The Right to Look is more our duty than a “right”

Book Cover: The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality by Nicholas Mirzoeff

“RSVP for the Book Launch for Nicholas Mirzoeff’s
The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm at 20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor, New York, NY

Space is limited and reservations are required. To RSVP, please visit:

Register to attend a reception celebrating the publication of The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality (Duke University Press, 2011), by Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU.
In The Right to LookNicholas Mirzoeff develops a comparative de-colonial framework for visual culture studies, the field that he helped to create and shape. Casting modernity as an ongoing contest between visuality and countervisuality, or “the right to look,” he explains how visuality sutures authority to power and renders the association natural. Encompassing the Caribbean plantation and the Haitian revolution, anticolonialism in the South Pacific, antifascism in Italy and Algeria, and the contemporary global counterinsurgency, The Right to Look is a work of astonishing geographic, temporal, and conceptual reach.”This event is free and open to the public.


I studied with Nick during a semester “abroad” at NYU, yes, venturing beyond the 14th street divide counts as abroad for many New York City graduate students! (joke). That spring, I took a class in visual culture called “Modernity and Climate Change” in the Media Culture and Communication Studies Department. The class was simply amazing, with the range of discipline and perspectives represented. Our group conversations were candid, intense, exciting and enriching. Nicholas was a confident leader and didn’t overly direct the conversation or derail fruitful trains of thought.

I invited him to speak at the Ninth Annual Nature Ecology Society Colloquium where he delivered a talk “Islands of Justice: Imagining Climate Change. He made a big splash with they way he integrated images, and audience assumptions and cultural readings of climate change images and information, specifically that of islanders around the world whose lives are changing at the prospect of climactic shifts and sea-level changes.

He was a truly welcome addition to our roster, a major coup, I might add, and  he represented the start of a rich relationship between NES and NYU. I found him to be an engaging speaker, brilliant thinker, witty, real and personable!

I definitely recommend that people who grapple with visual studies and / or use digital media (as a theoretical foundation, for data collection, analysis or presentation) should attend. If you tell him I sent you, it’ll elicit a smile!

Let me know if you decide to go, I’d love to hear about it!


I’m almost famous!

Shared Spirit of NES Award goes to Shawndel Fraser and Bijan Kimiagar

Shawndel Fraser and Bijan Kimiagar receive the Spirit of NES PSC/CUNY Environmental Justice Award at the Tenth Annual Nature Ecology Society Colloquium at the Graduate Center, March 11, 2011

Get your autograph now before the price goes up, I’m almost famous! 🙂 Seriously though,  I am honored to share this award with my my co-organizer Bijan Kimiagar. We won one of the first ever PSC/CUNY Environmental Justice Awards for using visual/digital media to enhance understanding of climate change at the Tenth Nature Ecology Society Colloquium.
It was a great surprise after a year of planning, and two full-days of performance, presentations, art and lively discussion,  to be called to the stage by PSC/CUNY Representatives Joan Greenbaum PhD and Jean Grassman PhD to receive this award. First they distributed the original  PSC CUNY Environmental Justice Awards: The Spirit of NES awards to the NES presenters whose work or research used visual/digital media to enhance the understanding of the impact of climate change upon nature, ecology and society, and the We’re in it Together awards to two presenters whose work strove to involve community action. Then, after the four planned awards, Bijan and I were completely surprised to hear them announce a FIFTH award! One we would share for our work organizing the Colloquium presentations, workshops, films, website and social media and the sustainable luncheon. which we composted with the Friends of Brook Park.
My biggest thanks to the Professional Staff Congress of CUNY Green WatchDogs for generously sponsoring the awards and for their unflagging support of the Nature Ecology Society Colloquium. I would specifically like to thank Joan Greenbaum and Jean Grassman along with the Awards committee for recognizing our hard work and commitment to encouraging the use of visual, digital media and other alternative methods to communicate ideas about climate change related concerns.

Bijan and Shawndel PSC/CUNY Award Celebratory Embrace

The Culture of Climate Change

One year in the making, my colleagues and I present the two-day colloquium and celebration of Ten Years of the Nature Ecology Society. Join us for performance, lively discussion, fresh sustainable food and good cheer!