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W.J.T. MITCHELL Migration, Law and the Image. Beyond the Veil of Ignorance

Dr Federica Mazzara UCL Italian Department (SELCS) Gower Street WC1 6BT London email: f.mazzara@ucl.ac.uk

Thursday, June 16, 2011 from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM (BST)

London, United Kingdom

W.J.T. MITCHELL   Migration, Law and Image. Beyond the...

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This lecture aims at the convergence of three disciplines: 1) the law, with its entire edifice of judicial practice and political philosophy; 2) migration, as the movement and settlement of living things, especially (but not exclusively) human beings, across the boundaries between distinct habitats; 3) iconology, the theory of images across the media, including verbal and visual images, metaphors and figures of speech as well as visual representations. Examining a range of examples from science fiction narratives of alien species, to stories of conquest, colonization, and ethnic cleansing, to the development of contemporary practices of detention and border policing, the lecture will argue that immigration in our time has ceased to be a merely transitional phase in human life, and threatens to become a permanent condition for growing numbers of people. This poses a radical challenge to liberal notions of universal human equality, which depend, paradoxically, on philosophies of exclusion and the policing of borders to protect actually existing liberal polities. The “veil of ignorance” about particular human identities (race, class, gender, and ethnicity) that philosopher John Rawls regarded as foundational to liberal notions of justice and equality comes under new kinds of stress in a time when the borders between peoples have become zones of increasing violence and despair.


Respondents:

Prof. Parvati Nair (Professor of Hispanic Cultural Studies and Director of the Centre for the Study of Migration at Queen Mary, University of London)

Dr Ingrid Boccardi (UCL Laws)


Chair:

Dr Federica Mazzara (UCL Italian)

 

Sponsors:

UCL Grand Challenges (Intercultural Interaction), Centre for the Study of Migration at Queen Mary (University of London), UCL Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UCL School of European Languages, Culture and Society, UCL Labour Rights Institute and UCL Global Migration Network.

 

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W. J. T. Mitchell is Professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago. He is editor of the interdisciplinary journal, Critical Inquiry, a quarterly devoted to critical theory in the arts and human sciences. A scholar and theorist of media, visual art, and literature, Mitchell is associated with the emergent fields of visual culture and iconology (the study of images across the media). He is known especially for his work on the relations of visual and verbal representations in the context of social and political issues. Under his editorship, Critical Inquiry has published special issues on public art, psychoanalysis, pluralism, feminism, the sociology of literature, canons, race and identity, narrative, the politics of interpretation, postcolonial theory, and many other topics. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Morey Prize in art history given by the College Art Association of America. In 2003, he received the University of Chicago's prestigious Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching. His publications include: "The Pictorial Turn," Artforum, March 1992; "What Do Pictures Want?" October, Summer 1996; What Do Pictures Want? (2005); The Last Dinosaur Book: The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon (1998); Picture Theory (1994); Art and the Public Sphere (1993); Landscape and Power (1992); Iconology (1987); The Language of Images (1980); On Narrative (1981); and The Politics of Interpretation (1984).


Have questions about W.J.T. MITCHELL Migration, Law and the Image. Beyond the Veil of Ignorance? Contact Dr Federica Mazzara UCL Italian Department (SELCS) Gower Street WC1 6BT London email: f.mazzara@ucl.ac.uk

When & Where


Main Lecture Theatre UCL - Faculty of Laws
Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens
WC1H 0EG London
United Kingdom

Thursday, June 16, 2011 from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM (BST)


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Organizer

Dr Federica Mazzara UCL Italian Department (SELCS) Gower Street WC1 6BT London email: f.mazzara@ucl.ac.uk

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