The Insectile

deadline for submissions: 
October 25, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Uni Köln, Germany
contact email: 


The insectile: A Workshop
Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Universität zu Köln, 31 January 2020



Keynote Speaker:

Rachel Murray, University of Loughborough

In ​Insect Media​ (2010), Jussi Parikka writes that ‘the cyborg as imagined since the 1980s in theory and fiction [seems] quite old-fashioned’ today, considering that the ‘new’ models of artificial agents have been ‘infiltrated’ by forms of insect organisation. In this one-day workshop, we would like to explore ‘the insectile’ as it manifests itself culturally, in whatever weird shapes or sounds, as material or immaterial, extra- or intraterritoriality, becoming-insect, affect and insect, ‘entomo-oneirism’ (Steven Connor), ‘termite art’ (Manny Farber), ‘and/or and and/or or’ (China Miéville). We are, then, interested to explore the insectile--pertaining to an entomological imagination--as ‘posthuman’ project, or project concerning a more-than-human care, but also, more broadly, in the connections between literature/culture/art and entomology or ecology, as well as the kinds of stories told about insects from other disciplines’ perspectives.

Especially in light of their extinction, has ‘our’ relationship to, or representation of, insects or the insectile--that which crawls, becomes-insect, is multiple, parasitical, irritating, etc.-- changed? Does the ‘insectile’ have to do with ‘our’ gaze, or a gaze that isn’t ‘ours,’ or with sounds, a background buzzzz; is it an event? Is the insectile a media technology; an art of war; ‘the thought from the outside’, or, rather, the ‘nest’ of ‘our’ being? These are only some suggestions of potential topics to cover, which are not, however, designed to limit areas of research. We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers on the faceted subject of the insectile from postgraduates, ECRs and academics across disciplines & we are particularly keen to hear explorative, tentative papers that need testing in front of a generous & welcoming audience.

Please submit 200-300 word abstracts and a short bio to by 25 October 2019. Papers can be in either English or German.

Registration is free; lunch (vegan only) will be provided. Please let us know if you have any allergies. We might be able to cover hotel costs for presenting PGRs & ECRs depending on individual needs.

Organisers: Fabienne Collignon Jonas Neldner

Generously supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; thanks also to Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Bärbel Eltschig & Prof. Dr. Hanjo Berressem.