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Speakers

T.J. Demos writes widely on modern and contemporary art and his essays have appeared in journals including Grey Room andOctober. He is also a critic, writing for magazines such as ArtforumTexte zur Kunst, and Art Press. His published work centers broadly on the conjunction of art and politics, examining the ability of artistic practice to invent innovative and experimental strategies that challenge dominant conventions, whether representational, aesthetic, or social and political. His books include: The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp (MIT Press, 2007), which places Duchamp’s installations and mixed-media projects - including his “portable museum,” La Boîte-en-valise - in relation to geopolitical and aesthetic displacement during the early twentieth century’s periods of world war and nationalism; and Dara Birnbaum: Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman (MIT Press/Afterall Books, 2010), which examines Birnbaum's art practice in relation to postmodernist appropriation, media analysis, and feminist politics, and explores the artist's pioneering attempts to open up the transformative capacities of video as a medium. T.J. Demos’ current work focuses on contemporary art, investigating in particular the diverse ways that artists have negotiated the recently emerging conjunction of political sovereignty and statelessness. His latest book The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis (Duke University Press), explores the relation of contemporary art--including practices from North America, Europe, and the Middle East--to the experience of social dislocation and political crisis, where art figures in ways both critically analytical and creatively emancipating.

Madeleine Dobie's teaching and research areas include francophone/postcolonial literatures and cinemas of North Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean and the cultural dimensions of migration and diaspora. She also write about eighteenth-century French culture, particularly with regard to orientalism, colonialism and the history of slavery. 

Her most recent book, co-written with historian Myriam Cottias, is a critical re-edition of two mid twentieth-century novels by the Martinican writer, Mayotte Capécia. The introductory essay explores the convergence of race, gender, colonialism and the Vichy regime that formed the context of these two polygraphic texts.

Her latest monograph, Trading Places, examines the place of slavery in eighteenth-century French literature, philosophy and material culture, particularly textiles and furniture. It focuses on the longstanding silence surrounding colonial slavery and on processes of displacement and disavowal.

Hamid Naficy, a leading authority on cinema and television in the Middle East, has produced many educational films and experimental videos and has published extensively about theories of exile and displacement, exilic and diaspora cinema and media, and Iranian and Third World cinemas. His many publications include such well-known titles as An Accented Cinema,The Making of Exile CulturesOtherness and the Media: The Ethnography of the Imagined and the ImagedIran Media Index, and the AFI anthology,Home, Exile, Homeland. Most recently, he has published A Social History of Iranian Cinema, in four volumes available from Duke University Press.

Parvati Nair has taught and published in the fields of Cultural Studies and Hispanic Studies. Her particular areas of focus are on questions of gender, ethnicity and cultural identity in contexts of mobility and displacement. She also writes on the representations of migration in cultural media, especially photography. She is the Principal Editor of the refereed journal Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture. Her most recent book is A Different Light: The Photography of Sebastião Salgado, published by Duke University Press