UvA New Media Research Lectures
We are pleased to announce:
“Mobile Affect, Mediality and Abu Ghraib”
Thursday, 22 February
Turfdraagsterpad 9, Room 0.04
What did the photographs from Abu Ghraib do? What they depicted seems clear: U.S. soldiers, implicitly encouraged by the U.S. military, torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners in a manner beyond the pale of acceptable civilized behavior. The Abu Ghraib photographs are usually understood as powerful representations of the injustice, if not the obscenity, of the US prosecution of the war in Iraq and US power generally. I agree. But what I want to talk about is the “mediality” of the photographs–not what they mean but what they do, particularly how they produce an affective, bodily response not reducible to their cognitive or ideological import. This response is heightened, I argue, because the obscene acts they depict, so alien from everyday experience, were captured, uploaded, and shared in the most everyday manner in familiar global, digital media practices like emailing, social networking, blogging, text-messaging, mobile-phoning, or browsing the web. In this talk I take up the Abu Ghraib photos in relation to two concepts I have been developing, mobile affect and mediality.
Richard Grusin is Professor and Chair of the Department of English, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Richard Grusin received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1983. He is the author of three books. The first, Transcendentalist Hermeneutics: Institutional Authority and the Higher Criticism of the Bible (Duke, 1991), concerns the influence of European (primarily German) theories of biblical interpretation on the interpretive theories of New England Transcendentalists like Emerson, Thoreau, and Theodore Parker. With Jay David Bolter he is the author of Remediation: Understanding New Media (MIT, 1999), which helped to define the field of new media studies. Grusin’s latest book, Culture, Technology, and the Creation of America’s National Parks (Cambridge, 2004), focuses on the problematics of visual representation involved in the founding of America’s national parks. Currently he is working on a new book, “Premediation: Mobile Affect and Mediality after 9/11.”
The New Media Research Lecture by Richard Grusin is the first in the
Friday, 16 March
Joseph DeLappe, University of Nevada Reno.
Coming later in the Spring.
Siva Vaidhyanathan, New York University
Siva Vaidhyanathan, a cultural historian and media scholar, is the author of Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004). Vaidhyanathan has written for many periodicals, including American Scholar, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times Magazine, MSNBC.COM, Salon.com, openDemocracy.net, and The Nation. After five years as a professional journalist, Vaidhyanathan earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught at Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Columbia University, and is currently Associate Professor of Culture and Communication at New York University and a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities. He lives in Greenwich Village, USA