Department Chair Kent Ono will present the keynote for the 2016 Race and Media Conference at New York University on Oct. 21, 2016.
This is an interdisciplinary conference focusing on research at the intersections of critical race theories and media studies. By bringing together emerging and established scholars, this conference is an opportunity to share research in a space especially created for working through difficult questions on race. Dr. Ono's research centers on critical and theoretical research of media, specifically focusing on representations of race, gender, sexuality, class and nation. His keynote is titled, "Representation Today, Tomorrow, and Forever?: The Vexed Ontology of an Iconic Media Concept."
Dr. Ono describes his upcoming talk as follows:
"What must it be like to be the concept, 'representation'? On most days, representation is everywhere - on the streets, in parlors, on the subway, and even sometimes when astronauts leave Earth, in space. Representation is a friend to everyone and no one at the same time. Representation gets linked to so many unfortunate characters, such as misinterpretation, deceit, and even during presidential season, lies. But in an era of 'Black Lives Matter' and too-frequent North Korean missile launches, is the term that Stuart Hall referred to as having a 'burden' a burden itself. Is it overworked, overused, or simply too much trouble? For those studying Race and Media, such questions have profound significance and consequences. If newspaper articles about Driving While Brown and Black cannot be discussed in terms of representation, if it has become too burdensome a concept, what then becomes of the role of social critique? And, what are the options for social change?"
The mission of the Race and Media Conference is three-fold:
- Recognizing that racial difference, racialized identities, and racism play a critical role in structuring media production, distribution, and consumption.
- Highlighting prevailing rhetorics of postracism, which combined with an increasing threat to ethnic studies and other academic programs that focus on identity, have weakened our ability to call attention to race.
- Reinvigorating the conversation about the complex relationship between race and media.
The keynote address by Dr. Ono is open to the public and will be held Friday, October 21, at 5 p.m., at 8th Floor 239 Greene St., New York University, New York City.