October 15, 2009: "The Gas Screen: Sense, Surveillance, Sublimation through Fabien Chalon's Le Monde en marche," a public lecture by Brent Keever, Director of the Critical Studies Program at the Paris Center for Critical Studies (CIEE). Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, 800 University Avenue, Lower Level, Room L140.
Lecture abstract: Current debates in France about the relationship between aesthetics and politics note a certain liquidity, volatilization, even evaporation in the states of those elements that make us feel something in both those realms. Through an investigation of a recent multi-media installation at Paris’ Gare du Nord, Fabien Chalon’s Le Monde en marche, we may be able to address these liquid and gaseous critiques in the works of such contemporary French thinkers as Jacques Rancière, Yves Michaud and Bernard Stiegler. If the thing to be observed tends to change states, what changes in sense and the senses might come to pass? How might casting a critical eye on such developments be complicated by a call to other critical senses perhaps more adapted to sensing flow, frequency and fumes? A critical ear, of course, but what of a critical touch, a critical taste, a critical smell?
BRENT KEEVER is Director of the Critical Studies Program at the Paris Center for Critical Studies (CIEE). He received his B.A. in English and Literary Criticism from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in English and Modern Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has taught and lectured all over the U.S. and France, on such topics as satire and humor, the literary and cinematic representations of sound, mysticism, and technology, and ethics in cartoons. His research interests include the history of critical theory and criticism, film studies, musicology, modernist poetry and prose, and the pedagogical possibilities of critical theory. An avid translator and film sub-titler, he has worked with the French children’s literature group, l’école des loisirs, as well as with French politicians. His forthcoming book, Care and Share, throws into question certain theories about listening and sharing.