- Project Design Session — 2019
- Проектная сессия — 2018Project Design Session — 2018
- Project Design Session — 2017
- Research Projects:
Material Relations: Nature, Subjectivity, and Love
- Petroleum performances – petroleum histories, technologies, culture and rhetoric
- Science and technology studies, technocultural studies
- Global warming politics, local/global intervals and articulations
- Native American and Indigenous studies
- Human – nonhuman relations
- Ontological politics and translation
- Ecological art, culture and rhetoric; ecological critique and philosophy
- Chinese ecological art and thought, jianghu studies
- Theatre and performance research methods
- Popular graphic culture, comics, manga, graphic novels, posters, and anime.
At the School of Advanced Studies, duskin drum is a founding professor and researcher in the Material Relations research group. He is an interdisciplinary scholar, artist, performer, and woodsman. In 2017, he completed a doctorate in Performance Studies with designated emphases in Native American Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at University of California, Davis. In 2005, he earned a Bachelors of Arts studying interdisciplinary theatre and performance at Evergreen State College . For 15 years, duskin has been making art and performance in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
The Material Relations research group is an interdisciplinary collaboration devising a new theory of love for studying ecologically substantiating human-nonhuman relations including technological relations. duskin is particular interested in nonhumans loving humans, or where people understand and feel themselves to be loved by non-human entities or materials. How does accepting speculation of universal sentience and vitality of nonhumans change the study of material relations?
From his dissertation study of petroleum performances and professional art career, Duskin brings a broad theoretical engagement with material relations at the intersections of indigenous studies, social cultural anthropology, science and technology studies, and ecological art production.
Duskin is considering practices of love in substantive more-than-human human relationships such as petroleum, salmon, and server farms. He also wants to critique how love figures scientific research and language. He is deeply interested ethical and deontic regulations enacted by material entanglements with substantiating nonhuman and more-than-human arrangements.
Duskin’s interests in both the petroleum complex and indigenous legal systems emerge from analyzing and speculating about human-nonhuman ecological relations.
Duskin researches using methods from art practices, cultural anthropology, science and technology studies, ecological criticism, and indigenous studies. Duskin has been developing an innovative performance method. He devises participatory performances that submerge the participants in the crucial questions of his research.
He is also interested in comparative studies of knowledge production by contributing methods like creative practice-as-research, innovations from theatre and performance, and indigenous knowledge practices.
Duskin is also interested in anime, manga and other graphic storytelling.
TEACHING INTERESTS AND APPROACHES
Duskin's educational background is interdisciplinary, seminar-style and project-driven learning. Even in large lecture classes, he break students into small groups for discussion and activities. He combines reading, writing and experiential learning using techniques from digital media, theatre, performance, and participatory art. Somatic exercises, improvisations, meditation, collaborative writing exercises and performances expose students to and activate different modes of attention and learning.
In his electives, Duskin supports students making final projects in mediums other than the textual essay or report. He encourages students to produce all kinds of media or performance projects instead of traditional essays, and teaches them to develop critical skills appropriate to each medium. In these kinds of practices-as-research projects students keep a reflective production journal that is submitted along with their project, and write a short critical essay reflecting on their creative processes and outcomes of their project. Self-reflection is practical and theoretical. Reflection about personal work becomes a means by which critical ideas, frameworks and interpretations can move from creative practice into other skills and work/study situations.
- Religious studies
- Conceptual history
- Discursive practices
- Material culture
- Digital humanities
- Early modern Europe
- Eastern Europe and Russia
Evgeny Grishin is a historian of Europe and Russia in the period of early modernity with particular interests in language, religion, and materiality. He received his Bachelor’s degree in History and Law from Viatka State University of Humanities in Kirov and his Master’s degree in Russian History from the European University at St. Petersburg. In 2017 Evgeny earned his PhD degree with honors in History from the University of Kansas. He has been awarded scholarships from the Fulbright Foundation, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, German Historical Institute, among others.
