Who We Are

Orbis Mediologicus – Perpetrators:

The Cinematic Mode of Production

Jonathan BellerProfessor,  Media Studies,  Critical and Visual Studies, Organizing Committee for the Media Studies M.A. Program, Pratt Institute (Ph.D., Duke, Literature, 1990). Interests: Media Theory, Marxism, Critical Race Theory, Cinema, Media Archeology, Decolonization, Aesthetics and Politics, Feminism, Third Cinema, Philippine Culture and Politics.  Books and Edited Volumes: The Tortured Signifier: Signs of the State of Exception (in progress);  The Cinematic Mode of Production: Towards A Political Economy of the Society of the Spectacle (Dartmouth College/University Press of New England, 2006);  Acquiring Eyes: Philippine Visuality, Nationalist Struggle and The World Media-System (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2006);  Kristology and Radical Communion: Works of Emmanuel Garibay (Sipat Publications, 1999);  Polygraph 8/9 Special Issue: New Metropolitan Forms (Durham:1996), issue editor (with Neferti Xina M. Tadiar and Mark Simpson).

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Tracie MorrisAssociate Professor, Media Studies, Pratt Institute (Ph.D., NYU, Performance Studies, 2006; M.F.A., Poetry, Hunter College, CUNY). Some Interests: Poetry and Performance, Poetics and Theory, Critical Theory, contemporary African-American Poetry, African Diaspora Culture, speech act theory, language and society, performance studies, cultural studies, experimental poetry, popular culture. Poet, performer, actor, sound artist. Creative and academic writer. Somewhat Google-able.  Her website is located here, and her blog is located here.  For some examples of her work, see here and here.

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Mendi Obadike Assistant Professor, Humanities and Media Studies, Pratt Institute (Ph.D., Duke, Literature, 2006). Mendi Lewis Obadike is the author of Armor and Flesh(2004), which won the Naomi Long Madgett Prize from Lotus Press. With her husband Keith Obadike, she composed The Sour Thunder, an Internet Opera and curated Crosstalk: American Speech Music (both from Bridge Records, 2004 & 2008). Their conceptual media artworks have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum, the New Museum, and Electronic Arts Intermix and the New York African Film Festival, among other institutions. Their opera-masquerade Four Electric Ghosts debuted at The Kitchen in May 2009. Mendi earned a BA in English from Spelman College and a PhD in literature from Duke University and has taught at a variety of schools, including the School of Visual Arts, Wesleyan University, and Princeton. Before coming to Pratt, she was a Cotsen Postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows at Princeton University. At Pratt, Mendi is an Assistant Professor in Humanities and Media Studies. See Keith and Mendi’s website here.

Ethan SpiglandAssociate Professor,  Media Studies,  Critical and Visual Studies,  Organizing Committee for the Media Studies M.A. Program,  Pratt Insitute (M.F.A., Film, NYU; Maîtrise, Philosophy, University of Paris VIII). Ethan Spigland received an M.F.A. from the Graduate Film Program at New York University, and a maîtrise from the University of Paris VIII under the supervision of Jean-François Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze.  He has made numerous films and media works including: Luminosity/ Porosity, based on the work of architect Steven Holl; Elevator Moods, featured in the Sundance Film Festival; and The Strange Case of Balthazar Hyppolite, which won the Gold Medal in the Student Academy Awards.  Recent courses include: Japanese Cinema;  French New Wave Cinema;  Film and New Media;  The Baroque (co-taught with Suzanne Verderber);  and Deleuze’s Cinema Books.

Suzanne Verderber – Associate Professor, Media Studies, Critical and Visual Studies, Pratt Institute (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, B.A. Darmouth College). Suzanne Verderder’s teaching and research focus on the relationship between subjectivity and power, and on the relation between pre-modern periods (medieval, Renaissance, Baroque) and contemporary concerns. Specific fields of study include politics, literature, art, critical theory, philosophy, religion, and psychoanalysis. She has published on the twelfth-century woman writer, Marie de France, the essayist Michel de Montaigne, and is currently working on a book linking the so-called emergence of the individual in the medieval and Renaissance West to the reorganization of power. She has also translated two books: Charles Enderlin’s The Lost Years, and Jean-Michel Rabate’s The Ethics of the Lie, and her dissertation, Subjective Vision and Fragmentation in Late Medieval France, Burgundy, and Flanders, is currently in revision for publication. Recent courses taught include: The Rhetoric of Endless War, The Baroque (with co-taught Ethan Spigland), Modernism and Postmodernism.


Christopher VitaleAssistant Professor,  Media Studies,  Critical and Visual Studies, Organizing Committee for the Media Studies M.A. Program, Pratt Institute (Ph.D., NYU, Comparative Literature, 2007). Website: Networkologies. Christopher Vitale joined Pratt Institute in 2006, after having taught at UC Berkeley, NYU, and Hunter College.  He specializes in Complexity Studies, Theories of Networks, Poststructuralism,  Continental Philosophy, Queer Studies, Theories of Race and Culture, Cognitive Studies, Semiotics, Film and Visual Studies, and Comparative Modernist Literatures and Visual Cultures.  Chris has recently completed a manuscript entitled The Networked Mind: A New Image of Thought for a Hyperconnected Age, and is currently working on a handbook for students entitled Media/Semiotics: An Introduction to the World of Signs.  Courses taught include:  Space, Time, and Bodies;  Activism: History, Theory, Practice;  Thought, Mind, and Brain;  Cinema and Time;  Bodies on Boundaries – Marginal Selves and Hybrid Lives;  The Documentary Image and its Limits in Photography and Film;  Theories of Networks;  The Virtual Window – Foundations of Visual Studies;  Modernist Visual Cultures;  A Brief History of Sexuality – From Sexology to the Digital Age;  Horror in Literature and Film;  Representations: Semiotics in 2-3D;  Representations: Semiotics in 4D;  The Erotics of the Gaze in Film and Visual Culture;  Political Theory from Plato to Malcolm X;  Modernism/Postmodernism; Monsters, Mayhem, and Madness in Literature and Film;  Queer Cultures in Literature, Film, and Theory;  Introduction to Cultural and Literary Theory;  Queer Modernisms: 1880-1940.

Orbis Mediologicus – Accomplices:



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