05. August 2019
CALL FOR PAPERS
Perspectives in the Anthropocene: Climate – Conflict – Migration
A Special Issue of Itinerari
David L. Palatinus (University of Ruzomberok)
Stefania Achella (University of Chieti-Pescara)
The purpose of this special issue of Itinerari would be to tackle the interrelation of Climate, Conflict and Migration, and the ways their pertaining ecological, political, and ethical complexities are construed and circulated via various cultural practices and ways of symbolization.
Migration has become a key player in the recent radicalization of global politics, and has frequently been construed via media outlets as well as in political discourse as a threat to national security and to the perceived cultural values, or as it is frequently referred to in Western political parlance, ‘our way of life’. From Huntington’s highly controversial Clash of Civilizations (1996) to Derrida’s concept of ‘hostipitality’ (2000) to Zizek’s ideas about the militarization of society (2015) to Thomas Nail’s most recent Theory of the Border (2016), migration has been mobilized both as political capital as well as a new critical idiom that thematizes discourses on how we understand human subjectivity, and the ways we negotiate historical and cultural legacy. As Abel et al. observe, a growing number of media reports suggest a correlation between climate change, violent conflicts in the Middle East, and forced migration (2019). At the same time, recent tendencies towards the radicalization of world politics and the emergence of populist agendas (in the US, the UK as well as in a number of EU countries) also necessitate a radical rethinking of issues ranging from politics of inclusion to social mobility to climate justice and violent borders (cf. Sheller 2018, Mann and Wainwright 2017, Jones 2017).
The correlation between conflict and migration has been in the focus of attention in critical discourses on global politics of crisis, economic theory, social geography, research on global security, and over the past years it established itself as one of the pivotal agendas to pursue in Anthropocene research too. Various disciplines offered insights into the multiple possible ways these factors are connected to one another, yet the order of causality and the nature of this relation remains unexplained.
The purpose of this project is to bridge the gap between current political discourses and pertaining scholarly takes on the construction and circulation of cultural ideas about the multi-faceted relations between conflict, climate, and migration. Our primary focus will fall on conceptualizations across various platforms of the cultural spectrum that map out the ways the relations between these factors are perceived and engaged with. The project lays special emphasis on the ways we negotiate awareness and agency in relation to media representations of migrants and migrations into and out of specific geographic locations. This thematic issue aims at bringing together approaches that move between and across political geography, migration studies, philosophy and ethics, political theory, violence, comparative literary and media studies, eco-criticism and climate studies, cultural ecology, theories of subjectivity and otherness.
Possible angles of approach will include but are by no means restricted to documentary realism (films for action); fiction (literary and moving image media from feature films, to television to video games); social media (with particular emphasis on Twitter and Instagram); political discourses, colonial theory, ethics and hospitality, climate studies, war studies, etc. We seek to focus on cultural narratives of the visibility as well as the invisibility (in fiction, art, media and critical discourse) of scarcity, changed ecological circumstances, practices of exclusion, systemic violence etc., and other forms of social and cultural anxieties related to conflict, climate and migration.
Authors interested in presenting their contribution to this theme can submit it to the address:
The paper must contain an abstract in English reviewed by an English native speaker, not exceeding 250 words. The paper will be a file (pdf or doc) to be attached during submission. It must not exceed 5.500 words (spaces and footnotes included) and must be written in English.
Deadline: April 30, 2020.
Notification of acceptance, conditional acceptance, rejection
The editorial staff will give notification of the refereeing outcome via email.
David Levente Palatinus is Senior Assistant Professor in Digital Media and Cultural Studies and founder of the Anthropocene Media Lab at the University of Ruzomberok (Slovakia). He works on television, digital culture, and human-nonhuman relations in the Anthropocene. He is co-editor of the ECREA section of CSTOnline, and is on the advisory board for “Rewind: British and American Studies Series,” Aras Edizioni, Italy.
Stefania Achella is Associate Professor of Ethics at the University of Chieti-Pescara (Italy). Her main areas of research are classical German philosophy, dialectical tradition of Italian philosophy and intercultural issues. She coordinates the Laboratory of Migration Studies (MIST).
