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SU humanities panel explores cultural politics of images April 18

April 16, 2012

Rob Enslin
(315) 443-3403

The cultural politics of images is the subject of the next installment of “IMAGES? Precisely!,” a lecture series organized by Mark Linder, inaugural Chancellor’s Fellow in the Humanities, as part of the Syracuse University Humanities Center’s new Transdisciplinary Humanities Project. The event is Wednesday, April 18, at 5 p.m. in the Kilian Room (500) of the Hall of Languages.

Linder will moderate a panel discussion involving Shimon Attie, a renowned visual artist who is this semester’s Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Collaborator in the SU Humanities Center; David Campbell, an internationally active curator and professor of cultural and political geography at Durham University (United Kingdom); and Mark Robbins, dean of SU’s School of Architecture, whose projects are shown worldwide.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call The SU Humanities Center at 315-443-5708, or visit

“The interrelationships among these speakers’ work and interests, combined with their effectiveness as communicators, will make for a provocative and spirited event,” says Linder, an architecture professor whose research lies at the nexus of art and architecture. “All three speakers’ work examines the role of images in the negotiation and formation of public positions on controversial topics. Each works in ways that cross traditional media and academic boundaries, and explores how images convey the intricacies of cultural, social or political problems to diverse audiences.”

attieNew York-based Attie specializes in photography, video, site-specific installations, public projects and new media. Much of his work gives visual form to memory by animating public sites with images of their lost histories. Attie’s art has been exhibited at and collected by numerous museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) and Centre Pompidou (Paris). He is currently working on a permanent memorial in San Francisco to area police officers killed in the line of duty.

campbellCampbell is an expert in visual culture as it pertains to geopolitics and international relations, political theory and global geopolitics, and U.S. security policy. He is the author of several landmark books, including “Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity” and “National Deconstruction: Violence, Identity and Justice in Bosnia,” both published by the University of Minnesota Press in 1998. Currently, Campbell studies how documentary photographers and photojournalists influence conceptualizations of representation, particularly in international politics. He is entering his fourth and final year as an external examiner for the London College of Communication at University of the Arts London.

robbinsIn addition to his role as dean, Robbins is SU’s senior adviser for architecture and urban initiatives. Much of his creative oeuvre spans art and architecture, exploring both the relationship between commercial and mainstream political representations and the actualities of daily life. Robbins’ work has been on display at the Adelaide Festival (Australia), Museum of Modern Art in Saitama (Japan), Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, Ohio), and Clocktower Gallery (New York), and is in the permanent collection of the San Francisco MoMA. A former design director at the National Endowment for the Arts, he is a consummate artist, curator, scholar and administrator with a penchant for contemporary practice and critical social engagement.

“’Image thinking’ is a rapidly expanding field of study,” says Linder. “One of the goals of this lecture series is to provoke a dialogue that invigorates, clarifies and expands our understanding of images and of the public humanities, in general.”

Linder teaches the new “IMAGES” seminar (ARC 500/HUM 500) in the SU Humanities Center, and is author of the groundbreaking book “Nothing Less Than Literal: Architecture After Minimalism” (MIT Press, 2004).

Running through 2014, the Transdisciplinary Humanities Project is an extension of the Trans-Disciplinary Media Studio (TdMS), a Chancellor’s Leadership Project that originated in 2009 between the SU Humanities Center and School of Architecture.

“The Transdisciplinary Humanities Project is both an evolution of and a departure from TdMS,” adds Gregg Lambert, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities and founding director of the SU Humanities Center. “This project will engage with other areas of teaching and research on campus, including the digital humanities, which is both a new Excellence Initiative in The College of Arts and Sciences and an ongoing project of the CNY Humanities Corridor, involving SU, Cornell University and the University of Rochester.”

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