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Session 8: Roundtable

Monday, April 8, 2013
5:00 p.m.
Room 201 O’Shaughnessy Hall



Kate Marshall

(Department of English, University of Notre Dame)

The Novel after Media Theory

In her first book, Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction (forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press, 2013), Kate Marshall shows how the banal circulation technologies underlying modern life—such as corridors, plumbing systems, duct work, and highways—become dynamic media forms in the modern American novel. Her research brings together literary and material history and employs concepts drawn from German media and systems theory to describe the modernity emerging in American literature of the late nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. She is currently working on a new project, Novels by Aliens, which examines how contemporary experiments in nonhuman narration and theoretical debates in the category of the nonhuman have an important and overlooked history in the old, weird American fiction of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Kinohi Nishikawa

(Department of English, University of Notre Dame)

The Return of Print

Kinohi Nishikawa specializes in African-American literary and popular culture with a particular emphasis on twentieth-century print media and twenty-first-century visual and musical forms. His book manuscript, Reading the Street, traces the rise of black-authored pulp fiction (by the likes of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines) from its material roots in postwar men’s literature to its cultural influence on contemporary hip hop. His new research project aims to document the contributions African-American-owned bookshops have made to the formation of black literary taste in the post-civil rights era.


Jesse Costantino

(Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of English, University of Notre Dame)

Staging Visibility

Gordon Parks and the Canniness of Racial Recognition

Gordon Parks’ photographic career is in the midst of a critical reevaluation. Whereas recent museum exhibits and publications of his work have focused on his depictions of mid-century African-American life, I aim to reconcile his overlooked commercial fashion photography with his more politically engaged work. In particular, I think through the ways in which conventions of commercial display fundamentally inform his depictions of black Americans. By drawing on the uncanny “life” of fashion photography, Parks attempts to undo the similarly uncanny visual politics of race and recognition.

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