Movement as Interregnum: People, Technologies, Goods, and Ideas
Date : 12 Jun 2018 - 13 Jun 2018
Venue : Asia Research Institute, Seminar Room
AS8 #04-04
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
Organisers : Michiel BAAS , Olga SOOUDI, Gerben NOOTEBOOM
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This workshop is funded by the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and hosted at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.

This concerns a joint seminar between the Moving Matters Research group of the University of Amsterdam and the Asian Migration Cluster of the Asia Research Institute. It brings scholars from both universities together to present and discuss each other’s research projects. Scholars will be paired and will each present their own paper while also commenting on each other’s papers. The workshop will revolve around three broad sets of interlinked themes: 1) moving ideas; 2) moving forms of infrastructure and technology; and 3) moving people. In doing so, the aim is to critically reflect upon and re-examine the rubric “Moving Matters.”

In this workshop, we take inspiration from Gramsci’s notion of the interregnum for our understanding of movement. The interregnum has a dual meaning, both referring to a temporal liminality between one sociopolitical order and another, as well as to the ambiguity and potentiality of the in-between time as the “old is dying” and the “the new” not yet born. As past frameworks fall away or become obsolete, in the interregnum new frameworks are still in the making, and subject to change.

The workshop will reflect upon the indeterminate, yet productive potential of the interregnum for our conception of movement in two ways. How might we think of movement as inherently akin to an interregnum? First, movement is an in-betweenness: between places; but also between pasts and futures—between what has already happened and is yet to come. Second, like the interregnum, movement is potentially creative and destructive, poised between the renewal of past experiences and shared histories, and futures that are as-yet unknown and potentially destabilizing. We might think, for instance, of how movement—such as of democratic political ideologies, development technologies, aesthetic hierarchies, and biopolitical infrastructure—is often partially driven by a utopian impulse to improve human life in another part of the world—yet such projects frequently fail, (re)producing inqualities, war, and conflict. Through a wide-ranging set of case studies, this workshop will look at these paradoxes produced by the in-betweenness of movement: homogenization and fragmentation; solidarity and anomie; inequality and its alleviation.

Organising Committee

Dr Michiel Baas
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Dr Olga Sooudi
Moving Matters, University of Amsterdam

Dr Gerben Nooteboom
Moving Matters, University of Amsterdam