Abstract

Are our increasingly urban, highly mediatised lives less real or authentic than other ways of being in the world? Is the ‘mediapolis’ optional or are our identities and everyday lives so immersed in the ubiquitous and alluring logics of the media city that genuine escape is no longer possible? These questions intersect with enduring myths and metaphors about urban space. The modern city, for instance, has long been associated with alienation and an unnatural, inauthentic existence. This notion is exemplified by the dehumanising waste land of T.S. Eliot’s ‘unreal city’. And yet, urban environments and lifestyles now represent the dominant form of reality for most of the world’s population, providing the lens through which we imagine and experience ourselves, along with a variety of the city's others: the rural, the remote, and nature itself. This paper explores the relationship between urban life, mediatisation, and questions of the real, the natural, and authentic; it does so with the help of works of speculative fiction that extrapolate on a particular premise: the unreal city.

Bio

Natalie teaches into the writing and communication programs in the School of Communication and Arts and has a background in the study of literature, writing, and media & culture. Her research is focused on questions of urban space, identity, and narrative. She regularly invokes the capacity of speculative fiction to explore these questions.

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Following the lecture, please join us for drinks at St Lucy's.

About Research Seminar and Workshop Series

The research seminar and workshop series' occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

The seminars occur on a Friday afternoon from 3-4 pm in Room 601 in the Michie Building (#9).

Semester 2, 2017 Seminars & Workshops

 

Friday, 2 March
3-4pm

Construction of Asylum Seekers

Digital Learning Space,
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Stephen Crofts

Friday, 9 March
3-4pm

Workshop: Metrics for Grant Writing and Promotion

Digital Learning Space,
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Angela Hannan and Kathleen Smeaton
(UQ Library)

Friday, 16 March
3-4pm

Digital Learning Space,
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Ewa Lajer-Burcharth
(Harvard University)

Friday, 23 March
3-4pm

Robert Smithton exhibition at UQ Art Museum

Digital Learning Space,
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Amelia Barikin

Friday, 20 April
3-4pm

Rise of "Bright Noir": Redemption and Moral Optimism in American Contemporary TV-Noir

Digital Learning Space,
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Alberto Garcia
(University of Navarra)

 

Friday, 27 April
3-4pm

Digital Learning Space,
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Prof. Murray Pomerance (tbc)
Friday, 4 May
3-4pm

Paul Lazarsfeld and Facebook: Re-Reading Personal Influence in an Age of Social Media

Digital Learning Space,
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Prof Tom O'Regan
Friday 18 May
3-4pm

Digital Learning Space,
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Skye Doherty
Friday, 1 June
3-4pm

The Digital Face in Cinema, Technology, Cultural Reception

Digital Learning Space,
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Lisa Bode