Conference participants

David Abram (New Mexico, USA)
David Abram is a cultural ecologist and geo-philosopher who lectures and teaches widely on several continents. He is the author of "Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology" (Pantheon, 2010), and "The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World" (Vintage, 1997). Hailed as "revolutionary" by the Los Angeles Times, as “daring” and “truly original” by Science, David’s work has helped catalyze the emergence of several new disciplines, including the burgeoning field of ecopsychology. Named by both the Utne Reader and the British journal Resurgence as one of a hundred visionaries transforming contemporary culture, he’s been the recipient of various awards and fellowships, including the international Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction. David’s essays on the cultural causes and consequences of environmental disarray are published in numerous magazines, scholarly journals, and anthologies. Co-founder of the Alliance for Wild Ethics (AWE), he lives with his family in the foothills of the southern Rockies.

Irene Albers (Berlin, Germany)
Irene Albers is Professor for General and Comparative Literature and Romance Philology at the Peter Szondi Institute of the Free University Berlin. A key field of her research focuses on primitivism in French and Latin-American literature, with special reference to surrealism, the Collège de Sociologie, Michel Leiris and the authors of "magic realism".

Cornelius Borck (Lübeck, Germany)
Cornelius Borck is Director of the Institute for the History of Medicine and Science Studies at the University of Lübeck. His main areas of research are the history of bio-medical visualization techniques, the epistemology of the man-machine relationship, experimental cultures on the brain and mind, and sensory and neural prostheses.

Anselm Franke (Berlin, Germany)
Anselm Franke is curator and critic. Until September 2010 he was Director of Extra City Kunsthal Antwerp, where, among other things, he curated the exhibitions Mimetisme (2008) and Sergei Eisenstein: The Mexican Drawings (2009). In 2008 he was a co-curator of the Manifesta 7 in Italy. Anselm Franke is currently writing his dissertation at Goldsmiths College in London. Since 2011 he has been visiting professor at the Städel Schule in Frankfurt. He is also curator of the Taipei Biennial 2012.

Harry Garuba (Cape Town, South Africa)
Harry Garuba is an author and Professor for African Literature and Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Theory und Director of the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cape Town. His main research interests embrace contemporary African art and African Modernity. He published a programmatic essay entitled Animist Materialism: Notes on Reading/Writing African Literature, Culture, and Society (2003; German trans. in: Animismus – Revisionen der Moderne).

Avery Gordon (Santa Barbara, USA)
Avery Gordon is Professor for Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her main research interests include social theory, gender, culture and political theory.

Alejandro Haber (Catamarca, Argentina)
Alejandro Haber is Professor honoris causa at the Universidad Nacional de Catamarca and an independent researcher at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas Caramarca. He conducts research into the various approaches underpinning the theoretical and methodological assumptions in archeology, incorporating the sociology, history and philosophy of archeology.

Tom Holert (Berlin, Germany)
Tom Holert is an art historian and author. Together with Mark Terkessidis, he founded the Institute for Studies in Visual Culture (ISVC) in 2000. Holert works as free-lance journalist for the arts journal Texte zur Kunst (Cologne) and as journalist and joint editor-in-chief of the music magazine Spex (Cologne). Since the winter semester 2006/2007 Holert has been teaching and researching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, specializing in art as a source of knowledge production.

Maurizio Lazzarato (Paris, France)
Maurizio Lazzarato is a sociologist and philosopher, specializing in the relationship between labor, economy and society. Lazzarato teaches at the University of Paris I, and is co-founder and currently editorial staff-member of the journal multitudes

Esther Leslie (London, Great Britain)
Esther Leslie conducts research into Marxist theory on aesthetics and culture, with special focus on the works of Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno. She teaches at the School of English and Humanities in London. Her most well-known book Hollywood Flatlands examines the interaction between American mass culture and the Avantgarde and underground movements, as revealed in the history of animation films.

Thomas Macho (Berlin, Germany)
Thomas Macho is a cultural theorist and philosopher, and has been engaged as Professor for Cultural History at the Humboldt University in Berlin since 2003, where he co-founded the interdisciplinary Hermann von Helmholtz-Center for Cultural Techniques. Among Macho's key research fields are the history of the computation of time, death and death cults. He is a regular contributor of essays and reviews to the Swiss Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the German weekly Die Zeit.

Angela Melitopoulos (Berlin, Germany)
Angela Melitopoulos studied fine arts under Nam June Paik at the Düsseldorf Academy of Arts. Currently she is collaborating in a range of political networks in Paris, Italy, Turkey and Germany and teaching at the several international academic institutions. Since 1985 her works have been shown at international film festivals and in exhibitions and museums, such as the Centre Georges Pompidou Paris and New York's Whitney Museum.

Tobie Nathan (Paris, France)
Tobie Nathan is Professor for Clinical Psychology and Psychopathology at the University of Paris 8. Nathan is among the protagonists of so-called ethnopsychiatry, which embraces non-European cultures and conceptions of the psyche. In 1993 he launched the Georges Devereux Center, named after the founder of ethnopsychiatry, which serves as a drop-in and therapy center for migrants.

Spyros Papapetros (Princeton, USA)
Spyros Papapetros is Professor for History and the Theory of Architecture at Princeton University School of Architecture. He is author of On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life (2011) and co-publisher of the English version of Siegfried Ebeling’s book Der Raum als Membran (2010) (Space as Membrane).

Erhard Schüttpelz (Siegen, Germany)
Erhard Schüttpelz is Professor for Media Theory at the University of Siegen. His key areas of research are the history of media and literature within globalised Modernity and the epistemology of media theory and ethnology. Among his publications is the book Die Moderne im Spiegel des Primitiven (2005) (Modernity in the Mirror of the Primitive).

Gabriele Schwab (Irvine, USA)
Gabriele Schwab was awarded her professorship at the University of Constance, and is currently Professor for Comparative Literature at the University of California/Irvine. Her key areas of interest are 20th century literature, particularly American literature, critical theory, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, anthropology and feminism.

Isabelle Stengers (Brussels, Belgium)
Isabelle Stengers initially studied chemistry at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Together with Ilya Prigogine, she compiled the book Dialog mit der Natur (Dialogue with Nature), which endeavors to draw philosophical conclusions from non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Nowadays she is regarded as an expert in the field of the philosophy of science and is engaged as Professor at the Université Libre in Brussels. In 1993 she was awarded the Grand Prize for Philosophy from the Académie Française.

Michael Taussig (New York, USA)
Michael Taussig is Professor for Anthropology at the Columbia University in New York and at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee. He gained acclaim, among other things, for his early field studies in Colombia and for his work on Karl Marx’s concept of "commodity fetishism".

Paulo Tavares (São Paulo/London)
Paulo Tavares studied architecture theory and anthropology and is currently researching the political and ecological movements in South America. He is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College in London.

Rane Willerslev (Aarhus, Denmark)
Rane Willerslev is Professor for Anthropology at the University of Aarhus. He is also editor-in -chief of Acta Borealia: Nordic Journal of Circumpolar Societies. In 2006 he was awarded the Danish Young Elite Scholar Prize. Among his other activities, Rane Willerslev has conducted field research in Siberia.

Elisabeth von Samsonow (Vienna, Austria)
Elisabeth von Samsonow is a German philosopher and artist, and Professor for the Philosophical and Historical Anthropology of Art. Elisabeth von Samsonow's artistic activities are centered on sculpture, which she seeks to explore from a variety of approaches.