31 May 2012
Venue: Room 501 (Pat Hanan Room), Arts 2 (Building 207)
Host: Nina Seja, Department of Art History
Discourse related to Arabs and Muslims in a post-9/11 context has focused heavily on the idea of the enemy as a threat. This talk will investigate a gap in such discourse, and proposes that there is a growing body of images of the suffering Islamic and Arabic victim. Examples from Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, Guantánamo, and Iran will be used to demonstrate a challenge to the inherent nobility and sanctity of the victim. The Limits of Victimhood will explore the modes by which victimhood is performed and the image is used in service of this performativity.
Nina Seja is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Cinema Studies, New York University (Tisch School of the Arts). She is a lecturer in the fields of Media, Communication, and Art History at the University of Auckland and Unitec. Her publications include “No Laughing Matter? Comedy and the Politics of the Terrorist/Victim” (2011) in Continuum: Journal of Media Studies.