Event DateFeb 21, 2017
“Thanks to Berkeley…” Managing Multiculturalism in an Age of Austerity
Prof. Leigh Raiford, African American Studies
& Dr. Michael Cohen, American Studies & African American Studies
This paper takes the UC’s recent “Thanks to Berkeley…” private capital fund drive and its slick PR campaign – focused on a campus wide photographic project – as a site of contestation over issues of austerity, privatization, racial re-segregation and student protest in the Neoliberal University.
Post-racial Visual Culture and the Virality of White Life, from Obey to KONY 2012
Prof. Keith Feldman, Ethnic Studies
(Audio not available)
This presentation theorizes the vexed category of the “post-racial” as indexing a set of spatio-temporal processes that violently attempt (and persistently fail) to maintain white life as a privileged gendered racial structure, while radically attenuating historical knowledges of the material effects of gendered racialization. I elaborate on this theory through an interdisciplinary treatment of contemporary “viral” visual culture. I turn specifically to the space-making processes epitomized by the viral dissemination of Shepard Fairey’s iconic “Hope” poster and several of its antecedents and sequels, namely Fairey’s OBEY campaign and Invisible Children’s “KONY 2012” campaign. I argue that these seemingly-distinct viral events are in fact constitutively related. Their entanglement exemplifies a broader post-racial visual culture predicated on the intersecting privatizations of race and space, the diffusion and dissimulation of anti-blackness, the willful forgetting of materialist antiracisms, and the recalibration of humanitarian violence.