Absence in Cinema: Naomi Uman and the Peekaboo Principle

Absence in Cinema: Naomi Uman and the Peekaboo Principle

Lecture and Masterclass by Justin Remes (Iowa State University), Amsterdam 14 May 2020.

14 May, 15.00 – 18.00 OMHP  E 2.01 https://www.uva.nl/locaties/binnenstad/oudemanhuispoort.html

Abstract: To create her 1999 film removed, Naomi Uman used nail polish and bleach to erase the women from a German pornographic film of the 1970s. While spectators of removed still hear women moaning orgasmically and delivering sexually charged lines of dialogue, these women are no longer visible, as they have been replaced by unstable and jittery white holes. In this talk, I argue that removed foregrounds the centrality of both scopophilia (the pleasure derived from looking) and phonophilia (the pleasure derived from hearing) in the cinematic encounter. I also argue that removed exploits what the neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran has called “the peekaboo principle,” a psychological mechanism that leads humans to find images more enticing when they are hidden from view.

Bio: Justin Remes is an assistant professor of film studies at Iowa State University. He is the author of Motion(less) Pictures: The Cinema of Stasis (Columbia UP, 2015) and Absence in Cinema: The Art of Showing Nothing (forthcoming from Columbia UP). He has also written articles for JCMS: The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Cinema Journal, and Screen. His current book project is a work of experimental scholarship entitled Found Footage Films.

Critical Issues in the Cultural Industries

Critical Issues in the Cultural Industries

9 EC Course at the VU offered by Ginette Verstraete

Along with the increasing mobility of goods, money, and people and the interconnectedness of cultures through digital media – known as globalization – issues of space and place have been back on the agenda in various disciplines and cultural practices. As if the so-called placelessness that comes with globalization has called forth a renewed attention to what gets lost. This does not mean that place and space in those discussions and practices simply refer back to rootedness, as opposed to movement. Rather, spatiality often gets redefined in relation to the physical and virtual mobilities through which it is reshaped. Interestingly, addressing such new questions about space & place in the arts, design and media also has far-reaching effects for ourselves since it enables us to take the objects of our research beyond their presumed autonomy – beyond the screen or frame so to speak – and into the streets.

Registration before 29 January 12:00 hrs. by sending a message to nica-fgw@uva.nl. Please mention your affiliation.



Media | Art | Politics:  Soirées on Optimism, Failure and Care

Media | Art | Politics:  Soirées on Optimism, Failure and Care

MAP will continue this semester as a series of soirées: three reading sessions in which we will be reading, integrally, the following three books:

  • 17 February: Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism (Duke UP 2011)
  • 16 March: Jack Halberstam’s Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP 2011)
  • 20 April: Maria Puig de Bellacasa’s Matters of Care (Minnesota UP 2017).

Offering a radical reframing of the concepts of optimism, failure, and care, these books converge in that they meet the ongoing crisis of our current, transitional, moment (in both the humanities and society at large) heads on. “[T]o attend to the terms of transition is to forge imaginaries to manage the meanwhile,” Berlant writes. As such, we expect, these books to offer nothing less of a “healing reading”: a way of coping and bargaining with what is there.

Sessions will take place on Monday evenings from 17.00 till 19.00 in Lipsius 208 (Leiden University). Places are limited, registration is required. To register, please send a message with your affiliation and commitment to the organizers before the 5th of February. In order to optimally profit from our collective reading, we expect the participants to commit to be present and read the material for all three sessions. Research MA students can earn 2 ecs by participating.

The MAP Soirées on Optimism, Failure and Care are funded NICA (Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis), and LUCAS (Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society). They are organized and will be led by Pepita Hesselberth (p.hesselberth@hum.leidenuniv.nl) and Yasco Horsman (y.horsman@hum.leidenuniv.nl)

PhD Position at the University of Kassel

Doc­to­ral can­di­da­te (m/f/d), EG 13 TV-H – In­sti­tu­te of So­ci­al Work and So­ci­al Wel­fa­re
Faculty of Human Sciences – Prof. Dr. Mechthild Bereswill – fixed-term, part-time (currently 26,67 hours/week)
link to the website

  • deadline for submission: 26.02.2020
  • start of recruitment : as soon as possible
  • reference number: 32864
  • applications to: bewerbungen@uni-kassel.de

Part-time position with two-thirds of the regular full work time; fixed-term, initially for three years (Qualifikationsstelle gem. § 65 HHG i. V. mit § 2 Abs. 1 Satz 1 WissZeitVG). The successful candidate can qualify for a doctoral degree.


