eikones announces four new NOMIS fellows

eikones has announced four new NOMIS Postdoctoral Fellowship recipients for 2018-2019: Zeynep Gürsel, Sean Silver, Philipp Ekardt and Tobias Wilke. eikones — Center for the Theory and History of the Image at the University of Basel is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of images as instruments of human knowledge and cultural practice. The fellowships support groundbreaking research in the interdisciplinary field of image studies, specifically concerning the function of images as models in epistemic, aesthetic and didactic contexts.

Zeynep Devrim Gürsel is a media anthropologist and associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She completed her PhD in anthropology with a designated emphasis in film studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. Her scholarship involves both the analysis and production of images. She is the author of Image Brokers: Visualizing World News in the Age of Digital Circulation (University of California Press, 2016), an ethnography of the international photojournalism industry during its digitalization at the beginning of the 21st century. She is also the director of Coffee Futures, an award-winning ethnographic film that explores contemporary Turkish politics through the prism of the everyday practice of coffee fortune-telling. As a NOMIS Fellow at eikones she will be working on Portraits of Unbelonging, the first in-depth exploration of the official role of photography in the history of Armenian emigration to the United States.

Sean Silver completed his PhD in 2008 at the University of California, Los Angeles and is now associate professor of literature at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He has written widely on the literature, philosophy and sciences of 17th and 18th century Britain. He is author of The Mind Is a Collection, an award-winning exhibit catalogue and virtual museum of objects used to model cognitive processes in 17th and 18th century Britain and Europe. As a NOMIS Fellow at eikones he will be studying complexity in the 17th and 18th century arts, a project blending computer-aided network modeling with readings of early-modern philosophical and literary texts.

Philipp Ekardt has held teaching and research positions at the Peter Szondi-Institute for Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin, he was a member of the Bilderfahrzeuge project at the University of London’s Warburg Institute, and served as editor-in-chief of the journal Texte zur Kunst. His first monograph Toward Fewer Images: The Work of Alexander Kluge, partly based on his PhD dissertation at Yale University, has been published as an OCTOBER Book with MIT Press. He is currently completing his second book — to appear with Bloomsbury Academic — which reconstructs Walter Benjamin’s fashion theory, tracing its implications and manifest relations with the fashion criticism of its moment and the history of Paris couture, attending to its connections with sociological and morphological theories, proposing a reevaluation of the term elegance as an aesthetic concept, while also investigating the subject of fashion as an epistemic object that allowed Benjamin to reconsider fundamental questions such as time and material. As a NOMIS Fellow at eikones he will be working on Assemblages and Compositions: Image Models in Goethe and Lady Hamilton, looking at the writings of Goethe and the art of attitudes performed by Lady Hamilton to investigate a historical formation, as well as an entirely different epistemic model, in which a surprisingly different logic for the configuration of movement, gesture and image is encountered.

Tobias Wilke is a literary and media historian. He completed a binational doctorate (co-tutelle) at Princeton University (PhD) and the University of Tübingen (Dr.phil.) in 2008. Subsequently, he was postdoctoral fellow (2008-2009) and project leader (2009-2012) in the research cluster “Languages of Emotion” at the Freie Universität Berlin, as well as assistant professor of German literature at Columbia University, New York (2009-2018). His research focuses on the literature of European modernism, the history of media and media theory from the 19th through the 21st centuries, intersections between literary history and the history of science, the history of emotions, and sound studies. He is the author of Medien der Unmittelbarkeit: Dingkonzepte und Wahrnehmungstechniken 1918-1939 (Wilhelm Fink, 2010) and Einführung in die Literatur der Jahrhundertwende (Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 3rd ed. 2016; together with Dorothee Kimmich), and editor of several other books. As a NOMIS fellow, he will be completing a book titled Sound Writing: Experimental Modernism and the Poetics of Speech, examining the history of the notion of linguistic “articulation” at the intersection of graphic recording technologies, scientific cultures of experimentation and poetic practices of the avant-garde, ca. 1870-1970.