RCID Students A.D. Carson & Matthew Osborn visit The European Graduate School

August 1, 2014 by

RCID Ph.D. students A.D. Carson and Matthew Osborn spent three weeks at the European Graduate School (EGS) in Saas-Fee, Switzerland to attend the June Summer Session there, high in the Alps. The two students were privileged to attend seminars with Visiting Professor to Columbia, Princeton, The New School, NYU, and U of Michigan Slavoj Žižek, New York University Global Distinguished Professor Boris Groys, University of Texas Austin Professor Diane Davis, and RCID Program Director Victor Vitanza, among others, and were treated to evening lectures with Simon Critchley, Benjamin Bratton, Samuel Weber, and more. The experience far exceeded anticipations, and gave Carson and Osborn new ways to think about their studies at Clemson and beyond.

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Click photos to enlarge

Once they arrived in the village—traveling via Zürich, then rail, then bus—the two attended their first and “irreducible” seminar on the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas with Davis. The intimate and profoundly affecting six days involved, among other things, the subject’s “response-ability” to the Other and the need to weather its disturbance. The afternoons of this first week were spent with Vitanza, with whom students in the Media and Communication Division at EGS studied the thought of Jean-François Lyotard. Particularly memorable was the demonstration of Möbius strip, a topological object that has neither an outside nor an inside. How might this object come to be seen as a metaphor for the potentialities of discourse, the group wondered, when traditional critique doesn’t work?

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In a seminar with Groys, the students explored “the end of history,” avant-garde movements, and aestheticizations of politics. Walking down “the hill” from Steinmatte one afternoon, Matthew shared the plans for his dissertation on surprise and surprises with the professor. Groys, author of the recently translated-into-English study of artistic novelty On the New, stopped in his tracks to caution the young scholar: “It is very hard to surprise.”

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In addition to his seminar on “The Contingency of Necessity,” Slavoj Žižek posed the [still unanswered] question to A.D. if Hip-Hop can be subversive. A perspective is that its existence at EGS hints at a response. Žižek later requested to hear samples of A.D.’s “shitty music,” which the artist gladly provided. See a music video created in Saas-Fee by Carson and a few colleagues below:


Carson has also completed an entire mixtape entitled “Summer Session,” which is accessible on SoundCloud.

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Somewhere in the daze, Matthew experienced the first day of his twenty seventh year on the planet. His friends from home even managed to make an appearance in spirit by treating him to the hotel restaurant’s finest offerings—all the way from North Carolina! The gesture prompted a “back up” the likes of which he had never experienced, and he thereupon burst into infinitesimals. Speaking of fragments, Osborn created several videos during the trip using the application Vine, which are strung together below:

It’s tough to conclude this story, which is in some ways still ongoing. Many questions and challenges of the trip remain for the students open queries to be addressed in future thinkings, projects, and dissertations. Carson and Osborn thank the RCID Program, Clemson University, Victor Vitanza, Diane Davis, and everyone at EGS for making the experience possible and unforgettable.

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We will return soon … Trying to catchup, ketchup …

July 30, 2014 by

We will return …

It’s that time again: A Report on RCID Graduates, 8 years …

August 14, 2013 by

entered 2005:
 Graduated: 5

Mac McArthur, Associate Professor, Queens College of Charlotte, NC

Justin Hodgson, tenure-track Assistant Professor, U of Texas, Austin; now at Indiana U, Bloomington

Amanda Booher, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Texas Tech; now at U of Akron (Ohio).

