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W.J.T. Mitchell "Seeing Maddness: Insanity, Media, and Visual Culture"

W.J.T. Mitchell
Mon Apr 18, 2011, 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Digital Arts Research Center
Room 108

This is a report on a seminar that I co-taught with Francoise Meltzer at the University of Chicago in the winter of 2011.  The purpose of the course was to put into question the visibility of madness and the madness of visuality, whether in graphic stereotypes, scientific classifications, theatrical spectacle, ritual performance, or cinema and new media. This lecture will trace our thinking about two questions:  1) what is at stake in the visibility of madness?  2) what do movies, as well as pre-cinematic media and extended cinema, bring to the subject of madness, and what does madness bring to them?  The conclusion of the report is an eccentric speculation on the role of smoke, smoking, and the Cold War in American noir mediations of madness.

Please join us for a reception from 5:00-6:00pm and the lecture from 6:00-8:00pm in DARC 108