“Can You Show Thinking?”: Mieke Bal on Film & Writing

“I was really interested in the question: Can you show thinking? And if so, can we make something of the social aspect of it?”

in this episode

Caro Fowler speaks with Mieke Bal, cultural theorist, critic, and video artistMieke’s work focuses on gender, migratory culture, psychoanalysis, and the critique of capitalism. In this conversation, Mieke discusses her early influences and reflects on what drew her to filmmaking. She delves into several of her video projects, including a “film about thinking” on Hubert Damisch, and describes the intersection between art history and the cinematic. Mieke describes how for her writing, filmmaking, and curating represent distinct modes of thinking and making. 


Mieke Bal

As co-founder of the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, Mieke Bal’s primary commitment is to develop meaningful interdisciplinary approaches to cultural artifacts and their potential effect for the public. She was formerly professor at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences for over a decade. Mieke’s internationally exhibited documentaries on migration include Separations, State of SuspensionBecoming Vera and the installation Nothing is Missingand are part of the Cinema Suitcase collective. She has published over forty books, including A Mieke Bal Reader, Travelling Concepts in the Humanities, and Narratology. She was a fellow at the Clark in 2001 and 2016. 

This conversation was recorded on April 29, 2020. 


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