design, technology and nature. Her books, See Yourself Sensing, See Yourself X and current exhibition See Yourself E(x)ist propose insights into a weird and wonderful future.

20 February 2018
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

NUS Central Library
CLB-04-04, Theatrette 1

Register at cnmn.us/exist.

CNM Research Talk: Making Sense of Public Culture- Presented By Professor Nikos Papastergiadis

Abstract:

In this lecture, Professor Nikos Papastergiadis explores the challenge of making sense of culture that occurs in public spaces. Unlike the performances and displays of culture within interior spaces, the experience of culture in an urban and networked public environment presents new challenges for cultural interpretation and evaluation. Relying on traditional art historical categories or emergent digital ethnographic tools may be either too narrow or too focused on technological affordances. Instead, he proposes to explore a new conceptual approach that seeks to grasp the wide range of artistic projects and diverse modes of public interaction. It will draw on research conducted at Melbourne’s Federation Square to discuss how the concept of ambience helps make sense of both the production and experience of public culture.

The first section of the article introduces the changing settings for culture: from an almost exclusively interior presentation to an increasingly mediated, networked and outdoor experience.

The second section situates this exteriorisation of culture in terms of a shifting urban environment that is increasingly interwoven with media networks, systems and infrastructure. This section also introduces the case study: Melbourne’s Federation Square.

The third section describes some of the different forms of engagement that take place in Federation Square and how this problematises traditional expectations of cultural experiences. Finally, he concludes with a reflection on these findings and draws out implications for cultural programming of public space.

Speaker: 

Nikos Papastergiadis Professor at the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. He studied at the University of Melbourne and University of Cambridge. Prior to returning to the University of Melbourne he was a lecturer at the University of Manchester. T His sole authored publications include Modernity as Exile (1993), Dialogues in the Diaspora (1998), The Turbulence of Migration (2000), Metaphor and Tension (2004) Spatial Aesthetics: Art Place and the Everyday (2006), Cosmopolitanism and Culture (2012), Ambient Perspectives (2013) as well as being the editor of over 10 collections, author of numerous essays which have been translated into over a dozen languages and appeared in major catalogues such as the Biennales of Sydney, Liverpool, Istanbul, Gwanju, Taipei, Lyon, Thessaloniki and Documenta 13. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and co-chair of the Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture, and Chair of the International Advisory Board for the Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore.

7 February 2018
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
National University of Singapore
Blk AS6, #03-38, CNM Playroom

Register at cnmn.us/publicculture.

CNM Research Talk: Witnessing Suffering, Narrative Data, Autoethnographic Analysis, and Communicative Responsibility- Presented By Fulbright Scholar Professor Barbara Sharf

Abstract:

Medical humanities scholars have repeatedly made the case for the ethical importance of clinicians enacting attention, presence, and empathy to witness the stories of illness-related suffering disclosed by patients. However, the concept of witnessing has not received adequate attention in the communication literature (health communication or otherwise).

In this presentation, storied accounts of three instances of witnessing the tense precipice between living and dying experienced by patients being treated for critical illnesses in hospital intensive care units are described from the perspective of a non-clinician. Instead of these data being gathered through interviews or focus groups, they are instead drawn from [my own] personal participant-observation that includes a great deal of obvious subjectivity, interpersonal connection, and evoked emotions. So, is this data that counts as a form of research? Post-hoc reflection on these narrative accounts is unabashedly auto-ethnographic. Does authoethnographic analysis have validity and integrity as a scholarly venue? All of us are asked to consider what are the important aspects and responsibilities of being witness to another’s suffering.

Speaker: 

Barbara Sharf is a health communication researcher with research interests encompassing a wide variety of health-related topics. She is best-known for works employing qualitative forms of investigation and analysis, particularly narrative inquiry. She is the author or co-author of three books, the most recent being Storied Health and Illness: Communicating Personal, Cultural, and Political Complexities (2017), and more than 75 academic journal articles and book chapters. Currently Professor Emerita in the Department of Communication at Texas A & M, she remains active in conducting and publishing research. Her work has been honored as Outstanding Health Communication Scholar (2005) and Distinguished Health Communication Article (2017) by the National Communication Association. For the past decade, her work has focused on communicative aspects of integrative health care, specifically how culturally-based, complementary systems and modalities of healing have moved toward institutionalization within conventional, biomedical organizations. As a U.S. Fulbright Research Scholar, she has visited NUS for the last three years in the Department of Communication and New Media to extend her studies to Singapore.

2 February 2018
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

NUS Libraries, Central Library
National University of Singapore
CLB-04-04, Theatrette 1

Register at cnmn.us/witness.

CARE Research Talk: Critical Digital Health Studies, Now And In The Future- Presented By Professor Deborah Lupton

Abstract:

Digital technologies have risen to meet the challenge of delivering better healthcare, containing medical costs and getting people to engage more actively in the promotion of health, fitness, well-being as well as self-care for chronic conditions. In medical journals, public health literature, industry forums and ministries, discussion has been intense, but mired in an overly utopian and individualistic approach to digital health technologies. In this talk, Professor Deborah Lupton will outline what defines critical digital health studies, in which the socio-cultural, ethical and political implications are identified. She will then delve into her current research, and share some ideas to shape the future of digital health studies.

Speaker: 

Deborah Lupton is Centenary Research Professor in the News & Media Research Centre, Faculty of Arts & Design, University of Canberra. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, leader of the Smart Technology Living Lab at the University of Canberra, and the co-leader of the Digital Data & Society Consortium. Her latest books are Digital Sociology (Routledge, 2015), The Quantified Self (Polity, 2016) and Digital Health (Routledge, 2017), as well as the edited volumes Digitised Health, Medicine and Risk (Routledge, 2016), The Digital Academic (Routledge, 2017, co-edited with Inger Mewburn and Pat Thomson) and Self-Tracking, Health and Medicine (2017). Her current research interests all involve aspects of digital sociology: digital health, digital data cultures, self-tracking practices, digital food cultures, digitised academia, and the digital surveillance of children and young people.

19 January 2018
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
National University of Singapore

VENUE CHANGED!
Blk AS6, #03-38, CNM Playroom
Lecture Theatre 10 (Beside the Arts Canteen)

Register at cnmn.us/digitalhealth.