“Historical Photographs of China” A Talk by Professor Robert Bickers

26 Mar
Lunch & Talk, “Historical Photographs of China” Digital Archives Project 
Wednesday 4/2 at 12:30 in 3222 Angell Hall
Co-sponsored by the Reorientations Interdisciplinary Workshop

hpc-proxy                      University of Bristol – Historical Photographs of China reference number: Ta01-17.

In this informal talk, Professor Bickers will discuss the origin, objectives and methods of the Historical Photographs of China project and the Visualising China, 1850-1950 website. He will highlight some specific collections, reflect on challenges that the project has faced, and discuss opportunities for use, re-use, and collaboration. Lunch will be served.

RSVP: Katie Lennard (klennard@umich.edu). 

Speaker Bio: Robert Bickers is Professor of History at the University of Bristol. He specializes in modern China and the history of colonialism, and in particular of the British empire and its relations with China and the history of Shanghai (1843-1950s). Work in this field includes the books Britain in China (1999), Empire Made Me: An Englishman adrift in Shanghai (2003), and The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914 (2011). His interest in the world of British colonialism more broadly underpins the new volume in the Oxford History of the British Empire companion series that he has edited on British communities across the worlds of formal and informal empire. He is also interested in cemeteries and photographs and their post-colonial lives, clipper ships, lighthouses and meteorology in China.

“Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer” (1975) @ AAFF

26 Mar
This year, we are again serving as a community partner to the Ann Arbor Film Festival, introducing next Thursday’s screening of Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer the 1975 essay-film by Thom Andersen about the early pioneer of motion pictures.eadwardmuybridgephotos1
Thursday, March 27, 3:00pm Michigan Theater Screening Room
This is a 35mm print, newly restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. 
“Thom Andersen’s first feature announced the arrival of one of America’s most significant documentary auteurs. Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer is at once a biography of Muybridge, a re-animation of his historic sequential photographs, and an inspired examination of their philosophical implications.” –Ross Lipman
“The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America, established in 1963. Internationally recognized as a premiere forum for independent filmmakers and artists, each year’s festival engages audiences with remarkable cinematic experiences. The six-day festival presents 40 programs with more than 180 films from over 20 countries of all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction, and performance-based works.”
For more information on this year’s festival, see:

“Modernism and Aesthetic Experience: a Workshop” with Prof. Justus Nieland (Michigan State) and Prof. Burke Hilsabeck (Oberlin)

11 Mar

Friday, March 14
3241 Angell Hall

Lunch will be served.

Charles and Ray Eames LCW (Lounge Chair Wood)      Frank Tashlin, still from Artists and Models (1955)/Charles and Ray Eames, Lounge Chair Wood  (1945)

In this collaborative workshop, two scholars will visit to present and discuss new scholarship on modernism and visual culture. Justus Nieland will present material from a new book project about a midcentury modernism that seeks to design the senses for the new natures and media environments of Cold War modernity, with a particular focus on American designers Charles and Ray Eames. Burke Hilsabeck will present work-in-progress about modernism and self-reflexivity in the films of Frank Tashlin and Jerry Lewis.

Hilsabeck is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at Oberlin College. He is at work on a book project on the modernist context of slapstick film comedy.
Nieland is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Michigan State University, where he focuses on Modernism and Film Studies. He is the author of Feeling Modern: The Eccentricities of Public Life (Illinois, 2008) and David Lynch (Illinois, 2012).
Please RSVP to Katie Lennard: Klennard@umich.edu
11 Mar

The VCW is co-sponsoring this upcoming event, which will discuss race and sexuality in the field of vision.

Please join us!

Inline image 1

Professor Alison Hoffman-Han: “Hollywood Signs and Hotel Stories: Sofia Coppola’s Psychogeographies”

29 Oct
Friday, November 1
3241 Angell Hall

For a filmmaker who says she does not make “political films,” Sofia Coppola nonetheless sketches out a politics of contemporary celebrity and media culture through her expressive character and production design.  Place is central to her films’ cultural and visual politics.  Alison Hoffman-Han’s presentation will consider Coppola’s cinematic “psychogeographies” of Los Angeles and Tokyo by looking closely at The Bling Ring (2013), Somewhere (2010), and Lost in Translation (2003). Focusing on Coppola’s intertextual dialogues with other artists’ renderings of these cities, Hoffman-Han questions how Coppola visualizes the monumentality of mobility and immensity of intimacy in our “supermodern” age.

Dr. Hoffman-Han is an Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at Oakland University, and the author of the upcoming Sofia Coppola: Reveries in Pink (University of Illinois Press).

Lunch will be served.Please RSVP to Katie Lennard: Klennard@umich.edu

Welcome Back!

30 Sep
The Visual Culture Workshop Presents
Image Shorts
A trans-disciplinary conversation

Thursday, October 3 3:00-4:30pm
3512 Haven Hall
“Self Portrait” by Vivian Maier, Maloof Collection
Graduate students and faculty whose work addresses visual culture read images in a range of ways. Our first event this fall will be a series of mini lectures (3 min or less) by graduate students whose research depends image-based sources.
Come to give feedback and expand the way you think about images in your own work.


Cass Adair (English)

Akiva Gottlieb (English and Screen Arts and Culture)
Katie Lennard (American Culture)

Rachel Miller (American Culture)

and others!

We will also be discussing our plans for the year’s events and would love to have your voice in the conversation.

Refreshments will be served

Join us for a Lecture by Professor and Cultural Critic Steven Shaviro

5 Mar


Domino (2005)
                      Still from Domino (2005), Dir. Tony Scott

Friday, March 15
3222 Angell Hall

This talk will look at recent shifts in style and mood in moving-image media. By “post-continuity,” I refer to recent trends in Hollywood cinema in which the traditional anchoring by means of continuity editing has become less important than a kind of immanent affective organization of the narrative in terms of moments of transition and shock. One can see this in a number of post-2000 action blockbusters by directors such as the late Tony Scott, but also in various unusual styles of low-budget independent filmmaking. By “post-irony,” I refer more to a change in tone and mood than in one of stylistics: the tendency, found in certain recent art pictures and low-budget exploitation pictures alike, to move beyond the “postmodern” cynicism and irony regarding the proliferation of simulacra in the late 20th century, to a new kind of ontological reckoning with such developments.
Dr. Shaviro is the DeRoy Professor of English at Wayne State University, where he teaches courses on literature, film, and contemporary cultural theory.
His books include: Connected, Or, What It Means to Live in the Network Society (2003), DoomPatrols:  A Theoretical Fiction About Postmodernism (1997), and The Cinematic Body (1993).
Lunch will be served
Please RSVP to Katie Lennard: Klennard@umich.edu

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