Center for Comparative Media, with support from the Buell Center, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Department of Germanic Languages, Division of Humanities, and GSAPP
Scholars from Max Weber to Ernst Kantorowicz to Cornelia Vismann have contended that mystery is always administered by ministers, whether they be clergymen, bureaucrats, or sorcerers. This conference proceeds from the belief that a genuinely dialectical approach to administration and mystification will sharpen the premises, methods, and stakes of media studies. What would a study of media that did not subordinate processes of signification to material or technical a priori look like? How will treating mystery, spirit, belief, and ideology not as aftereffects but as drivers reframe the materialist assumptions of media studies?
The first day of this two-day symposium will open with a roundtable discussion on the limits of materiality with Caroline Walker Bynum, Reinhold Martin, John Durham Peters, and Pamela Smith, moderated by Noam Elcott, and will conclude with a keynote lecture by Shira Brisman. The second day will close with a graduate student-only seminar.
Ministry and Mystery is sponsored by the Center for Comparative Media, with support from the Buell Center, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Department of Germanic Languages, Division of Humanities, and GSAPP.
9:30am - Coffee
10am - Welcome
10:15am - Opening Roundtable: "Materialism at Standstill", with Caroline Walker Bynum, Reinhold Martin, John Durham Peters, Pamela H. Smith; moderated by Noam Elcott
12:00pm - Lunch Break
1:30pm - Panel 1: Faith
- Maxwell Smith-Holmes (Princeton): “Reckoning Land: Property and Holy Arithmetic in New Haven Colony, 1637-1644"
- Matthew Mendez (Yale): “Fiduciary Media: On ‘Good Faith’ in Early Phonography”
- Shishir Bail (Columbia): “Gods in Court”
Respondent: Rosalind C. Morris
3:15pm - Panel 2: Management
- Rowanne Dean (UChicago): “Managing Fraud in Late Medieval Goldsmiths’ Work”
- Joy Zhu (UCLA): “Geological Science and the Management of Panic in Hong Kong, 1843-1900”
- Shikar Goel (NYU): “Paper Shadows: Media Forensics, Digital Evidence, and the 65-B Paper Certificate in India”
Respondent: Stefan Andriopoulos
4:45pm - Break
5:30pm - Keynote: “Unlinking the Chains of Concordance”, Shira Brisman, Assistant Professor in Early Modern Art, University of Pennsylvania
7pm - Reception
9:30am - Coffee
10am - Panel 3: Knowledge
- Ultan Byrne (Columbia), “Getting Behind Empiricism”
- Libby O’Neil (Yale), “Systems, Cybernetics, and Catholic Mysticism: The Case of Ludwig von Bertalanffy and Nicholas of Cusa”
- Elizabeth Berman (Brown): “Mysticism, Psychoanalysis, and the Rise of the Managerial Subject: From Writing Pad to Worksheet”
- Chase Galis (ETH Zurich): “Stargazing: Locating Interdisciplinarity between Collegium and the Cosmos”
Respondent: Zeynep Çelik Alexander
12pm - Coffee Break
1:30pm - Graduate Student-Only Workshop Led by Hannah Pivo, Luca Arens, Maur Dessauvage (Registration Required: Email firstname.lastname@example.org )