The PARSE Dialogues are public research seminars where questions and topics from the thematic research arcs are presented and discussed in an exploratory manner.

Upcoming dialogues:




Time: September 17th, at 15.00-18.00
Place: TBA, Gothenburg.

Welcome to this PARSE Dialogue on Fiction and Finance.

How has the evermore abstract and complex economy of the last decades transformed us as embodied subjects? How has this been reflected and expressed in fiction and film, aesthetic and narrative conventions? 

The seminar will address the current relationship and boundaries between aesthetics, the economy and politics. It will engage with aesthetics and theories that combine analysis of political economy and the experiential and aesthetic dimensions of society where financialization has become a dominant mode.  Hence, it wants to address how political economies affect subject formation and forms of critique and resistance of such political economies through narrative, embodied, and sensate dimension.  It will in particular address how visual and narrative expressions intertwine the macro and micro-political economic dimensions of the senses in relation to how they are positioned in time and space. It will also discuss how financialization, fiction, documentary film and cultural critique are in dialogue and affect each other.

Leigh Claire La Berge: 

Perhaps there is no more of a crucial step in economically oriented cultural analysis than the decision of when and how to render certain aspects of economic life empirical and others abstract. It is the relationship between the empirical and the abstract that often forms the basis of an argument and that indeed sets a foundation for the mediation of the economy by culture, and vice versa. That problem forces cultural critics to ask: when should the economic be thematized? How should it be periodized? When should we rely on static or formalized economic norms? When should the economy be rendered as empirical and when should it be rendered in more broadly metaphorical strokes?

It matters on what level of abstraction these questions are staged since that level often generates the content of cultural analysis. In this presentation, I will present two case studies in abstraction, one from my first book, Scandals and Abstraction: Financial Fiction of the Long 1980s (Oxford, 2014) and one from my forthcoming book, Wages Against Artwork: Socially Engaged Art and Decommodified Labor (Duke, 2019). The first case study turns toward finance, which is often described as abstract or complex. The second turns its attention toward labor, which is almost never described as abstract or complex, but rather which is often overly concretized. How should cultural critics engage this theory and vocabulary? How should they enjoin it to economic analysis? This presentation will explore these questions and offer suggestions for the cultural critique of multiple economic forms.

Leigh Claire La Berge is assistant professor of English at the City University of New York, BMCC campus. She is the author of Scandals and Abstraction: Financial Fiction of the Long 1980s (Oxford, 2014) and the co-editor of Reading Capitalist Realism (Iowa, 2014). Her articles on the political economy of culture have appeared in American Literary HistoryCriticism, Postmodern Culture, South Atlantic Quarterly, and the Radical History Review. Her new book, Wages Against Artwork: Socially Engaged Art and Decommodified Labor is forthcoming with Duke University Press in 2019.

Miriam Meissner: Specters of Finance and the Black Box City

Financial trading is often associated with the metaphor of the so-called ‘black box’. The concept of the black box suggests that a development has a tangible input and output, but that the process of turning input into output is inscrutable. This talk discusses the notion of the ‘financial black box’ by questioning how it is represented in contemporary visual culture. It shows how documentary films and journalistic photographs visualize the inscrutable black box of financial trading by associating it with specific urban architectures and atmospheres. In a second step, the talk offers a critical reading of ‘urban black box scenarios’ in contemporary visual culture. Drawing on the concept of the specter in critical cultural theory, it questions the causal relations that visual narratives establish between financial trading and its ostensible inscrutability. The central argument running through this talk is that that it matters how visual narratives account for the fact that finance is experienced as spectral: present yet absent, and sometimes incomprehensible with regard to its logic. While certain narratives tend to associate these qualities with the physical spaces and infrastructures of financial trading, others give a more systemic and politicized account of spectrality as a symptom of contemporary financialization.

Miriam Meissner is Assistant Professor in Urban Studies at the Department of Literature and Art, Maastricht University. Her research explores the interrelation between cities, creativity, political economy and the environment. In particular, it examines how urban art, media and cultural practices re-mediate and politicize global risks of finance and ecology. Miriam’s book publications include Narrating the Global Financial Crisis: Urban Imaginaries and the Politics of Myth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and the co-edited volume Global Garbage: Urban Imaginaries of Waste, Excess and Abandonment (Routledge, 2016).

