Decentering the Anthropos: Slow Literature, and Cinema

(Panel)


Cultural Studies and Media Studies

Cagatay Emre Dogan (SUNY Binghamton University)

As Lutz Koepnick observes, “life is faster today than it has ever been before, it is concluded, but in accumulating ever more impressions, events, and stimulations we end up with ever less—less substance, less depth, less meaning, less freedom, less spontaneity.” The speed of our lives since the early stages of modernity created a reaction to the compression of time, acceleration of mobility and the imperative to become more and more efficient. Salience of time and duration appears sometimes in the forms of excess other times an essential philosophical question, which goes back to Proust in literature, Bergson in philosophy, and more recently slow cinema and re-popularized slow movement (slow food, slow city, slow academia). Often the discussion on slow movement assumes a modernist humanist approach that is centered around the phenomenological experience of the protagonist, audience, spectator, and the inhabitant. However, this panel invites you to consider the slow movement otherwise: that is rather than centering a humanistic approach, this panel seeks out those instances where there is an apparent decentering of the human subject for the sake of ecological, intra-active, relational forms of moving as they appear in the works of art, literature, and cinema.

The long takes in, Tsai Ming-Liang, freeze frames of Abbas Kiarostami, and interwoven layers of memory in Apichatpong Weerasethakul invite the viewer to experience temporality as duration and embeddedness in the world, rather than actions against it. This slow technique and the slow experience as in Goncharov or Proust permit a different relationship perhaps one that is premised upon non-anthropocentric temporalities. Hence this panel asks for those slow affects and effects in literature, film and art that permits a decentralized human agent. The topics may include but not limited to:

- Ecocritical approaches to slow movement

- Anthropocene and slowing down of modernity.

- Slow bodies, slow movements in literature and cinema

- Slow cinema and temporalities on/off screen








Salience of time and duration appears sometimes in the forms of excess, other times an essential philosophical question, going back to Proust, Bergson, and more recently slow cinema and re-popularized slow movement (slow food, slow city, slow academia). This panel seeks instances of slow movement where there is decentering of the human subject for the sake of ecological, intra-active, relational forms of moving in art, literature, and cinema.