John Dinolfo, visiting Assistant Professor in the Writing Center and Center of Academic Excellence at the Medical U of SC (MUSC)

Xiaoli Li, tenure-track Assistant Professor, U of Dayton (Ohio)

entered 2006:
 Graduated: 5


Dev Bose, lecturer of professional communication in Dept of English at Iowa State U

Michelle Dacus Carr, Faculty Affiliate with George Mason University (Center for International Student Access) and the University of Maryland University College (Communications, Arts, and Humanities). Contract Research Assistant for the Freer | Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution

Jason Helms, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Texas Christian U

Joshua Hilst, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Utah Valley U

Steve Thompson, lecturer at The Johns Hopkins U (Wash, DC) in the Advanced Academic Programs, Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Adjunct Associate Professor, U of Maryland U College, Adelphi MD, Dept of Communication.

entered 2007:
 Graduated: 7

Joshua Abboud, Lecturer, U of Kentucky, Lecturer

Sergio Figueiredo, tenure-track Assistant Professor of Social/Digital Media in the Dept of English at Kennesaw State University in Georgia

Alicia Hatter, Senior Usability Engineer at Vanguard’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia

Josephine Walwema, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Dept of English, Oakland U, Detroit

Mark Ward, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, U of Houston, Victoria, TX

Wu Dan, Xi’an International Studies U, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China
• Randy Nichols, tenure-track Assistant Professor, as Chair of Dept of Professional Communication, Limestone College, SC

entered 2008: 
Graduated: 6


Wendy Blanchard, Literacy/Instructional Coach for Beaufort County (SC) School District

Anthony Collamati, tenure-track Assistant Professor of New Media Studies, Alma College, Michigan

Andrew Hurley, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Packaging Science, Clemson U

Nicole McFarlane, tenure-track Assistant Professor of English, Fayetteville, State U of NC

Curtis Newbold, tenure-track Assistant Professor of Communication, New Media and Technical Communication, Westminster College in Utah

Nicole Snell, tenure-track Assistant Professor of Information Design and Corporate Communication at Bentley University in Massachusetts

entered 2009: Graduated: 4

Stephen Lind, visiting Assistant Professor of Business Communication, Washington and Lee U (Virginia)

Jimmy Butts, visiting Assistant Professor, Wake Forest U (NC)

Steven Keoni Holmes, tenure-track Assistant Professor of English, George Mason U (Virginia)

Lauren Mitchell, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Architecture. U of Hawaii, Manoa.

—-   27 of 27 students have graduated, with positions in academia or industry. 100% placement.

EGS 2012: An Ourstory

October 11, 2012 by

This year, Trish Fancher and Jimmy Butts had the honor of attending the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland. They participated in classes with Avital Ronell, Victor Vitanza, Denise Riley, Manuel Delanda, Volker Shlondorff and Wolfgang Schirmacher. In nightly lectures and in conversations and adventures with other students, Jimmy and Trish also learned from dozens of other artists, designers, scholars, writers, and all around fascinating folks.

Jimmy arrived a day early in Zurich to see James Joyce’s grave, and saw a Swiss Rock band with a female singer in the bar of his hostel the evening before he had to be up in the Alps to begin classes.  Joyce borrowed Jimmy’s hat:

Also, Trish traveled throughout Norway for two weeks before going to EGS. And because it seemed like it was on the way, she made a short stopover in Paris.

All the students were welcomed after a whirlwind of planes and trains to Saas Fee by Wolfgang SchirmacherDirector of the European Graduate School–a flamboyant character with quite a bit of personal flair and panache. The schedule: a three hour class in the morning, followed by a second three hour class in the afternoon, and ending with a two hour lecture each evening is taxing, but really intellectually stimulating.

Normally, Jimmy and Trish would have begun with Diane Davis, but she had to miss this year to be with her family.  Instead, their group of students began with Avital Ronell teaching Derrida for the first time since he passed away.  The class opened with a discussion of Derrida’s Politics of Friendship and continued  continued with Ronell for a second week discussing hospitality and friendship, even taking a day to watch Werner Herzog’s My Best Fiend.  Ronell had just come from a press blitz in Paris and had met with Herzog to talk about a potential collaboration, which did not end up being viable for the two.  Ronell’s teaching style is wonderfully hospitable, and Jimmy and Trish felt extremely close to her by the end of their time together.  She offered a challenging pedagogical approach that worked through a diverse collection of texts, while giving them each careful attention through close reading. In addition, Ronell found a way to charm each student so that our her words continued to ring in our ears throughout the term at EGS.

