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SHARON DANIEL is Professor of Film and Digital Media and Chair of the Digital Arts and New Media MFA program. She engages in the production of “new media documentaries”—building online archives and interfaces that make the stories of technologically disenfranchised communities available across social, cultural and economic boundaries—such as Public Secrets [http://publicsecret.net], an audio archive of hundreds of statements made by incarcerated women that unmask the secret injustices of the prison industrial complex. Professor Daniel will present Blood Sugar [forthcoming], an online interface to conversations with twenty-four injection drug users that examines the social and political construction of poverty and addiction in American society through the eyes of those who live it.
KIRSTEN GRUESZ is Professor of Literature at UC Santa Cruz. She is the author of Ambassadors of Culture: The Transamerican Origins of Latino Culture (Princeton, 2002), which won Honorable Mention for the John Hope Franklin Memorial Prize for the Best Book in American Studies in 2002. She is at work on a longitudinal study of ideologies and social practices associated with the Spanish language in what is now the United States, beginning in the late colonial period and going up to World War II. Titled Bad Lengua: A Cultural History of Spanish in the U.S., this project examines various forms of evidence through which we might grasp the assumptions that learners and teachers of Spanish have brought to various pedagogical scenes, both formal and informal, over time.
KATE O’RIORDAN is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Film at the Centre for Material Digital Culture, University of Sussex, and an affiliate of the Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Lancaster University. She is working on a book project focusing on the intersections of media technologies and human biotechnology in relation to the body. Provisionally titled The Genome Incorporated: The Construction of Biodigital Identity, the book revisits concepts of biodigitality, biovalue, and biomedia through the lens of incorporation to examine a series of cases of the media proliferation and consumption of human genomics. These include digital media and personal genome sequencing intersections, genome browsing, genomic health testing and reality programming partnerings, and bio and sci-art engagements with genomics.
KEVIN CAHILL is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bergen in Norway and a visiting scholar at the Center for Cultural Studies. His talk concerns issues connecting conceptions of selfhood and the Western epistemological tradition. Conceptions of the self, rationality, and human nature traditionally informing work in epistemology rarely operate as explicit claims, but function rather as the interpretative framework guiding epistemological investigations. His talk examines whether these assumptions stand up to an examination of the ethnological record. His discussion draws on ongoing cooperation with the Bergen Research Group in Pacific Studies at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen. The work outlined here is part of a planned monograph called Skepticism and the Human Condition.
ADRIANA CRACIUN is Professor of English at UC Riverside. Her presentation is drawn from her current book project, Northwest Passages: Authorship, Exploration, Disaster. Moving from late nineteenth-century exercises in media-created Arctic disasters, back to influential early modern texts, it charts the passages of Arctic voyagers en route to disaster. The project traces the encounters of a wide range of peoples, institutions, and disciplines, inscribed in books, manuscripts, graffiti, relics, and maps, from First Nations agents, to forgotten naval captains driven mad by their failure, to naturalists and novelists contemplating similar Arctic mysteries through distinct intellectual lenses. In addition to offering an original historical and discursive framework for understanding Arctic exploration, Northwest Passages contributes to studies of authorship and print culture by moving outside literary and legal contexts to consider the significance of textuality in mercantile and governmental domains.
CECILIA RIVAS is Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at UC Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on practices of globalization: transnational migration, consumption, and new uses of print and electronic media, with particular attention to contemporary Salvadoran society (within El Salvador and in diaspora), examining how certain subjects are presented as “global” and particularly useful to post-civil war projects in El Salvador, while others are excluded. She engages three research sites, spaces where Salvadorans come together as a social imaginary and “make sense” of globalization: the “Departamento 15” section of the newspaper La Prensa Gráfica, the bilingual call center sector, and shopping malls in San Salvador.
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