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Ivona Hedin
Institute for Advanced Study

Last modified: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

IU Institute for Advanced Study seminar to focus on America’s experience of current wars

Sept. 21, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The 2011-12 Remak New Knowledge Seminar at Indiana University Bloomington will explore a contemporary American paradox: Images and reports of war are everywhere in popular culture and the media, yet there is little tangible sense that the nation is "at war."

The seminar is organized by John Lucaites and Jon Simons, both faculty members in the Department of Communication and Culture in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. Lucaites, a professor, and Simons, an associate professor, have been named Henry H.H. Remak Distinguished Scholars by the IU Institute for Advanced Study for their winning Remak New Knowledge Seminar proposal.

Jon Simons

Jon Simons

The seminar, titled "The In/Visibility of America's 21st Century Wars," will include a series of lectures by invited speakers as well as discussions by IU faculty members from various disciplines. Participants will explore visual media and popular culture genres through which America's publics experience war -- such as film, video games and photography. They also will engage with critical practices of the visual arts that also function as public art, in particular photography that renders visible some of the experiences of war.

The lectures, all of which are free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. in the IU Fine Arts Auditorium (FA 015). They include:

  • Oct. 10 -- "Many Wars: The Difficulty of Home" by Suzanne Opton. Opton teaches photography at the International Center for Photography in New York City and is known for her stunning portraits of soldiers and veterans of current wars. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009.
John Lucaites

John Lucaites

  • Oct. 27 -- "War and the Arts: A Politics of Aesthetic Subjectivity" by Mike Shapiro. Shapiro is professor of political science at the University of Hawai'i. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of political theory and philosophy, critical social theory, cultural studies, politics of media, indigenous politics and critical international studies.
  • Nov. 10 -- "Sticks and Stones: Digital War in the Public Mind" by Roger Stahl. Stahl is associate professor of speech and communication at the University of Georgia. His research and teaching interests include the relationship between rhetoric and critical theory and the relationship among war, media and popular culture.
  • Dec. 1 -- "Virtual War" by Diane Rubenstein. Rubenstein is professor of government and American studies at Cornell University. Her research and teaching address the critical interaction between continental theory and contemporary manifestations of ideology in Franco-American political culture. She has a particular interest in political rhetoric and ideology and is teaching classes in political theory and media theory, including film and photographic theory.

The Remak Distinguished Scholars Award was created in 1994 to honor Professor Henry H.H. Remak, who served the university with distinction for more than 65 years as a scholar, teacher and administrator. He directed the Institute for Advanced Study from 1988 to 1994 and from 1997 to 1998. The award recognizes Remak's enthusiasm for scholarship in all fields and the mission of the institute to promote innovative ways of thinking. For more information see