Political Materials: Excavation, Transformation, Incorporation
Workaround: In current version of Panels 3.8, it seems this body field needs to be populated in order for title above to appear. This note is hidden by custom CSS style. Jack Latimer.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 16:00 - 18:00University Place 2.219
'Materiality, Measurement, Energy, Politics'
Andrew Barry, University of Oxford
This paper moves between two bodies of literature. One revolves around the importance of measurement to the development of national and transnational regimes of government. The other attends to the lively existence of materials as they are encountered, experienced and valued. In broad terms, one body of literature views materials as objects and means of control, the other as active participants in social and political life. Drawing on both of these literatures, my aim in this paper is to sketch the outlines of a comparative analysis of the politics of measurement. Such an analysis must attend both to the national and transnational organisation of measurement practices, but also to the specificity of the properties of materials. Arguing against over-generalised accounts of materiality, I stress the need to differentiate between materials and between distinct physical processes. In developing my argument, I focus in particular on the problem of how energy can be measured, and reflect on the critical importance of the measurement of energy to Isabelle Stengers’ account of cosmopolitics.
The seminar series is co-funded by the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester and the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change