We are happy to co-host this round-table event with a special guest presentation by Dr. Anna Amza Reading. The event takes place on Monday February 28, 2022, 11:00-14:00 EDT.
What does it mean to approach memory from a critical posthumanist perspective?
Please join us for a roundtable discussion on the intersection of cinema, posthumanism, and memory studies. The topic of memory affords unique opportunities for posthumanist inquiry, including (but not limited to): object-oriented memory; environmental memory; animal memory; Indigenous memory; feminist memory; radical alterity and memory; post-anthropomorphic memory; post-apocalyptic memory; multidirectional memory. Rosi Braidotti revalues memory as one of the “main criteria for posthuman theory,” a positive life-affirming force of imagination. Cary Wolfe maintains that, in a certain sense, memory has always been posthuman: in its cultural and institutional forms it has historically relied on prosthetic supports, technologies like writing, for the recording and storage of information or knowledge. Of these technical supports, writing is the “fundamental historically identifiable form” of the “exteriorization of memory.” This is the de-ontologization characteristic of modern memory whose roots, of course, are considerably older than modernity—a modern memory now supported by digital audiovisual media. In thinking about memory and its relation to cinema, posthumanist theory tends to privilege science fiction film, whether dystopian or otherwise. Yet, close attention to audiovisual style also allows for a critical interrogation of such questions as whether or not a given film text actually represents a given posthumanist concept, properly speaking, or whether the film ultimately perpetuates some form of anthropocentric or neo-humanist understanding of the relations between the human as currently understood and what comes after or falls outside or beyond. It remains to be seen to what degree posthuman memory names a modality of human experience that is as much about the present or future, marshalling these temporalities in the service of a memory that transcends a mere relation to the past—a ‘making present of the past’ (Richard Terdiman)—with the potential to operate at a global scale far beyond discrete social groupings. The ultimate question, perhaps, is whether such a posthuman memory will still wear a human face.
Our four panelists will share their varied approaches to memory studies, posthumanism, and cinema in a discussion that hopes to further illuminate how audiovisual media as “prosthetic support” expresses and engages with memory in a posthumanist context. This will be an online event supported by Zoom to be held Monday February 28, 11:00am-2:00pm ET..
Please see the poster for Zoom webinar registration information. Also available here.