Keynote Speakers 2018

Robert Hariman

Professor Robert Hariman
(Northwestern University) 

Robert Hariman is a Professor of Rhetoric and Public Culture in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, IL. 

His publications include No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy (Chicago, 2007, co-authored with John Louis Lucaites), The Public Image: Photography and Civic Spectatorship (Chicago, 2016, co-authored with John Louis Lucaites), Political Style: The Artistry of Power (Chicago, 1995), and four edited volumes, Popular Trials: Rhetoric, Mass Media, and the Law (1990), Post-Realism: The Rhetorical Turn in International Relations (1996, co-edited with Francis A. Beer), Prudence: Classical Virtue, Postmodern Practice (2003), and Culture, Catastrophe, and Rhetoric: The Texture of Political Action (2015, co-edited with Ralph Cintron), as well as book chapters and journal articles in several disciplines. His work has been translated into French and Chinese, and recognized by awards for both teaching and scholarship and by numerous invitations to lecture. 

Besides their co-authored books mentioned earlier, Professor Hariman and Professor Lucaites co-host a blog “No Caption Needed” which is dedicated to public discussion of the role that photojournalism and other visual practices play in a vital democratic society.


John Lucaites

Professor John Lucaites
(Indiana University)

John Louis Lucaites is Provost Professor of Rhetoric in the Department of English and Adjunct Professor of American Studies, Indiana University. He is also a Fellow in Indiana University’s Center for Integrative Photographic Studies.

His publications include In/visible War: The Culture of War in Twenty-First-Century America (Rutgers, 2017, co-edited with Jon Simons), Rhetoric, Politics, and Materiality (Peter Lang, 2009, co-edited with Barbara Biesecker), The Public Image: Photography and Civic Spectatorship (Chicago, 2016, co-authored with Robert Hariman), No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy (Chicago, 2007, co-authored with Robert Hariman), Martin Luther King Jr.  Crafting Equality: America’s Anglo-African Word (Chicago, 1993, co-authored with Celeste Michelle Condit) and Sermonic Power of Public Discourse (Alabama, 1993, co-edited with Carolyn Calloway Thomas),  as well as numerous book chapters, journal articles, and book reviews. 

He is also senior editor of the University of Alabama’s book series Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique, and past editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech. He serves on numerous other editorial boards. In 2001 he co-hosted national and international conferences on visual rhetoric at the University of Iowa and Indiana University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on rhetoric and social theory, visuality, and public culture. He is also a contributing editor at “Reading the Pictures”, a blog dedicated to politics and visual culture.

Besides their co-authored books mentioned earlier, Professor Lucaites and Professor Hariman co-host a blog “No Caption Needed” which is dedicated to public discussion of the role that photojournalism and other visual practices play in a vital democratic society. 


Photography and the Failures of Language

Photography’s relationship to truth and to “any post-truth condition” is complex, not least because of how it stands in respect to three failures of language: The inability of any text to communicate all of the truth; the inability of the critical discourse on photography to account for the affordances and value of that medium; and the inability of contemporary public discourse to prevent a catastrophic resurgence of propaganda, cognitive rigidity, and tribalism. These problems can be addressed by rethinking the image-text to advance a paradigm shift in the discourse on photography and in contemporary practices of art and advocacy.  

Monday March 26, from 12.00–13.30, Nokia Hall 




Barbie Zelizer

Professor Barbie Zelizer
(University of Pennsylvania) 

Barbie Zelizer is the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication and Director of the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. A former journalist, Zelizer is known for her work on journalism, culture, memory and images, particularly in times of crisis. She has authored or edited fourteen books, including the award-winning About To Die: How News Images Move the Public (Oxford, 2010) and Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory Through the Camera's Eye (Chicago, 1998), and over 150 articles, book chapters and essays.

Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Freedom Forum Center Research Fellowship, a  Fellowship from Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, a Fellowship from the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fellowship from Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Zelizer is also a media critic, whose work has appeared in The Nation, PBS News Hour, CNN, The Huffington Post, Newsday and other media organs. Coeditor of Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, she is a recent President of the International Communication Association, where she is also a Fellow, and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association. She is a recent Judge of the Peabody Awards for Excellence in Electronic Media. Her work has been translated into French, Korean, Turkish, Romanian, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew and Portuguese.

Her latest book What Journalism Could Be was published by Polity in late 2016. In the spring of 2018, she will be Director of the Center for Media@Risk, a platform devoted to addressing media practice—in journalism, documentary, entertainment and online practice—in situations of creeping authoritarianism. 



On Agreeing Not to See: Invisibility in the “Post Truth” Era

This talk will address the role of invisibility in fostering the conditions commonly known as the “post truth” era. It traces the entrenchment of invisibility as a long-relevant trope for news depiction and shows how that early resonance has proven instrumental for today’s predilection toward post truth, alternate facts and fake news. In so doing, the talk argues that images constitute a bellwether indicator of how well (or badly) the news is functioning. Paying fuller attention to images thus might generate a more productive understanding of the stature of the news discourses in which they travel.

Tuesday March 27, from 14.00–15.30, Nokia Hall 





Walid Raad

Artist Keynote Professor Walid Raad 
(The Cooper Union, NYC)

Walid Raad is an artist and a Professor of Art in The Cooper Union (New York, USA). Raad’s works include The Atlas Group, a fifteen-year project between 1989 and 2004 about the contemporary history of Lebanon, and the ongoing projects Scratching on Things I Could Disavow and Sweet Talk: Commissions (Beirut). His books include Walkthrough, The Truth Will Be Known When The Last Witness Is Dead, My Neck Is Thinner Than A Hair, Let’s Be Honest The Weather Helped, and Scratching on Things I Could Disavow.

Raad’s solo exhibitions include the Louvre (Paris), The Museum of Modern Art (New York, USA), ICA (Boston, USA), Museo Jumex (Mexico City, Mexico), Kunsthalle Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland), The Whitechapel Art Gallery (London, UK), Festival d’Automne (Paris, France), Kunsten Festival des Arts (Brussels, Belgium), The Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin, Germany). His works have also been shown in Documenta 11 and 13 (Kassel, Germany), The Venice Biennale (Venice, Italy), Whitney Bienniale 2000 and 2002 (New York, USA), Sao Paulo Bienale (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Istanbul Biennal (Istanbul, Turkey), Homeworks I and III (Beirut, Lebanon) and numerous other museums, biennales and venues in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas.  

Raad is also the recipient of the ICP Infinity Award (2016), the Hasselblad Award (2011), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), the Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2007), the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2007), the Camera Austria Award (2005), a Rockefeller Fellowship (2003), among other grants, prizes and awards.



Artist Talk

In this Artist Talk, Walid Raad will introduce his two long-term ongoing art projects, The Atlas Group (1989-2004), and Scratching on Things I Could Disavow (2007-). With The Atlas Group, Raad concentrates on documents, stories, and situations about the Lebanese wars of the past few decades. In Scratching on Things I Could Disavow, his focus shifts to the history of art in the Arab world, with a focus on the emerging infrastructures for the arts throughout the Arab world.

Wednesday March 28, from 11.00–12.30, Nokia Hall