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Scenes of Projection

Recasting the Enlightenment Subject

2014
Author:

Jill H. Casid

Scenes of Projection

Explores the psychic, affective, and material powers of projection

Theorizing vision and power with the histories of psychoanalysis, media, scientific method, and colonization, Scenes of Projection poaches the prized instruments at the heart of the so-called scientific revolution. It demonstrates that the scene of projection is neither a static diagram of power nor a fixed architecture but rather a pedagogical setup that operates as an influencing machine of persistent training.

In Scenes of Projection, Jill Casid sets herself no less a task than the rethinking of modernity and the formation of the European subject. Concerned with the psychic, affective, and material powers of projection and propelled by queer, feminist, and postcolonial revisions of psychoanalysis, Casid ultimately takes her readers from the mythic origins of representation to exemplary instances of contemporary art. And in the course of traversing the history and charting the geography of projection, even as she tarries with darkness, she produces nothing short of illumination.

Lisa Saltzman, Bryn Mawr College

Theorizing vision and power at the intersections of the histories of psychoanalysis, media, scientific method, and colonization, Scenes of Projection poaches the prized instruments at the heart of the so-called scientific revolution: the projecting telescope, camera obscura, magic lantern, solar microscope, and prism. From the beginnings of what is retrospectively enshrined as the origins of the Enlightenment and in the wake of colonization, the scene of projection has functioned as a contraption for creating a fantasy subject of discarnate vision for the exercise of “reason.”

Jill H. Casid demonstrates across a range of sites that the scene of projection is neither a static diagram of power nor a fixed architecture but rather a pedagogical setup that operates as an influencing machine of persistent training. Thinking with queer and feminist art projects that take up old devices for casting an image to reorient this apparatus of power that produces its subject, Scenes of Projection offers a set of theses on the possibilities for felt embodiment out of the damaged and difficult pasts that haunt our present.

Scenes of Projection

Jill H. Casid is professor of visual studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of Sowing Empire: Landscape and Colonization (Minnesota, 2005).

Scenes of Projection

In Scenes of Projection, Jill Casid sets herself no less a task than the rethinking of modernity and the formation of the European subject. Concerned with the psychic, affective, and material powers of projection and propelled by queer, feminist, and postcolonial revisions of psychoanalysis, Casid ultimately takes her readers from the mythic origins of representation to exemplary instances of contemporary art. And in the course of traversing the history and charting the geography of projection, even as she tarries with darkness, she produces nothing short of illumination.

Lisa Saltzman, Bryn Mawr College

Engaging and easily accessible.

CHOICE

Scenes of Projection

Contents

Introduction: Shadows of Enlightenment

1. Paranoid Projection and the Phantom Subject of Reason
2. Empire through the Magic Lantern
3. Empire Bites Back
4. Along Enlightenment’s Cast Shadows
5. Following the Rainbow

Conclusion. Queer Projection: Theses on the “Future of an Illusion”

Acknowledgments
Notes
Index