Places and Non-Places: Thinking Anthropologically with Marc Augé

Places and Non-Places:
Thinking Anthropologically with Marc Augé
Estonian Institute of Humanities
Tallinn University, 12 – 13 October 2012

Hosting institutions: Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University; Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts

Supporter: European Union Structural Fund

Program director: Dr. Marek Tamm (Tallinn University)

Program manager and student coordinator: Ms. Tuuli Piirsalu (Tallinn University)

This intensive seminar invites Ph.D. (and advanced M.A.) students in various fields of cultural research to discuss together with Prof. Marc Augé, one of the leading anthropologist in the world, the current issues of contemporary anthropology and culture studies. The seminar, consisting of lectures and discussions, addresses more specifically the question about the uses and perspectives of the concept of “non-places”, coined by Marc Augé in 1992. This concept refers to specific kinds of spaces, chiefly architectural and technological, designed to be passed through or consumed rather than appropriated, and retaining little or no trace of our engagement with them. These spaces, principally associated with transit and communication, are for Augé the defining characteristic of the contemporary period he calls “supermodernity”, the product and agent of a contemporary crisis in social relations and consequently in the construction of individual identities through such relations.

Marc Augé (born in 1935) is the former director of Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and the author of numerous widely read and translated books, including Non-Places: Introduction to the Anthropology of Supermodernity, In the Metro, An Anthropology for Contemporaneous Worlds and The War of Dreams.

Friday, October 12, 2012 (open for public)

Venue: Tallinn University (Uus-Sadama 5), M-218

16:00-16:15 Introduction

Dr. Marek Tamm (Tallinn University)

16:15-17:15 Architecture and non-places

Prof. Marc Augé (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris)

Saturday, October 13, 2012 (for registered participants)

Venue: Tallinn University (Uus-Sadama 5), M-648

10:00-10:45 Non-places and globalization

Prof. Marc Augé (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris)

10:45-11:15 Non-places, their texts, their intertexts. Steps to an anthropology of Marc Augé

Dr. Stefano Montes (University of Palermo)

11:15-11:45 Ruin-scapes and the tacitness of nowhere

Prof. Patrick Laviolette (Tallinn University)

11:45–12.15 People in places: the idea of betweenness in Japanese philosophy

Prof. Rein Raud (Helsinki University/Tallinn University)

12:15-12:45 Beyond history and anthropology?

Dr. Marek Tamm (Tallinn University)

12:45-13:30 Comments and discussion

13:45-15:00 Lunch (for registered participants)

Requirements for participation

Interested graduate students (maximum 20) can apply for the seminar by sending a letter of motivation (ca 50-100 words) to Tuuli Piirsalu ( ) by October 5, 2012. Students who are not members of GSCSA are required to add a short CV to specify their education and research interests. You will be notified of your participation by October 8, 2012.

Students are expected to do preparatory reading in order to participate in the discussions. Upon full participation in the study programme and completion of a 2000-word essay (in Estonian or in English) on Marc Augé`s book Non-Places (deadline December 31, 2012) students will be awarded 2 ECTS points.

The language of the seminar is English.

Participation in the course is free of charge; the accommodation and travel costs of the students of GSCSA will be reimbursed.

Preparatory reading

Marc Augé, Non-Places. Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity (London, New York: Verso, 1995). Available also in Estonian: Kohad ja mittekohad. Sissejuhatus ülimodernsusesse (Tallinn: Tallinna Ülikooli Kirjastus, 2012, to be published in mid-April). An electronic copy (in English or in Estonian) is available for registered participants; please address to Tuuli Piirsalu ( ).