Saturday, February 03, 2007

Conference on Cosmopolitanism

What I attended during Florida State's Film Lit conference on Cosmopolitanism ( on Friday, February 2, 2007.

1) Gender and Genre
Room: 123A
Dennis Bingham, Indiana University, Indianapolis, "The Biopic Gets the Guillotine: Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette"
(Exceptional presentation #1 because of the presenters sense of humor and incredible insights into a movie that some considered sheer fluff. Dennis reminded us of the autobiographical nature of Sofia's films in that all of her main characters are women in privileged positions, because of their social / cultural context, and we watch how they use their positions of privilege. In this way, it reminds me of my Female Expat Project since I focus on expats that have a choice about where they live and how they spend their time.)

...left above and caught the end of:
2) Global Longing for Form see Weihsin Gui, Brown University, "Kazuo Ishiguro: National Cosmopolitical Impressions" + Wendy Lee, Brown University, "The Unintentional Comedy of Teaching World- Respect in Paul Beatty's The White Boy Shuffle"
(High energy presentations with a humor and joy found in the books presented made for time well spent. Barry Faulk asked an important question about the timeliness of questions about complicated questions of identity and cultural forms as the ideal way to introduce political questions. Adorno and his belief that art cannot embody political questions, only point to them, was discussed. For any artmaker with any ounce of social awareness, these questions come out constantly, and I am reminded that I need to revisit Adorno, the man who questioned how anyone could “write lyrical poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.”)

...after lunch
3) The Military and Militarism Room
(Left this sesson during the first presentation because I was bored with ideas about women as mere ornamentation and the insistence that we pay more attention to women's POV during the war. Important to say, but no new insights provided)

4) Liquid Modernity
(Good to reminded Jim Jarmusch film's in relationship to liminal spaces and the ambiguity of otherness in Lost in Translation, but again, no new insights gained. Perhaps I am getting tired of sitting, but I continually wonder, do these people not know that points are best driven home by examples and visuals. Admittedly, Power Point can be misused, but when talking about the films, why not project the film stills allowing the images to be the visual focus of our contemplation while you present your paper? It would be so much better than giving us a bad xerox copy of many images and only showing a short clip form the movie.)

5) Keynote address = Tim Brennan
(Tim Brennan was dull, and the response John Marx thankfully shook things up. Why keep asking these same questions, Marx asked? Barry Faulk discussed a synergy at present that prompts us to revisit questions about globalism. I agree. The room felt restless, tired of the day's intellectual masterbation and eager for real action, whether in our classrooms or beyond.)

6) Darwin's Nightmare
(Important, powerful film, but my brain is mush, and I'm desperate to make my own work with a political conscious and a eye on circulation to people without lots of pocket change.)

No comments: