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Innis Alumni & Friends

Devouring Images Symposium

On 25 January 2012 the Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts sponsored Devouring Images, a one day symposium co-organized by Meghan Sutherland (Associate Professor of Visual Studies and Cinema Studies) and James Leo Cahill (Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies and French).

Dedicated to exploring what the methods and objects of cinema and media studies may offer to the study of food, this year’s Jackman Humanities Institute theme, and to the question what is eating, the symposium featured engaging talks from two visiting scholars, Luka Arsenjuk (University of Maryland) and Eugenie Brinkema (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Professor Arsenjuk’s talk, “On Swallowing and Sneezing” and Sergei Eisenstein, addressed the comic dimension of ingestion and expulsion in the films and film theory of the celebrated Soviet filmmaker, that introduced the audience to a little known dimension of Eisenstein’s work. Focusing on the questions of taste, digestion, and violence, Professor Brinkema’s talk, “Digestion and Diagram: Or, The Human Centipede” offered a provocative philosophical examination of the notorious Dutch horror films The Human Centipede. Following responses by Professors Cahill and Sutherland, the symposium provided the forum for a lively and wide-ranging discussion, including participants from the faculty and graduate and undergraduate students.

By James Cahill


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