  • Independent research to write a doctoral dissertation
  • Teaching within the Institute of Social Work and Social Welfare
  • Contribution to research and a third-party funding application of a post-doc researcher working on disability and assistant animals (Dr. Birkan Tas)


  • Excellent or very good Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field (such as sociology, social sciences, social work, social anthropology, cultural studies)
  • The degree required for this position must have been obtained by the starting date at the latest.
  • Ability to work in a team and carry out independent research under supervision
  • An excellent command of the English language

Desirable skills:

  • Theoretical knowledge of human-animal studies, disability studies or queer studies
  • Interest in employing qualitative research methods in social sciences
  • Organizing skills
  • Experience in interdisciplinary research
  • For further information or questions please contact Dr. Birkan Tas at birkan.tas@uni-kassel.de

The protection of your personal data is important to us. We will therefore handle your data carefully. If you provide us with your data, you allow us to save and use them in line with the Hessian data protection and freedom of information act. You may file an objection at any time. Your personal data will then be deleted.

The University of Kassel is an equal opportunity employer and aims at a clear increase of the proportion of women in research and teaching. Qualified women are therefore expressly requested to apply. Under the precondition of equal qualification, disabled persons will be preferred. Applications indicating the Position Number, which may be in digital form, should be sent to the President of the University of Kassel, 34109 Kassel, Germany or bewerbungen@uni-kassel.de, quoting the applicable reference number in the subject.

Melt, Rise and Hydrological Globalization – An Origin Story 

ASCA Political Ecologies Workshop announces: Masterclass and Public Lecture with Dr. Cymene Howe (Rice University)

Public Lecture: Friday, March 6th @ 17:00-19:00 (Location TBA)

Melt, Rise and Hydrological Globalization – An Origin Story 

Around the globe glaciers and ice sheets are losing their mass, oceanic thermal expansion continues and populations are seeing landscapes denuded of ice while others are becoming flooded by seawater. Rapidly transforming cryo- and hydrospheres promise misery to millions. But these elemental state-shifts are also locations of material connectivity where places and people are becoming linked through their water. In this presentation, I juxtapose the loss of Icelandic glaciers with rising seas in lower latitude coastal cities impacted by Arctic melt. A theoretical proposition that I call “hydrological globalization” forms the analytic infrastructure for the presentation and highlights a new NASA model that determines which glacial basins are contributing to sea level rise in the world’s coastal cities. I close with reflections on my recent public-facing work to memorialize the first major Icelandic glacier to be lost to climate change, Okjökull.

Cymene Howe is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Rice University and author of Ecologics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene (Duke University Press) and Intimate Activism: The Struggle for Sexual Rights in Postrevolutionary Nicaragua, also at Duke University Press. Ecologics is one half of the duograph Wind and Power in the AnthropoceneEngergopolitics, by Dominic Boyer, is the other half.



Masterclass: Friday, March 6th @ 10:00-12:00 (Location TBA)

Ecologics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene

For the masterclass, Dr. Howe will discuss political ecologies in conversation with her recent book, Ecologics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene (Duke UP). Students can access the book as open access (PDF download) here:  https://doi.org/10.25611/j5kf-mr18

Participants should read 1) the introduction, 2) the chapter on “wind,” and 3) Cristián Simonetti and Tim Ingold’s “Ice and Concrete: Solid Fluids of Environmental Change,” Journal of Contemporary Anthropology 5.1 (2018).

All interested in participating should email ASCA Political Ecologies Workshop organizers in advance:

Jeff Diamanti j.diamanti@uva.nl

Joost de Bloois: J.G.C.deBloois@uva.nl