Keynote Spotlight: Jason Middleton

Indexical Violence, Transmodal Horror: Screening the Slaughterhouse

Visiting Keynote: Jason Middletonjason_middleton

This talk examines the affective and political implications of animal slaughter imagery through a relational analysis of its framing in fictional horror film, mainstream expository documentary, activist video, and internet “reaction videos.” Depictions of the slaughterhouse challenge distinctions among fiction and documentary modes and between figurative and literal registers, producing distinctive forms of horror and spectatorial discipline. For example, animal imagery literalizes The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s (Tobe Hooper, 1974) central metaphor of worker dispossession and its aftermath, redoubling the film’s horrifying effects. Conventional viewer identification with the characters’ vulnerability slides into a felt sense of shared vulnerability and mortality with the animals that serve as metaphor for these characters. In a corresponding but inverted relation between the figurative and the literal, Shaun Monson’s documentary film Earthlings (2005) and its viewer reaction videos reinvent the collective performance of terror and disgust among theatrical horror film audiences for a documentary context and for online platforms like YouTube. My analysis of horror as transmodal affect suggests new perspectives on discourses of animal rights and ethics, examining the potentials and limitations of a politics that proceeds from the collective experience and performance of horror and disgust.


Jason Middleton is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Director of Film and Media Studies at the University of Rochester. His work is inspired by his interest in the materiality of the medium and intersections of theory and practice. Middleton is the author of the monograph Documentary’s Awkward Turn: Cringe Comedy and Media Spectatorship (Routledge, 2014), coeditor with Roger Beebe on Medium Cool: Music Videos from Soundies to Cellphones (Duke University Press, 2007) and has published in the Cinema Journal, The Journal of Visual Culture, Popular Music, The Velvet Light Trap, and Afterimage. His current book project is Documentary’s Body: Instructional Aesthetics and Transmodal Affects, which examines film and media objects whose intimate pedagogies of bodily transformation operate through their transmodal properties.


Sensation / Perception / Experience

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Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference

March 18th and 19th, 2016

Binghamton University

Multidisciplinary, multi-vocal academic conference with a global geographic and broad temporal reach, presented by the Art History Graduate Student Union

Keynote Speakers:

Andrew Walkling, Binghamton University

Jason Middleton, University of Rochester




Sensation: the ability of a living organism to physically detect information exterior from its self

Perception: the cognitive process of interpreting exterior information into something meaningful

Experience: entering meaning into one’s stored memories


The Art History Graduate Student Union at Binghamton University invites submissions for our twenty-fourth annual Crossing the Boundaries Conference. This year’s conference focuses on the visceral, mental, and emotional response to a variety of stimuli, and asks the following questions: how do human senses impact reception? How are memories triggered? How does perception change across varying cultures, epochs, geographic locations, genders or sexual orientations? These questions are meant as jumping-off points from which we invite submissions from any historical or disciplinary approach that considers the body or mind’s interaction and reaction to external stimuli.


Potential topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Perception of space and time
  • Hermeneutics
  • Affect theory
  • Psychophysics
  • Materiality and De-materiality
  • Cultural and social factors as influencing perception
  • Biological factors impacting experience
  • Linguistic perception
  • Sensations of reality or illusion


Keynote Spotlight: Kevin Hatch

hatch_photo_1Kevin Hatch received his MA from the University of Delaware and PhD from Princeton University, both in the History of Art. He joined the faculty at Binghamton in 2011. His teaching and research traverses the twentieth century, with particular attention paid to the intersections of art, cinema, and new media in the postwar period. His book Looking for Bruce Conner investigates Conner’s influential but insufficiently understood work while exploring the artist’s position on the geographical, cultural, and critical margins. Hatch is currently working on two projects. The first investigates new media practices since the 1990s, in particular those that trouble the outwardly stable categories of cinema and visual art; the second examines the chiasmic relationship between Mexican artistic culture and American artists’ interactions with that culture in the postwar period.

Click here to read his abstract for Crossing the Boundaries!

Keynote Spotlight: Andrés Mario Zervigón

Zervigon_PhotoAndrés Mario Zervigón is Associate Professor of the History of Photography at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He is author of John Heartfield and the Agitated Image: Photography, Persuasion, and the Rise of Avant-Garde Photomontage (University of Chicago Press, 2012) and coeditor with Tanya Sheehan of Photography and Its Origins (Routledge, 2014). He is currently working on a second book project Die Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung The Worker’s Illustrated Magazine, 1921-1938: A History of Germany’s Other Avant-Garde, for which he received the 2013-14 Paul Mellon Senior Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. He is also writing Photography and Germany for the Exposures series at Reaktion Books. Zervigón has published numerous articles and reviews in New German Critique, Visual Resources, History of Photography, Rundbrief Fotografie, Études Photographiques, October, and Art Journal, and he has contributed to recent anthologies, such as Getting the Picture: The History and Visual Culture of the News (Bloomsbury, January 2015), Photography, History, Difference (University Press of New England, November 2014) and Das Auge des Arbeiters. Arbeiterfotografie und Kunst um 1930 (Spector-Verlag, May 2014). Zervigón leads The Developing Room, an academic working group at Rutgers that promotes interdisciplinary dialogue on photography’s history, theory and practice. It has staged numerous symposia and generated 2 publications.

Click here to read his abstract for Crossing the Boundaries!

Schedule Of Events: Crossing The Boundaries XXIII: Cut and Paste

Crossing the Boundaries XXIII: Cut and Paste

Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference Presented by the Art History Graduate Student Union at Binghamton University

Click here for a printable schedule!