Evgeny’s current research concerns the role of language in the identification and consequent persecution of religious dissent, specifically of Russian religious groups known collectively as the “Schism” (Raskol), or the Old Belief (staroverie). The study treats language not as merely a means of communication, but rather as a complex social practice (link 1, link 2). At the same time, Evgeny views religion as an important part of human experience not reducible to ideology or institutions. He takes part in several international projects (link 1, link 2) directed towards the study of religious discourses and ideas in Early Modern Russia. However, Evgeny’s research interests go beyond language and into the realm of material culture. He is specifically interested in the ways multiple identities are being constructed and manifested through material objects. The adoration of the tangible iconic images in various Christian cultures serve as an example of this phenomenon. More generally, Evgeny would like to explore the process of formation and manifestation of national, regional, cultural, religious, and other kinds of group identities in their connection to the tangible world. Yet, on an even larger scale, he is interested in moving historical research beyond textual enquiry towards an interdisciplinary investigation of the material, visual, and geographic dimensions of human existence. Tools provided by the relatively new field of Digital Humanities open immense opportunities for such an ambitious project.
- environmental imagination
- wilderness, national parks, transborder ecology, recreation
- animal intelligence and communication
- affect, eros
- digital culture, social media, democracy
- science fiction
- 20th and 21st Century European philosophy
- climbing theory
BIO:Originally from Poland, Margret grew up mostly in Texas. She studied German literature, philosophy, and art history at the University of Texas at Austin, while working in record stores. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Emory University in 2001, having had the great privilege of studying with Jean-François Lyotard before his death. Her first job was at the University of Houston-Downtown, and during that time she authored numerous articles about various aspects of French philosophy, visual culture, feminist epistemology, and radical democracy, among other subjects, as well as translating poetry from her native Polish into English. Margret has been tenured at both UHD and Goucher College, and received two international fellowships, from the Leverhulme Trust and the Fulbright Foundation. Following a year at University of Dundee as a Leverhulme Fellow, she lived in New York City and worked as a jazz vocalist from 2010 to 2017, while simultaneously commuting to Baltimore to teach at Goucher. Margret serves on the executive committee of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy and co-direct the Transhuman Alliance for Climbing Theory. She is the author of Whale Song (2017, Bloomsbury Academic Press), The National Park to Come (2015, Stanford University Press), Why Internet Porn Matters (2013, Stanford University Press), co-author of Beyond the Cyborg: Adventures with Donna Haraway (2013, Columbia University Press), and editor of Gender after Lyotard (2007, State University of New York Press). In recent years, she has published articles about time-lapse photography and climate change, bestiality pornography, jazz, and bored dolphins. She still translates occasionally and thinks about returning to music. She still thinks and writes “with” Lyotard.
RESEARCH INTERESTS:Margret’s current interests grew out of her books The National Park to Come and Whale Song, where she examines environmental imagination, desire, and the attrition of social life. Her goal is to develop a framework for understanding the simultaneity and co-creation of environmental and social loss. Biopolitical capitalism, she argues, needs desire, which in turn becomes something to sustain. In her work, wilderness—understood as places, practices, and modes of animal life—becomes the theater for this ongoing dynamic.Margret has several related projects in progress in this area. First, she believes we need new conceptual resources in order to even begin to think cetacean being, and both posthumanism and human rights discourse fail in this regard. That cetacean life remains so firmly in late modernity’s “blind spot” at the same time as it continues to be fetishized is a clue that there’s work to be done here. Secondly, she is exploring the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as a new space for both wilderness recreation and megafaunal restoration, in order to understand the role of desire in rewilding initiatives. And finally, her most developed project at the moment concerns mountaineering in late capitalism. Margret is co-editing Climbing Theory: A Handbook, and has written about climbing in the minnesota review, The Philosophical Salon, and The Atlantic.
- Cultural history
- Medieval civilization
- History of emotions;
- Humor and humor studies;
- History & Event
- Material culture
- History of mentalities
- Anglo-Norman studies
- Franciscan studies
Peter Jones is a cultural historian, specializing in the religious, political, and intellectual life of medieval Europe (c.500–1500). Originally from the United Kingdom, where he gained both a BA and an MA from the University of Bristol, Peter received his PhD in History from New York University in 2014. From 2014–16 he was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto, and from 2016–17 he worked as a visiting scholar at the Pembroke Center, Brown University. He has published a range of articles on medieval cultural history in academic journals and edited volumes, and has recently completed a book manuscript exploring the role of humor in the political and religious revolutions of the twelfth century.
