ESRI Spring Seminars 17/18


Wednesday 17th January 2018: 16:00- 17:30 , Lecture Theatre 1 (G78)

Spring Term 2018
Dr Mickey Vallee, Athabasca University, Canada

 Intimacy in an Age of Ubiquitous Listening

This talk will bring together both historical and contemporary challenges and concerns. Historically, it will locate the intimate encounters between human voices and their technical exteriorizations. Contemporarily, it will explore how new biomediations point towards an algorithmic governmentality of the auto-affective qualities of consciousness. Both parts of the talk will refer to the role of intimacy in scientific innovation as well as social regulation, and will foster an interdisciplinary conversation between disciplines in the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. By focusing on recent innovations in voice technologies in biometrics, smart devices, and network speech interfaces, the talk will explore the relatively simple proposition that the voice intimates at a distance, but that this intimacy is a prescient locus of resistance and control.

Dr. Vallee holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Community, Identity and Digital Media at Athabasca University, where is he also Associate Professor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies. An emerging thinker in the field of sound studies, his research draws on synergies between the sciences, the social sciences, and the arts and humanities to investigate how individuals, communities, and environments engage with technological innovation. He is currently writing two book manuscripts: one on the indeterminate relations between the human voice and a posthuman subjectivity and the other on how new technological interfaces expand our sense of the empirical and the contours of representation.

Vallee, M. 2017. “The Science of Listening in Bioacoustics Research: Sensing the Animals’ Sounds.”  Theory, Culture & Society. Online First (DOI: 10.1177/0263276417727059).
Vallee, M. 2017. “Giving account of the voice-of-encounter: Anecdotes from the Occupy movement.” The Sociological Review. 65/4: 714–728.
Vallee, M. 2017. “Possibility, performance, politics: On the voice and transformation.”   parallax. 23/3: 330-341.Vallee, M. 2017. “Technology, embodiment, and affect in voice sciences: The voice is an imaginary organ.”  Body & Society. 23/2: 83-105.

Vallee, M. 2017. “The rhythm of echoes and echoes of violence.”  Theory, Culture & Society. 34/1: 97–114.

 Wednesday 31st January 2018: 16:00- 17:30, Room G16

Dr Lesley Gallacher, Northumbria University, UK

 From milestones to wayfaring: Geographic metaphors and iconography of embodied growth and change in infancy and early childhood

This article discusses the curiously geographic metaphors that shape how we understand embodied growth and change in infancy and early childhood and explores possibilities for developing new metaphors, and iconographies, which better represent how young children’s bodies grow and change. To do this, it explores the dominant milestones metaphor, and its iconography of milestone charts. It then considers alternative metaphors that represent the dominant approaches within contemporary developmental movement science: Esther Thelen’s physical landscape metaphor, which represents the dynamic systems approach, and botanical metaphors, which represent a Gibsonian ecological approach. The paper suggests that Tim Ingold’s notion of wayfaring may provide a simpler metaphor that retains the dominant motif of developmental journey while emphasizing the adaptation, flexibility, difference and diversity that characterize the more complex physical landscape and botanical metaphors. In doing so, the paper seeks to develop a metaphor that can meaningfully capture the geographic character of embodied growth and change.

Biography: Lesley Gallacher is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing at Northumbria University. Her work examines the geographies of infancy and early childhood and the stories we tell about it.

Wednesday 14th February 2018: 16:00- 17:30, Room G16
Professor Walter Gershon, Kent State University, UK

Sensing Scholarship: Sonic Methodologies for Social Justice Research with Vulnerable Populations

Sounds surround and move through us, our bodies buffering, dampening and reflecting as much as we hear. For a hearing person, our ears are always open, receiving an endless stream of information that stretches from birth to death, unlike our eyes, theorized down to the blink (Kim-Cohen, 2009). Yet, given the multiplicity of this cacophonous polyphony, we are also always already mis-hearing, the sonic altered in so many ways before we process the sonic as perceptions, filtered yet again through our sociocultural norms and values (Gershon, 2017). How then might the sonic be utilized to theoretical or methodological advantage for those in the social sciences, humanities, cultural studies, or education? This talk performatively speaks to these and other questions about the potential for sound theories and methods as tools for research in general and for more socially just work with vulnerable populations in specific. Because, if sound studies can queer overly-ocular understandings in education (Gershon, 2017), might they not do the same for normalized, everyday processes that we might hear them and listen differently?

              Gershon, W. S. (2017). Sound curriculum: Sonic studies in educational theory, method, and practice. New York: Routledge.

               Kim-Cohen, S. (2009). In the blink of an ear: Toward a non-cochlear sonic art. New York: Bloomsbury.

Biography: Walter S. Gershon is an Associate Professor in the School of Teaching, Learning & Curriculum Studies; LGBTQ Affiliate Faculty; and served as Provost Associate Faculty for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (2014-2017) at Kent State University. His scholarly interests focus on questions of justice about the ways in which young people make sense, the sociocultural processes that inform their everyday sense-making, and the qualitative methods used to study those processes. Situated at the intersection of social science, sensory and sound studies, qualitative research methods, and education, Walter’s work often utilizes cutting edge theoretical and methodological applications to explore everyday interactions and experiences for marginalized children and youth.

 Wednesday 14th March 2018: 16:00- 17:30, Room G16
Professor Ricardo Nemirovsky, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

 Learning by Intertwining Mathematics/Body/Art/Materiality/Imagination

 Abstract: to be confirmed

Biography: Professor Nemirovsky works on research and development aimed at changing images of mathematics that are prevalent in our culture. Prior to coming to MMU, he has directed educational projects in Argentina, Mexico, and USA. He conducts research and theory development on the interplay between embodied cognition, affects, and mathematics learning. He has been working with several science and art museums in mathematics-oriented projects that combine research, development, and museum staff professional development. In addition to research papers, he has co-authored curricular units and has designed multiple devices for students’ use.