Speaker introduction by Brian Lennon, Director, Digital Culture and Media Initiative
April 09, 2015
Mann Assembly Room, Paterno Library
It is my great pleasure to welcome Professor María Fernández to Penn State as a guest of the Digital Culture and Media Initiative and our final speaker in what I think has been a very successful first series of lectures, this year.
Professor Fernández is Associate Professor of Art History at Cornell University. She received her doctorate in art history from Columbia University in 1993. Her research interests include the history and theory of digital art, postcolonial and gender studies, Latin American art and architecture and the intersections of these fields.
Although the Digital Culture and Media Initiative is based in the Department of English here at Penn State, we’ve given it an interdisciplinary agenda and mission, and we’ve been fortunate to have a wide range of disciplinary affiliations in both our visiting speakers and in the audiences for their talks. If you do happen to be in the Department of English and have taken one of my graduate seminars in media theory, then you’ll already be familiar with Professor Fernández’s 1999 essay “Postcolonial Media Theory,” in my opinion the best introduction to the single biggest shortcoming and blind spot of North American and European media theory, which is its ignorance or deflection of issues in postcolonial studies.
That essay is just one in a long series of essays that Professor Fernández has published on topics in the study of new media and digital art, feminist and postcolonial studies, Latin American art and architectural history, and the history of cybernetics, with a special focus on the work of Gordon Pask. Professor Fernández is also the author of Cosmopolitanism in Mexican Visual Culture, published by the University of Texas Press in 2014, a deep and wide-ranging study of Mexican art and architecture from the seventeenth century to the early twenty-first century. With Faith Wilding and Michelle Wright, she edited the volume, Domain Errors! Cyberfeminist Practices, published by Autonomedia in 2002, and she is the editor of a completed forthcoming volume of essays on Latin American modernisms and technology.
Professor Fernández’s lecture today is titled “Reading Posthumanism in Feminist New Media Arts.” Please join me in welcoming her.