Institute of African Studies - Columbia University

Generators, Electricity and the Infrastructural Life of Cities

Event Details

Generators, Electricity and the Infrastructural Life of Cities
The Committee on Global Thought (CGT) Lunchtime Seminars are a forum for Columbia University faculty and visiting scholars to discuss current research characterizing and assessing issues of global importance. Open to Columbia affiliates only. No registration is required. Light lunch will be available.
Date: 
October 27, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Location: 
Fayerweather Hall Room 411

Brian Larkin is the Tow Associate Professor for Distinguished Scholars at Barnard College, and an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Barnard College. Professor Larkin sits on the board of the Society for Cultural Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association. He is the author of Signal and Noise: Media Infrastructure and Urban Culture in Nigeria (Duke University Press, 2008) and, with Lila Abu-Lughod and Faye Ginsburg, co-editor of Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain (University of California Press, 2000). He sits on the board of the Society for Cultural Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association.

Professor Larkin’s research focuses on the ethnography and history of media in Nigeria. Most broadly, he examines the introduction of media technologies into Nigeria – cinema, radio, digital media – and the religious, social and cultural changes they bring about. Professor Larkin explores how media technologies comprise broader networked infrastructures that shape a whole range of actions from forms of political rule, to new urban spaces, to cultural life. He has also published widely on issues of globalization, piracy and intellectual property, and Nigerian films (Nollywood) in such journals as Public Culture, Africa, Social Text and Cahiersd’Études africaines.

Professor Larkin’s current book, provisionally titled, Secular Machines: Media and the Materiality of Islamic Revival, analyzes the role media play in the rise of new Islamic movements in Nigeria and explores theoretical questions about technology and religion.