Erling Björgvinsson & Ida Börjel: Cute Counter Narratives: Follow the Money

In relation to City Fables: Follow the Money, a practice-based research project, focused on capitalist place production and the language of capitalism we will address tensions between abstraction and sensate embodiment, present well-being and ‘futurist’ anxiety, fiction/fables and documentary aesthetics, and pedagogical aesthetics and non-cathartic corporate and municipal cute aesthetics. Specifically, we will critically reflect on our own work that consists of counter-narratives in the form of texts, animation films, hand puppet plays, and a homo-calculus self-monitoring quiz. Counter-narratives that relate to the ‘Alpha Territory’ and success story of Malmhattan in Malmö and that are based on our analysis and interpretation of media coverage, marketing material, policy documents, corporate tax analysis, and interviews with politicians, public officials, corporate representatives, an auditing lawyer, and a tax activist.

Erling Björgvinsson is Professor of Design at the School of Design and Craft, University of Gothenburg. A Central topic of research is participatory politics in design and art, in particular in relation to urban spaces and the interaction between public institutions and citizens. He has published in international design and art journals and anthologies.

Ida Börjel is a poet who, in “The Consumer’s Purchase Law: juridical lyricisms” and “The Sabotage Manuals”, has staged multi-layered field work in authoritarian language in the form of legal language, prejudices and bureaucratese.

Before the seminar, please download from app store the Animal Spirits Quiz and find out what economic beastie you are.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. All welcome!

Previous Dialogues



Tom of Finland’s room at the Tom of Finland Foundation’s house in Los Angeles, 2002; photographed by Henning von Berg

Tom of Finland’s room at the Tom of Finland Foundation’s house in Los Angeles, 2002; photographed by Henning von Berg

Time: May 17th, at 16.30-18.30
Place: Valand Academy, in the X-library, Chalmersgatan 4-6, Göteborg, Sweden

Welcome to this PARSE Dialogue on Art and work.

Art has been integral to recent debates and critical strategies contesting the social imaginary of work. The modernist vision of artistic labour as the paradigm of nonalienated labour has been replaced by the argument that artists are exemplars of the precarious 24/7 worker. The politics of labour has been replaced with the micropolitics of work and the project to transform work has been replaced with the campaign for the end of work. This Parse Dialogue will focus on difficulties of distinguishing between work and play and how work has been a model for rejuvenating art as a critical form of labour.


Tom Cubbin, Design Historian, Senior Lecturer HDK

Josefine Wikström, Writer and Lecturer DOCH (Stockholm University of the Arts)

Dave Beech, PARSE Professor Valand Academy

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. All welcome!
This Dialogue is part of the Art and Work research arc within PARSE.




Time: May 30th, at 16.30-18.30
Place: Marx Memorial Library & Workers’ School, 37A Clerkenwell Green, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0DU, UK

Welcome to this PARSE dialogue, held in the Marx Memorial Library, London.

Art has been integral to recent debates and critical strategies contesting the social imaginary of work. The modernist vision of artistic labour as the paradigm of nonalienated labour has been replaced by the argument that artists are exemplars of the precarious 24/7 worker. The politics of labour has been replaced with the micropolitics of work and the project to transform work has been replaced with the campaign for the end of work. This event will assess these key contemporary issues of art and work and look at how a politics of work in art can be developed.

Dave Beech, PARSE Professor Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg,
Marina Vishmidt, Editor, writer and lecturer Goldsmiths University of London,
Kirsteen Macdonald & Benjamin Fallon, Curators, Chapter Thirteen Glasgow.

This event is free and open to the public. All welcome!

This Dialogue is part of the Art and Work research arc within PARSE.

image source: AFWFA (ARTISTS FOR A WORK FREE AMERICA) https://www.vital5productions.com/afwfa/

“Violence and the Archive: Accounts of the Transatlantic Slave Trade”

Parse - platform for artistic research sweden day 1

Audience at a PARSE event 2017. Photo: Natalie Greppi / University of Gothenburg.

