Changing Cultures of Witnessing: paintings, selfies, hashtags

Hosted by the Department of Media and Communications

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building


Professor Lilie Chouliaraki

Professor Lilie Chouliaraki

Professor Robin Wagner-Pacifici

Professor Robin Wagner-Pacifici

Professor Barbie Zelizer

Professor Barbie Zelizer


Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser

Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser

What do #MeToo, refugee selfies and oil paintings have in common? They are all part of a mixed and changing culture of witnessing.

This interdisciplinary panel explores the different media platforms and practices of spectatorship that today enable our moral and political engagement with human vulnerability. It asks not only how the digital has shifted the terms of our visual encounters with bodies-in-pain but also shows how our testimonial cultures remain the same. This is not only because contemporary witnessing mixes media, old and new, but crucially also because it is still traversed by historical power relations and social hierarchies.

Lilie Chouliaraki (@chouliaraki_l) is a Professor of Media and Communications in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE.

Robin Wagner-Pacifici is the University in Exile Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research.

Barbie Zelizer (@bzelizer) is the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication and Director of the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication.

Sarah Banet-Weiser (@sbanetweiser) is Professor of Communication and Head of the Department of Media and Communications at LSE. 

The Department of Media and Communications (@MediaLSE) is a world-leading centre for education and research in communication and media studies at the heart of LSE’s academic community in central London. We are ranked #1 in the UK and #3 globally in our field (2018 QS World University Rankings).

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEWitnessing


A podcast of this event is available to download from Changing Cultures of Witnessing: paintings, selfies, hashtags.

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