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Affecting Affirmative Reviews
This section stimulates dialogues across disciplines connecting new materialism and feminism with politics, ethics, ontology, epistemology and methodology. The reviews can evaluate the scope of a book, as well as exposing its contents, but this journal considers that they must go beyond that. An appropriate review has to start from the reflexive ability of the author to provide a critical evaluation of the book. However, the criticisms which we propose have to be affirmative (Van der Tuin, 2011), since it is precisely this affirmation that constitutes "the new" of the New Feminist Materialisms. The author of the review has to develop her o his own argument and ideas about the book. Thus, the text would be a material reality that is worth reading for itself, not as a substitute of the book. In this way, the reviews for which we appeal would become part of the theoretical and political discussions and the debates between different disciplines in relation to contemporary feminist and new materialism theory. The book reviews extension should be 1000-2000 words and they not include abstract neither keywords.
Section Editor: Mónica Cano Abadía
Almanac (Open Form)
The almanac is intended as a glossary of terms to document, catalyze, and make public discourse within the fields of new materialism and associated research. We invite entries that are a rigorous introduction to a key term, a provocative rereading of existing nomenclature, or a creative explication of a more esoteric neologism you have developed.
The almanac began its life online (www.newmaterialism.eu), as a device for translating research within the New Materialism COST Action between 2016-18. Written by experienced professors and fledgling undergrads, it comprises over 40 diverse entries. We are excited by what the project’s migration to the MATTER journal can offer, how existing entries may be augmented and new ones brought forth.
We ask that you consider writing entries on terms that are both important to your research and germane to wider new materialist practice. We welcome co-authored texts, multiple entries on the same term, and are also keen to publish entries that operate beyond traditional textual frameworks, such as image-based entries, typographical experimentation, or linking to online materials that may be sonic or time-based, for example. Entries will be reviewed by the editors and we suggest a word count of between 500-1000 words.
Entries may be an introduction to a key term, a rereading of existing nomenclature, or a creative explication of a more esoteric neologism. Re-working of existing entries through either formal submission or the open forum is welcomed. Future call-outs will also invite entries on new and emerging terms.
Section Editors: David Gauthier and Sam Skinner
Praxiography*: Practices and Institutions
This section provides an opportunity to engage with topics of research practices, critique of institutional structures, and invites bold explorations of ways of organizing, living, and imagining various praxes – be them within the field of e.g. academia, teaching, art, or activism. We invite theoretical, experiential, and experimental contributions from a variety of feminist perspectives as well as collaboratively written and collectively authored pieces.
We invite submissions from early career researchers, academics in precarious positions and independent researchers, artists, and organizers. We especially warmly welcome contributions from Indigenous, POC, trans and/or non-binary researchers, and perspectives from Eastern Europe/post-Soviet/post-socialist contexts and the Global South.
Section Editors: Olga Cielemęcka and Monika Rogowska-Stangret
Scientific Committee: Mónica Cano Abadía, Tara Mehrabi and Arun Saldanha
Creating Language and Theorizing Literature
Language has been accused of having been granted too much power (Barad, 2003) and more than a decade later, this has been appropriated as a premise for any kind of materialist work. Nevertheless, how do we define language? What are the properties that take for granted its power? As a concept, ‘language’ has become a self-referential concept inserted in our common sense and academic vocabularies but defined within its own terms. This section aims at looking for alternative perspectives of language based on opening rhizomatic processes of affirmative critiques rather than linguistic clasifixations (van der Tuin, 2015) that take for granted a communicative experience of it. Obtaining an operative definition of language requires pleading directly to its relational nature, rather than to its human communicative main characteristic. Therefore, in order to be able to define language and the materiality of its linguistic features without granting it too much power, this section situates language vía three realms (but is not limited to them): re-conceptualizing the aesthetics of the literary piece, thinking through writing methodologies that produce differences that matter; and a relational notion of language that emphasize how this language is beyond a human characteristic depending on the terms of its intra-action. Thus, we can see differing languages such as the language of technology, the language of mathematics, the language of more-than-human beings, and also the other cultural definitions of language. We invite contributions for this section that aim at theorizing and practising language and literature in a material way in order to situate language back into the phenomenon as an intra-active entangled part and not above, below or beyond the phenomenon itself.
Section Editors: Helen Palmer and Beatriz Revelles Benavente
Scientific Comitee: Belén Martín-Lucas, Serenella Iovino and Ana M. Fraile
New materialist scholars have been interested in situating, troubling, and refining processes of canonization and classification right from the start of the coming into being of the tradition in thought. New materialists inherited the complicated adjective “new” from the philosophers and theorists who coined the term whilst arguing themselves that “what we may call a ‘new tradition’ […] simultaneously gives us a past, a present, and a future” (Dolphijn and Van der Tuin 2012). There are generally two, interconnecting directions in which the scholarship has taken up these issues. One, by working on new materialism’s bibliography from the ground up; and two, by inventing methodological alternatives for progressive canonization and vertical classification. This section of Matter invites contributions that take up at least one of these directions and, ideally, actualize both at the same time. What scholars, thinkers, and practitioners should be mapped as “new materialists” in the here and now, and how does their work reach out into pasts and futures? What work do new materialisms do that is, to speak with Braidotti, “worthy of the present”? What theoretically informed methodologies are out there for new materialist scholars and students to use and innovate in ways that does justice to non-linear and inclusive bibliographical and dynarchival processes, to speak with Ernst? Think of cartographies and rhizomatics as emerging from the philosophical work of Deleuze and Guattari, Braidotti, and Foucault; of différance in the light of Derrida and Kirby; of diffractive readings and writings coming from Minh-ha, Haraway, and Barad; of topologies as deployed by Lury; of Tamboukou’s feminist genealogies; etc. Together we aim at showcasing research and methodologies that map the field in respect of quantum processes producing the outliers and irreductions in Latour’s term, that remain invisible when we stick to classical paradigms. Contributions can be theoretically or empirically based and preferably both: in short, we particularly welcome articles that show how new materialist approaches work on the ground and with what effect.
