African artistic practices, new media, and their study and use by scholars present opportunities to explore the intersections, volatilities, and futures that emerge in these practices. This symposium aims to trace intersections between past and present, between old and new media, to limn the volatilities of form, disciplinary knowledge, and institutions, and to map imagined futures, whether new or old. The digital structure of new media clearly represents great potentials for exploring the present and imagining futures, and is perhaps primed to revise calcified notions about “forms” of knowledge production. In what ways can academic methods and politics of inquiry and of artistic practices modeled on new media learn from each other?
This situation is more than ripe for serious, wide-ranging, but focused deliberations. What research frontiers do scholars as specialists envision in an era of increased integration of different media, communities, and identities? How might different media and/or forms such as cinema, television, radio, literature, music, photography, art, theater—be productively studied as artistic, historical and material entities? What is the status of African diasporas—old, new, translocal—in relation to these forms? To what extent are theoretical models favored in the humanities useful in coming to terms with new media/social configurations? What pressure can new media forms put on scholarly frames of inquiry? This unique symposium brings together scholars, artists, writers, and other practitioners to explore these and other questions, with the aim of expanding the frontiers of knowledge about the changing forms of African artistic practices.
The artists’ evening on June 7 at Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin is open to the public.
Indiana University Europe Gateway
CIEE Global Institute
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