Category Archives: Lecture

Lecture at Winter Theory Institute

I will be presenting a lecture entitled “Writing Revolution: Whitman’s Literary Democracy” at the Society for Critical Exchange‘s Winter Theory Institute, which will take place at the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia on February 4-7. The flyer for the conference, which is on “American World Literature,” can be downloaded here.

Lecture on Photography

The presentation below, which took place on October 26, 2015,  was recently posted as part of Penn State’s Comparative Literature Luncheon Series. It is a work in progress that will likely become part of a larger book project on recording technologies, so comments and suggestions are very welcome. A special thanks to Jonathan Eburne for the invitation and the very productive dialogue.

Abstract
“Remaking Machines: Pragmatics and Politics of Photography”

“The only sensible weapon against the cops,” Chris Marker presciently claimed in the 1960s, is “a film camera.” Exploring the ramifications of this statement in the context of the current struggles around the racial violence perpetrated by the police and vigilantes, this paper proposes a broad reflection on the social pragmatics of photography and its consequences. It begins by revisiting the question ‘what is photography?’ by inquiring into its supposed privileged relationship to the objective world. It argues that photography, far from simply capturing reality, is a powerful remaking machine that recomposes the very nature of the real. By resituating the photographic apparatus in a broad social pragmatics, it thereby seeks to elucidate its political power as a “sensible weapon.”

Lecture, Penn State Comp Lit Luncheon Series, 10/26/15

I will be presenting the talk described below in Penn State’s Comp Lit Luncheon Series. For more information, click here

FergusonRemaking Machines:
Pragmatics and Politics of Photography

Abstract
“The only sensible weapon against the cops,” Chris Marker presciently claimed in the 1960s, is “a film camera.” Exploring the ramifications of this statement in the context of the current struggles around the racial violence perpetrated by the police and vigilantes, this paper proposes an expansive reflection on the social pragmatics of photography and its consequences. It begins by revisiting the question ‘what is photography?’ by inquiring into its supposed privileged relationship to the objective world. It argues that photography, far from simply capturing reality, is a powerful remaking machine that recomposes the very nature of the real. By resituating the photographic apparatus in a broad social pragmatics, it thereby seeks to elucidate its political power as a “sensible weapon.”

Keynote, Aesthetic Technologies program, NYC, 5/20/15-5/22/15

The Norwegian Researcher Training School, “Text, Image, Sound, Space (TBLR),” has organized an intensive program in New York under the title “Aesthetic Technologies: The Technological Turn in Art and Literature Studies in Hindsight.” It will take place at The Norwegian Church in Manhattan (317 East 52nd Street) from May 20-22, 2015. I will present a keynote address on May 22nd entitled “Reframing Technological History and the Aesthetics of the Apparatus.”

Lecture, Centennial Filiations Conference, U. of New Mexico, 3/26/15-3/27/15


Raji Vallury has organized a conference, subtitled “Theory, Aesthetics and Politics of Literary and Cinematic Fiction,” in memory of Philip Watts. It will take place at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of New Mexico. I will be presenting a paper on Hitchcock, Marker and Gilliam entitled “Temporal Vertigo: Cinema in the Remaking.” For the complete conference schedule, click here.

Presentation, Scholar as Activist / Activist as Scholar Conference at Temple on 3/24/15

The Center for the Humanities at Temple University has organized a conference on activism and scholarship, which will take place on 3/24 from 2-6 p.m. on the 10th floor of Gladfelter Hall. I will be participating, along with Robin Anderson, Jennifer Lee and Liz Ševčenko. For the complete conference schedule, click here.