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segunda-feira, 25 de agosto de 2008

Vital Signs

Vital Signs: Researching Real Life

Date: 9 - 11 September 2008

Location: University of Manchester, UK

"Vital Signs is an international and interdisciplinary conference organised by Real Life Methods. It will provide a major forum for the discussion of approaches to researching real lives in complex worlds.

We are using the concept of ‘real lives’ in an open way to stimulate debate about how research methodologies and methods in the social sciences and beyond can rise to the challenge of producing knowledge and understandings that are 'vital' and that resonate with complex and multi-dimensional lived realities.

Keynote speakers

Professor Les Back

Les Back is professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London.

His plenary session is entitled Social research and its futures.


Professor Tim Ingold

Tim Ingold is professor of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen.

"His plenary session is entitled 'Bringing things back to life: Creative entanglements in a world of materials'.

Vital Signs: Plenary session - Tim Ingold

Tuesday 9th September 2008, 2.15pm


Bringing things back to life: Creative entanglements in a world of materials

The creation of things, according to Aristotle, involves a bringing together of form (morphe) and matter (hyle). In the subsequent history of western thought, the hylomorphic model of creation has become ever more deeply embedded. Contemporary discussions in fields ranging from anthropology and archaeology to art history and material culture studies continue to reproduce its underlying assumptions.

The aim of this lecture is both to expose these assumptions and to replace the model with an ontology that assigns primacy to processes of formation as against their final products, and to the flows and transmutations of materials as against states of matter. The argument has five components.

First, the inhabited world consists not of objects, considered as bounded, self-contained entities, but of things, each a particular gathering of the threads of life.

Secondly, life has to be understood not as an interior animating force but as the generative capacity of that encompassing field of forces and materials wherein forms arise and are held in place. This notion of ‘life’ should not be confused with the concept of ‘agency’, which is a product of the same reduction that reduces things to objects.

Thirdly, a focus on life-processes required us to attend not to materiality as such, but to the fluxes and flows of materials. We have to follow these flows, tracing the paths of form-generation.

Fourthly, to understand how these paths are creative, we must read creativity ‘forwards’, as an improvisatory joining in with formative processes, rather than ‘backwards’ as an abduction from a finished object to an idea in the mind of an agent.

Finally, the pathways along which improvisatory practice unfolds are not connections between one thing and another but lines along which they continually come into being. Thus the entanglement of things has to be understood literally and precisely, not as a network of connections but as a meshwork of interwoven lines of growth and movement."


"Professor Carolyn Steedman

Carolyn Steedman is professor of History at the University of Warwick.

Her plenary session is entitled ‘On the law, poetry and a pair of stays: How to write the history of everyday life’. "




Source of the informations above and web page of the conference: http://www.reallifemethods.ac.uk/events/vitalsigns/

Thanks to my colleague RL for having signaled this event to me !!

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