Frederic Jameson and Cultural Turn in Media Theory
Summer Institute in Rhetoric and Public Culture
July 23-27, 2012 at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208
The annual one-week summer institute in Rhetoric and Public Culture for graduate students will be held at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) on July 23-27, 2012. This year’s institute theme is: “Fredric Jameson and the Cultural in Media Theory/Studies”. The Institute will focus on Fredric Jameson's work on film and media in the context of his overall approach to the interpretation of culture. In Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, film and other media occupy a central place in Jameson’s account of the formal features of postmodernism. Similarly, his analysis of the relationship between postmodern culture and socio-economic forms of “late capitalism” turn on how he elects to read media texts and spaces. In such other works as Signatures of the Visible and The Geopolitical Aesthetic: Cinema and Space in the World System, film is the focal point of Jameson’s reflections on the fate of critical and utopian thought in postmodern culture, and for his explorations of the relationship between high and mass culture, as well as for his analysis of various narrative and representational forms for imagining the place of individual experience in an uneven global system. In this Summer Institute, we will focus on Jameson’s writings on film and media in these and other works in order to explore the possibilities and limits of Jameson’s approach to the analysis of media and other cultural texts.
The seminar, directed by Professors Scott Durham and Dilip Gaonkar, will consist of five days of presentations and discussions led by four distinguished group of visiting faculty. They are:
Thomas Conley, Abbot Lawrence Lowell Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University.
Caren Irr, Professor of English, Brandeis University
Colin MacCabe, Distinguished Professor of English and Literature/Film Studies, University of Pittsburgh and Professor of English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London
Phillip Wegner, University Research Foundation (UFRF) Professor of English, University of Florida
Each faculty member will deliver an afternoon lecture, lead a seminar discussion on selected readings (assigned in advance) the following morning, and attend a colleague’s presentation that afternoon. The overlapping format enables both student and faculty participants to continue informal scholarly discussion during group lunches and dinners
The seminar is sponsored by the Center for Global Culture and Communication, an interdisciplinary initiative of Northwestern University School of Communication. The Center will subsidize transportation (up to $250), lodging, and some meals for admitted students. Applicants should send a letter of nomination from their academic advisor, along with a one-page statement explaining their interest in participating in this year’s institute, to the summer institute coordinator Jaime Merchant (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will adopt a policy of rolling admissions. Priority will therefore be granted to strong applications that are submitted in a timely fashion, preferably by June 25. All inquiries should be directed to Jamie Merchant (email@example.com).
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