Lida Zeitlin Wu is a PhD candidate in Film & Media. Her dissertation, “Seeing By Numbers: Color Systems and the Digitization of Perception,” takes color systems—diagrams that attempt to organize and classify the color spectrum—as its point of focus, arguing that color becomes a primary site for reevaluating the relationship between screen media, perception, and changing understandings of selfhood over the course of the 20th century. The gradual absorption of these mathematical color systems into first-person experience gives way to the “digitization of perception:” an epistemological mode where numbers and measurement come to be equated with both external and internal knowledge. Ultimately, the project contends that color is an experiential category that is consistently manipulated and calibrated through various technological means—often to the benefit of corporate institutions and global structures of power.
Lida has an MA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and a BA from the University of Chicago in Russian Literature and Visual Art. Her writing has been published in Frames Cinema Journal, Adaptation: The Journal for Literature on Screen Studies, The Nabokov Online Journal, The Art Newspaper China, and LEAP, China’s bilingual contemporary art magazine. Her research has been funded by the Berkeley Graduate Division and the Smithsonian Baird Resident Scholar Program. She has taught undergraduate courses in Comparative Literature and Film & Media, as well as at the Berkeley Center for New Media, and is the recipient of both the UC Berkeley Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award and The Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. Graduate Student Fellowship in the Art of Teaching Writing.
When she is not researching color or new media, Lida is writing or speculating about wine and food and the sensory and emotional– albeit politically and culturally fraught– types of experiences they engender. Impassioned by 5 years of living in the wine nexus of the Bay Area, she is currently teaching a course titled “Taste: The Senses on Screen,” and is in the process of studying for her Level 3 WSET (Wine and Spirits Educational Trust) certification.