Richard Allen – Guest Lecture

5th Guest Lecture in Creative Media Colloquium this semester with Richard Allen.
Date: 10th October, 2014  (Friday)

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30pm

Venue : M6094 Future Cinema Studio   (6/F, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre)
SM2703 guest lecture RichardAllen
Talk Abstract:

Voyeurism Revisited

Hitchcock’s preoccupation with voyeurism and what it might tell us about cinema has been much discussed. Yet there remain several fundamental questions about voyeurism in the cinema that are unresolved. One set of questions has to do with what exactly is voyeurism? Is there one kind of voyeurism or several kinds? Is cinema really a voyeuristic medium or is it simply used to represent fictions that stage voyeurism? Are Hitchcock’s concerns those of cinema as a whole? The second set of questions has to do with the moral status of voyeurism. Is voyeurism morally reprehensible and if so why? If cinema is a voyeuristic medium, is cinematic voyeurism morally reprehensible? Is there a gender bias in cinematic voyeurism? This talk will reconsider these questions by reflecting on Hitchcock’s Rear Window as an allegory of film spectatorship.

Guest speaker’s Biography :
My research interests as a scholar began in the areas of film theory and the philosophy of film. My first book, Projecting Illusion (Cambridge University Press, 1997), articulated a sophisticated version of the illusion theory of representation as a basis for defending a psychoanalytic conception of spectatorship. In addition, I edited one of the first anthologies of analytic film theory, in the philosophical sense of “analytic,” entitled Film Theory and Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1999). Without relinquishing a belief in the value of conceptual clarity within humanistic inquiry, my work has increasingly moved towards a revised notion of theory manifest in my anthology Wittgenstein, Theory and the Arts (Routledge, 2001), co-edited with Malcolm Turvey. In the meantime my research has focused upon film poetics and aesthetics, in particular, the films of Alfred Hitchcock. This research includes three Hitchcock anthologies and editorship of The Hitchcock Annual, the journal of Hitchcock studies, as well as my book Hitchcock’s Romantic Irony (Columbia University Press, 2007). Latterly, I have become interested in the poetics and aesthetics of Hindi cinema, whose most recent avatar is known as Bollywood, and I collaborated with Professor Ira Bhaskar of Jawarharlal Nehru University on curating a film festival in Abu Dhabi and New York — Muslim Cultures of Bombay Cinema, and publishing a book entitled Islamicate Cultures of Bombay Cinema (Tulika, 2009).

Author, Projecting Illusion: Film Spectatorship and the Impression of Reality (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995); Hitchcock’s Romantic Irony (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007; Islamicate Cultures of Bombay Cinema (New Delhi: Tulika Press, 2009), with Ira Bhaskar. Editor, Film Theory and Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1997) with Murray Smith. Editor, Hitchcock Centenary Essays (British Film Institute, 1999) and Hitchcock: Past and Future (London: Routledge, 2004) with Sam Ishii-Gonzales. Editor, Wittgenstein, Humanistic Understanding, and the Arts (Routledge, 2001) and Camera Obscura, Camera Lucida: Essays in Honor of Annette Michelson (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2003) with Malcolm Turvey. Editor, The Hitchcock Annual Anthology (London: Wallflower Press, 2009), with Sid Gottlieb. Editor, Hitchcock Annual since 2001.


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