Friday, March 27, 2015

1:00-2:15 | Undergraduate Panel | Location: Binghamton University Art Museum (Fine Arts Building) Lower Galleries

  • Colleen Stapleton, “Collaged Anonymity: A Portrait of Delay”
  • Kara Nandin, “Ojibwa Birchbark Scrolls and Rock Art: The Misappropriation of Forms in Nineteenth-Century Aesthetic”
  • Daniel Bontempi, “Duane Hanson: A Study of Modernist Expression through Minimalism and Post-Minimalism”

2:15-2:30 | Break

2:30-3:45 | Panel 1: Sound, Space, Time | Location: Binghamton University Art Museum (Fine Arts Building) Lower Galleries | Moderator: Amanda Beardsley

  • Alana Wolf-Johnson, University of Rochester, “Re-Recording History: Jacob Kirkegaard’s Four Rooms and the Sonic Unconscious”
  • Mopelola Ogunbowale, University at Buffalo, “Cutting and Pasting the ‘Riddim’: A Case Study of Diaspora Music in Urban Lagos”
  • Elise Trucks, Binghamton University, “Expansive Collaborations: Carolee Schneemann, James Tenney and 1960s Experimental Arts”

3:45-4:00 | Break

4:00 | Keynote Address | Location: Fine Arts 258

Andrés Mario Zervigón, Associate Professor of Art History, Rutgers University, “Die Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung — The Worker’s Illustrated Magazine, 1921-1938: The Cut and Paste of Germany’s Other Avant-Garde” Click here to read the abstract!

5:00-7:00 | Opening Reception: “The Inner Landscape of Dance: Photographs by Barbara Morgan 1935-1944” | Location: University Art Museum

6:30 | Dinner | Thai Basil Restaurant, 29 Washington Ave., Endicott, NY

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Location: All Saturday panels will take place in Fine Arts 258, and all meals will take place in the adjacent Fine Arts Grand Corridor

9:00-9:30 | Breakfast | Fine Arts Grand Corridor

9:30-10:45 | Panel 2: Assemblage, Construction, Contingency | Moderator: Nicole Wagner

  • Addie Gordon, Binghamton University, “‘Rewriting the Past’: Peter Eisenman’s City of Culture, Galicia”
  • Rachel Julia Engler, Columbia University, “A Perfect Kind of Incoherence: Theo van Doesburg’s Dada Geometries”
  • Allison Leigh, The Cooper Union, “Typological Montage in the Nineteenth Century: The Alienation of Everyday Life”

10:45-11:00 | Break

11:00-12:15 | Panel 3: Texts of Resistance | Moderator: Lena Mei

  • Andrea Ennis-Booth, University of Toronto, “Heisler’s Alphabet: Between Interpretation and the Threat of Destruction”
  • Wylie Schwartz, Binghamton University, “Asger Jorn’s Collective Creating”
  • Debora Faccion, Binghamton University, “Malasartes: The Short Life of an Art Magazine in Brazil”

12:15-1:15 | Lunch | Fine Arts Grand Corridor

1:15-2:30 | Panel 4: Books and Materiality | Moderator: Zohre Soltani

  • Amy Breimeier, University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Grace Fisher and the Art of the Commonplace Book”
  • Victoria Gao, University of Rochester, “Image and Materiality: Man Ray’s Atget Album”
  • Olivia Crough, Harvard University, “Glue as Such: The Collaged Books of Aleksei Kruchenykh and Olga Rozanova, 1915-1917”

2:30-2:45 | Break

2:45-4:00 | Panel 5: American Narratives | Moderator: Josh T. Franco

  • Kasia A. Kieca, Binghamton University, “Industrial Visions: The Politics of Assemblage in Lewis Hine’s Men at Work (1932)”
  • Nushelle de Silva, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Assembling ‘Smallness’ at the American Small Industries Exhibition, Ceylon 1961”
  • Evelyn Kreutzer, Northwestern University,  “Intermediality and Montage in the Depiction of the 9/11 Trauma: Observations on Works by Carolee Schneemann, Galway Kinnell and John Adams.”

4:00-4:30 | Break

4:30 | Keynote Address | Fine Arts 258

Kevin Hatch, Assistant Professor of Art History, Binghamton University, “‘O Mexico/My Own’: The Semina Circle Encounters Mexico” Click here to read the abstract!

7:00 | Closing Reception | 25 Birch St., Binghamton, NY

Call for Papers: CTB 2015


We are pleased to announce the theme for our twenty-third annual conference: Cut and Paste!

Keynote Speakers:

Andrés Mario Zervigón, Rutgers University

Kevin Hatch, Binghamton University


The phrase “cut and paste,” in its most fundamental definition, is the process of selecting and combining fragments. Inspired by an established commitment to critical research, this year’s conference aims to explore the assortment of thematic, methodological, and sociopolitical interpretations derived from the traditional concept of extracting and adhering.

The twenty-third annual Crossing The Boundaries Conference, hosted by the Art History Graduate Student Union at Binghamton University, invites submissions from any historical or disciplinary approaches that involve a literal or conceptual appropriation achieved through cutting and pasting.

Potential topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Collage, bricolage, assemblage, montage
  • Authorship, plagiarism, imitation
  • Censorship and editing
  • Fragments / Fragmentation
  • Cultural traditions and historical change
  • Recontextualization
  • Sociopolitcal statements
  • Accumulation and composites of found objects
  • Invention or production through appropriation

Proposals for individual papers (20 minutes maximum) should be no more than 250 words in length and may be sent by email, with a current graduate level CV, to (Attn: Proposal). We also welcome proposals for integrated panels. Panel organizers should describe the theme of the panel and send abstracts with names and affiliations of all participants along with current CVs. A panel should consist of no more than three papers, each twenty minutes in length. Deadline for submissions is January 30, 2015.