Archives for the month of: April, 2014

buddha in the snow

‘The Snow Man’ (Wallace Stevens, 1921)

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

*              *             *

With apologies to any American readers, I had never heard of Wallace Stevens before today.  He certainly didn’t make it into any of those poetry anthologies we had to read at school.

I’m not going to offer my own pedestrian analysis of the poem above – if only because it seems to have been done to death already. But what I like about it is its sense of being human which foregrounds perception, representation, and affect; Stevens’ rejection of the possibility of knowing objects ‘as they truly are’ doesn’t lead him to a desire to overcome the subject. By extension, the practice of humanity is not about separation, nor about immersion; it’s all about entanglement.

28 April 2014, London

Final poster




John Law (Professor of Sociology, Open University): Congregating Publics: GDP and its Others


Regan Koch (Department of Geography, University College, London): Justifications of public and private: Notes from the not-quite-public spaces of underground restaurants

Manuela Kölke (independent researcher): Ontological registers as the medium of convergence between political theory and spatial disciplines

Antonia Layard (University of Bristol Law School): The Legal Production of Public Space (or not)

Nikolai Roskamm (Institut für Stadt- und Regionalplanung, TU Berlin, Germany): The in-between of public space: Sitting on the fence with Hannah Arendt


Clive Barnett (Professor of Geography and Social Theory, University of Exeter): Theorising Emergent Publics


Nick Mahony and Hilde C. Stephansen (Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance, The Open University): What’s at stake in Participation Now? Exploring emergent configurations of ‘the public’ in contemporary public participation

Helen Pallett (Science, Society & Sustainability group, University of East Anglia): Producing the publics of UK science policy: public dialogue as a technology for representing, knowing and constructing publics

Yvonne Rydin and Lucy Natarajan (Bartlett School of Planning, University College, London): Materialising public participation: community consultation within spatial planning for North Northamptonshire, England

Peer Schouten (School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden): The infrastructural construction of publics: the Janus face of representation by international actors in Congo


Sarah Whatmore (Professor of Environment and Public Policy, University of Oxford): Experimental Publics: Science, Democracy and the Redistribution of Expertise



Andrew Barry (Professor of Human Geography, University College, London): Material Politics and the Reinvention of the Public


Andreas Birkbak (Department of Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Denmark): Facebook pages as ’demo versions’ of issue publics

Gwendolyn Blue (Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Canada): Animal publics: Political subjectivity after the human subject

Ferenc Hammer (Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary): The Hungarian Roundabout and Further Settings for the Authoritarian Subject: Technologies of Self-Governance in Everyday Practices

Jonathan Metzger (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden): Moose re:public – traversing the human/non-human divide in the politics of  transport infrastructure development


Lindsay Bremner (Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster): The Political Life of Rising Acid Mine Water

Blanca Callén (Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, Lancaster University): The making of obsolescence: how things become public in the age of precariousness

Michael Guggenheim, Joe Deville, Zuzana Hrdlickova (Department of Sociology Goldsmiths, University of London): The Megaphone and the Map: Assembling and Representing the Public in Disaster Exercises

Owain Jones (Environmental Humanities, Bath Spa University): Is My Flesh Not Public? Thinking of bodies and ‘the public’ through water


Jon Coaffee (Professor in Urban Geography, University of Warwick): Citizenship and Democracy in the City 2.0: Balancing the Quest for Resilience and the Public Interest in Urban Development

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