Time: April 18th, at 16.30-18.30
Place: Valand Academy, in the Glashuset, Chalmersgatan 4-6, Göteborg, Sweden

Welcome to this PARSE Dialogue on relating histories of violence and fragmented archives, pertaining to the fraught legacy of the Transatlantic slave trade.
M. NourbeSe Philip, poet
Saidiya V. Hartman, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
Ylva Habel, Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism, Uppsala University
Hosted by the Intersectional Engagements in Politics and Art research arc, in collaboration with the Research School of the Faculty of Fine, Applied, and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg
Coffee/tea and sandwiches will be served at 16.00
This event is free and open to the public.
It is preceded by the Doctoral Symposium on Art and Violence, April 16-17. If you would like to attend the symposium, please contact anna.frisk@konst.gu.se.

Inscriptions of Violence: On Björn Säfsten’s Prologue

In Collaboration with Atalante

Björn Säftsten / Prologue (photo: Chrisander Brun)

Björn Säftsten/ Prologue (photo: Chrisander Brun)

Date: April 12th at 16.00 to 18.00
Place: Valand Academy, in the Glashuset, Chalmersgatan 4-6, Göteborg, Sweden

Welcome to this PARSE Dialogue centering on the choreographic work of Björn Säfsten, and particularly on Prologue, which is being performed at Atalante on April 11 and 12.

Björn Säfsten (choreographer)
Astrid von Rosen (Dept of Cultural Sciences, GU)
Kristina Hagström-Ståhl (PARSE/ Academy of Music and Drama).

In Prologue Björn Säfsten and performer Sophie Augot explore the violence of language, creating identified representations and then engaging them in a form of role-play. Interrogating the syntax and semantics of the body and its gestures, the performance problematizes received notions of visual interpretation. The work is a re-creation of a piece for two performers from 2012, moulded into a work for a single performer.

Björn Säfsten creates choreographic art in close collaboration with his artistic teams and often focuses on our bodies and minds; how they interact, shape and express themselves. He was educated at the Ballet Academy in Stockholm and received Birgit Cullberg scholarship 2009. In recent years, he has also worked in a four year research project at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, together with philosopher Per Nilsson.

This Dialogue is part of the Intersectional Engagements in Politics and Art research arc within PARSE

The event is free and open to the public. Coffee and snacks will be served. Welcome!

This PARSE Dialogue with Hagar Kotef was cancelled with short notice, due to illness. The event will be rescheduled to a new date. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Violence, Desire, and Settler Colonialism

A conversation about Lorraine Hansberry’s play Les blancs

Welcome to this PARSE Dialogue, featuring a work-in-progress presentation by Hagar Kotef, senior lecturer at SOAS, University of London, entitled Death as the Political Horizon: Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs and the Question of Decolonization. The presentation will be followed by a response by Kristina Hagström-Ståhl, professor at Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg.

Date: Event was cancelled
Place: Valand Academy, in the Glashuset, Chalmersgatan 4-6, Göteborg, Sweden
More info and contact: At University of Gotehnburg webpage

This event is free and open to the public. No sign-up necessary, refreshments will be served. Welcome!

Set in an unnamed, colonized African country on the brink of upheaval, Lorraine Hansberry’s play Les Blancs attempts to capture a complex spectrum of power, colonial violence, and decolonial resistance.

Hagar Kotef’s presentation examines the relations between death and the attachment to the colonial space, to ask about both the conditions of settlements and the ways political metaphors travel from the artistic sphere to the field of political struggle. Centering on two figures in the play – Major Rice, who represents most explicitly the violence of colonization, and Madame Nielsen, who is perhaps the only white figure in the play who is not seen as an agent of violence – Kotef raises a series of questions about violence, desire, and settlement.

Hagar Kotef is a senior lecturer in political theory at SOAS/University of London and the author of Movement and the Ordering of Freedom (2015).

Kristina Hagström-Ståhl is PARSE professor at the Academy of Music and Drama.

This Dialogue is part of the Intersectional Engagements in Politics and Art research arc within PARSE.

in collaboration with the Research School of Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg


Photo courtesy of Robert Dick.

Photo courtesy of Robert Dick.

On Perspectives on Extended Techniques

with presentations and demonstrations by:

Robert Dick, flutist and composer, Anna Lindal, violinist and researcher, Dean of the University College of Opera, Stockholm University of the Arts, Marina Cyrino, flutist and doctoral candidate in musical performance, Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg and Anders Hagberg, senior lecturer in improvisation, flute, and saxophone, Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg.

