This workshop will investigate the reciprocal relationship and the disjunction between the metropolitan theories of the Anthropocene, climate change, and the global environmental crisis on the one side; and the experience of local ecological conflicts in various micro-regions around the world, on the other. The central research question to be collectively addressed will be whether the current vibrant theories of the academic/metropolitan center derive from or get inspired by the multiplicity of regional ecological conflicts experienced today. Conversely we ask, in what particular ways, these theories impact various human communities in their relationship to their land, its resources, biodiversity, and heritage. The workshop will invite participants to discuss global theories of the Anthropocene and its new ontologies of time and materiality, while investigating their links to regional practices and discourses.
Register for the Political Ecology as Practice event:
This workshop will to bring a group of leading scholars currently working on contemporary Spanish visual culture and particularly film to UIC. Its intention is, firstly, to discuss and debate questions of national cinema in an age of globalization. However, it also seeks to defend a theoretical approach to film at a moment when such approaches are under attack within the disciplinary framework of Hispanic Studies. Precisely at a moment in history when the status of the moving image – its indexical relation to reality is being questioned, is when a complex engagement with the materiality of film seems most necessary. The technological changes in the evolution of the filmic image – the so-called digital revolution – raise all kinds of philosophical and political issues regarding filmic representation.
Furthermore, Spain is a country still experiencing the painful and unresolved aftermath of the lengthy dictatorship that followed a brutal civil war. This in turn has led to intense debate around the question of the politics of memory, as expressed through national cinema. These debates have extended to an interrogation of the value of trauma theory and psychoanalysis in ways that establish a division between the psychic and the social, between subjective and shared experiences. In Archive Fever, Jacques Derrida argues that history, tradition and culture already depend on the way the archive is inhabited by specters. Consigned to the spectral, the archive is never only a place of remembering, but is equally oriented towards modes of forgetting. The archive does not catalog history as much as “write” it, an unconscious impression. The archive perpetuates authority and questions it, monumentalizes the past and reveals haunting traces of the past that carry a promise in an unpredictable future.
This workshop seeks to explore the validity of such approaches to Spanish cinema in the context of post-dictatorship Spain and the legacies of political violence that the country has inherited.
Julián Gutiérrez-Albilla, U. of Southern California
Patricia Keller, Cornell University
Cristina Moreiras, University of Michigan
Camila Moreiras, New York University
Sarah Thomas, Brown University
Teresa Vilarós, Texas A & M University
Exact schedule will be posted.