CSISP Events 2007-2008


For event details and booking information, please email: csisp (

CSISP events range from one-off seminars and one- and two-year long seminar series to practice-based workshops, conferences and symposia. Through our events researchers and practitioners from different disciplines and fields come together to explore and develop research collaborations.


Design and Social Sciences

A new seminar series for 2007-2008.

Speakers include:

William Gaver | Department of Design, Goldsmiths
Tobie Kerridge | Department of Design, Goldsmiths
Mike Michael | CSISP, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths
Terry Rosenberg | Department of Design, Goldsmiths
Nina Wakeford | Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths
Alex Wilkie | Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths
Matt Ward | Department of Design, Goldsmiths
Matt Watson | Department of Geography, Sheffield
Jennifer Gabrys | Department of Design, Goldsmiths

All seminars will take place in room 1204, Warmington Tower.

Wednesday 3rd October | 4.00-6.00pm
Brief Introductions: Mike Michael and Bill Gaver muse on Design and Social Science

Wednesday 17th October | 4.00-6.00pm
Nina Wakeford, 'Experience, Models and Translation'

Wednesday 31st October | 4.00-6.00pm
Terry Rosenberg, 'Criticality and Practice'

Wednesday 21st November | 4.00pm-6.00pm
Tobie Kerridge, 'Designers as Naive Polyglots?'

Wednesday 5th December | 4.00-6.00pm
Bill Gaver and Mike Michael, 'Where Next? Reflections on the futures of "Design and Social Science" 

Design and Social Science seminar participants
including (from left to right): Andy Boucher, Bill Gaver, Britt
Hatzius, Kat Jungnickel and Matt Ward.


It has become increasingly apparent that there are many points of contact between design and social science disciplines. In many respects, these have arisen in an ad hoc fashion, and there has been relatively little sustained reflection on what broader lessons can be drawn.

The CSISP seminar series on ‘Design and Social Science’ aims to explore these points of contact through a range of discussions that address such key topics as theory, practice, research, user, object, product, audience etc. Though the immediate objective is to enhance mutual understanding across disciplinary practices, it is also hoped that this series can serve as a platform for opening up interdisciplinary research futures.


Spring term

Design and Social Sciences

Continuing the seminar series from last term.

All seminars will take place in the CSISP seminar room, WT1204, from 4pm - 6pm.

Wednesday 16 January
Alex Wilkie, 'Prospecting users: user-centered
design and commercial social science'

Wednesday 30 January
Matt Ward, 'Disruption, disturbance and deviation:
towards a definition of design's critical practice'

Wednesday 20 February
Matt Watson, 'Product design and the
practices of everyday life'

Wednesday 5 March
Jennifer Gabrys, 'Museum of failure: electronics, obsolescence and archives'

Wednesday 19 March
Mike Michael and Bill Gaver, 'Design and social sciences:
what, where, when next? And how?'

Jennifer Gabrys presenting 'Museum of Failure: electronics, 
obselescence and archives, Wednesday 5th March 2008.

It has become increasingly apparent that there are many points of contact between design and social science disciplines. In many respects, these have arisen in an ad hoc fashion, and there has been relatively little sustained reflection on what broader lessons can be drawn.

The CSISP seminar series on ‘Design and Social Science’ aims to explore these points of contact through a range of discussions that address such key topics as theory, practice, research, user, object, product, audience etc. Though the immediate objective is to enhance mutual understanding across disciplinary practices, it is also hoped that this series can serve as a platform for opening up interdisciplinary research futures.



What is Medicine? series, Annemarie Mol

Continuing the Seminar Series begun in 2006-2007

Thursday 6 November, 4-6pm
Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre
Ben Pimlott Building
Goldsmiths, University of London

This event is free - all are welcome.

Annemarie Mol is Socrates Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Twente. She has published The Body Multiple. Ontology in Medical Practice; co-edited Differences in Medicine (with Marc Berg) and Complexities (with John Law); and authored and co-authored a variety of articles on bodies, techniques and spatialities. Her new book, The Logic of Care, is published in 2008 by Routledge.

