Call for Applications: Winter School on 'Self, Techne and Biopolitical'

Mohd Sayeed's picture
November 5, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Political History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Humanities

Call For Applications


Travelling Classroom

Self, Techne and Biopolitics

17th to 21st January 2019

Deadline for CFA: 5th November 2018 


Delhi Contemporary (DC), in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)-TEQIP-III, invites applications for participation in a five-day “Travelling Classroom” on “Self, Techne and the Biopolitical”. Designed as a classroom, DC and IIT-D will bring together a group of academics and senior graduate students and early career researchers to participate in intensive sessions on a range of topics relating to the theme outlined. The participating faculty will conduct the classroom at the IIT-Delhi campus and will be committed to engaging with questions emerging from multidisciplinary research. Early career researchers and graduate students from any discipline whose work and interests relate to the thematic of the Travelling Classroom are invited to apply.

Theme Note
Bio-politics is an influential theoretical framing as well as an empirical perspective that builds from a base where the ‘knowledge’ of ‘human species-life’ becomes the access point from which to understand how strategies of power, government, ethics and the economy influence the conduct of life in the social. Over the last four decades, the biopolitical approach has been applied and interpreted in widely diverse contexts and has been found crucial in informing issues involved in contemporary local or global governance, health and medical practices, social inclusion and exclusion, war and violence, citizenship and sovereignty, gendered living, surveillance and control, digital technologies of life management, economic or legal practices and much more. 

The question of the self and techniques of the self in a biopolitical milieu is proposed as the pivot on which a five–day workshop will be conducted. Understanding what contours the notion of the self can take in a biopolitical palimpsest, and how, are questions that will guide the discussion. The intent of the classroom is to understand the critical implications that connect bio-politics and techniques of the self and use that broad framing with which to discuss a range of contexts. Illustratively, privacy and social media, big data and information, digitized citizenship, strategies of social inclusion - exclusion, identity politics, fiscal governance etc. are amenable to a “Self, Techne and Biopolitical” deliberation. 

The five-day classroom lecture and discussion sessions by the participating faculty would be designed along the following interests but not limited to:


  1. How do we understand technology and its elemental affinity to power in relation to the presuppositions of science? What are the ramifications of using the term ‘technology’ while exploring the concepts of ‘self’ and ‘biopolitics’?
  2. What are the various ways in which the contemporary biopolitical moment impresses upon us, for a greater rigor in conceptualizing the ‘self’ and its practices?
  3. How can the dyads of self/subject, art/techne and biopolitics/sovereignty help us interrogate the trajectories of philosophical thoughts on truth, labour and event?
  4. How does one think through the rubric of self, techne and biopolitics to analyze the contemporary spectrum of identity politics?


The following lists some of the areas in relation to which applicants are invited to apply. Other concerns that meet the thematic are welcome.


  • Social Media and Private/Public Imagination
  • Big data and Socio-technologies
  • Governance and Citizenship
  • Security and Surveillance 
  • Cellular Bodies and Bio-Populations 
  • Affective and Emotional Politics of Life
  • Economy, Labor and Human Capital
  • Politics of body and identity


Confirmed participating faculty

  1. Timothy Campbell (Department of Italian Studies, Cornell University)
  2. Yasmeen Arif (Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics) 
  3. V. Sanil (Department of Philosophy, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi)
  4. Sundar Sarukkai (NIAS, Bangalore)
  5. Soumyabrata Choudhury (SAA, Jawarharlal Nehru University)


Applicants should send an 800 words note explaining the questions and conceptual discussion based on their own research work that they wish to bring to this travelling classroom session along with their CV (not more than 2 page long) latest by 5th November 2018 to The email sent by the applicants should be clearly marked as “DC-IITD Travelling Classroom January 2019 Application” in the subject line. 

Successful applicants will be informed by 16th November 2018. 

Partial funding for travel and accommodation will be available for participants travelling from non-NCR locations. For any further queries, please write to: Yasmeen Arif or V. Sanil