March 31 :: RECORDING ANGELS: Witnessing Trauma at the Intersection of Race, Gender, Class, & Empire

Working Title/Artist: Angel Applicant Department: Modern Art Culture/Period/Location:  HB/TOA Date Code:  Working Date: 1939 photography by mma 1985, transparency #2 scanned and retouched by film and media (jn) 6_18_04

Recording Angels: Witnessing Trauma at the Intersection of Race, Gender, Class, & Empire

a conversation among journalists, writers, & scholars with Jade E. Davis, Eric Fair, & Liat Katz, and moderated by Patrick Blanchfield
March 31, Friday
6 to 8 pm

“Recording Angels” is an interdisciplinary conversation about the ethics and challenges of working with trauma and representing trauma for broader audiences. Bringing together academic, therapeutic, and journalistic perspectives, this panel conversation will probe difficult questions about testimony, authority, victimhood, complicity, and vulnerability in the contemporary media landscape. What authorizes, credentializes, or otherwise justifies telling the story of another individual’s suffering? Who can speak for whom – particularly across categories of gender, race, and nationality? What responsibilities, risks, and rewards come with such work?
Performance Studies Studio
721 Broadway, 6th Floor, Room 612
Patrick Blanchfield is the 2016-2017 Henry R. Luce Initiative in Religion in International Affairs Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Religion and Media at NYU. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Emory University and is a graduate of the Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute. He writes about gun violence, trauma, religion, and masculinity. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The New York Daily News, n+1, The New Inquiry, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.
Jade E. Davis, PhD is Associate Director for Digital Learning Projects at LaGuardia Community College. Her research and public writing is in applied theory and media ecology, with a particular emphasis on digital culture, surveillance studies, and representations of and trauma in relation to questions of race and gender. Some links: her keynote from Theorizing the Web 2016, “The Virality of Evil (and Fuck, Marry, Kill)”; “The Catholic schoolgirl & the wet nurse: On the ecology of oppression, trauma and crisis” in Indigeneity, Education, and Society; “Black Men Being Killed Is The New Girls Gone Wild” at Medium; “What I Learned About ‘Trigger Warnings’ From Teaching College Students” in Talking Points Memo.
Eric Fair is an Army veteran who worked in Iraq as a contract translator and interrogator in 2004. He won a Pushcart prize for his 2012 essay “Consequence,” which was published first in Ploughshares and then in Harper’s. His op-eds denouncing the US “enhanced interrogation program” and its place in American political discourse have been published in The Washington Post and the New York Times; his memoir is published by Henry Holt. Some links: “Orders, Truth and Torture at Abu Ghraib” in Utne; “Owning Up to Torture” in The New York Times; “An Interrogator’s Nightmare,” from the Washington Post; this interview with Democracy Now.
Liat Katz, LCSW-C is a clinical social worker at Montgomery County Adult Protective Services in Maryland. A graduate of New Directions, a three-year postgraduate writing program run by the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, she currently edits its literary magazine. She writes about treating people with marginalized communities who suffer from complex trauma, her own experiences with depression and psychiatric care, queer identity, and more. Some examples of her work: “How I went from social worker to psychiatric unit patient” in the Washington Post; “My revolving closet door” in the Washingtonian; “Wordless tea” in Lilith.
This event is free & open to the public.
For more information, please contact the Center for Religion & Media at info.crmny(at) or 212-998-7608.
Facebook event page here.
Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for Religion & Media and Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality.