On behalf of the Department of British Culture at the Institute of English Studies, we would like to invite to a talk in the New Media in Contemporary Culture series, summer edition 2021/2022.

May 10, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.
Zara Dinnen (Queen Mary University of London)
Becoming User in the 1990s

Dr. Zara Dinnen is a senior lecturer in contemporary literature at Queen Mary University of London and author of The Digital Banal (Columbia UP, 2018), for which she was awarded the best 2017 monograph prize by the British Association for Contemporary Literature Studies and co-editor (with Robyn Warhol) of The Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Narrative Theories (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018)

Abstract
A significant cultural and popular revisiting of the 1990s has been taking place over the last few years. From that context, this paper is interested in the 1990s as the period of the emergence of the world wide web, and an imminent form of subjectivity: the internet user. With reference to recent pop cultural representations of the 1990s internet user, this paper asks: how do we become user? This paper will discuss later seasons of TV show Halt and Catch Fire (AMC, 2014-2017); Joanna McNeill’s cultural history and personal memoir Lurking (Picador, 2020); and artist Olia Lialina’s lecture-performance “end-to-end, p2p, my to me” (Transmediale, Berlin 2020). These representations of user-subjectivity tell a story of the user as an emergent historical subject, becoming through normative temporal and historical processes, and in material relation to the user position imagined for them. The paper will discuss the process of becoming user, and how these representations of history narrate the contemporary user subject that has come to pass.

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.