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Laurie J. Ouellette: Fake President: Telemorphosis and the performance of grotesque sovereignty

This presentation situates the rise and fall of the Trump presidency within the polymorphous technologies of truth and fakery associated with reality TV and social media: experimentation, verification, spectacularization, affect and performativity.

Drawing from but also complicating Baudrillard’s late diagnosis of the total telemorphosis of social life, I parse the contradictions of “post-truth” media culture, and show how the staging of governance as a reality show in which we are all compelled to play a part activates new mechanisms for contesting Trump’s presidential performance. Recalling Foucault’s notion of grotesque sovereignty as a manifestation of political power that operates in spite of its discrediting as “odious, despicable, or ridiculous,” I ask what bearing Trump’s declining ratings might have on the structural violence of racism, misogyny and market neoliberalism in the United States today.

Laurie J. Ouellette is a Professor in the Department of Communication and the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota, United States of America.

Date Thursday, 23 November 2017
Time 4:15pm - 5:45pm
Audience Public
Event Category Humanities
Event Type Lecture
Public Lecture
DepartmentMedia, Film and Communication
LocationRichardson Building, 6th Floor, North, Room 4 (R6N4)

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