Werner Hamacher, a true German philosopher, gave an intriguing talk near the beginning of the semester exploring the philosophical nature of the messiah that would never arrive, because of the mysterious definitional status of the messiah.  The messiah is the one who is coming, so if it were to arrive, then it would no longer be the messiah, and we would not notice it.  Hamacher suggested that the messiah might be anything, even a whiff of perfume–and that we will miss it. While walking back after the talk, Trish and Jimmy walked into a local bar only to find themselves dancing to “The Time of My Life” with several other EGS folks, including Werner Hamacher and an anarchist who has been trained in Chinese circus arts.

The two also began with the infamous Victor Vitanza as their second opening class.  He spoke on Jean Francois Lyotard’s work and the ethical perspectives made possible through postmodern frameworks.  He shared various visual examples including the creation of a moebius strip, as shown in this video clip.

At one point, Vitanza suggested, only momentarily, that Lyotard was more significant in thinking postmodern ethics than Derrida, but then took it back. Vitanza left the students with the question: “What is your relationship with language?”

This question resonated through the next two courses: “On Utterance” with Denise Riley and a second course with Avital Ronell, which focused on her own work.

Simon Critchley, the philosopher, scandalously read a short story he’d penned for his night lecture. The lecture led to a lively discussion among Critchely, Ronell, Schirmacher, and several students. Critchely bought Jimmy a beer afterward.  They talked about Hamlet.  Jimmy asked him later when it was better to write fiction over the factual research offered by philosophical inquiries.  Critchley replied, over breakfast, “It’s all fiction.”

After saying goodbye to Victor, the two began an afternoon class with Denise Riley.  Riley’s class was about listening to language using the inner ear.  Working through Foucault, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, and even Samuel Beckett, the class explored what it meant to hear the “truths” of language from language itself. The class experimented with this by reading aloud alternating lines of a few Beckett poems.

On a hike to see some marmots, Denise Riley shared with Jimmy that her first night in the United States was spent on Allen Ginsberg’s floor where she could hear the bugs crawling around the house and in the walls. After listening to Trish describe her dissertation project, Denise insisted that the world does not need another traditional, boring dissertation. She recommend that Trish write something that people will want to read, a dialogue or play perhaps. She was extremely British and very humble about her own work, yet she had a connection for whatever anyone was studying.

After two weeks of demanding and rewarding pedagogy in and out of class, Avital Ronell had to pack her bags and depart the magical mountain. She asked Trish to accompany her on part of her long journey to the airport. Trish helped Avital out with her luggage, and Avital helped Trish to better understand the complicated role of any mentor, teacher, and friend. It was a sad goodbye, with a very warm hug.

Somewhere along the way, Slavoj Zizek showed up.  He, of course, generated quite a buzz.  At one point, he grabbed Jimmy’s elbow by the coffee machine to tell him about a Brazilian drink called lágrima, warm milk with just a tear of coffee.  He is a man full of information, and just likes to talk with people about it.  Jimmy sat in on one of Zizek’s lectures where he talked about The Wire and various cinematic levels of honesty.

Jimmy then went on to sit in on Volker Schlondorff’s class. Schlondorff is a director who has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival for The Tin Drum.  He also directed cinematic adaptations of The Death of a Salesman and The Handmaid’s Tale.  He gave lovely and haunting autobiographical stories about growing up during World War II in Germany and leaving for France to begin his film career.  On his lecture night, he screened his latest film, Calm at Sea, about the execution a young man during the Nazi occupation of France.

Meanwhile, Trish sat in on Manuel Delanda’s class on Deleuze’s theories of history and science. Each morning, Delanda would lecture on the scientific foundations of Deleuzian theory. Each afternoon, he would parallel those scientific principles with historical and social principles, thereby creating strong connections among philosophy, science, and history.

Among other moments were Peter Singer sharing about utilitarian vegetarianism.

Michael Hardt talking about learning from Occupy Wall Street.

Catherine Breilllat screening her disturbingly honest 1996 film Parfait amour! or Perfect Love.

Sylvere Lotringer exploring prevalence of modern day video surveillance.

And Samuel Weber considering the uncanny through the work of David Lynch.

