ABSOLUTE FORCE: Torture and Images of Torture in the New American Empire

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Date/Time: 17/06/2004 12:00 am

ABSOLUTE FORCE: Torture and Images of Torture in the New American Empire
A Panel Discussion Sponsored by:
Amnesty International’s New York City Women’s Human Rights Action Team
New York University’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies
Thursday, June 17, 2004, 7-9 pm
at the King Juan Carlos of Spain Center Screening Room
53 Washington Square South, between Sullivan and Thompson, NYC
NYU requires all visitors to have a photo ID. Seating is limited.
For more information, please email: absoluteforce@earthlink.net
The photographs of torture from Abu Ghraib and previously secret
documents have revealed that torture is an integral component of the
occupation of Iraq and the Bush Regime’s “War on Terror.” This panel
of speakers, including artists, activists and political and cultural
theorists, will face the horror of the exertion of absolute force on
detainees by occupying troops and mercenaries. Speakers will also
explore the relationship between attacks on civil liberties
domestically and lawless warfare offshore, gender violence and
homophobia in the military and the sexualization of torture, the
creation, dissemination and impact of the photographs and parallels
with lynching photos, and ways American beliefs about Islam shape
acts of cruelty and their meaning.
Kate Millett
Deborah Willis
Carole S. Vance
Shiva Balaghi
Karen Finley
Richard Goldstein
Jeanne Bergman (Moderator)
Kate Millett
Kate Millett is an artist, feminist activist, political theorist, and
author of The Politics of Cruelty: An Essay on the Literature of
Political Imprisonment, as well as many other books, including Sexual
Politics, The Loony Bin Trip, and Mother Millett. She is the founder
of The Women’s Art Colony Farm in Poughkeepsie.
Shiva Balaghi
Shiva Balaghi is Associate Director of the Kevorkian Center for Near
Eastern Studies at NYU, where she teaches gender studies and cultural
history of the modern Middle East. She is co-editor of
Reconstructing Gender in the Middle East: Tradition, Identity, and
Power and Picturing Iran: Art, Society, and Revolution. She is
currently working on a book about visual culture and democracy in
Carole Vance
Carole S. Vance, Ph.D., MPH, is an anthropologist at Columbia
University, where she directs the Program for the Study of Sexuality,
Gender, Health, and Human Rights. Her work focuses on sexuality and
culture, particularly controversies about rights, representation, and
policy. Prof. Vance is the editor of Pleasure and Danger: Exploring
Female Sexuality. She is the Co-Director of the international Summer
Institute on Sexualities and Culture, held every summer at the
University of Amsterdam, and she teaches at the Sexuality and Rights
Institute, India.
Deborah Willis
2000 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award winner Deborah
Willis-Kennedy, Ph.D., is Professor of Photography and Imaging at the
Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. She is an exhibiting
photographer and, for more than 20 years, her investigation and
recovery of the rich legacy of African American photography provides
an invaluable and irreplaceable resource to filling the gap in
American historiography.
Karen Finley
Performance artist Karen Finley performs and exhibits extensively
throughout the U.S. and internationally. Recent work includes the
cabaret show “Make Love” the collaborative “Scream Out!” against the
Bush Regime (2003) and her drawing series of Psychic Portraits.
Finley was one of the “NEA Four” artists censored when the National
Endowment for the Arts revoked their grants, and who took their case
to the Supreme Court. Finley is also the author of several books,
including A Different Kind of Intimacy.
Richard Goldstein
Richard Goldstein is Executive Editor of the Village Voice. He has
written extensively on, among other things, civil liberties,
political culture, journalism and imagery, and sexuality and gender
Jeanne Bergman (Moderator)
Jeanne Bergman, Ph.D., is a cultural anthropologist, feminist and
political activist. She is on the coordinating committee of the
Amnesty International New York City Women’s Human Rights Action Team.