Audrey Reeves "Affect and World Politics: Governing Hearts and Minds at War Museums"
Joined by Center for Humanities Director Sylvester Johnson, Assistant Professor of Political Science Audrey Reeves will discuss her current book project that considers how war museums in the US and other democratic nations orchestrate our emotional responses to these nations' involvement in warfare in the 20th and 21st century. In the wake of the US interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, philosopher Judith Butler criticized the media for making wars waged by democratic nations seem emotionally palatable by shielding the public from evidence of destruction waged by those wars. Dr. Reeves suggests that, similarly, major war musuems provide encounters with war designed to reassure us that those wars are waged responsibly and justly.
Drawing on feminist and postcolonial approaches to knowledge as embodied, Dr. Reeves argues that the choreography of visitors' movements through purposefully designed spaces and architectures plays an important role in this respect. In addition, her book highlights a need for a greater diversity of perspectives in war museums, notably from women, people of color, and civilians. Her research is based on participant-observation at world-class museums in the US, the UK, Germany, and Israel/Palestine, together with an analysis of museum documentation, perspectives of curators, media reviews, and visitors' online reviews.
In addition to her role as Assistant Professor of Political Science, Dr. Reeves is core faculty for the ASPECT doctoral program at Virginia Tech. Her research draws on feminist perspectives on world politics, with emphasis on conflict and peace, memory and culture, and migration.
The Virginia Tech Center for Humanities presents a series of talks by faculty research associates who will discuss their work. This talk is free and open to the public and we invite anyone to attend. There will be a brief question and answer session with viewers following the presentation.
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