IIPC Debate 18 Nov

IIPC Debate #88
Fri Nov 18, 2-4 pm, Janus Hall (Kaivokatu 12, Turku)

Professor Robynn Stilwell (Georgetown University): Ernie Kovacs: Defining Television in Negative Space

Ernie Kovacs was a pioneering figure in early television in the United States. His work across different networks and formats is united by its witty and often surreal use of displaced sound and image, and by its musical organization. Kovacs himself declared the purpose of his work “to bring sight to sound.” By transgressing sound borders familiar from the theatre or cinema, and by disorienting cause and effect, Kovacs fostered the development of a new mode of audiovisual presentation (television) essentially by charting out negative space.

As much of Kovacs’s work is antithetical to analysis seeking wholeness, this talk will explore variants of Peircean semiotics alongside musical analysis and perhaps a dash of quantum mechanics in an attempt to capture aspects of motion and probability that suggest coherence, if not closure.

Robynn Stilwell (Georgetown University) is a musicologist whose research interests center on the meaning of music as cultural work. Publications include essays on Beethoven and cinematic violence, musical form in Jane Austen, rockabilly and “white trash”, figure skating, French film musicals, psychoanalytic film theory and its implications for music and for female subjects, and the boundaries between sound and music in the cinematic soundscapeHer current project is a historical study of audiovisual modality in television.


Imaging Transgender: Trans Aesthetics and the New Popular Cinematic Body

Guest lecture by Professor Cáel M. Keegan

“Imaging Transgender: Trans Aesthetics and the New Popular Cinematic Body”

Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 2-4 pm

Lecture hall II, Main building, University of Turku

The lecture is organized by Gender studies & the International Institute for Popular Culture Studies (IIPC)




The Matrix (1999) and its sequels have been much-theorized as threshold texts–films that visually defined the advent of the 21st century and expressed the approaching convergence of digital technologies with film production, Asian with Western popular cultures, and the internet with daily life. However, scholarship on The Matrix series remains fatally incomplete, containing no analysis of its production by the world’s first transgender major motion picture directors, Lana and Lilly Wachowski. This talk examines The Matrix and its three sequels as a global cultural event that invented and popularized a new transgender aesthetic–a trans-informed political and phenomenological relationship to dominant reality–that has permanently altered how cinematic time, space, and embodiment are produced, understood, and inhabited. The Matrix series illustrates how, far from being a marginalized or subcultural phenomenon, transgender aesthetics are present and operating at the very center of 21st century global popular culture.


Cáel M. Keegan is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Liberal Studies at Grand Valley State University. He has published multiple articles on the aesthetics, material production, and global circulation of queer and transgender images. His current book project, Lana and Lilly Wachowski: Imaging Transgender is the first to interrogate the directors’ filmography from a transgender studies perspective, and the first academic study to contain an interview with Lana Wachowski.



Friday, November 25, 2016

Sirkkala Campus, Hovi Lecture Hall (V105)





10.15 Opening of the symposium


10.30 Birgit Abels (University of Göttingen): Meaning/Meaningfulness. What atmospheres can do for us?


11.15 Kimi Kärki (University of Turku): Audiovisual dreamspaces in arena rock


12.00 Lunch


13.15 Friedlind Riedel (Bauhaus-University Weimar): Felt presence. Music beyond meaning.


14.00 Juha Torvinen (University of Turku): Atmosphere, nature, and cross-generational knowledge in music


14.45 Coffee


15.15 Milla Tiainen (University of Helsinki): Affective attunement as generative atmospheres of music-making.
Connecting affect studies and musical performance studies


16.00 John Richardson (University of Turku): Atmospheres of heroism and its reflections. Bowie, Glass, Aphex Twin


16.45 Discussion and closing words




PRE-SYMPOSIUM PARTY at Restaurant Koulu (Eerikinkatu 18)

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Live music:



Supporting: Kimi Kärki and friends


Showtime 21.30






This symposium is organized by:

– Academy of Finland Research Fellow Juha Torvinen (University of Turku)

– Doctoral Fellow Friedlind Riedel (Bauhaus-University Weimar)

– Research Project Music, Nature, and Environmental Crises (Juha Torvinen, The Department of Musicology, University of Turku)

– International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC) (University of Turku)
– The Department of Musicology, University of Turku


For more info, contact Juha Torvinen <juha.torvinen@utu.fi>