We are pleased to announce a lecture by
Marek Wojtaszek
(University of Łódź)

Sensory Interface and Algorithmic Desire in a Society of Anticipation

The lecture is going to be a part of the
American Studies Colloquium Series.

Thursday, December 6, 2018
at 4:00 p.m

Where?

American Studies Center, room 317,
al. Niepodległości 22, Warsaw.

What?

What do US drone strikes, Apple, online services of infidelity and the film Her (dir. Spike Jonze, 2013) have in common? As Americans run their lives through networked computers, we witness a new digital form of communitarianism emerge with its paradox of techno intimacy—the simultaneous desire for omniconnectivity and for individual difference from the multitude. Digital code, paired with computational networks, has succeeded in beguiling American mentality, which—as I will argue—is due to their sensorial aptitude to s(t)imulate addiction. I will explore how computational media equipped with sensors of advanced body-infiltrating power and endowed with superb datacrunching, AI and profiling capacities, romance the senses and algorithmically design experience through customization and social anticipation. The digitally enhanced capitalism, guided by Moore’s Law and iterative and simulative design, thus promotes anticipatory experimentalism as a novel foundation of American morals, revealing that the provisional is the ultimate object of desire. By engaging with the opening examples, I will demonstrate how the optimization-fixated sensory media algorithmically feed-forward the data, thus promulgating a forever accomplished future.

Who?

Marek Wojtaszek is assistant professor at the Faculty of International and Political Studies at the University of Lodz, Poland, affiliated with the Department of American and Media Studies, and the Women’s Studies Center. His main areas of research include: visual and algorithmic cultures and aesthetics and environmental media, Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy, and the relationship between body and space. He graduated from American Studies at the University of Lodz, Poland, Études européennes at the Jean Moulin Université in Lyon, France, and completed a postgraduate program in cultural and media studies at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Marek holds a Ph.D. in the Humanities (literary studies). He teaches media and cultural studies as well as in an international didactic program Joint European Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies (GEMMA). He is a beneficiary of European Commission (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina), Polish Science Foundation (University of Tel Aviv, Israel), and Polish-American Fulbright Commission (University of  Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). Marek has English publications in the fields of aesthetics, critical theory, gender, media studies, psychoanalysis and visual culture. His recent publications include: “Dreamingmachine: Diurnal Insomnia in Digital Wonderland” (Angles: French Perspectives on the Anglophone World journal), “The Volatile and the Chimeric: A Hermeneutic of Interauthenticity” (in Interpreting Authenticity. Translations and Its Others, edited collection, Peter Lang). He has coauthored one book on men’s violences and co-edited three volumes on American Studies. His own book Masculinities and Desire. A Deleuzean Encounter will be published by Routledge and released in January 2019.

Year 2021/2022

May 30: The (Early) Literature of COVID-19. Session V

May 24, 2022

This open seminar will explore initial literary responses to the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, offering participants opportunities to talk through this world-changing event. By the end of the seminar, participants should be able to not only identify but also to interpret and evaluate common features of early COVID literature within and beyond the United States.

American Studies Colloquium Series

June 2: Eat, Migrate, Love: Gastronomic and Sexual Desire as Identity

May 24, 2022

This talk, whose title plays off the Julia Robert’s film “Eat, Pray, Love,” will explore queer films and queer immigrants’ relationships to food as part of the cultural identity, and how the rituals around food preparation and consumption informs their negotiations in the US.

Year 2021/2022

June 8: Sounds of Dune(s): Music-landscaping in Cinema

May 24, 2022

In this workshop we’ll talk about Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and its many adaptations (both real and unrealized), in order to see how music and sound are used to bridge sensory gaps in cinematic experiences, and how to write about such synaesthetic encounters in our research.

Year 2021/2022

May 23: Gender/Sexuality Conference ASC

May 23, 2022

ASC’s Gender/Sexuality Research Group invites all students and faculty members to the first ASC’s Student Conference on gender and sexuality in American studies. We have an exciting day planned, with a keynote by Dr. Richard Reitsma and four panels of student presentations, on everything from feminist theories to representation of trans characters on TV and challenging the norms of masculinity.

American Studies Colloquium Series

May 19: ‘bits of agitation on the body of the whole’: Animals in COVID-19 Literature

May 19, 2022

Given its origins in horseshoe bat populations, the SARS-CoV-2 virus offers many opportunities to re-think our relationships with the nonhuman world around us. In this talk, Raymond Malewitz will explore emerging cultural narratives embodied in COVID poetry and fiction, which tend to reinforce the stiff differences between the human and the nonhuman as physically and conceptually separate from one another.