“The Limits of Recognition”

Today, when collecting my work mail for the first time in months, I found a copy of the most recent issue of American Studies, where I published an article called “The Limits of Recognition: Rethinking Conventional Critiques of Drone Warfare.” Thanks to the editors and the two anonymous readers for their thoughtful engagement with my ideas and all the nudges in the direction of making them better.

Two fantastic student researchers …

I don’t usually use this forum to talk about my students’ work, but it’s been such an eventful week that I couldn’t resist.

umbc reviewAli Knowles published a *peer-reviewed* paper, “How Donald Trump Tweeted his way into the White House,” in the UMBC Review, a journal of undergraduate research.

And Kenneth-Julius M’Bale presented – virtually, of course – on “Cuckolding Culture in Rap” at this year’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD).

I’m really proud of them both.

Seeing Syria, differently

photography and its publicsThanks so much to Melissa Miles and Edward Welch for including my chapter, “Hospitable Looking: Towards a Different Way of Seeing the War in Syria,” in Photography and Its Publics. This chapter builds on the paper I presented (thanks for that invitation too!) at a symposium by the same name in Prato, Italy, a few years ago.  In “Hospitable Looking,” I reflect on the pattern of optimism that global publics seem to evince about images from the war in Syria: the sense that each new photographic revelation of atrocity will be the one that finally compels an end to this conflict. Tracing the upwellings of this optimism, I explore the vexed, often solipsistic assumptions about spectatorial empathy that underpin it.  Ultimately, I argue that this conflict requires a different visual ethics.