Public Lecture by Ted Schatzki, at Lancaster University
10th June 2021
Spatial Troubles with Teaching under Covid-19.
This presentation explores the multifaceted underpinning that spaces provide to social affairs, in particular, educating. It does this by examining a particular social episode, involving spaces of educating, that reveals this support through its undermining: the sudden rushes to home and online teaching that university instructors in the US underwent in the spring of 2020. Part one of the discussion outlines a practice theoretical account of the spaces of social life—more specifically, of bundles of practices and material arrangements—according to which there are three principal spaces of sociality: material spaces, activity spatialities, and encompassing places. Part Two then uses this account to diagnose the diverse spatial challenges that instructors faced that spring when they suddenly found themselves at home teaching. The contrast between what happened then and normal educating at universities makes clear just how crucial spatial features of practice-arrangement bundles can be to successful educating.
15th-16th April 2019
Pictures from the connecting practices workshop at Lancaster University in which invited participants from different backgrounds and with different experience met to discuss connections between practices. If you want to learn more about the contributors or what they said, then get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
Forming Alliances: 17th April 2019, 4.30-6.30, Bowland North Seminar Room 6
Open Lecture by Theodore R. Schatzki available on film.
This talk is based on an essay that attempts an alliance between my theory of practices and the theory of institutions due to Roger Friedland. The essay begins by explaining the idea of a theoretical alliance, briefly discussing sorts of phenomena that practice theories are not likely to propitiously or exhaustively analyze. The essay then develops the alliance. It discusses how the two theories analyze institutions as practices and roots the alliance in the idea that the practice plenum (in my sense) evinces multiple institutional orders of variable spatial form that can hang together and coevolve in different combinations. The discussion then zeroes in on a prominent feature of Friedland’s account: institutional logics and the fundamental principles-values (institutional substances) that organize them. I suggest that these principles-values closely correspond to what I call “general understandings.” I also argue that general understandings must be supplemented by ends (and rules) to do the work attributed to institutional substances, in particular, laying down the normative sens of enacting practices. It follows that the institutional orders found in the plenum of practice are constellations of practices, participants, and objects organized by commanding general understandings and teleologies. A final section discusses two further convergences between Friedland’s and my accounts: both promulgate flat ontologies and recognize the centrality of politics to institutional change.