Rebecca Carter, "The House in 'Time': The Photograph, Viewfinding, and the Remediation of 'Disaster' in New Orleans"

CSREA Conference Room, Hillel 303, 80 Brown Street

What I Am Thinking About Now: Professor Rebecca Carter (Anthropology, Urban Studies)

This presentation traces the circulation and social life of a photograph published in Time magazine of a post-Katrina neighborhood fire in New Orleans. It uses a series of viewfinding exercises to deliberately shift vantage point and perspective, in order to explore both the mediation and remediation of "disaster" for, and by, African American residents. The presentation thus includes narrative and ethnographic data to consider the creation and impact of the image as well as its reclamation and reconfiguration by homeowners and residents themselves. It explores more broadly the framing and representation of African American life within conditions of urban vulnerability and violence, and considers how viewfinding, as method and mode of analysis, might shift and upset the dominant gaze. 

What I Am Thinking About Now is an on-going informal workshop/seminar series to which faculty and graduate students are invited to present and discuss recently published work and work in progress.