Friday, February 23, 2018
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street
Core Program 2017–18
Conference 2: Practices
—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 second conference focuses on practices from collage to “commonplacing” associated with particular media. It is especially concerned with exploring the relationship between current practices in the digital humanities and older models of data collection and analysis. The participants’ presentations will illuminate the bi-directional flow between old and new media: the way that delving into early modern media practices from theatrical illusion to dictionary-making can reframe the way we understand our own relationship to our current media landscape, as well as vice versa.
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
Oil on convex panel, ca. 1524
J. K. Barret, University of Texas at Austin
Frances Ferguson, University of Chicago
Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan, Coventry University
Brad Pasanek, University of Virginia
Sean Silver, University of Michigan
Dennis Yi Tenen, Columbia University
Neal Thomas, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Moira Weigel, Harvard University