Conferences, Core Program

Objects (Day 2)

Glitched version of Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, Francesco Mazzola, (1523 - 1524). Original image downloaded from Wikimedia.

Saturday, October 28, 2017
10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Charles E. Young Research Library, Room 11360
280 Charles E. Young Drive, North

Core Program 2017–18
Becoming Media

Conference 1: Objects

—a conference organized by Sarah Tindal Kareem, University of California, Los Angeles, and Davide Panagia, University of California, Los Angeles

In his seminal essay “Genesis of the Media Concept,” John Guillory speaks of the “absent but wanted” concept of medium in the history of Western thought. A diffusion of proto-mediatic political, aesthetic, philosophical, and scientific modes of handling media objects proliferate in the early modern and modern periods, despite the absence of a clearly articulated concept of medium such as that referred to by Guillory. It is in this space of a yet unspecified, though pervasive and prolific culture of media handling, that we may speak of a “becoming media.”

This series of conferences investigates in an interdisciplinary manner this diffusion of practices, objects, and modes of attention that generate an emergent concern with media in the early modern and modern periods. Given the recent development of new interdisciplinary fields of research in the humanities and social sciences—including but not limited to critical digital studies, media archeology, and digital humanities—as well as the proliferation of political and aesthetic research on the entanglement of media, ecologies, and global life, the conferences are well positioned to at once converge and showcase the diversity of theoretical and empirical research in and around the idea of a becoming media.

The conference series is designed so as not to focus exclusively on traditional periodicities or historical trajectories, but to articulate the emergent practices of engagement with media objects, and the ideas, technologies, and attentional modes solicited by such practices. This Core Program concerns the intersection of such material practices with theoretical reflection in order to contribute to an understanding of the experiential domain of a becoming media.

The first conference, Objects, approaches the long history of media by way of material culture and the history of technology. The conference gathers scholars who are concerned with the ways in which particular forms—codex, file, document—shape the ways in which we have historically consumed and continue to consume information.

Parmigianino, 1503–1540
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
Oil on convex panel, ca. 1524
Kunsthistorisches Museum

Saturday, October 28, 2017

9:30 a.m. Morning Coffee and Registration

10:00 a.m. Session 4
Moderator: Johanna Drucker, University of California, Los Angeles

Paula McDowell, New York University
“The Invention of the Oral”

10:45 a.m. Liam Cole Young, Carleton University
“Towers: On the Vertical Media of Early Modernity”

11:30 a.m. Coffee Break

11:45 a.m. Concluding discussion

12:45 p.m. Program ends

Stefan Andriopoulos, Columbia University
Theo Davis, Northeastern University
Crystal B. Lake, Wright State University
Christina Lupton, University of Warwick
Paula McDowell, New York University
Julie Park, Huntington Library
Matthew Rigilano, Ahmanson-Getty Fellow
Liam Cole Young, Carleton University

Registration Form