Claremont Discourse Lecture: New Politics - Mass Media

Thursday, November 15th, 4:15 p.m.
Honnold/Mudd Library -- Founders Room
Henry Krips, Professor of Cultural Studies, Claremont Graduate University
Lecture is free and open to all, refreshments and discussion to follow

One raw interpretation of the mass media has us drowning in messages and information, much of it designed to get us to do what the forces at the top want us to do, whether to buy unnecessary and wasteful products or simply to sit down and heel. While hard to refute, this interpretation offers little hope for politics of understanding of -- and resistance to -- what might be seen as an engulfing torrent of subatomic particles that changes character in accord with the ways in which it is observed. In his talk, Professor Henry Krips, trained as a quantum physicist and the author of The Metaphysics of Quantum Theory (1987, Oxford University Press) and Fetish: An Erotics of Culture (1999, Cornell), will look at the New Politics suggested by a disparate group of cultural theorists, including Theodore Adorno, Saul Alinsky and Slavoj Zizek. These theorists shift the emphasis from a utopian, project-oriented politics of resistance within the public sphere, to a politics that displaces the site of struggle to acts of what Zizek calls "overconformity," which bring to the surface the moments of negativity inherent to the mass media themselves. In this context, Professor Krips will weigh the possibilities of a radical political role played by mass media.

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