The 10th conference of the European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts Conference (SLSAeu) takes place at Stockholm University June 14-17. SLSAeu and its conferences are very dynamic, interdisciplinary and forward-looking meetings for scholars and artists working on the cultural and social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine.

The guiding theme for this years conference is ‘Control’, particularly in its bio-political forms. You can read the conference organizers full description here. Topically, control is explored across a number of different streams: Security, borders, animal, life, climate, bacteria, war and desire. Jens, Louise and myself are organizing the stream on bacteria:

Control – Bacteria

In the past decade, we have become increasingly aware of our close entanglement and symbiosis with the trillions of bacteria inside us, on us and around us; humans can be seen less as individual organisms autonomously interacting with their environments and more as symbiotic super-individuals or multi-species ecologies, living vicariously on a bacterial planet. The growing scientific understanding of this symbiosis challenges traditional concepts of control in the natural sciences, in philosophy and in the arts: Who is controlling whom? Who controls the environment, and where does environment begin and end? While in the last decades cells, tissues, and genetic sequences were considered to microscopically ‘embody’ or ‘encode’ individual organisms for which they stood in pars pro toto, attention has recently shifted toward bacteria as prolific ‘in-between’ organisms. Bacteria consequently unfold as a crucial media for post-anthropocentric philosophy and art practices. For this broadly interdisciplinary stream we invite theoretical, literary, and artistic engagements with the relationship between humans and the microbial world. Papers might ask what a micro-biopolitics would look like; what kinds of literary and artistic subject might arise in the bacterial in-between; what eco-philosophy and ecological thinking means in a microbial world; or what are the consequences of integrating microbes into our understanding of what it is to be (post)human.

Come join us for 4 days at the intersections of art, science, literature, politics and much, much more!

Keynote speakers for the conference are Lauren Berlant, Micheal Dillon, Alexander R. Galloway and Stephen Hinchliffe.

Control poster lille

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