"How can the human speak in the shadow of the post-humanist critique?" Such was the question whose own substantial shadow put in relief the challenging talk delivered by Media@McGill's Beaverbrook Visiting Scholar Dr. Joanna Zylinska. In our potentially post-human age, Zylinska argues, interspecies ethics and the identity of the human/non-human animal are not so much dependent on the work of fixing boundaries and definitions, but rather on what they contribute towards a transformed understanding of the human-a transformed understanding that can at once allow us to think better about ourselves and distant, different others, but also to live better with others, whether machine, human or animal. As is customary in much of her exemplary scholarship, Zylinska's talk opened a thinking and living question at the heart of ethical inquiry that asks: how to live?
Media@McGill is pleased to welcome Dr. Joanna Zylinska as its Beaverbrook Visiting Scholar for winter 2011. During her two-week residency, Zylinska will present a keynote talk on Thursday, 13 January 2011, at 5:30 p.m. in Arts W215, 853 Sherbrooke West, Montreal. (map) This event is a collaboration between Media@McGill and the AHCS Speaker Series. The talk is free and open to the public.
Title: The Human after the Post-humanist Critique or, the Fantasy of Interspecies Ethics
This paper is an attempt to return to the human "after the cyborg." It is driven by a desire to find a way out of the posthumanist impasse of some strands of contemporary cultural theory, whereby the widespread acceptance of the notions of transhuman relationality, interspecies kinship, and machinic becoming seems to have diminished the need for a more rigorous interrogation of the singularity of trans-species and intra-species difference.
Media@McGill is organizing a book launch to celebrate two releases - Media Divides: Communication Rights and the Right to Communicate in Canada, and Digital Solidarities, Communication Policy and Multi-stakeholder Global Governance: The Legacy of the World Summit on the Information Society.
The book launch will be held on Thursday, 2 December, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Room W220, in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University, Arts Building, 853 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal. (map)
Stefania Milan, European University Institute
25 November, 2010 3-5 pm. Ferrier 230 (map)
Why and how do people organize to bypass mainstream media and telecoms? How do grassroots communication infrastructures look like, and how do they function? Do social movements contribute to change communications policy from the grassroots?
Social movements embody an alternative vision of the world. They seek to communicate their claims to the wider public. Not only they attempt to access mainstream media, they also set up their own media and communication channels. However, when observing social movements, researchers usually take an instrumental approach to communication and media processes - they tend to focus more on ends rather than means. "Stealing the fire" tells the story of how democratic and horizontal "means" of communication are envisioned, built, and operated.
Update: A video recording of Ehrenreich's lecture is now available for viewing online.
Barbara Ehrenreich, the outspoken feminist, journalist, activist and writer, will give the Media@McGill Beaverbrook Annual Lecture on Thursday, 18 November at 6:30 p.m.
This free, public lecture will be held at the Stewart Biology Building, Room S 1/4, ave. du 1205 Dr. Penfield, Montreal.
(Please note that, due to road construction, automobile access is difficult and parking is limited). (map)
Title: Reinforcing the culture of optimism
Barbara Ehrenreich will be talking about the ideology of positive thinking, how the media has helped spread it, and how it has undermined America. "We need to brace ourselves for a struggle against terrifying obstacles, both of our own making and imposed by the natural world. And the first step is to recover from the mass delusion that is positive thinking," says Ehrenreich. In North America, people have often tended to be optimistic about solving major problems, but has this optimism helped or hurt them? Can positive thinking actually get in the way of finding solutions, preventing people from accurate and critical examination of a crisis? Barbara Ehrenreich will address that question of optimism: whether, somehow, that thinking frames unhappiness, and critical thought and speech, as pathological and counter-productive. Ehrenreich's most recent book is Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America (published by Metropolitan Books in October, 2009), a myth busting exploration of how America's irrational optimism and the refusal to consider negative outcomes contributed directly to the current economic crisis.