The two Clemson students finished their coursework in Saas Fee with Wolfgang Shirmacher’s class.  They wrote short papers for him based on his research on Mediated Life and Homo Generator each morning, which they would go through along with the readings each afternoon.  The process was really interesting at the end of the trip, and gave the students a chance to apply and play with some of the concepts they’d picked up.

All of this was interspersed with lots of hiking, eating Swiss chocolate, and visiting the local Metro Bar.

   Afterwards, Jimmy met his lovely wife in Italy,

and Trish  flew off to Brussels to eat waffles!

It was quite a trip!

RCID, Our Alumni: A History …

August 26, 2012 by

Our Alumni: Here’s a History of students entering the RCID program and graduating, from the first group of students, in 2005, to the present:

entered 2005:
Graduated: 5
• Mac McArthur, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Queens College of Charlotte, NC
• Justin Hodgson, tenure-track Assistant Professor, U of Texas, Austin
• Amanda Booher, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Texas Tech
• John Dinolfo, visiting Assistant Professor in the Writing Center and Center of Academic Excellence at the Medical U of SC (MUSC)
• Xiaoli Li, tenure-track Assistant Professor, U of Dayton (Ohio)

entered 2006:
Graduated: 5
• Dev Bose, lecturer of professional communication in Dept of English at Iowa State U
• Michelle Dacus Carr, a Term Professor in the Center for International Student Access (CISA), George Mason U
• Jason Helms, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Texas Christian U
• Joshua Hilst, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Utah Valley U
• Steve Thompson, lecturer at The Johns Hopkins U (Wash, DC) in the Advanced Academic Programs, Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Adjunct Associate Professor, U of Maryland U College, Adelphi MD, Dept of Communication.

entered 2007:
Graduated: 7
• Joshua Abboud, Lecturer, U of Kentucky
• Sergio Figueiredo, tenure-track Assistant Professor of Social/Digital Media in the Dept of English at Kennesaw State University in Georgia
• Alicia Hatter, Senior Usability Engineer at Vanguard’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia
• Josephine Walwema, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Dept of English, Oakland U, Detroit
• Mark Ward, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, U of Houston, Victoria, TX
• Wu Dan, Xi’an International Studies U, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China
• Randy Nichols, tenure-track Assistant Professor, as Chair of Dept of Professional Communication, Limestone College, SC

entered 2008:
Graduated: 6
• Wendy Blanchard, Literacy/Instructional Coach for Beaufort County (SC) School District
• Anthony Collamati, tenure-track Assistant Professor of New Media Studies, Alma College, Michigan
• Andrew Hurley, tenure-track Assistant Professor, Packaging Science, Clemson U
• Nicole McFarlane, tenure-track Assistant Professor of English, Fayetteville, State U of NC
• Curtis Newbold, tenure-track Assistant Professor of Communication, New Media and Technical Communication, Westminster College in Utah
• Nicole Snell, tenure-track Assistant Professor of Information Design and Corporate Communication at Bentley University in Massachusetts

  • At present, 23 students have graduated, with positions in academia or industry


I will soon update the RCID Web site with this information as well as add our 9 new students. Best, vv

Anthony Collamati ha difeso con successo la sua dissertazione il 30 aprile

May 1, 2012 by

Anthony laureati nel mese di agosto, 2012 e inizia la sua tenure-track assistente di cattedra di “studi nuovi media” presso Alma College, Michigan.

Titolo della tesi:
“Creatures Fotocamera: Retorica Luce e Media Emergenti”

Comitato:
Chair, Victor Vitanza
Cynthia Haynes
Christina Hung
Jeff Amore

—-

Anthony Collamati has successfully defended his Dissertation on April 30: Monday: 2:30-4PM.

Anthony graduates in August, 2012 and begins his tenure-track Assistant Professorship of “New Media Studies” at Alma College, Michigan.