Download annemarie-mol for this event [pdf]

In the social sciences, medicine has figured for decades as something to criticise. It deserved to be unmasked as (behind its helping face) it was really a matter of social control, or a mode of governing through discipline rather than punishment, or otherwise a place where doctors hold power over patients. These days, however, it is time to do something different. No, the point is not to be a better realist and to neutrally (rather than critically) describe medicine as it is. Instead, medicine deserves help. It is in urgent need of words that articulate its specificity in such a way that health care does not get completely colonised by (the logic of) the market (where doctors have products to sell to their customers), the state (that makes laws configuring patients as citizens), the protocol (that presumes that facts precede decisions, which precede actions, which precede evaluations), epidemiology (or rather the version of epidemiology that takes individuals to compose collectives), ethics (in as far as it separates deliberation from practice) and other rationalist endeavours. In my recent book The Logic of Care I have tried to provide such words and to articulate some of medicine's tinkering techniques for living with fragile bodies, unruly diseases and unpredictable technologies in complex daily lives. The case that I analysed is that of diabetes care. This allows me to now take up the question of your seminar series 'What is medicine?' as if it has an answer.


What is Medicine?
Drugs, Medico-moralism and the Use of Pleasure in Harm Reduction

In conjunction with | Department of Sociology

Thursday 10 January
5.00-7.00pm | Room 1204, Warmington Tower

With Kane Race | University of Sydney

Dr Kane Race is a Senior Lecturer of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. He has published widely on questions of risk, government and ethics in the context of HIV prevention, sexual practice and drug use, and participates extensively in the social response to HIV/AIDS in Australia. His forthcoming book, Pleasure Consuming Medicine (Duke University Press) takes up questions of sex, drugs, citizenship and health, and provides a critical analysis of neoliberal discourses of drug use.

Please follow the link for details of last year's What_is_Medicine_abstracts_2006-2007 seminars

Pleasure is more or less absent from serious talk within medicine, though it is a common enough motive for, and element of, human activity. When it comes to drugs, pleasure is often positioned as the grounds upon which legal and moral distinctions (between licit and illicit instances) are made. Taking drugs for pleasure would appear to transgress the moral logic of ‘restoring health’ that guarantees medical legitimacy. But the undeniable importance and common appeal of pleasure might lead us to wonder whether this routine exclusion and disavowal of pleasure doesn’t serve to prop up the self-evidence of medical rationality. After all, enabling pleasure is also one of medicine’s most basic concerns. In this paper I consider how a more open acknowledgement of pleasure might help to reframe public health practice and policy concerning the use of illicit drugs. I use Foucault’s History of Sexuality to conceptualize practices of ‘harm reduction’ (the loose mix of policies and procedures that take distance from prohibitionist initiatives). Making reference to concepts such as ‘care of the self’ and the ‘use of pleasure’, I argue that Foucault’s work suggests a distinction between ‘therapeutic’ and ‘social pragmatic’ approaches to pleasure, and that this distinction may be useful for framing relatively de-pathologizing modes of care. While Foucault is often used to critique the regulatory effects of public health, my reading aims to develop a more flexible approach to the practices of bodies and pleasures – one that is critically attuned to the operation of disciplinary norms, capable of preventing specific dangers, but also open to embodied experimentation and the different possibilities of pleasure.

What is Medicine?
Tracing Animals: Following Non-Human Animals in Making Biomedicine

Tuesday 5 February
5 - 7pm | Room 1204, Warmington Tower

With Lynda Birke | University of Chester

Dr Lynda Birke is a biologist who has long worked in feminist science studies. She has published extensively in this area, particularly on feminist questions in biology. More recently, she has focussed on the human/animal relationship - including the use of animals in science. Her most recent book (with Arnie Arluke and Mike Michael) is "The Sacrifice: How Scientific Experiments Transform Animals and People" (2007: Purdue).
She is currently doing research on horses and their relationship with people, in the Anthrozoology Unit, University of Chester.

