A Trans-Disciplinary Conference at The University of Utah September 3-5, 2015 at the Tanner Humanities Center


Conference Schedule   |   Register Today


Since the mid-1990s, scholars across the humanities have grappled with what it means to think and write about the affective dimensions of public life. Spurred by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Adam Frank’s “Shame in the Cybernetic Fold” (Critical Inquiry) and Brian Massumi’s “The Autonomy of Affect” (Cultural Critique), the affective turn has resonated within fields as wide-ranging as philosophy, literary studies, rhetorical theory, history, cultural anthropology, and media studies, to name only a few. The recent surge in journal articles and scholarly monographs on affect suggests that the “affective turn” is immensely productive for scholars variously positioned across the humanities.

Despite the emergence of affect theory within the humanities, the dynamic relationship between affect, images, and digital media has yet to be thoroughly engaged. Organized by Joshua Trey Barnett and Kevin DeLuca, the Affect, Images, and Digital Media Conference seeks to engage these worlds in an intimate and experimental setting. At this three-day gathering, scholars from a variety of disciplines will convene to think collectively about how images and digital media move people in ways both minute and magnificent, about the affective dimensions of politics and activism in a world of public screens, about the ways in which the body is implicated and impinged upon by new media, and about the scholarly forms most appropriate, most evocative, for the task of grappling with these overlapping, ongoing, and dynamic elements of contemporary life. After the conference, the planners will facilitate the publication of the innovative works on display at this gathering.

We are pleased to present the following trans-disciplinary keynote speakers: Jeffrey Nealon, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at the Pennsylvania State University, and most recently author of Foucault Beyond Foucault and Post-Postmodernism; John Protevi, professor of philosophy and French studies at Louisiana State University, and author of Political Affect and Life, Earth, War: Deleuzian Interventions; Jamie Landau, assistant professor of communication and philosophy at Keene State College, and author of numerous essays on visual culture, digital media, and the body. These speakers will offer lectures and workshops from their respective disciplinary perspectives and will participate in a sustained conversation throughout the gathering. Participants will have an opportunity to meet and informally engage with the invited speakers during meals and at recreational events.

The Affect, Images, and Digital Media conference is organized by Joshua Trey Barnett and Kevin DeLuca, and is made possible by generous contributions from the following units at the University of Utah: Department of Communication, College of Humanities, Tanner Humanities Center, Department of Philosophy, Department of English, Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies, and the Department of Languages and Literature.

Keynote Speakers


The Affect, Images, and Digital Media: Engaging Multiple Worlds conference will be held at the Tanner Humanities Center on the University of Utah campus. The University of Utah is located in the rolling foothills of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains in the Salt Lake Valley. Guests will enjoy the surrounding scenery from the spectacular Tanner Humanities Center Jewel Box, which will serve as the epicenter for this gathering. Most talks will be held in this beautiful “glass box,” which overlooks the Wasatch Mountains to the east and south. In the evenings, guests will take in the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of downtown Salt Lake City. Below you will find information about getting to the University of Utah and to the Tanner Humanities Center.

Getting to the University of Utah

Planes. If you are arriving by air, fly into the Salt Lake City (SLC) International Airport. The SLC airport is serviced by: Alaska Air, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Jet Blue, Sky West, Southwest Airlines, United, and U.S. Airways.
Trains. The Salt Lake Valley is serviced by the UTA Trax light rail, which you can take from the SLC International Airport to both downtown Salt Lake City and the University of Utah campus. For more information about taking TRAX, visit their website. This is the cheapest way to get from the airport to your downtown hotel and/or to campus.
Automobiles. Whether you are driving from out of town or flying into the SLC International Airport and renting a car, you can find driving directions to the University of Utah here. Ground transportation is also easily accessible at the airport. Follow the signs to access cabs, limos, and buses into the city.

Getting to the Tanner Humanities Center

The Tanner Humanities Center is located at 215 South Central Campus Drive in the heart of the University of Utah campus. If using Trax, take the Red Line to the Fort Douglas stop and walk west toward the Tanner Humanities Center. If using the UTA city buses, plan your route here.


Affect, Images, and Digital Media: Engaging Multiple Worlds is co-convened by Joshua Trey Barnett and Kevin Michael DeLuca. To contact the conveners, please complete the form below.

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