Dissertation title:
“Camera Creatures: Rhetorics of Light and Emerging Media”

Committee:
Chair, Victor Vitanza
Cynthia Haynes
Christina Hung
Jeff Love

Pix: (Defense and Celebration)

Nicole McFarlane’s Oral Doctoral Dissertation Defense

April 25, 2012 by

“The Racial Rhetoric of Cuteness as Decorative Decorum”

Happened: 4.16.12, 3:00-4:45PM
Outcome: Nicole Successfully defended her dissertation.

Committee:
Cynthia Haynes, Chair (English)
Victor J. Vitanza (English)
Martha Skinner (Architecture)
Stephanie Barczewski (History)
Keith Gilyard (Penn State, external reader)

Here’s a pic of Cynthia and Nicole:

Image

RCID Research Forum, AY 2011-2012

April 23, 2012 by


The Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design doctoral Program, with the support of the College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities, gives thanks to all of our colleagues who made presentations to both Students and Faculty attending the RCID Research Forum, AY 2011-2012



Fall Semester, 2011

1. Brian McGrath, Department of English. The title of his presentation was “Dead Men Running.”

2. The Four Amigos, Department of English: David Blakesley, Cynthia Haynes, Jan Holmevik, and Victor Vitanza. They spoke of their various “High Wired Redux sequels that are forthcoming in the Cybertext Yearbook.”

3. Kayrn Jones, Department of Communication Studies. The title: “Research on Parenting Children with Disabilities: Communication, Identity, and Social Support.”

4. Sam Fredrick, Department of Languages. The title: “The Utopian Narrative Space of Gerhard Meier’s Toteninsel.”

5. Sydney Cross, Department of Art. The title: “Cultural Strata.”

6. Travers Scott, Department of Communication Studies. The title: “Killer Apps and Sick Users: Patterns in Pathological Technoculture.”

Spring Semester, 2012

7. Michael LeMathieu, Department of English. The title: “The Erasure of Logical Positivism in American Literature.”

8. Joe Mazer, Department of Communication  Studies. The title: “Communication, Social Media, and Interpersonal Relationships: Productive and Problematic Implications for Relational Closeness and Well-Being Outcomes.”

9. Elizabeth Rivlin, Department of English. The title: “Adapting Shakespeare: Trauma, Ethics, and Knowledge.”

10. Armando Montilla, School of Architecture. The title: ” ‘Unrooting’ the American Dream: Exiling the Ethnospace in the midst of Urban Fractality.”

11. Joseph Mai, Department of Languages. The title: “Vulnerability, Shame, Pastoral: Animals in Milan Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness (or Why We Humans Should Gouge Out Our Eyes).”

12. Beth Anne Lauritis, Department of Art. The title: “Art exhibition as discourse: Lucy Lippard’s politics of visibility.”

Thank you all!The RCID Research Forum will return in August for the AY 2012-2013.

Curtis Newbold’s Oral Doctoral Dissertation Defense

April 16, 2012 by

“Ambiguous Science and the Visual Representation of the Real”

Happened: 4.16.12, 8:30-10:30AM in the Jordan Room on campus.
Outcome: Curtis Successfully defended his dissertation.

Committee:
Steve Katz, Chair (English)
Sean Morey (English)
Joe Mazer (Communication Studies)
Sydney Cross (Art)
Lesly Temesvari (Biological Sciences)

Here are some pix:

Trish and Jimmy on their way to EGS, June, 2012 …

April 10, 2012 by


Trish Fancher and Jimmy Butts
(RCID students, CAAH, Clemson University)

will attend the European Graduate School this June. In Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

http://www.egs.edu/media-communication/about/

–> They will have seminars with

Diane Davis, Victor Vitanza, Denise Riley, Avital Ronell, Volker Schlöndorff, Wolfgang Schirmacher.

–> And will be attending lectures and mixing with

Simon Critchley, Slavoj Zizek, Peter Singer / Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek, Hendrik Speck, Michael Hardt, Lev Manovich

Mitchell Joachim, Geert Lovink, Francois Noudelmann, Claire Denis, Sylvere Lotringer, Samuel Weber

Werner Hamacher, Manthia Diawara, Eduardo L. Cadava, Manuel de Landa, Catherine Breillat.

. . . VjV . . . 


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