Environmental and Postcolonial Media Theories

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Research Focus Group Talk: Color: Additions, Subtractions, Signals

2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies SSMS UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

In this presentation, Ricardo Cedeño Montaña will describe some of the particular principles, mechanisms, and techniques by which color film functioned in its formative years and the coding schemes for (re)producing, storing, and transmitting color information in electronic and digital media. Using a media archaeological approach to technical media, Cedeño Montaña will show that color in technical media is anything but stable and such instability implies different contexts of sensory data processing and storage. This ...

RFG Talk: Racialized Sound in Mainstream Cinema: Spike Jonze’s Her


This talk examines Samantha, the operating system from Spike Jonze’s Her (2013), analyzing how the film’s portrayal of Samantha both differs from and uncannily evokes both fictional and real-world Black women domestic servants. Exploring how the film deliberately and repeatedly marks Samantha as female, how her vocal pitch, tone, and timbre code her as white, and how the film uses this ascribed white femaleness to grant her a form of subjecthood, Owens contends that the ...

RFG Talk: Thinking with the Sound of Catastrophe


When death is ubiquitous and violence structural and gratuitous, catastrophe has a sound. How do our racialized lives allow for or shield us from familiarity to this sound? The conditions of colonial violence, imperialism, and global capitalism construct African Black bodies into a kind of listening bodies. But what kind of listening bodies are these? In this talk, Brenda Umutoniwase will explore the listening body from Rwanda to South Africa as a site of conflations: ...