Video from the presentation part 1
63 min, Anna Lindal, Robert Dick

Video from the presentation part 2
50 min, Anders Hagberg, Marina Cyrino

Video from the presentation part 3
53 min, discussion

Date: January 26, 2018, at 09.30 to 12.30
Place: Academy of Music and Drama, HSM, Lindgrenssalen (A 302)
Fågelsången 1, Göteborg, Sweden

The event is free and open to the public, no sign up required. The dialogue will be in English.



In connection with world-renowned flutist and composer Robert Dick’s residency and master class at Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg in January, PARSE will host a research dialogue providing perspectives on extended techniques in music practice.

With presentations and demonstrations by musicians and researchers, this dialogue will meditate on the notion of the ”extended” in extended techniques, in order to discuss what is at stake in various approaches to such techniques, and to consider how this line of inquiry and practice may be relevant across artistic disciplines.

More information and contact

University of Gothenburg web

Kristina Hagström-Ståhl, professor, Academy of Music and Drama
Anders Hultqvist, professor Deputy Head, Academy of Music and Drama

Also: Concert with Robert Dick January 25

Don´t miss the concert with Robert Dick, that he gives through Levande Musik the day before this Dialogue.

January 25 at 19.00,
Teater Trixter, Göteborg
More information and tickets on the Levande Musik web page.

On Migration and heritage, institutions and social justice


Emily Fahlén, Tensta konsthall and The Silent University Stockholm, Alessandro Petti, Kungliga Konsthögskolan and Decolonising Architecture Art Residency and Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper, the Technical University of Berlin och Landesdenkmalamt

Date: November 24, at 17.30 to 19.30
Place: HDK, Academy of Design and Crafts
Kristinelundsgatan 6-8, Göteborg, Sweden

Welcome to a PARSE Dialogue with screening of the film Same Time Next Day, by Emily Fahlén and Ahmet Ögüt. We have invited Alessandro Petti, Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper and the filmmaker Emily Fahlén to a dialogue and an open discussion about the film and on the subject of migration and heritage, institutions and social justice.

Refreshments will be served. Open to the public, no sign up required. The dialogue will be in English. More info at the University of Gothenburg web.

This dialogue is organised as part of Night School HDK and Open Week, Gothenburg Design Festival 2017 by PARSE in collaboration with the Centre on Global Migration and the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies at Gothenburg University.


Alessandro Petti, Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper and Emily Fahlén will begin the dialogue with short presentations followed by a screening of the film Same Time Next Day, by Emily Fahlén and Ahmet Ögüt, 2016. After the screening an open discussion will be moderated by participants of PARSE, Centre on Global Migration and Centre for Critical Heritage Studies.

We will address questions about how the relation between life as such and social, cultural, political and economic barriers as produced by educational and heritage institutions, can be challenged. From the outside, through civil counter-actions and independent self-organised practices. But also from within, by more radical and inclusive forms of institutional practice seeking to decolonize the institutions, promoting a wider definition of social justice including nationals and non-nationals alike.

The dialogue will focus on what can be done with inclusionary practices and how institutions of knowledge can support, befriend, embrace, organise, converse and ultimately act.

Invited speakers

Emily Fahlén, Stockholm, works as a mediator and producer at Tensta konsthall, a centre for contemporary art in the Stockholm suburb of Tensta. With collaboration as a core value and method she manages both local and international art projects, working in the borderland between the organizational, curatorial and pedagogical. Since 2013 she is the coordinator for The Silent University Stockholm; an autonomous knowledge platform by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

Alessandro Petti, has spent the last decade developing an artistic, architectural and research practice, from Palestine, that is both theoretically ambitious and practically engaged in the struggle for justice and equality. He co-founded Campus in Camps with Sandi Hilal, an experimental educational program hosted in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. In 2007, with Hilal and Eyal Weizman he co-founded Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) in Beit Sahour, Palestine, with the aim to combine an architectural studio and an art residency able to bring together architects, artists, activists, urbanists, film-makers, and curators to work collectively on the subjects of politics and architecture.

