Prof. Deborah Levitt: Rendering Life-Worlds

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We are delighted to welcome Deborah Levitt, Assistant Professor of Culture and Media Studies at the New School, who will be delivering our final Guest Lecture of the 2018-19 year.

Rendering Life-Worlds

"In this talk, I propose that thinking “life” and “world” together may open a way to address the most pressing of our contemporary challenges, in particular how to enable pluralism and promote ecological regeneration as necessarily entangled processes. I begin by working through a variety of models for the relationships between life and world, with special focus on one proposed by the biologist and cognitive scientist, Francisco Varela, in which a world emerges as a surplus of signification generated through the structural coupling of nervous system and environment. For Varela, this co-emergence produces “neurocognitive identity”—and the living organism itself—as recursive, constantly forming and reforming in response to environmental and sensori-motor stimuli. Finally, extending Varela’s model, I look at how the affordances of emerging media, including VR and live simulation, allow us to generate new ways of life-world making, ontological designs for the pluriverse."

Prof. Levitt's talk will draw widely on research prepared for her forthcoming books Rendering Worlds and ZoeTropes, as well as ideas first explored in her 2018 book The Animatic Apparatus: Animation, Vitality, and The Futures of the Image.

Further information about Deborah's research and teaching can be found on her New School profile page:

The talk will start at 17:30, and will be followed by a free wine reception.

The lecture will take place in the third-floor seminar room of the Radcliffe Humanities Building (OX2 6GG). The room is fully accessible; please get in touch for further particulars and if you have specific accessibility requirements.