Spring 2015

International Conference on Critical Topography



May 20 - 22, 2015

Trent University and Ryerson Unviersity

More Information


Speakers and Events 2014-2015


Thursday, April 16, 2015       Salon Seminar

Jonathan Bordo

Director, Cultural Studies Doctoral Program

Trent University


“Cezanne in the Mystic North (Thoughts on Imitation Today)”

This lecture reflects on the insistence and persistence of landscape art today by considering a few contemporary landscape artists, almost all painters though not all men. All of them are from the region. To understand this kunstwollen, Bordo will revisit the landscape art of Paul Cézanne, his cultivation of terroir, to help us understand how and in what way profoundly these are visual works of aesthetic testimony.

Peterborough Art Gallery – 7:00 p.m.


Monday, April 6, 2015       Salon Seminar

David Holdsworth            

Director, MA Program in Theory, Culture and Politics

Trent University

“Matheme and Poem: Mediations between Badiou and Deleuze”

David will present his work-in-progress progress towards a paper he will deliver at the conference “Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Refrains of Freedom” in Athens later in the month.

Scott House 210 – 10:00 a.m.

The 10:00 a.m. will allow Hanjo Berressem, Chair of American Literature and Culture, Cologne University to join us by Skype.


Thursday, March 19, 2015     Salon Seminar

Blake Fitzpatrick

Professor of Documentary Media,

Ryerson University

"Freedom Rocks: the wall as image, art, paint and dust "

A Visual Lecture

Blake Fitzpatrick is a photographer, curator and writer and a Professor in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University.
His research interests include the photographic representation of the nuclear era, visual responses to contemporary militarism
and the history, memory and mobility of the Berlin Wall. His curatorial projects examine war and conflict representation in
documentary photography and his writing and visual work have been published and exhibited in Canada and Europe.

Scott House 105, Traill College       7:30 p.m.


Thursday, March 12, 2015    Salon Seminar


Alice Teichert      

artist, performing artist, poet


Gives a perfromance of            



7:30 p.m.     Scott House 105


Thursday, March 5, 2015                    Salon Seminar

Talk / Professional Workshop

Jonathan Crago, editor-in-chief,

McGill-Queen's University Press

speaks on

Academic Publishing in a Digital Environment

2:00 p.m.     Scott House

There will be time(s) available to meet individually


Thursday, February 12, 7:30 pm       Salon Seminar

Dr. Margrit Shildrick, Linkoeping University, Sweden (webpage)

'Why should our Bodies end at the Skin?: Technologies, Boundaries and Embodiment

Thursday, February 12, 7:30 pm
Room 105, Scott House, Traill College

presented by the Cultural Studies Ph.D. Program and the Centre for Theory, Culture and Politics.

Margrit Shildrick is Professor of Gender and Knowledge Production at Linköping University, and Adjunct Professor of Critical Disability Studies at York University, Toronto. Her research covers postmodern feminist and cultural theory, bioethics, critical disability studies and body theory. Her major research centres on the intersection of postmodernism and bioethics, particularly in relation to organ transplantation, and in the use of various forms of prostheses.
Her books include Leaky Bodies and Boundaries: Feminism, (Bio)ethics and Postmodernism (1997), Embodying the Monster: Encounters with the Vulnerable Self (2002) and Dangerous Discourses of Disability, Sexuality and Subjectivity (2009).


John Fekete Distinguished Lecture

November 13, 2014

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun,

Professor and Chair, Modern Culture and Media,

Brown University

New Media: Paradoxes and Habits

Professor Chun brings an interdisciplinary background in Systems Design Engineering (B.Sc. Waterloo) and English Literature (MA and PhD, Princeton) to her work in digital media. She is the author of Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (MIT Press, 2011) and Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (MIT Press, 2006), as well as the co-editor of Race as Technology, special issue of Camera Obscura 24 (2009), with Lynne Joyrich and New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader (Routledge, 2006), with Thomas Keenan. Her current work, which she will discuss in her talk, focuses on what she calls “the paradoxical remains of new media.”

Thursday, November 13 - 7:30 p.m.

Bagnani Hall, Traill College

Free public lecture, reception to follow


Public Talk and Book Launch by Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo

Cultural Studies Doctoral Program with University of Regina Press



Public Talk and Book Launch by Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo


October 02, 2014 : 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM


Ramin Jahanbegloo will give a public talk and launch his book Time will say Nothing: A Philosopher Survives an Iranian Prison.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase. All Welcome.

Location: Bagnani Hall, Traill College


Thursday, September 18, 2014            Salon Seminar

Laura Thursby, Doctoral Candidate, Cultural Studies Program, Trent

"Ethnic and Extraterrestrial Invaders"

Thursday, September 18, 2014, 4pm in Scott House 210

This project seeks to explore narratives of‘illegal aliens’ in the United States by reading discourses on illegal aliens alongside narratives of extraterrestrial aliens. I show that contemporary immigration policy is surprisingly not that far-removed from discourses on aliens in science fiction by arguing that extraterrestrial aliens stand in as metaphors for the anxieties and fears surrounding immigration in America. It is my contention that the extraterrestrial alien emerges in the collective American unconscious as a way to express repressed fears about terrestrial events – in this case, substituting or displacing fears of “ethnic invaders” onto extraterrestrial invaders. I draw from Freud’s work on the uncanny and repression to show how the ET alien comes to uncannily parallel repressed anxieties about immigration, race, and the penetrability of borders and boundaries in the United States. Immigration rhetoric has often worked to problematize the presence of immigrants by framing aliens, both legal and illegal, as hidden, threatening and intrusive –stealing jobs and social services and preying on the everyday citizen. In a paranoid register, immigration has become synonymous with invasion – and this is where the trope of an ominous, menacing and obscure extraterrestrial invader who is able to conquer the borders of vast worlds and intimate bodies comes to uncannily reflect the popular discourse surrounding illegal aliens in America. 
This work is based on ethnographic research conducted in Roswell, New Mexico. In 1947, an extraterrestrial spacecraft allegedly crashed just outside of Roswell and today, Roswell has become a place of pilgrimage for UFO and alienenthusiasts. Alongside these alien narratives, Roswell and its neighbouring counties inhabit a space near the United States/ Mexico border –and so Roswell has become a place where discourses on aliens, both extraterrestrial and illegal, collide in very uncanny ways.


Tuesday, Sept 9, 2014                  Salon Seminar

Dr. Konstantin Butz, Academy of Media Arts, Cologne.

"Safety Pins and Swimming Pools: Skateboarding and Punkrock in 1980s California"

Tuesday, Sept 9, 4pm   Room 210, Scott House

In the late 1970s / early 1980s skateboarding turned rebellious. Through its amalgamation with the newly emerging hardcore punk scene in Southern California a new subcultural phenomenon developed: skate punk. What are the cultural and material circumstances that made suburban California the site-specific breeding ground for this peculiar sort and style of middle-class dissidence?

Further Info:
Konstantin Butz is an Assistant Professor at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany. He studied Cultural Studies, American Studies and English at the University of Bremen, Cologne, and Dickinson College Pennsylvania. His Ph.D. dissertation "Grinding California: Culture and Corporeality in American Skate Punk" was published with the German Publisher transcript in 2012.