Section editors: Maria Tamboukou and Iris van der Tuin
Scientific Comittee: Aud Sissel Hoel, Malou Juelskjaer, Dorota Golanska and Rick Dolphijn
As a collaborative praxis that crosses and exceeds disciplinary boundaries, feminist new materialisms have proffered new engagements with the processes of calculating and measuring matter, materials and materialisation. Karen Barad’s neologism ‘intra-activity’ conceives scientific measurements as entangled agencies and affirms the indeterminacy within the entangling/differentiating of measuring and making determinate. Measurements are performative, world-making rather than revealing practices and are enacted by diverse life forms that have the capacity for encoding, numbering, engineering, and more.
This section invites theoretically innovative and methodologically creative new materialist scholarship engaging the potentialities of mattering/measuring that open up different histories and futures of phenomena of concern. In what ways do new materialisms prompt a rethinking of the notion of calculability? How do collaborations with the more-than-human unsettle the boundaries between nature and technology; matter and code; energy and information; science and philosophy? How do we become accountable to that which exceeds calculation and determination? What new, hybrid, inventive and speculative methodologies do such inquiries require? How might we develop feminist scientific and agential literacies in engagements with diverse communities? And what might the work of decolonialising technoscientific and algorithmic ways of knowing entail in a new materialist frame?
Section Editors: Elizabeth de Freitas and Dagmar Lorenz-Meyer
Scientific Comittee: Vera Bühlmann, Claude Draude and Corinna Bath
Ethics, Affects and Pedagogies
This section seeks to explore the implications of new materialist thinking for ethical, pedagogical and educational thought and practice. It considers pedagogy broadly defined, both in educational contexts and writ large. It takes as a point of departure the proposition that affect is pedagogical, and, conversely, that all pedagogies have affective dimensions which entail an ethics: that is, they reduce or increase capacities to act in any given assemblage. The editors are particularly interested in the crossover between ethics and pedagogy. This section seeks to generate new ways of thinking with new materialist concepts rather than simply 'applying' them or using them in an 'illustrative fashion'. We encourage papers that explore how ideas stemming from the expansive tradition called 'new materialism' push diverse re-framings, re-purposings and re-imaginings of ethics, education and pedagogy? How does considering the ethical aspects of the affects pedagogical practice change research agendas and practices? We welcome submissions that respond to this charter broadly, or the questions offered specifically.
Section editors: Anna Hickey-Moody and Aislinn O'Donnell
Scientific Committee: Elisabeth St. Pierre, Nathalie Sinclair, Hillevi Lenz Taguchi, Fikile Nxumalo
Media Arts & Culturing
Media platforms dominate our material worlds. They document and witness daily events and experiences, and they imagine and complicate our ideas of “truth” and “reality” : media culture worlds. This section of the journal is dedicated to media arts practices that engage the multi-modal forms of media platforms, as they relate to critical, creative practices of culturing; ways of making, performing, activating, and thinking about media.
We seek contributions from all kinds of practitioners who can contribute insight into what media culturing means for our time, and what role media culturing has to play in the world. If Human societies and the ecosystem (the Planet) are in crisis nowadays, it may be that a change in culture addressed by the arts and media production will offer the ways to surpass the auto-destructive tendency of Humans.
In this section, we want to showcase articles and practices that explore a range of positions that engage whatever matter might be made, understood, and or materialised as “media”, which we describe as: energy platforms for culturing a new biospheric arts. These discussions can be addressing any energy form that media arts takes (analog, digital, quantum, water-based, ether-based, sound-based, image-based, text-based, material-focussed, sex-toys, washing-machines, smart technologies, smart textiles precious metals, plants, animals, etc. etc.).
In addressing the call for this journal, Matter,this section asks: What is the matter of media, and what are the ways in which the media cultures the matter of life?How we understand these terms, after the feminist new materialist practices opened a further critique of matter have required that we de-culture media practices; by exploring how different media forms can block and or generate, and thus re-orient information about matter and its mattering by cultural and political infrastructures. Media platforms enable the agency of those infrastructures to be rendered visible; by their cultural appropriation, rendering, critique, presentation, rejection, destruction. When they don’t work, we perceive them; as they change, their users adapt and arrange their modes of engagement with the actualities, and possibilities of things and experiences in the world. Human societies engage in life through mediums that model and enable orientation of the matter of the world. Media platforms are systems already made; providing a perceptual lens onto things perhaps unseen or unknown, as-yet unthought, underexplored, or perhaps only ever imagined or dreamt.
Section Editors: Felicity Colman and Ana M. González Ramos
Scientific Committee: Maaike Bleeker, Rebecca Coleman, Katve-Kaisa Kontturi, Milla Tiainen and Barbara Bolt
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