Wednesday, Dec. 13, 3:30 p.m. Cornerstone Screening Room
Lecture: “Critical Stupidity: Jackass”

Jackass is stupid. Why might we want to study stupid things? In this talk, Professor Scott Richmond offers a reparative reading of some of our most famously degraded media, focusing on two of Jackass’s stupidest pranks: “Paper Cuts” and “Tee Ball.” Increasingly, our media demands modes of acknowledgment that aren’t articulate critical thinking, but instead inchoate: gross-out laughter, wincing, shrieking, nauseated aversion. Following the intuition that these inarticulate reactions are some of the most important responses our media calls out for, Richmond offer a close phenomenological investigation of these two documentary videos of violence. These investigations lead to two interlocking sets of questions. First, what might be so enjoyably human and indeed reparative about beholding video of a body undergoing violence? And second, if we understand that, what might it teach us about the nature of sociality and its forms?

Scott Richmond’s research and teaching often mix considerations of high and low. His first book “Cinema’s Bodily Illusions: Flying, Floating, and Hallucinating,” was recently published by the University of Minnesota Press. He is Assistant Professor in the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto.

The Visiting Series in Film and Culture is generously co-sponsored by the Cultural Attractions Fund. Unless otherwise specified, all events are free and open to the public.

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