Professor Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper, TU Berlin, holder of the 2017 2017 Humboldt Stipend Swedish-German Programme Research Awards for Scientific Cooperation, and hosted by the research cluster Curating the City within the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies & the Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg. Prof. Dolff-Bonekämper has a long-term presence in the international and in particular central European research debate on heritage and urban heritage, and has also a unique background in a combination of theory with impressive practice. For fifteen years she had a lead position at the Landesdenkmalamt in Berlin with responsibility for the extensive heritage documentation and preservation of the city of Berlin after the demolition of the wall. Since 2005 she holds a professorship in Denkmalpflege at the Institute for urban and regional planning at the Technical university of Berlin, and has since then developed the area of expertise Denkmalpflege into a unique and significant multidisciplinary research environment with extensive teaching assignments.

About Tensta museum

Tensta museum an ongoing research project about history and memory in Tensta, both in relation to the place and to the people who live and work there. Since 2013 Some fifty artists, architects, local associations, performers, sociologists, cultural geographers, philosophers, and other practitioners have addressed the past as well as the future in artworks, research projects, seminars, and guided walks. And it is through this that they simultaneously report on the condition of Tensta today as a concrete image of what can be described as the New Sweden ¿ a Sweden that must be understood very differently from how it was several decades ago. This is a Sweden containing people of vastly different backgrounds, where economic and social divides are intensifying.

About Night School HDK

An evening school hosting educational classes, workshops and events on a non-fee open-to-all basis. Taken together, the activities of Night School HDK aspire to explore new ideas about teaching and learning and what forms of communal life it may begin to make possible within the context of the University. Classes range from the vocational to the theoretical to the sub-alternative and are hosted by HDK faculty, students, alumni and external academic and non-academic guests through an open call. The Night School HDK is piloted during the Open Week, Gothenburg Design Festival 2017 and beyond will continue to act as an educational platform for students and researchers as well as experimental pedagogies from inside and outside of the University.

On the Theme Management


Ross Jardine, co-organiser of Radio Anti
Date: Tuesday, October 10, at 16.00 to 19.00
Place: Glashuset, The Glasshouse
Chalmersgatan 4, in the yard of the Valand quarter, Göteborg

Refreshments will be served. Signing up for the event is required, last day for signing up is Friday, October 6.

Management is often treated as a separate domain in relation to the field of contemporary creative practice. Those employed to manage and administrate institutions are separated from those who create content, be they artists, musicians, performers or designers.

They are separated through culture, but also spatially, logistically, financially, in terms of rights and freedoms.

How are we affected by the political and social difference between “making” and “managing”? What happens when management at the same time is perceived as a task of lower status and an oppressive mechanism?

Welcome! Please note that signing up is required.

Ross Jardine
His work is located somewhere between art and administration. He
uses a research-based approach to examine the places we live and work in and
the policies, labour and symbolic frameworks that create and maintain them. He
co-organises Radio Anti, a radio project which has worked with the Serpentine
Gallery (London), Bloc Projects (Sheffield) and the Art Licks Festival
(London). He is an experienced policy researcher and has been working with
the campaign group Justice 4 Domestic Workers to examine health and safety
provision for domestic workers.

On the theme  Educational Exclusion


Pedro Oliveira (Universität der Künste Berlin and Decolonising Design Group)
Richard Pithouse (Rhodes University)
Zhara Bayati (University of Gothenburg)

Date:  Wednesday, April 26, at 16.00 – 19.00.
Place: The library, HDK – Academy of Design and Crafts, Kristinelundsgatan 6 – 8, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Refreshments will be served. Signing up for the event is required and is done here. Signing up with close on April 19, midnight.

Welcome! // On behalf of PARSE and CGM
Erling Björgvinsson, Onkar Kular and Henric Benesch

The dialogue is conjointly arranged with Public Talks: Any Given Sunday – Cape Town collaborative as part of Draft, April 27, 17.00, Glass House, Valand Academy Chalmersgatan 4. For more information see below.

Educational Exclusion

In relation to the second PARSE biennial conference, taking place in November 16 – 17 2017 and in collaboration with The Centre on Global Migration this dialogue wishes to address institutional and epistemological exclusions, master paradigms, and institutional racism within educational institution as well as in relation to how such institutions interact with civil society. It will also address communal and collective perspectives for a new arts and humanities, which rejects universality and progress and that instead embraces epistemic and disciplinary disobedience and pluri-national institutions.

