Open Lecture: Mark Elam on “The Cigarette Case: Exemplifying the Complexity of Contemporary Matters of Concern”

Friday 30th January 2015, 13-14 in the Design Lab, ITU.

Abstract: The mapping complexity course is concerned with working through case studies to chart and visualize the heterogeneous relations and practices constituting matters of collective concern. In other words, mapping complexity implies developing competences enabling you to make the fluid and contingent multiplicity of things more broadly visible. Your visualizations should in turn not be thought of as neutral and innocent representations, but as forms of descriptive interference contributing further to the formation of the issues at hand. To exemplify these matters the lecture will chart tobacco smoking as a complex and multiple matter of world historical concern. A mapping exercise that will take us from 17th century concerns over ‘smoking drinking’ and ‘dry drunkenness’; to the ‘golden holocaust’ attributable to the modern cigarette, to expanding debates over e-cigarettes and the nature of tobacco smoking as the world’s biggest drug problem.

Read more about Mark and his interests here and here.