Audience(s) SPRING 2014


Scholarship, art, writing, and performance pre-suppose an audience. Conversely, many of the sources and evidence that lead to these productions (whether physical, visual, or textual) were created with an audience in mind. Of course social interactions such as marriage, politics, and judicial interventions likewise pre-suppose an audience and may be open to the same dynamic. The CFH theme “Audience(s)” asks us to explore the phenomena of the audience from multiple perspectives. How does audience shape the form and function of our work? Is the desire to reach a wider audience consistent with our academic or artistic goals? How should we reflect on the relation of intellectuals to their audience or audiences in general? What can the audience tell us about past or present works of scholarship, theater, music, politics or art? Does the audience shape the work and intention of the author or is the reception by the audience the moment where meaning happens? In what ways are we able to understand either the intended or actual audience for a work? What effect do existing normative practices have on the role of audience in respect to those who do not conform to them (i.e. those who do not conform to existing conventions of masculine or feminine for instance)? In addition we are eager to explore the ways in which audience behavior is changing in the new media environment and the ethical and social ramifications associated with measuring audience behavior on new media platforms. How might an understanding of multiple audiences help or complicate the issues raised above?


All lectures begin at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted, and are held in the Daniel Family Commons, which is located in the Usdan University Center.


Habits of Leaking, Politics of Forgiving


Wendy Hui Kyong Chun • Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University


Escape Strategies and the Art of Non-Pragmatic Thinking


Katherine Brewer Ball • Wesleyan University


Disinterested Interest: Toward A Theory of Political Publics


Javier Castro-Ibaseta • Wesleyan University


Empress Jingū’s Magical Conquest of Korea:
A Legend of Multiple Uses


Jonathan Best • Wesleyan University


The Afterlives of Edgar G. Ulmer:
Rediscovering a Filmmaker at the Margins


Noah Isenberg • Professor and Chair of Media Culture at Eugene Lang College-The New School for Liberal Arts


The Readers’ Eye


William Sherman • Professor of Renaissance/Early Modern Studies at University of York


Lessons from the Land of Godlessness: How Atheism Changed the Spiritual Life of Soviet Society


Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock • Wesleyan University


Moved by the Motion


Wu Tsang


The Black Circuit: Race, Performance, and Spectatorship in Black Popular Theater


Rashida Shaw • Wesleyan University


Shakespeare’s Audients


Natasha Korda • Wesleyan University


Are People Analog?


Jonathan Sterne • Professor, Department of Art History and Communication Studies McGill University