Robert M. Bednar:
Materialising Memory: Space, Memory, and Transference at Roadside Car Crash Shrines
Robert M. Bednar is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where he teaches media studies, visual communication, and cultural studies. Bednar will present part of his current book project titled Road Scars: Trauma, Memory, and Automobility. This is a study of both the containment and effervescence of traumatic memory in roadside car crash shrines. Entering into the vigorous critical and theoretical dialogues within visual culture, material culture, and cultural geography surrounding contemporary discourses of trauma, memory, and space, Bednar’s presentations analyzes a set of shrines he has recursively photographed for the past seven years in the US.
Maria McVarish is an architect, artist and visual researcher practicing in San Francisco. Her projects have been published locally and nationally. She has lectured in architecture at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design and, since 1996, has taught interdisciplinary studies, critical theory and design at the California College of the Arts. In this presentation, McVarish explores concepts of value and productivity in close thematic relationship with ideas of “wasting ”– literal and metaphoric, human and environmental. A discussion of issues connecting cultural Heritage sites in Appalachia with the necessity for mourning and memorial provides the backdrop for her scrutiny of these terms.