Northwestern Events Calendar


Peter Szendy Lecture

When: Friday, March 5, 2021
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: $0

Contact: Phil Hoskins   (847) 491-5490

Group: Department of French and Italian

Category: Academic


Shadow Iconomics and Road Networks of the Visible

Our world is increasingly saturated with images. Their number is growing so exponentially—on social networks and screens of all kinds—that the space in which we live is literally overflowing with images (we are approaching the limit which Walter Benjamin described as “a one hundred percent image space”). The question of storing or circulating them, their weight, the fluidity or viscosity of their exchanges, the fluctuations in their values—in short, the whole business of the image economy—is more relevant than ever. In order to analyze what is at stake in these new iconomics of our times, the lecture will offer a glimpse behind the scenes of visibility: on the one hand, into the road networks that route and reroute the circulation of images and gazes; on the other hand, into the history of shadows and their hidden transactions.

Peter Szendy is Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at Brown University and musicological advisor for the concert programs at the Paris Philharmony. He has taught in the Philosophy Department at the University of Paris Nanterre and in the Music Department at the University of Strasbourg. Among his recent works: The Supermarket of the Visible: Towards a General Economy of Images (Fordham University Press, 2019); Of Stigmatology: Punctuation as Experience (Fordham University Press, 2017); All Ears: The Aesthetics of Espionage (Fordham University Press, 2016); Apocalypse-Cinema: 2012 and Other Ends of the World (Fordham University Press, 2015).

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