Shunsuke Nozawa's picture
July 4, 2016 to July 5, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, East Asian History / Studies, Film and Film History, Popular Culture Studies, Japanese History / Studies




Presented by Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation and Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, the University of Tokyo

Monday July 5, 2016 LECTURES: Thomas Lamarre and Elizabeth Povinelli

- 13:15: Introduction

- 13:30: Thomas Lamarre (McGill University)

Title: “Animation and Transhuman Ethics”

In the 1930s and early 1940s, the explosion of cartoons onto the global cinema market sparked a wave of critical analyses of animation — writings by Sergei Eisenstein, Theodor Adorno, and Imamura Taihei. Across these writings emerges a concern for the “personness” of cartoon characters: cartoons implied a weird relation in which the cartoon body conveyed an affective intelligence that verged on being a person (animism). Yet that personness remained unstable, highly plastic, refusing to coalesce into an individual with genuine personhood (or shutaisei) while defying the boundaries of species. In addition, in different ways, these writers all linked the emergence of cartoon animism to the emergence of new capitalist totalities. Significantly, the same historical period also saw the first stirring of today’s multimedia franchises. Ultimately, however, these early accounts do not subordinate animation to capitalist capture or totalization. Thus they pose a question that remains open and urgent today: how do the animist tendencies of animation allow us to think creatively about the total events and global emergencies evoked in contemporary ecocriticism and animal studies, such as mass species extinction, the Anthropocene, and the uneven distribution of apparently total events across populations and places?

- 14:30: Elizabeth Povinelli (Columbia University)

Title: “Geontopower, Life and Non-Life in Late Liberalism”

This talk elaborates how our allegiance to the concept of biopower is hiding and revealing another problematic—a formation for want of a better term I am calling geontological power, or geontopower. It asks whether the concepts of biopolitics, positive or negative, or necropolitics, colonial or postcolonial, still inform the formation of power in which late liberalism now operates—or has been operating. If, paraphrasing Gilles Deleuze, concepts open understanding to what is all around us but not in our field of vision, does biopolitics any longer gather together under its conceptual wings what needs to be thought if we are to understand contemporary late liberalism? Have we been so entranced by the image of power working through life that we haven’t noticed the new problems, figures, strategies, and concepts emerging all around us, suggesting another formation of late liberal power—or the revelation of a formation that is fundamental to but hidden by the concept of biopower? Have we been so focused on exploring each and every wrinkle in the biopolitical fold (biosecurity, biospectrality, thanatopoliticality) that we forgot to notice that the figures of biopower—the hysterical woman, the Malthusian couple, the perverse adult, and the masturbating child; the camps and barracks, the panopticon and solitary confinement—once so central to our understanding of contemporary power, now seem not as decisive, to be inflected by or giving way to new figures: the Desert, the Animist, the Virus? And is a return to sovereignty our only option for understanding contemporary late liberal power?

Lectures will be followed by a roundtable and open discussion with Thomas Lamarre, Elizabeth Povinelli, Anne Allison, and Shunsuke Nozawa


Tuesday July 5, 2016 FILM SCREENING: "Intervention Trilogy" by Karrabing Film Collective

- When the Dogs Talked (2014)
- Windjarrameru, The Stealing C*nt$ (2015)
- Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams (2016)

Karrabing Film Collective is a majority Indigenous Australian grassroots media group which seeks to analyze the conditions of contemporary life through improvisational narrative filmmaking. This film screening of “the Intervention Trilogy” features three of their award-winning productions, followed by discussion with one of the Collective’s participants, Elizabeth Povinelli.



Contact Info: 

Shunsuke Nozawa

Project Associate Professor

Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies

University of Tokyo

7-3-1 Hongo Bunkyo-ku Tokyo 113-0033

03 5841 7907