Peter’s research focuses on a range of tensions at the heart of the renaissance and reform movements that transformed Western Europe in the period c.1100–1300. His book, Laughter & Power in Medieval England, exposes the unique role of humor in resisting the new regimes of government that dominated English society in the era of Henry II (c.1154-89). While laughter became an essential tool for circumventing new codes of law and bureaucracy, at this moment satirical humor also came to be essential for negotiating hierarchies in a political world unhinged from traditional values of blood and military prowess. Elsewhere, Peter has explored the radical political project of the early Franciscans, particularly the role of charisma, humiliation, and self-annihilation in the circle surrounding Saint Francis of Assisi. He is also interested in the history of medieval rebellion, particularly the Roman Revolution of 1143. Peter’s next project, The Stuff of Miracles, addresses the dynamic role of materiality in the making of medieval Christian experience. This book will confront a central paradox in medieval theology: while monks and intellectuals frequently preached the primary devotional importance of non-material faculties, such as reason and mystical experience, the laity’s main point of contact with Christian revelation remained their interactions with physical objects, such as Eucharistic wafers and holy relics. Exploring the intersections of these discourses in the scholastic revolution of the thirteenth century, this book project will seek to expose how later medieval thinkers came to articulate a new theology of holy objectification, a kind of sublime self-alienation through engagement with the material world.
- Environmental humanities
- Cultural study of law
- New materialisms
- Greek and medieval thought
- Eurasian indigenous politics
- 19th-century comparative literature
- Psychoanalysis and attachment theory
Zachary Reyna is a political theorist working in the environmental humanities and cultural study of law. He received his PhD in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University (USA), where his dissertation offered an ecological reading of the natural law tradition that rethought the concept of political obligation for contemporary environmentalist politics. He he taught political theory and environmental thought at Johns Hopkins and Towson University, and is the assistant editor of the journal “Political Theory”. He is now professor in political theory at SAS.
Zachary’s research focuses on how social and political obligations create attachments, produce bonds, and engender belonging to shared environments and ecosystems that extend beyond the human world (link 1, link 2, link 3). He sees his work primarily as a response to questions about the place of embodiment, the hard sciences, and nature in the humanities and the role of the humanities scholar in the twenty-first century academy (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5). His doctoral dissertation explored the concept of political obligation (link 1, link 2) in environmental political thought through the lens of the natural law tradition (link 1, link 2, link 3). Drawing on a diverse range of thinkers from Sophocles, Aquinas, Rousseau, and Sacher-Masoch to Lou Andreas-Salomé, Zachary argued that political obligation is not simply a “moral duty” restricted to rational human citizens, but an ecological practice binding human-nonhuman interaction—the “connective tissue” of the sublunary biosphere, as Aquinas puts it.
Currently he is working on two projects. The first explores the political-philosophical implications of the conservationist practice of “rewilding”. Here Zachary argues that rewilding projects should be seen as sites where new forms of political obligation are emerging. The second project considers how the rise and fall of the nineteenth-century folktale, and its structure of belief-unbelief-denial, can illuminate the contemporary phenomenon of climate-change denial.
Material Relations is a collaborative research project working between philosophy, political theory, anthropology, performance studies, and religious history. Our goal is to imagine new frames for ethical and sustainable engagements with nonhuman materials, bodies, and creatures for the twenty-first century: an era that has repeatedly complicated conventional notions of the relationship between human and nonhuman things (e.g., environmental transformation, resource shortages, biotechnical engineering, and artificial intelligence).
Against a political and theoretical consensus that has ultimately demystified and instrumentalized the stuff that surrounds us, we hope to illuminate a strong alternative current in the history of critical discourse, one that considers amorous and erotic modes of relation between humans and nonhumans.