School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications

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    Turning disaster into crisis
    Cubitt, S (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2022-03-07)
    This article suggests that the conditions driving the still-unresolved global financial crisis that began in 2007 depend on a generalised condition of capitalist coloniality that profits from disasters. It proposes that the task of cultural studies is to convert these disasters into crises: critical and therefore history-making opportunities.
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    Pandemic: Invisibility and silence
    Cubitt, S (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2022-04-07)
    Can the COVID pandemic be understood in any other than ecocritical and decolonial terms? It has brought nothing new except perhaps a certain fatalism in politics, borrowed from eco-catastrophism. Apocalyptic visions of migration, the Anthropocene, pestilence, and neo-populism exacerbate longer-term trends. Religious fanatics with machine guns take whips to outsiders whose gender or skin colour they despise at the behest of billionaire warlords from the Texas border to Kabul. But COVID-19 coincides with some intriguing cultural novelties, most of all a plague of visibility traced here through Ana Lily Amirpour’s film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, paired with a simultaneous mode of disappearance associated with the video image. Hegemonic transitions, the rise of financialization, and extractive postcolonization tie pandemic to fading (and therefore vengeful) American individualism and the rising (and therefore aggressive) Chinese command economy. The virus is occasion for profit: only a new and ecologically scaled cosmopolitanism can save us.
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    Ambient Images
    Cubitt, S ; Lury, C ; McQuire, S ; Papastergiadis, N ; Palmer, D ; Pfefferkorn, J ; Sunde, E (The Nordic Society for Aesthetics, 2021)
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    Ecocritical Media Arts and the War on Terra
    Cubitt, S (The New Media Caucus, 2021-11-02)
    Ecocritique accepts, as it must, that humans and environments have been ripped apart historically, sociologically, and aesthetically. But it also recognizes that because we have become strangers, dialogue between humans and environments is possible as it could not be if we were all one universal flux. Because of our mutual alienation, there are endless opportunities for misunderstanding when we capture, store, and process what we confront as Nature. Contemporary economic and political conditions driving ever more terrifying inequalities of wealth and power create the crisis implicit in ecocritique. The critical functions of art, which in these circumstances implies technical and creative aesthetic and political practice, concern the construction of a “we” that embraces the human and non- human victims of ecocide. The master’s tools might dismantle the master’s house, but can they build a different dwelling? Where are the practices that can produce more-than- human social change?
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    Against the New Normal
    Cubitt, S (Duke University Press, 2021-03-01)
    COVID-19 is now part of the resources out of which any future must be made. The temptation is to curl back into private misery and fatalism. The opportunity is to further the design of neonationalist, neoliberal returns to pre-1917 norms of extreme wealth, extreme poverty, and unmitigated exploitation of technical and ecological resources. The challenge is to build a future of public health, wealth, education, and environmental justice.
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    Limen, portal, network subjectivities
    Cubitt, S (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2020-01-02)
    Limina, the thresholds between worlds are by nature sacred. Passage between the worlds of the living and the dead is strange and holy. For the ancients, and for the religions of the book, precise places of transition to another world are scenes of veneration. ...
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    Imaging Global Communications: An Ecocritique
    Cubitt, S (Intellect, 2020-01-01)
    Through an overview of historical medals, logos, poems, paintings and engravings, imagery that picks at the gap between the persistence of the local and the deracination of the global enterprise, the article focuses on the visual imaginaries employed to mythologize and to make sense of the reach and power of global media, noting in particular the reduction of land and sea to blank canvases on which communication media superimpose their networks. The article serves as a genealogy of Internet cartography and infographics, attending to the problematic relations between text, numbers, diagrams and pictures and their displacement of environments and localities.