Arts and design education and cultural institutions aim for diversity, yet remain quite homogenous in their staffing, in their understanding and promotion of aesthetics, and in their view of knowledge, and whom they collaborate with. Further more, universities are increasingly expected to deal with societal challenges through collaborating with public and private institutions and civil society groups. Various forms of participatory formats have been developed with the aim to redistribute power, but nevertheless often end up reproducing existing power structures as well as exclude.

If the university is to collaborate with the surrounding society, it needs to head on and fundamentally address how new knowledge perspectives and practices can be developed by acknowledging differences in how we understand and act in the world and what are considered valid results. It also means that the university needs to critically address who are the subjects of participation? How and from where are they selected? Why are certain institutions, organisations, people seen to be in greater need of receiving participatory ‘support’? What aesthetic-political subjects and imaginaries are produced in such projects and processes? How if at all is power and decision-making redistributed? How does the instrumentalisation of participation reconfigure cultural production, citizens as subjects, and institutions?

Pedro Oliveira – Decolonising design education, A pedagogical model of care

The effort to decolonise design education can only begin if we struggle to reshape the understanding of design from thehegemonic narrative of a Western[ised] performance of making, to encompass all that which sets the conditions for human living. So rather than “decolonising” being deployed as another qualitative modifier to be put in front of what design does – implying provisional lenses that can be easily switched or removed, – we must interrogate the colonial foundations of what design is, and how this fiction gets normalised into a depoliticised pedagogical model. In that sense, decolonisation becomes a foundational issue rather than merely another approach. In other words, when one fails to interrogate the colonial nature of this fiction, decolonisation becomes yet another ‘service’ that can be ‘offered’ in order to accommodate and exempt the field from any political accountability on the reproduction and perpetuation of oppressive and unsustainable materialities.

While it can be agreed that design needs to account for inclusion of those usually neglected by the outcomes of designing, we believe this to be only the surface layer of a much more profound ontological problem. There cannot be a decolonising effort in which designers – even a diverse group – are still taught a productivist model which puts our very existence at threat, sustaining the deliberate appropriation and hierarchisation of not only nature, but also of other human beings. Instead, we argue that a pedagogical model of care is at the center of an effort to de-link the field from its colonial shackles, and move towards novel understandings of design research and praxis. We understand the (re)design of institutions, design practices and design studies (efforts that always occur under conditions of contested political interests) to be a pivotal challenge in the process of decolonisation.

As the Decolonising Design group, we work towards developing propositions as to how and where the decolonisation of design education – and the educational model of design – can be performed. In this short talk, we will do so by looking at the emancipatory pedagogies found in the work of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, the border consciousness model of feminist writer Gloria Anzaldúa, as well as in the idea of pluriversal education put forward by the Zapatista movement.

The Decolonising Design group was founded in 2016 by eight researchers stemming from or with ties to the Global South, as a response to Euro- and Anglocentric socio-technical politics and pedagogies of design as both a field of research and praxis. In that sense, the group aims to contribute to a systematic, rather than additive, change in the field; it does not aim to offer an “alternative perspective” on design, but to question the very foundations upon which the discipline was established. For this talk in Gothenburg, the group will be represented by Pedro Oliveira, design researcher in sound studies and a PhD candidate at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Richard Pithouse – Coloniality, the University and Civil Society

This presentation will begin by showing some of the ways in which the post-apartheid South African university sustains an investment in forms of liberalism that are, plainly, racist. It will then show that that while socialist ideas and practices in the post-apartheid academy have often been critical of liberal assumptions about economics it has not been unusual for them to be invested in liberal ideas and practices about politics, especially in terms of questions of organisation, mobilisation and representation. It will be argued that the idea of civil society, often understood in the post-Cold War era as donor backed NGOs, has frequently functioned to reinscribe forms of paternalism, in many cases acutely raced, that had been subject to serious critique from the 1970s till the end of apartheid.

Professor Richard Pithouse is the senior researcher at the Unit for the Humanities (UHURU), at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, and a Visiting Researcher at the Wits Institute for Social & Economic Research (WiSER), at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He has also held a George A. Miller Visiting Professorship at the University of Illinois in the United States. He has been a regular contributor to the media over the last twenty years. While his journalism has mostly been concerned with politics he has also written about music and poetry. A collection of his recent journalism, Writing the Decline, was published in 2016. Pithouse has sustained a lifelong commitment to participation in popular struggles and has often been asked to share ideas with popular struggles and movements in South Africa and elsewhere. He has taught at trade union schools in South Africa, and at the MST political school in Brazil.

