Professors Alison Landsberg & Timotheus Vermeulen: 'Metamodern Memory: On Blade Runner, Then and Now'

Thursday, October 12, 2023 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM EDT
Hybrid: Merten 1203 (Mason Fairfax Campus) or zoom

Please join us for a joint talk by Professors Alison Landsberg (Mason) and Timotheus Vermeulen (University of Oslo).

A light reception will follow.

Landsberg and Vermeulen use the film Blade Runner 2049 to point to the emergence of a contemporary form of memory – what they are calling “metamodern memory” –which correlates with the structure of feeling that contextualizes our lived experience and imagination today: metamodernism (Vermeulen and van den Akker 2015; and Van den Akker, Gibbons and Vermeulen 2017). In addition to fleshing out the contours of this new form of mediated memory, they will compare and differentiate it from Landsberg’s theorization of “prosthetic memory” (Landsberg 2004) which she theorized in relation to the original Blade Runner, pointing to the ways in which those differences reflect radical changes in the media landscapes.

Alison Landsberg is Professor of History and Cultural Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She is the author of Engaging the Past: Mass Culture and the Production of Historical Knowledge (Columbia UP, 2015) and Prosthetic Memory: The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture (New York: Columbia UP, 2004) as well as numerous articles and book chapters. She is currently working on a project called “Post-Postracial America,” which examines the contemporary eruption of discourse about race on both the political left and the right, in the mass-mediated public sphere. Taken together, her body of research on museums, film, and television has focused on the modes of engagement they solicit from individuals and the possibilities therein for the production and acquisition of memory, historical knowledge and political subjectivity in the public sphere.

Timotheus Vermeulen is Professor of media, culture and society at the University of Oslo, Norway. He is co-founder of the now defunct webzine Notes on Metamodernism and a regular contributor to frieze. He holds a PhD in Film and TV Studies from the University of Reading (AHRC funded), an MA in Film and TV Studies from the University of Warwick (funded by the Prins Bernhard Foundation and VSB Fund), an MA in Media Studies and an MA in Philosophy from the Erasmus University Rotterdam and a BA in History from the same institution.

The event will be hybrid. All are welcome. A zoom link will go out in CHR's newsletter-- sign up here.

This event is co-sponsored by the following programs and departments: Communication, Cultural Studies, English, History and Art History, Modern and Classical Languages, and Screen Cultures.

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