POSTPONED - CPCA AIR: An Evening with Dr. Laliv Melamed

POSTPONED - CPCA AIR: An Evening with Dr. Laliv Melamed

Oct 9, 2023


CPCA Arts Interdisciplinary Research (AIR) Presents:

Dr. Laliv Melamed, Film and Media Scholar (Author, Sovereign Intimacy)
Lecture and Conversation with Chris Cagle, Associate Professor of Film and Media Arts at Temple
POSTPONED  Temple Performing Arts Center 1837 N Broad St 
Free and open to the public

(not able to make the event in person? RSVP Here to attend on zoom)

How do we study an overlooked archive of more than two decades of domestic media production? How do we look at these intimate utterances systematically, make sense of them in the unfolding of settler colonial violence? Are they documents? Are they a labor of love? And if they are, what does this labor produce?

Laliv Melamed encountered the girlfriend while working on an obscure short television documentary done by a premature film student whose boyfriend, an Israeli soldier, died in Lebanon in 1992. The video, a raw mediation of love and loss, had a haunting presence. The girlfriend, a figure who is real and metaphorical at once, seems to crystallize a particular position, an intimate lover yet not formally a kin (at least not yet!). From this special position, the girlfriend, and her media of private loss, are both a challenge and affirmation of sovereign power.

Dr. Melamed uses the girlfriend story as a way to articulate the incommensurable sentiment towards private family videos commemorating the death of Israeli soldiers. While perceived as the family’s own personal expression of mourning, Melamed analyzes these private media productions in the context of Israeli settler colonialism and state violence, showing how intimate media of mourning is weaponized in the neoliberal settler state.

DR. LALIV MELAMED is an assistant professor of film studies at the University of Groningen. She writes on sentimental politics, governance and media and specializes in nonfiction media and documentary. Melamed is the author of Sovereign Intimacy: Private Media and the Traces of Colonial Violence (University of California Press, 2023). Her other writings appeared in Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (forthcoming), Discourse, American Anthropologist Review, New Cinemas, Millennium Film Journal.

In 2020, with the break of the pandemic, she launched a collaborative project titled Society for Sick Societies published by Social Text online, and co-edited Pandemic Media: Preliminary Notes Towards an Inventory (Meson Press, 2021). Currently, she is working on a book project on military optics and aspects of state secrecy, titled Optics of Opacity: The Cultural Imaginaries of Operative Images. In addition to her academic career, Melamed is a film programmer. She works for Docaviv Film Festival, and has curated programs for The Left Wing film club and Oberhausen Film Festival. 

Arts Interdisciplinary Research (AIR) is a holistic research center and forum for creative and scholarly research across the arts that includes cutting-edge colloquia, exploratory seminars, lecture demonstrations, launches of research publications and creative works, reading groups, faculty talks, and stand-alone conferences initiated by the faculty of the Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts.

Scroll to Top