While wars have always been fought over and conducted by images, the current “war on terror” has raised the imaginary component of warfare to a new level of importance. How do images of violence in the new millennium reproduce or clone terror? How does the metaphor of the “war on terror” converge with the digital and cybernetic? What are the powers and dangers of visibility? How do images, texts, and performances travel and reproduce?
Why does it matter?
Dr. W. J. T. Mitchell, Professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago, will discuss new media technologies that have made the reproduction, circulation, and transformation of war images much faster in a talk, “Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9-11 to Abu Ghraib,” to be held tonight, February 28, at 7:00 pm in 206 (Theatre) in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. This event is part of the Provost Lecture Series, the theme of which is “Cloning Terror, Telling Tales, and Surveying the Ruins.”
Dr. Mitchell’s lecture will explore the metaphor of a “war on terror” as an imaginary, fantasmatic notion—a metaphor that has become all too literal, real, and deadly—and investigates whether the war on terror has had the perverse effect of strengthening and proliferating its enemy or “cloning terror.”
A reception will follow.
Dr. Mitchell serves as editor of the interdisciplinary journal, Critical Inquiry, which is a quarterly devoted to critical theory in the arts and human sciences, and as a scholar and theorist of media, visual art, and literature, he is at the forefront of the emerging fields of visual culture and of iconology (the study of mass-mediated images). His numerous awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Morey Prize in art history given by the College Art Association of America. His publications include What Do Pictures Want?, and Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology, as well as The Last Dinosaur Book: The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon. He is working on a book addressing the violence of images in the new millennium, Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9-11 to Abu Ghraib.
Special Thanks go to the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate College, the Department of Theatre and Film, the Department of Ethnic Studies, the School of Art, the American Culture Studies Program, and the Office of the Provost.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society at 419-372-0585.