What role do nonhuman animals play in the construction of medical knowledge? Animal researchers typically claim that their use has been essential to progress. But just how have animals fitted into the development of biomedicine? And how has their history fed into the ethical controversy around animal use? In this paper, I want to do two things: first, to trace how nonhuman animals, and their body parts, have become
incorporated into laboratory processes and places. They have long been designed to fit into scientific procedures - now increasingly so through genetic design. Animals and procedures are closely connected - animals in science are disassembled and reassembled in various ways. Indeed, whatever else it is, biomedical knowledge can be said to rest on a large pile of animal bodies and body parts. So, secondly, I want also to ask the speculative question - what might biomedicine have looked like if it hadn't relied so heavily on a never-ending supply of animals?

What is Medicine?
Of Wolves and Management

Monday 9 June | 4.30-6.00pm

With Rasmus Johnsen | Copenhagen Business School

Rasmus Johnsen has an MA in Philosophy and Literature and is a PhD Fellow at the Department for Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School. He is currently working on a PhD involving a genealogy of the relation between melancholy and achievement. He has also published on stress management and the contemporary conceptualization of depression. He is currently a visiting scholar at the CSISP.

Alberto Toscano listening to Rasmus's description of the
industrial psychopath.

Rasmus Johnsen (out of shot) discusses a Danish website 
designed to help employees identify psychopaths in the workplace.

The work-place psychopath: he lacks compassion, empathy, remorse, and any sense of guilt. He is charming, manipulative, and sometimes very effective. Everyone knows one or has heard a story about one. Although it is a serious allegation, many people will say: “Yeah, I know…but I had a boss, I swear, he was for real…” In Denmark, a trade union organizing commercial and clerical employees has put an online test on their web-page to assist their members in figuring out if their boss is one. But what is at stake in the description of psychopathic behaviour at work? In this presentation I will raise this question by examining the phenomenon of lycanthropy found in medicine, trials, and folk lore of the middle-ages. Just as the werewolf (lit.: man-wolf) is neither man nor beast, the work-place psychopath is neither a corporate nor an authentic self – and yet somehow both the were-wolf and the psychopath paradoxically must define precisely what they cannot be.

Workshops Summer Term

The Physique of the Public

Organised with the Space of Democracy /
Democracy of Space research network

Friday 6 June | Room 137a, Richard Hoggart Building


Jane Bennett | Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
Matthew Fuller | Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths
Javier Lezaun | James Martin Institute, Oxford University
David Oswell | Sociology, Goldsmiths
Albena Yaneva | Architecture, Manchester University
Claire Waterton | Sociology, Lancaster University
Sarah Whatmore | Geography, Oxford University
Brian Wynne | Sociology, Lancaster University


Andrew Barry | Geography, Oxford University
Gail Davies | Geography, UCL
Kate Nash | Sociology, Goldsmiths

If you would like to be put on the waiting list, please contact Natalie Warner at csisp (

Suggested donation £8, £4 concessions

Celia Lury introducing David Oswell and his presentation 
'Making room for Democracy in the everyday: sensate
publics and mediated experience in the home'.


Kate Nash discussing Javier Lezaun's paper 'Off-shore 
democracy: socio-technical interventions and worker
participation', a session chaired by Mike Michael.

This one-day workshop will bring together social researchers and theorists who bring an interest in publicity and citizenship to the study of material and physical practices.

In fields like science and technology studies, it has long been acknowledged that non-human entities play an important role in the (un)making of social connections. However, everyday dealings with things, technologies, and nature are also increasingly recognized, and explicitly formatted, as occasions for ethical and political involvement. In engaging with these developments, authors in political theory, sociology and geography have begun to explore whether and how everyday practices may be understood as sites for the organisation of publics by socio-material means. This workshop aims to further explore this ‘object’ or material turn in the study of publics and citizenship. It is meant to provide a space for more detailed consideration of the kinds of practices, events and devices that this turn brings into view, from flood management to the art of sowing seeds. Within this context, the workshop will also engage broader conceptual questions about the type of politics, morality or ethics that a socio-material perspective on the public opens up. Thus, it will consider the implications of attempts to bring ‘democracy’ within the realm of embodied experience, including for the types of agency that are enabled and disabled by the repositioning of citizenship, and public involvement, as relations of material and physical entanglement.