ICS Seminar Series 2019

Our next ICS Seminar

Date: Thursday 30 May 2019
Time: 11.30am–1pm
Venue: EB.G.02 Parramatta campus (South), Western Sydney University

Paul Virilio Goes to the Beach: An archaeology of Coastal Reclamations

Presenter: Associate Professor Denis Byrne

Discussant: Dr Andrea Connor


When the young Paul Virilio stepped onto his first beach on the Normandy coast in 1945 he began a long term fascination with the sea, the littoral zone, and the system of WWII coastal bunkers that formed German’s Atlantikwall. Collapsed bunkers became the inspiration for an attempt, through his ‘oblique’ architecture, to make us conscious of the way our lives are ruled by the conventional architecture of horizontality and to provide a way of escaping it.

Coastal reclamations can seem like a tide of land pushing out into the sea, as if we were experiencing a period of marine contraction rather than its opposite. The seawalls of our reclamations, like those WWII bunkers, draw an optimistic line in the sand against incursion from/of the sea. In presenting several different ways of viewing coastal reclamations, using examples from different times and places, my object is to help us know these entities better and to identify lines of escape.


Denis Byrne is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. Among others things, his work blends archaeology, fictocritical writing, a concern with the ruins of modernity and a taste for marginal and transitional spaces. His publications include Surface Collection (Rowman & Littlefield 2007) and Counterheritage (Routledge 2014).

Autumn ICS Seminars

Date: Thursday 30 May

Paul Virilio Goes to the Beach: An archaeology of Coastal Reclamations - Denis Byrne...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 6 June

Where ‘Art Meets Life’: Assessing the Impact of Dark Mofo, a New Mid- Winter Festival in Australia - Adrian Franklin ...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 13 June

Life Course, Health Development and High Tech: Cui Bono? - Teresa Swist...Find out more.

Past Seminars

Date: Thursday 7 March

Forum on the 'Uluru Statement from the Heart’: Are We Listening?...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 14 March

The Artful Excess of Waste: a River Installation - Margaret Sommerville...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 21 March

The Politics of Mediation: Subjectivity, Value and Power in the Digital Grid of Aadhaar - Tsvetelina Hristova...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 28 March

Extractivism, Community Responses and the Commons - Dorothy Kidd...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 4 April

The Beatification of the Clinic: Instituting New HIV Prevention Health Conducts in the Age of Biomedical Prevention - Kane Race...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 11 April

Inside Factories and Outside Heteronormativity: an Ethnographic Exploration of the Queerness of Chinese Rural Migrant lalas...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 9 May

Assembling the Capacity to Care: Caring-with Precarious Housing - Emma Power...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 16 May

Reconfiguring the Enterprise: Shifting Manufacturing Culture in Australia - Katherine Gibson, Stephen Healy and Joanne McNeill ...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 23 May

Doing Plastic Bottled Water Differently? The Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Delivering Community-Managed Infrastructures - Isaac Lynne ...Find out more.

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