Generators, Electricity and the Infrastructural Life of Cities

Professor Brian Larkin

October 27, 2016 · 12-1PM

Columbia University, Fayerweather Hall, Room 411

The Committee on Global Thought (CGT) Lunchtime Seminars are a forum for Columbia University faculty and visiting scholars to discuss current research characterizing and assessing issues of global importance. Open to Columbia affiliates only. No registration is required. Light lunch will be available.

About the speaker

Brian Larkin is the Tow Associate Professor for Distinguished Scholars at Barnard College, and an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Barnard College. Professor Larkin sits on the board of the Society for Cultural Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association. He is the author of Signal and Noise: Media Infrastructure and Urban Culture in Nigeria (Duke University Press, 2008) and, with Lila Abu-Lughod and Faye Ginsburg, co-editor of Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain (University of California Press, 2000). He sits on the board of the Society for Cultural Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association.

Professor Larkin’s research focuses on the ethnography and history of media in Nigeria. Most broadly, he examines the introduction of media technologies into Nigeria – cinema, radio, digital media – and the religious, social and cultural changes they bring about. Professor Larkin explores how media technologies comprise broader networked infrastructures that shape a whole range of actions from forms of political rule, to new urban spaces, to cultural life. He has also published widely on issues of globalization, piracy and intellectual property, and Nigerian films (Nollywood) in such journals as Public Culture, Africa, Social Text and Cahiersd’Études africaines.

Professor Larkin’s current book, provisionally titled, Secular Machines: Media and the Materiality of Islamic Revival, analyzes the role media play in the rise of new Islamic movements in Nigeria and explores theoretical questions about technology and religion.

Read more about the CGT Lunchtime Seminars.

Fall 2016 Schedule

Below is the schedule for Fall 2016. The seminar takes place on Thursdays from 12-1pm in Fayerweather Hall, Room 411 unless otherwise noted. Please check back for updates to the schedule.

SEPTEMBER 22

Kian Tajbakhsh on "The Limits of Global Thought: Western Social and Human Sciences on Trial"

OCTOBER 6

Joseph R. Slaughter on "Hijacking Human Rights"

OCTOBER 27

Brian Larkin on "Generators, Electricity and the Infrastructural Life of Cities"

NOVEMBER 10

Saeed Naqvi on "Being the Other: The Muslim in India"

NOVEMBER 11 (FRI. IN 301M FAYERWEATHER)

Rosalind Morris on "Movement without Mobility, Settlement without Belonging: A Proposal for Theorizing 'Unsettlement' Today"

NOVEMBER 17

Henry Rousso on "The Latest Catastrophe: History, the Present, the Contemporary"

DECEMBER 1

Vegard Skirbekk on "Differences in Aging Across Cultures: A Global Perspective"

Directions

The seminar takes place on Thursdays from 12-1pm in Fayerweather Hall, Room 411 unless otherwise noted. Please check back for updates to the schedule.