Designers often talk about the ability of design and design thinking to spark positive change, but it’s just as important to understand how design has been used as a tool to negatively impact culture and community. The Art of Oppression series is dedicated to reminding us to view design with a critical eye into the perspective and agenda behind it.
Rebecca A. Adelman, Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies at UMBC, will join us this month as The Art of Oppression series shifts its focus to the portrayal of women in visual culture.
On Tuesday, May 10, at Sticky Rice Baltimore, Rebecca will discuss how design and visual culture shape perceptions and portrayals of women in conditions of militarized violence: as civilians, spouses, and combatants. We will consider both how images obscure the complexity of women’s experiences of war and how image-makers have resisted and challenged these visions.
About Rebecca A Adelman
Rebecca A. Adelman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at UMBC, and holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies from The Ohio State University. At UMBC, she teaches courses on visual culture, media history and theory, and globalization. She is also affiliate faculty in UMBC’s Department of Gender + Women’s Studies, and has taught for the Intermedia and Digital Arts MFA program. Her research focuses on visual culture and militarized violence, with a particular interest in questions of affect and citizenship.
Her first book, Beyond the Checkpoint: Visual Practices in America’s Global War on Terror, maps the visual circuits linking the terrorized American nation-state, its citizens, and its enemies by exploring the practices of image creation, circulation, and consumption that animate these relationships. She is currently at work on two new book projects. The first, Figuring Violence: Affect, Imagination, and Contemporary American Militarism explores the intersections of fantasy, violence, and sentimentality as they coalesce around figures like military children and spouses, veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury, and detained enemy combatants. The second, a collaborative project with Wendy Kozol (Oberlin College) called The War In-Between, focuses on the quotidian visual cultures of living, dying, and surviving in conditions of militarized violence.
More information about Rebecca and her work can be found at rebeccaaadelman.com.