Talk: The Media and the Message

The Pomona Media Studies Department is co-sponsoring a talk taking place this Tuesday during Oldenborg lunch. The talk will be given by Maria Stepanova, founder of independent Russian news publication, Colta, and one of the most prominent cultural figures in Russia. Join us at lunch for this fascinating talk!

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Talk: A Critical Genealogy of Normality

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Join us this Thursday to listen to a talk by Professor of Culture Studies, Elizabeth Stephens!

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Screening + Q&A: Alex Rivera

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Sleep Dealer is a Sundance award-winning science-fiction film that carries embedded in it profound political and economic critiques.  It’s the perfect conversation-starter for discussions about issues as diverse as labor and immigration, technology and ethics, globalization and the environment.

Engineering the Border: Imagining America is an hour-long multi-media presentation that explores the ways in which, during the past one hundred years, technologies have evolved and been deployed to ‘grow’ the border, transforming it from a line in the sand to a vast matrix that now blankets the entire country.  As a new techno-legal web of border enforcement has emerged, so have new forms of resistance to it.

This Tuesday, February 16th, the film and presentation will be screening in Rose Hills Theater at Pomona College. Join us to watch these works and get to talk to the artist behind them!

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Film Screening + Talk: Koyaanisqatsi

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Drawing its title from the Hopi word meaning “life out of balance,” this renowned documentary reveals how humanity has grown apart from nature. Featuring extensive footage of natural landscapes and elemental forces, the film gives way to many scenes of modern civilization and technology. Given its lack of narration and dialogue, the production makes its points solely through imagery and music, with many scenes either slowed down or sped up for dramatic effect.

A screening of Koyaanisqatsi, followed by a talk with director Godfrey Reggio, will take place this Monday, December 7th, at Pomona College. Come watch this seminal film and get to meet the mind behind it!

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Film Screening + Q&A: Surf Culture in Mexico

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Come enjoy two movies about a surfers experience in Mexico! The movies are called La Maestra, and Gone: A Surf Journey Through Mexico. The movies explore the diverse coastlines of Mexico and the cultural discoveries made along the way. After the movies there will be a Q&A with the filmakers Paul Ferraris and Elizabeth Pepin Silva. It is going to be a swell time. See you there!

Sponsored by: The President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity (Pomona College); The Chicano Latino Student Affairs; Teaching and Learning Committee (Pitzer College); Dept. of Media Studies (Pomona College); Dept. of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies (Pomona College); Latinx Student Union (Pitzer).

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Film Screening: The Mind of Mark DeFriest

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When a legendary escape artist comes up for parole after more than 30 years behind bars, a chance for freedom must be weighed against his infamous past. “A bizarre story gets an absorbing telling in Gabriel London’s documentary,” says Dennis Harvey in Variety.

The genesis of Gabriel London’s 2014 documentary, The Mind of Mark DeFriest, can be traced to his Pomona senior film project 14 years ago. He brings it back to where it all began on Tuesday, Nov. 3, when the film will be screened on campus with a Q&A with London after.

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Publication: Breast-feeding and middle-class privilege

Professor Friedlander published a piece in April 2015’s edition of Subjectivity titled “Breast-feeding and middle-class privilege: A psychoanalytic analysis of ‘breast is best’”.

Abstract: “Rosin’s contribution to the April 2009 issue of The Atlantic entitled ‘The Case Against Breast-feeding’, created national outrage by questioning the medical literature on infant feeding upon which the mantra ‘breast is best’ is based. This article uses Rosin’s ambivalence regarding breast-feeding as a way to understand why breast-feeding is a culturally and psychically fraught practice. It explores the rhetoric of breast-feeding advocacy in two contexts: (i) the US government’s 2004 National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign and (ii) La Leche League International. I argue that the government campaign deploys a politics characteristic of Jacques Lacan’s concept of the Symbolic Order. The approach used by La Leche, by contrast, constitutes a politics based on the logic of what Lacan calls the Imaginary realm. I will argue that breast-feeding promotion requires a politics derived from the logic of what Lacan calls the Real – an approach to which Rosin’s piece unexpectedly points us.”

Citation: Friedlander, Jennifer. Breast Feeding and Middle-Class Privilege: A Psychoanalytic analysis of ‘breast is best’. Subjectivity vol. 8, issue 1 (2015)

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Publication: Imperfecting the Illusion

Professor Friedlander published a piece in Fall 2013’s edition of Discourse titled “Imperfecting the Illusion: Belief and the Aesthetic Destruction of Reality.” This piece draws on arguments made by Jacques Rancière applied to reconsidering “Realism  as a critical tool in the formation of contemporary aesthetic politics.”

Citation: Friedlander, Jennifer. Imperfecting the Illusion: Belief and the Aesthetic Destruction of Reality.  Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture. 35.3, Fall (2013). pp. 384-399 

 

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Jodi Dean, “The Communist Horizon,” 2014 Annual Pinkel Lecture

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Queer China Onscreen 15 October 2012

Pomona College and the Pomona College Media Guild are delighted to welcome pioneering underground film director Cui Zi’en to campus for a special screening. As part of the China Onscreen Biennial that is happening in the Los Angeles region, Cui joins us for a world premiere screening of his latest film Last Days.

Political and poetic, “Queer China Onscreen” presents two films, one by female documentarian and film festival organizer Yang Yang, the other by longtime Chinese queer film director Cui Zi’en. Yang’s film, made in collaboration with the Beijing Queer Film Festival Organization Committee, follows the peregrination of the Festival, unable across a decade to find a regular venue due to the homophobic cultural and political climate of the contemporary PRC. A winding atlas of Beijing alternative screening venues and a biography of the radicals who persist in that geography, Our Story is at once a document of the relentless pathologizing of sexual minorities in the contemporary PRC and a testament to the queer community’s adroit maneuvering against apathy and the dominant power … Boys, girls, queer desires, and fantastic topographies: the Chinese queer film pioneer, Cui Zi’en returns to his narrative and lyrical roots in Last Days. Cui weaves a surreal tale from the materiality of low-budget filmmaking, never forgetting film’s ability to visualize desire in ways both alluring and provocative. Li Jian’s lyrical camera provides strong support for Cui’s allegories of love, lust, and, transformation. Desire here is a meandering movement between person, body, and gender that also coalesces into bonding and community. Together, Yang and Cui suggest the diversity of approach in alternative Chinese queer filmmaking today.

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