Anthropologies of Entanglements

Weimar, Germany, 9.-11. October 2019

International Conference of the Media Anthropology Centre of Excellence (KOMA)

Bauhaus-University Weimar, Germany

9th – 11th October 2019

In recent decades the field of anthropological research has become more interdisciplinary, as approaches from cultural and media studies have been integrated, as well as those from visual anthropology, feminism, queer theory, ANT, and other fields. Last but not least, the current discourse on the “anthropocene” has stimulated a new reflection of anthropological concepts. Despite all methodological and conceptual differences, the various approaches share the view that the so-called “human nature” can no longer be thought of in an essentialist and ahistorical way. Instead, relational, operative and time- and process-based concepts (e.g. ”borrowed body”, ”cyborg”, ”collectives”, ”extensions of the human body”, ”modes of existence”, “superject” etc.) as well as questions about the cultural and historical situatedness and embodiment of various forms of (human) existence come to the fore. Against this backdrop, the interest has thus shifted to the multitude of cultural, topographical, technical, historical, social, dis cursive, and media formats with which human existences are entangled.

The hosting institution of the conference – Media Anthropology Centre of Excellence (KOMA) – is funded by the “Pro-Exzellenz” program of the state of Thuringia and has advanced an innovative and interdisciplinary media anthropology during the last 4 years. Its leading concept of ”anthropomediality“ refers to the irreducible entanglement of human bodies and media (in a wide sense of the word) that is prior to any distinction between them. Heuristically, “anthropomediality” operates on an intermediate level between empirical case studies and historical and specified research in media on the one hand, and the mainly conceptual work of media and cultural philosophies and aesthetics on the other hand.

In preparation for further research initiatives, KOMA intends to conclude its funding period with an international conference, entering into a dialogue with internationally renowned experts in interdisciplinary anthropological research. We hope that the discussions will facilitate further exploration of the concept of “anthropomediality” and possibly lead to establishing promising exchanges and collaborations in the future.

Hosts:                          Prof. Dr. Christiane Voss                        Organization:             Christiane Lewe

                                    Prof. Dr. Lorenz Engell                                                             Tim Othold


Venue:                        Former Palais Dürckheim                        Contact:          

                                    IKKM Salon
                                    Cranachstraße 47
                                    99423 Weimar


Conference Schedule


Day 1, Wednesday, October 9th

01:00 - 02:00 pm:            Christiane Voss (Weimar): Welcome and Introductory Lecture                                    

02:00 - 03:30 pm:            Maaike Bleeker (Utrecht): Corporeal Literacy                                    

                                        Johanna Seifert (Weimar): Torn, Crushed, Shredded. On the Construction of the Prosthetic Body                                                                                                               During the First World War                                                

04:00 - 05:30 pm:            Julia Bee (Weimar): From Film Anthropology to Audio Visual Becomings - Individuations and                                                                                                            Documentary Ecologies

                                        Martin F. Manalansan IV (Minneapolis-Saint Paul): Queer Mess as Entangled Politics: Marie Kondo, Domesticity,                                                                                                                             and Makeover Media in the Age of Global Populism


Day 2, Thursday, October 10th

10:00 - 11:30 am:            Eleni Ikoniadou (London): The Voices

                                        Bernhard Siegert (Weimar): tba

12:00 - 01:30 pm:            Friedlind Riedel (Weimar): Music’s Humans                                     

                                        David Trippett (Cambridge): Human Sounds and the Obscenity of Information            

02:30 - 04:00 pm:           Gabriele Schabacher (Mainz): In Control of Algorithms. Human-Machine Relations at the Train Station

                                       Brian Larkin (New York): The Ambient Infrastructure of Generators

04:30 - 06:00 pm:           Christina Brandt (Jena): tba

                                       Philipp Gries (Weimar): Neutral Time


Day 3, Friday, October 11th

10:00 - 11:30 am:          Jason Pine (New York): Meth = Sorcery             

                                      Lorenz Engell (Weimar): tba

12:00 - 01:30 pm:          Martin Zillinger (Köln): Skill, Scale and New Communities of Practice.

                                      Christoph Carsten (Weimar): A Life in the Interstices. The Micropolitics and Aesthetics of Everyday Life