Schedule of public events
1) Tuesday March 30th, 2-3:30 pm, IMU Maple Room
A roundtable discussion with Prof. W.J.T. Mitchell on “The Pictorial Turn.”
A panel of Indiana University scholars will open a discussion about the groundbreaking work of Prof. Mitchell in the field of visual culture and image studies, responding to essays in a special journal issue dedicated to his work: Culture, Theory and Critique 50 (2-3), (July- November 2009).
Claude Cookman (Journalism) on Photography
Dan Knudsen (Geography) on Landscape Studies
Chris Peebles (Anthropology) on Images in Science
Dawna Schuld (Art History) on Art History
W.J.T. Mitchell - response
Chair: Jon Simons (Communication and Culture)
2) Tuesday March 30th, 7:30–8:30 pm, Rawles Hall 100.
Patten Public Lecture
Migration, Law, and the Image: Beyond the Veil of Ignorance
This lecture aims at the convergence of three disciplines: 1) the law, with its entire edifice of judicial practice and political philosophy; 2) migration, as the movement and settlement of living things, especially (but not exclusively) human beings, across the boundaries between distinct habitats; 3) iconology, the theory of images across the media, including verbal and visual images, metaphors and figures of speech as well as visual representations. Examining a range of examples from science fiction narratives of alien species, to stories of conquest, colonization, and ethnic cleansing, to the development of contemporary practices of detention and border policing, the lecture will argue that immigration in our time has ceased to be a merely transitional phase in human life, and threatens to become a permanent condition for growing numbers of people. This poses a radical challenge to liberal notions of universal human equality which depend, paradoxically, on philosophies of exclusion and the policing of borders to protect actually existing liberal polities. The “veil of ignorance” about particular human identities (race, class, gender, ethnicity) that philosopher John Rawls regarded as foundational to liberal notions of justice and equality comes under new kinds of stress in a time when the borders between peoples have become zones of increasing violence and despair.
3) Tuesday March 30th, 8:30 pm, Patten Reception, IMU, Federal Room.
(We are all invited).
4) Wednesday, March 31st, 5–7 pm, CAHI (1211E. Atwater Ave).
Roundtable discussion with Prof. Mitchell about “The Fate of the Disciplines,” based on a recent special issue of the journal Critical Inquiry, 35(4), (2009). Prof. Mitchell is the editor of this highly influential journal and also published an essay in this issue, “Art, Fate, and the Disciplines.”.
A reception follows the roundtable discussion.
5) Wednesday, March 31 at 7:30 pm in Fine Arts 102.
Khaled Jarrar's Journey 110 (2009) (12 minutes) focuses on the 110 meter passageway through a sewage underpass that Palestinians use to go to and from Jerusalem without passing through checkpoints. Since most Palestinians in the West Bank are prohibited from going to Jerusalem, this passageway under a highway that is restricted to Israelis is the only way for many people to visit their relatives or to conduct business. Employing the minimalist techniques of structuralist cinema, Journey 110 offers a perspective on the daily life of Palestinians as seen by a young artist from Ramallah.
Avi Moghrabi's Avenge But One of My Two Eyes (Israel, 2005) (100 minutes) documents the perceptions of an Israeli film-maker of conscience who is in dialogue by telephone with an unidentified Palestinian interlocutor, and who is trying to see his country from the Palestinian point of view. The film captures both ordinary and extraordinary scenes of daily life in the occupied territories showing the touristic Masada ritual, the Samson complex, the Settler's festivals, and daily life at checkpoints. An award-winning film that provides one of the best introductions to the moral dilemmas facing Israeli liberals today.
6) Thursday, April 1st, 7:30 8:30 pm, Rawles Hall 100.
Patten Public Lecture
Idolatry: Nietzsche, Blake, Poussin
This lecture aims at a diagnosis of the return of idolatry and its “evil twin,” iconoclasm, in contemporary global political culture, and especially in the contemporary tendency to conceive of war in religious, Manichean terms, as a struggle between Good and Evil. Working through the transvaluations of the idolatry/iconoclasm complex in the philosophy of Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols and Thus Spake Zarathustra) and the paintings of William Blake, the lecture stages a re-reading of Nicholas Poussin’s classic “scenes of idolatry” in The Adoration of the Golden Calf (London: National Gallery) and The Plague at Ashdod (Paris, The Louvre). This reading is designed to overturn the canonical view of Poussin as a conventional moralizer whose pictures endorse the brutal iconoclasm mandated by the Second Commandment, and reveal him (as in Blake’s description of John Milton) as “a true poet, and of the devil’s party.” The lecture concludes with a return to contemporary scenarios of ethnic cleansing in the war for possession of the “holy land” of Israel-Palestine.