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The New Picaresque: Excavating Narrative Forms After the End of Globalization, 1997-2050” with Norman Klein

Understanding Media Studies: “The New Picaresque: Excavating Narrative Forms After the End of Globalization, 1997-2050” with Norman Klein
Monday, February 8, 2016
6:00PM, Kellen Auditorium
66 5th Avenue

Media Studies presents a talk with Norman Klein, critic, media historian, noevlist and professor at California Institute of the Arts.

Globalism is a picaresque spinning us out of control, especially since 1997. We pause at the term picaresque; it is a vital clue to our dilemma. Outwardly, it refers to a unique mode of storytelling dating back to the sixteenth century. Many argue that it not only gave birth to the novel itself, it also inspired unique forms of theater, the visual arts, and architecture; even a precursor to noir fiction. Over the past twenty years, the picaresque has made a comeback. On the surface, it is simply a rogue’s tale. Low-level swindlers journey through unexpected catastrophes. To stay alive– against all odds– they become unreliable narrators. Picaresque comedies may well become a dominant form in our culture.

About Norman Klein: His essays have appeared in anthologies, museum catalogs, newspapers, scholarly journals, and on the web. They are symptoms of a polymath’s career, ranging from European cultural history to animation and architectural studies, from special effects to cinema and digital theory, to LA studies, fiction, media design and documentary film. His work (including museum shows) has centered on the relationship between collective memory and power in urban spaces; the thin line between fact and fiction; and erasure, forgetting, scripted spaces, and the social imaginary.

Sponsored by the School of Media Studies as part of its weekly lecture series for “Understanding Media Studies.”

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