Center for the Humanities: Audiences

This semester the Center for the Humanities explores a new theme, Audiences. Most Monday nights this term at 6 pm in the Daniel Family Commons, Wesleyan faculty and distinguished visitors will present new research. The conversations that develop after the talks help create new paths of thinking for everyone present. On Tuesday mornings, there are follow-up seminars at the CFH. Here’s a description of the theme:

The CFH theme “Audience(s)” asks us to explore the phenomena of the audience from multiple perspectives. How does audience shape the form and function of our work? Is the desire to reach a wider audience consistent with our academic or artistic goals? How should we reflect on the relation of intellectuals to their audience or audiences in general? What can the audience tell us about past or present works of scholarship, theater, music, politics or art? Does the audience shape the work and intention of the author or is the reception by the audience the moment where meaning happens? In what ways are we able to understand either the intended or actual audience for a work? What effect do existing normative practices have on the role of audience in respect to those who do not conform to them (i.e. those who do not conform to existing conventions of masculine or feminine for instance)? In addition we are eager to explore the ways in which audience behavior is changing in the new media environment and the ethical and social ramifications associated with measuring audience behavior on new media platforms. How might an understanding of multiple audiences help or complicate the issues raised above?

The series begins tonight (Feb 3) with Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown, who will be talking about gender, media and privacy. You can find out more here.