23. November 2018
A new text entitled ‘Television of the Anthropocene (Part II – Posthumand Sensibilities and Political TV) was published on CSTOnline: [https://cstonline.net/television-of-the-anthropocene-part-ii-posthuman-sensibilities-and-political-tv-by-david-levente-palatinus/]
This brief analysis offers considerations of television’s role in the circulation of posthuman sensibilities and of cultural imaginaries of a post-singularity world.
4. August 2018
New article on AI and machine sentience in Westworld has just been published in Americana E-Journal:
Humans, Machines and the Screen of the Anthropocene
In post-human narratives (in literary fiction, film and television) the problems of consciousness and sentience emerge as pivotal to the representation of not only the emancipatory politics connecting human and non-human species, but also to the mediation (construction and circulation) of anxieties that surround such politics. I will use Season 1 of HBO’s high concept drama, Westworld, to argue that this duality is best understood if situated within the context of the Anthropocene, the epoch we live in and in which humans not only have positioned themselves as the dominant species but also have become an ecological factor exerting their impact on a planetary level. The article will use further filmic and televisual examples (including Ex Machina and Humans) to comment on cultural ideas about artificial intelligence that provide an excellent starting point for the understanding of the intricate relation between the post-human condition and the Anthropocene, especially in relation to the negotiation and symbolization of non-human sentience, agency, and a non-human future as part of human history.
Keywords: Westworld, AI, post-human, Anthropocene, popular television, machine sentience, agency.
Americana’s themed issue (Interspecies Dialogues in Postmillennial Filmic Fantasies, guest-edited by Anna Kerchy) also features a number of exciting articles on human-animal interactions. It’s fully open access, feel free to read. at the following link: http://americanaejournal.hu/vol13no2.
11. April 2018
Between 9 and 11 April David Palatinus held a seminar presenting the Lab’s War-on-Terror across Media: the New Bestialization of Human project at the Department of American Studies, University of Szeged, Hungary.
The seminar focused on war-on-terror films, television and videogames, examining how concepts of violence circulate between political and philosophical discourses and Hollywood’s renditions of the subject.
The discussions investigated the ways cultural ideas about the War on Terror are produced and circulated in the public domain, with special emphasis on popular visual culture. Recent films like Green Zone, Body of Lies, The Kingdom, The Hurt Locker, Act of Valor, or Zero Dark Thirty, Good Kill, Eye in the Sky, Lone Survivor, American Sniper and 13 Hours constitute a narrative arc that enables us to study the ways films (and television) move beyond conventional re-narrations of political justifications (or criticisms, for that matter) of violence, subverting the conventions that established themselves as vehicles of the popular cultural iconography of the war on terror. More importantly, this unfolding cultural narrative enables us witness the ways in which these films reflect changes in the historiography of the War on Terror itself. Similarly, much discussed and also controversial television series like Homeland, Person of Interest, Tyrant, Seal Team and Shooter, re-engage the ethics and aesthetics (i.e. spectacularity) of violence in the context of a politically saturated present. The main purpose of these the seminar was to examine how in war-on-terror film and television the politico-ethical focus on terrorism, violence, and victimization becomes a neuralgic point of scrutiny as we try to negotiate responses. Our purpose was to explore why film, television and videogames are particularly conducive media to the representation of the complexities of terrorism, and to the cultural anxieties and political agendas that shape our eroded sense of security in our present historic moment.
24. November 2017
A short piece on the ‘Television of the Anthropocene (Part 1) appeared today on CSTOnline: http://cstonline.net/television-of-the-anthropocene-part-i-by-david-levente-palatinus/
24. November 20217
The Lab was represented at the 2017 UrbiNoir Conference (University of Urbino, Italy, 22-24 November), where David Palatinus gave a talk on ‘Secrets of the Bicameral Mind: Post-human anxieties and the (Nondescript) Sexuality of Androids’.
21. November 20217
‘Anthropocene Noir: Androids, Crime, and the Future of (Post-)Human Agency in Blade Runner 2049′ – a lecture by David L. Palatinus at the University of Bologna
6. November 2017
Welcome to the Anthropocene Media Lab at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Ruzomberok.
We are proud to host two inaugural events marking the launch of the Lab on the occasion of the department Science Day (6 November 2017):
11.00: ‘The #BREW Experiment’ – A lecture by Zoltan Dragon (University of Szeged)
15.00: In Conversation (with Zoltan Dragon and David Levente Palatinus) ‘Social Media in the Post-Truth Era’