Somatechnics International Conference in Tucson 15-18 April 2015

somatechnics research networkI’m a proud long-time member of the Somatechnics Research Network, and will be presenting at our exciting next international conference in the Sonoran Desert.

“Open Embodiments: Locating Somatechnics in Tucson”
April 15-18
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona USA

Featured keynote speakers include Nikki Sullivan, Alexander Weheliye, Mel Chen, John Protevi, Susan Stryker, Pinar Yoldas, and Robin Reinke. We have nearly 150 papers scheduled for presentation in breakout sessions, three full nights of performances and workshops, a Saturday afternoon procession to various shrines and other special places, and a fabulous closing night party co-hosted with the Tucson chapter of SWOP (Sexworker Outreach Project).

Hosted by:
Somatechnics Research Network
University of Arizona Center for Critical Studies of the Body
University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies
University of Arizona Department of Gender and Women’s Studies 

Conference Announcement

Bodies are enfleshed, but not enclosed: they are open, radically so—biologically, environmentally, socially, politically, and affectively. To be open means having the capacity for connection and curiosity, and willing to be receptive to otherness and difference. Openness is an engagement with processes of becoming, to be in anticipation of future states without predetermined ends. To be in the open is to be exposed and vulnerable under conditions of necessity and possibility, of risk and danger. Open is ontological, an ethical stance, an imperative: it demands of us to open borders, detention centers, and prisons, to open our eyes and our hearts, our senses and our awareness. Invitations are openings, as this one is: Let us come together and open ourselves to the embodied experience of our messy entanglements, fraught alliances and fuzzy boundaries with each other and with the Earth. And let us do it in Tucson.

Open Embodiments is an international conference marking the relocation of the Somatechnics Research Network to the University of Arizona’s new Center for Critical Studies of the Body. Founded in 2005 by Nikki Sullivan and colleagues in the Department of Critical and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, the Somatechnics Research Network is an international, transdisciplinary group of more than 500 researchers interested in the “always already” technologized nature of embodiment—that is, in the sense in which embodiments cannot be distinguished from the means and methods of their making, that they are contingent, emergent, actualized, and materialized relations between some parts of a milieu and others. Somatechnics conjoins an open-ended curiosity about embodiment in our contemporary techno-nature-culture contexts with an ethics of embodied difference derived from feminist, queer, transgender, disability, and critical race methodologies, and with a political commitment to dismantling and refiguring those social technologies that maldistribute the means of life and survival according to modes of embodiment, including anthropocentric hierarchies of value.

Over four days, conference participants will have the opportunity to connect their scholarly, artistic, creative, and activist engagement with embodiment’s openness to the geophysical/geospatial location of Tucson, Arizona, in the U.S./Mexico borderlands: to the surreal beauty and hazards of the Sonoran Desert, to the many vital local cultures of resistance to the militarized violence of the border and to the state’s ugly and damaging race/gender/sexuality politics, as well as to the University of Arizona’s historic commitment to interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the physical and life sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts. The conference will take place in numerous venues in Tucson’s revitalized historic downtown as well as the nearby University of Arizona campus. In addition to breakout sessions for delivering academic papers and keynote presentations from internationally renowned thinkers and culture-makers, Open Embodiments will include film screenings, performances, workshops, and other public events.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/CriticalBodyStudies

Register here: http://body.arizona.edu/node/3

Somatechnics Research Network’s temporary homepage:
https://lgbt.arizona.edu/somatechnics

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