The end of Representation


The end of Representation

I have taught a lot of great students in my (eight!) years in the anth department at Goldsmiths, and now finally it looks like my escape to full time graft in the Centre for Cultural Studies is going to be confirmed – yippideee (for better or worse – its gotta be easier than two half time jobs = 150%). Its also a time for somewhat wistful reflections, and, gotta say, things have been pretty flat for obvious reasons the past few weeks…

Anyway, fact is, I won’t be teaching the Representation course anymore, so thanks to Chris, Richard, Atticus, Lia, Carrie, Nick and Will who taught alongside. Thanks also to all those who wrote and made work – fantastic films and photography projects, multimedia and chaos performances – which were really the greatest part. So many good films – onwards and upwards. I cannot list the highlights here (too many), but I do play them over and over as recruitment devices at Open Days…

What I will do – and with heavy heart – is refer you to another piece of Imogen Bunting’s writing, done for this course. Part of the reason I am leaving anth is because of discussions with Imogen over many years (there is a New Cross band that sings ‘if we beat our heads against this brick wall for long enough eventually it will fall’ – nope, it did not). I had always hoped we could change the world etc etc, and I still do, but in anth its for others to do now… Imogen’s enthusiasm must be carried elsewhere.

I am posting (here) a piece that was written as what we call a ‘practice essay’ in Imogen’s third year at Goldsmiths. I had lectured on the films of Denis O’Rourke for nearly ten years and always asked a question something like ‘who spoke for who [or sometimes, who fucked who] in the Good Woman of Bangkok?’ (if you have seen the film that makes sense – Denis does not appear in the film, but its his voice, or is Aoi pulling his strings?…). Anyways. after this effort from Imogen I just had to retire the topic, even though there had been many good answers over the years. After this there was no chance of a better one being written.

There is a memorial for Imogen on 22 May in New York.
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About john hutnyk

Writer on culture, cities, diaspora, history, film, prisons, colonialism, education, Marxism. Studied and taught in Australia at Deakin and Melbourne Universities; and in the UK in Manchester University’s Institute for Creative and Cultural Research; before moving to Goldsmiths in 1998, and becoming Academic Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies in 2004-2014. Has held visiting researcher posts in Germany at the South Asia Institute and Institute fur Ethnologie at Heidelberg University, and Visiting Professor posts in InterCultural Studies at Nagoya City University Japan, Zeppelin University and Hamburg University, Germany, Sociology at Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul, Turkey and at the Graduate institute for Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. Immediate past adjunct Professor of RMIT University, Melbourne and GIAN Visiting Professor Jadavpur Uni Kolkata.
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2 Responses to The end of Representation

  1. Anonymous says:

    John – thanks so much – its great to have this available here, and can you post more of Imogen’s writing?, anything really… does the college not have her papers on file someplace? -TB

  2. Pingback: Imogen Bunting « [trinketization]

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