Last year's two post-doctoral Provost Fellows, Charlotte Frost and Rebekah Sheldon are maintaining their ties with the Center for 2012-13 as Affiliated Scholars.
PhD, The School of History of Art, Film, and Visual Media
Birkbeck College, University of London
Charlotte Frost’s interests are in the state of knowledge production in art history today. As a scholarly field, art history has relied strongly upon the format of the book to store and transfer knowledge. The result is that it has structured itself around the types of ideas easily contained by print-published books. This has had two consequences. First, many of the more contemporary and dynamic art forms huddled under the umbrella term of “new media art” are not well represented within art history—indeed, their contextual material is often better presented online. Second, the discipline is at risk of losing its relevance and future stability as it becomes resistant not just to digital art forms, but to the types of ideas and arguments that arise through digital formats.
While at the Center, Frost will continue her efforts to build an academic book series that publishes works that demonstrate the debates between book-based art history and art histories of the digital era—all produced in hybridized print/digital formats. Additionally, she will be finishing up her own book project, “Art History Online: Mailing Lists, Digital Forums, and the Future of Criticism,” which examines the media specificity of art knowledge generated through mailing lists. The book will also be published in a hybrid print/digital format.
City College of New York
Working within emerging (post)humanistic inquiries often termed “new materialisms” or “new ontologies,” Rebekah Sheldon will continue her book project, “Affective Futurities: Non- Representational Criticism and the Physics of Reading.” Sheldon posits a bio-poetics that suggests how literature elicits meanings, as well as a physics of reading, in order to consider how meaning moves beyond the human. Specifically, “Affective Futurities” concentrates on four formal properties of texts—composition, mimesis, rhythm, and movement—that allow her to reconfigure the relations among these aesthetic strategies, the excitations of the body, and the ideas that circulate through a text. With an opening chapter that draws on recent feminist theories of ontology, the book goes on to explore repetition in Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, ritual posture and gesture in William Burroughs’ Cities of the Red Night, sound and rhythm in Mark Z. Danielewski’s "postprint" novel House of Leaves, and the resonating and rhythmic strata of Samuel Delany’s Dhalgren. The book concludes with a theoretical treatment of the physics of reading. In moving from human affects to physical affects, Sheldon argues for an ontologically robust account of feeling that bridges the schism in affect theory.