From Cosmos to Genes: New Materialist Methodologies Crossing the Humanities, Natural, and Technosciences

23-26 August 2016, Charles University Prague
Speakers including: Natasha Myers, Astrid Schrader and Eva Hayward

With significant movements in human populations, the emerging impacts of climate change, ecological, political, and economic changes and instabilities through to technological and scientific advances, there is an urgent need to reconsider the shifting dynamics influencing critical inquiry. The question arises of how we might best approach the crises and challenges that shape the contemporary European landscape. How do they take the focus of, and impact upon, our research and development agendas?

Still an emerging field of analysis, new materialism has had a swift and significant influence within European intellectual production. Specifically, in its way of rethinking the priority of the human in inquiry and social and political change, new materialism offers tools for examining the agency of nonhuman matter in intra-action with human practices. It gives us room to consider the complex apparatuses and relations that motivate, constitute, and are enacted through our research practices. In doing so, it draws attention to the necessarily interdisciplinary nature of contemporary investigations, research and development as well as our role within these.

In this vein, the Working Group 2, ‘New Materialisms on the Crossroads of the Human and Natural Sciences’, of the COST IS1307 Action, ‘New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on “How Matter Comes to Matter”’, invites graduate students, postdoctoral, and early career researchers whose work corresponds with, or who have an interest in the potential for new materialisms to inform their inquiries, to the upcoming training school ‘From Cosmos to Genes: New Materialist Methodologies Crossing the Humanities, Natural, and Technosciences.’

The training school will take place over three and a half days, with sessions conducted by a cast of international researchers whose work focuses in new materialist theories and methodologies, or whose specialization within the humanities through to STEM fields brings interdisciplinary queries and provocations to the fore.

Invited Participants will be asked to submit a 3000-word position paper outlining their research and specific questions and challenges they face, to be circulated amongst participants in advance of the training school. To start the discussion, participants will have the possibility during training school sessions to present key issues and to raise any questions they have regarding the new materialist texts, foci, and approaches that currently or potentially inform their research. This format will facilitate an informed, equal, and lively discussion on new materialist methodologies led by the participants’ research interests, questions, and motivations.

As we intend to bring the work of the training school into publication, following the event all participants will be invited to submit their training materials or an updated version of their position paper and other formats representing the discussions had in the Training School sessions.

“From Cosmos to Genes” is organized by Working Group 2 of the COST IS1307 Action ‘New Materialism’, and coordinated by Peta Hinton (ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry) and Dagmar Lorenz-Meyer (Charles University in Prague).

PDF of programme


COST Action IS1307 New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on 'How Matter Comes to Matter'.

Here you will find background material, current activities, calls for papers, working group information, and project outputs.

With the changing of societies on local, national and international scales owing to economic, ecological, political and technological developments and crises, a reorganized academic landscape can be observed to be emerging. Scholarship strives to become increasingly interdisciplinary in order to grasp and examine the unfolding complexity of ongoing ecological, socio-cultural and politico-economic changes. Additionally, academics forge... Read more or find out Who's Who

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Information relating to activities undertaken, including conferences, training schools, short-term scientific missions, and annual meetings, are archived here.

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Working Groups

Working Groups focus on four key areas of research

Working Group One

Genealogies of New Materialisms; examines and intervenes in canonization processes by compiling a web-based bibliography, coordinating the OST 068/13 8 EN... Read more

Working Group Two

New Materialisms on the Crossroads of the Natural and Human Sciences; seeks to develop new materialisms at the boundaries of the human and natural sciences. The group focuses on how European new materialisms can rework the ‘Two Cultures' gap... Read more

Working Group Three

New Materialisms Embracing the Creative Arts; brings together European researchers, artists, museum professionals, and other activists with a keen interest in the material... Read more

Working Group Four

New Materialisms Tackling Economical and Identity – Political Crises and Organizational Experiments... Read more


A space for COST Action members to share reading material and experiences.

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COST Action IS1307

New Materialism —
Networking European Scholarship on 'How matter comes to matter’

An intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology
European Union
COST is supported by the the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020

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