NEWS

On this page, you will find recent announcements from the "Biotechnologies, Nature and Society" research group.

Please visit our archive for past entries.

 

23 June 2022, 09:00 - 18:00 | Casino 1.801

24 June 2022, 09:00 - 13:00 | Casino 1.802


In many different societal fields such as reproductive and regenerative technologies, biomedical research, transplantation surgery, conservation biology and biosecurity preparedness, cryopreservation practices have significantly affected the concepts of life and death, health and illness, (in)fertility and biodiversity. The radical and ongoing transformation of temporal trajectories they bring about is fundamentally shaping the politics of life in the 21st century, engendering novel modes of processing, enhancing and managing biological matter and social processes linked to it. To capture the profound socio-material changes and forms of control introduced by cryopreservation practices, scholars have recently proposed the terms “cryopolitics" and “suspended life."

Cryopolitics is characterized by strategies that suspend life, seeking to arrest processes of decay and dying. Arresting vital processes, moving things into limbo, and carving out spaces on the boundary between life and death are key features of this novel governance of life. This form of politics produces a dispersed landscape of cryobanking facilities and corresponding infrastructural arrangements that are detached from their original environments, generating new relations. The result is a liminal space in which cells, body parts, and DNA samples diverge from the temporality of the outside world but remain available to be reintroduced to it again.

The symposium Toward a Politics of Suspension? aims to explore and advance the theoretical proposition of “suspended life" and to better approach the questions that these new forms of politics and new practices around cryopreservation open up. In order to do this, the CRYOSOCITIES team has invited leading scholars in the field to give presentations around their work on the topic.


More information here. Please register with Viona Hartmann to attend the event.

 

The future is not something that is yet to come. It's rather the cumulative effect of various practices that take place in the present. Whereas planning, projecting and predicting have been widely recognised as established future-making practices in the social sciences, recently there has been a growing interest in socio-technical arrangements that seek to anticipate more contingent futures. Such socio-technical arrangements aim to „fix futures“ in the sense that they try to simultaneously provide stability and recognise the need for repair in the context of various crises.

This joint lecture series of the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, the Institute of Sociology, the Institute of Human Geography, and the Lab for Studies of Science and Technology (LaSST) brings together renowned anthropologists, human geographers and sociologists to differently respond to the claim that the contemporary moment is charcterised by a distinct future-orientation. From environmental governance to demilitarisation, the lectures will consider which futures are being fixed, the particular technologies and techniques involved in these future-making processes, and the political possibilities they open up.

Summer Term 2022 | Wed. 6-8 pm (ct)

Attendance possible both on Campus Westend, Seminarhouse, SH 2.105 and online! Please register via ka-hiwis@em.uni-frankfurt.de

 

Guest lecture by Nicole Starosielski (Associate Professor of Media, Culture & Comm., NYU Steinhardt) on 20 Jan 2022 at 4:15 pm

As part of the lecture series at the research group Biotechnology, Nature and Society and the ERC project CRYOSOCIETIES, we invite you to a guest lecture by Nicole Starosielski (Associate Professor of Media, Culture & Communication, NYU Steinhardt) on "Thermal Mediation: Critical Temperature Studies and the Digital Cold" on 20 January 2022 at 4:15 pm. Following on from her recent book Media Hot & Cold (Duke University Press 2021), Starosielski will theorize thermal mediation, outline the project of critical temperature studies, and analyze the coldward course of digital systems.

Please register with Viona Hartmann (hartmann@soz.uni-frankfurt.de) to receive the zoom link for the event.

Excerpt from the book announcement:

In Media Hot and Cold, Nicole Starosielski examines the cultural dimensions of temperature to theorize the ways heat and cold can be used as a means of communication, subjugation, and control. Diving into the history of thermal media, from infrared cameras to thermostats to torture sweatboxes, Starosielski explores the many meanings and messages of temperature. During the twentieth century, heat and cold were broadcast through mass thermal media. Today, digital thermal media such as bodily air conditioners offer personalized forms of thermal communication and comfort. Although these new media promise to help mitigate the uneven effects of climate change, Starosielski shows how they can operate as a form of biopower by determining who has the ability to control their own thermal environment. In this way, thermal media can enact thermal violence in ways that reinforce racialized, colonial, gendered, and sexualized hierarchies. By outlining how the control of temperature reveals power relations, Starosielski offers a framework to better understand the dramatic transformations of hot and cold media in the twenty-first century.

Organised by Thomas Lemke, Sara Lafuente-Funes, Viona Hartmann, Veit Braun, Ruzana Liburkin

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CONTACT

Prof. Dr. Thomas Lemke

Goethe-University
Faculty of Social Sciences
Institute of Sociology
Research Group Biotechnologies,
Nature and Society

Visiting address
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6
Campus-Westend – PEG-Building
Room 3.G 027
60323 Frankfurt am Main

Mail address
Campus Westend
PEG - internal post 31
60629 Frankfurt am Main

Tel. +49 69 798 36664
lemke@em.uni-frankfurt.de

CONTACT

Team Assistant

Mrs. Uhrig
Room 3.G 030
Tel.: +49 69 798 36660
uhrig@soz.uni-frankfurt.de