Zahra Bayati “The Other” in teacher education

A study of the racialized Swedish student’s conditions in the era of globalization

Zahra Bayati will speak about her empirical studies related to “the other” in teachers education. The study confirms the findings of previous studies, which show that the Swedish Eurocentric education system have many struggle in era of globalization, for example students from non-European countries experience stigmatization, exclusion and discrimination on structural and individual levels. But at the same time, the study also found existing resistance with many agents willing to embark on the transcending approach. The empirical study is analyzed in relation to postcolonial perspectives (Babha, 1986; Said, 1978/2000) and critical race whiteness theory (Du Bois, 1903/1998; Frankenberg, 1995) with social constructionism and poststructuralism as points of departure.

Zahra Bayati is a senior lecture at Faculty of Education, Gothenburg University.

Conjointly with Public Talks:

Any Given Sunday – Cape Town collaborative as part of draft


Sethembile Msezane (Cape Town)
Riason Naidoo (Cape Town)
Richard Pithouse (Johannesburg)

Thursday, April 27, at 17.00, Glashuset, Valand Academy (Chalmersgatan 4)


PARSE, in collaboration with GIBCA, invites you to a PARSE Dialogue on the themes of
The PARSE Journal Issue on Secularity – in collaboration with GIBCA (autumn 2017)
and the conference 2nd Biennial PARSE Conference on Exclusion (November 2017)

On Secularity
Jonas Staal (artist, founder, New World Summit)
Nav Haq (curator, GIBCA 2017)
Ola Sigurdson (Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Gothenburg)
Andrea Phillips (PARSE Professor of Art, Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg)

Wednesday Nov. 16, at 13.00-16.00

This discussion launches the collaboration between PARSE and the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art. The theme of the biennial will examine contemporary issues of secularity. The event will be a chance to find out more about the collaboration and enter into discussion about the relevance of secular ideas and practices today.

Follow this link for more information.

on exclusion
The PARSE Professors and Working Group

An open discussion on the impact of exclusions in contemporary life in order to develop ideas and collaborations for the 2nd PARSE biennial conference, taking place in November 2017. We will introduce the theme and welcome all contributions.
For more information about the Conference please follow this link.

Date: November 16, 2016
Place: Glashuset, Akademin Valand, Chalmersgatan 4 Gothenburg, Sweden.
Drinks will be served. RSVP before Nov 10 to mina.dennert@gu.se



PARSE invites you to a seminar with Stefano Harney and Fred Moten on their widely influential book of essays, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (2013). In it, they draw on social and political thought as well as aesthetic critique to formulate a social poesis of upheaval and self-organization, confronting the force of politics, capitalist logistics, policy and governance.

”We owe it to each other to falsify the institution, to make politics incorrect, to give the lie to our own determination. We owe each other the indeterminate. We owe each other everything.
An abdication of political responsibility? OK. Whatever. We’re just anti-politically romantic about actually existing social life. We aren’t responsible for politics. We are the general antagonism to politics looming outside every attempt to politicise, every imposition of self- governance, every sovereign decision and its degraded miniature, every emergent state and home sweet home. We are disruption and consent to disruption.”
—Stefano Harney and Fred Moten

As this will be a seminar based in discussion, participants are expected to read the book beforehand (available here: http://www.minorcompositions.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/undercommons-web.pdf). The conversation, however, will focus on the following chapters in particular: ”The University and the Undercommons”, ”Blackness and Governance”, ”Planning and Policy”, and ”The General Antagonism: An Interview with Stevphen Shukaitis.”

Date: September 7, 2016
Time: 16-18
Place: Glashuset, Akademin Valand, Chalmersgatan 4 Gothenburg, Sweden.

Stefano Harney is Professor of Strategic Management at Singapore Management University.
Fred Moten is a poet and Professor of English at University of California, Riverside.

The seminar will be followed by a poetry reading with Fred Moten and a conversation between Moten and Khashayar Naderehvandi, poet and doctorand at Akademin Valand. This public event is co-organized by Göteborgs Litteraturhus, Akademin Valand, and PARSE.