Dr. David Denny, culture & media department chair, presented a paper on Lars von Trier's Antichrist at the International Zizek Studies Conference in Cincinnati in April 2014.
Dr. John Urang, media studies faculty, gave a talk on film director Werner Herzog at the University of Chicago in October 2013.
Dr. Urang's talk, Why does Herr S. Run Amok? Werner Herzog's Lebenszeichen (Signs of Life, 1968), explored an early work by Herzog, a key figure in New German Cinema.
Werner Herzog's first feature film tells the story of a German soldier stationed on
a remote Greek island during the Second World War. Although Herzog always insisted
that Lebenszeichen was "apolitical," closer scrutiny seems to suggest the contrary.
By attending to the film's historical, cultural and intertextual resonances, we discover an overpresence of politics—narrowly and problematically defined—behind the film's scenario of insanity and insurrection. In this light, Lebenszeichen becomes an emphatic engagement with—and critique of—a political framework defined by the distinction between friend and enemy.