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Photos of Zamansele Nsele (History of Art) and Nicole Starosielski (Film & Media).

The Loft Hour: Zamansele Nsele + Nicole Starosielski

Thu, Oct 19, 2023, 12:00 pm

Arts Research Center, Hearst Field Annex, D23

Zamansele Nsele and Nicole Starosielski

Elevate your lunch break with The Loft Hour, a new year-long series that invites new arts faculty to riff on their work over lunch, in an informal conversation moderated by an ARC-affiliated faculty member. The October program features Zamansele Nsele (History of Art) and Nicole Starosielski (Film & Media) in conversation with Roshanak Kheshti (TDPS).

Zamansele Nsele is Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary African & African Diasporic Art. She is widely published and active as a critic, journalist, and cultural organizer, her articles and book chapters have appeared in the Museum of Modern Art’s Post: notes on art in a global context, Routledge Press, English in Africa, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, the Mail & Guardian, and in Journalist. Nsele is currently working on her first monograph, provisionally titled, “Reckoning with Post-Apartheid & Imperialist Nostalgias in Archival Art Practice in Africa,” which explores how nostalgia can generate visual epistemologies that sanitize, disavow, and aestheticize oppressive racial histories—despite nostalgia’s conventional significance as an affective structure that affirms Black social life. One of the central themes that is consistent in Zamansele’s research and writing is her critique of image-based rituals of antiblack violence. Zamansele Nsele is the co-editor and contributor to the book: The Imagined New (or what happens when History is a Catastrophe?) Working through Alternative Archives: Art, History, Africa, and the African Diaspora published by Iwalewahaus (2022). She has teaching and interests in critical theories of Blackness in visual art; with a particular emphasis on the tradition of resistance art movements in the United States and South Africa. Her research interests also explore the citationality and curatorial adaptation of the Black literary tradition into visual artworks and art exhibitions—this is the subject of Zamansele’s second book project.

Nicole Starosielski, Professor of Film & Media, conducts research on global internet and media distribution, communications infrastructures ranging from data centers to undersea cables, and media’s environmental and elemental dimensions. Starosielski is author or co-editor of over thirty articles and five books on media, infrastructure, and environments, including: The Undersea Network (2015), Media Hot and Cold (2021), Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructure (2015), Sustainable Media: Critical Approaches to Media and Environment (2016), Assembly Codes: The Logistics of Media (2021), as well as co-editor of the “Elements” book series at Duke University Press. Starosielski’s most recent project, Sustainable Subsea Networks, is focused on increasing the sustainability of digital infrastructures. The project team has developed a catalog of best practices for sustainability in the subsea cable industry—the backbone of the global internet—as well as a carbon footprint of a subsea cable. Starosielski is also a co-convenor of the SubOptic Association’s Global Citizen Working Group. Starosielski teaches classes and supervises projects on digital media, environmental media, media and communications infrastructures, media history and theory, and integrated media theory and production, among other areas.

Roshanak Kheshti is an anthropologist, feminist, queer and race theorist, born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Her work sits at the intersection of sound, the senses, film and performance studies with an emphasis on diaspora and psychoanalysis. Kheshti is an Associate Professor and Head Graduate Advisor of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies. She is the author of Modernity’s Ear: Listening to Race and Gender in World Music (NYU Press, 2015) and Switched-on Bach (Bloomsbury Academic, 33 1/3, 2019). She is currently completing her third book, tentatively titled “We See with the Skin: Zora Neale Hurston’s Synesthetic Hermeneutics”. She has previously published in the Radical History ReviewAmerican QuarterlyCurrent Musicology, Feminist Media Histories, Hypatia, Feminist Studies, GLQ, Theater Survey, and Sounding Out!


Indira Allegra,, 510-642-4268

Sponsor(s): Arts Research CenterDeans office of the Division of Arts and Humanities