Public Engagement

General Public

New Publications by Shannon Mattern and Lana Lin

Monday, November 27, 2017 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Faculty and Staff Café, 7th floor, University Center, 63 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

Join the School of Media Studies for a Celebration of Publications! 

Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) by Shannon Mattern,  Associate Professor of Media Studies.

A breathtaking tour through thousands of years of urban life and its attendant technologies, rewriting the history of our cities.

Offering powerful new ways of thinking about our cities, Shannon Mattern goes far beyond the historical concepts of origins, development, revolutions, and the accomplishments of an elite few. Her vivid prose leads readers through a historically and geographically broad range of stories and takes media archaeology to the city’s streets, revealing new ways to write our urban, media, and cultural histories.

Code and Clay, Data and Dirt has style and method, originality and purpose. Each dig into this exceptional work has brought pleasure and scholarly respect."

-- Malcolm McCullough, author of Digital Ground



Freud’s Jaw and Other Lost Objects: Fractured Subjectivity in the Face of Cancer (Fordham University Press, 2017) by Lana Lin, Associate Professor of Film Theory and Digital Cinema and Director of UG Programs.

What does it mean to live with life-threatening illness? How does one respond to loss? Freud's Jaw and Other Lost Objects attempts to answer these questions and, as such, illuminates the vulnerabilities of the human body and how human beings suffer harm. Employing psychoanalytic theory and literary analysis, Lana Lin tracks three exemplary figures, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, poet Audre Lorde, and literary and queer theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.

Freud's Jaw asks what are the psychic effects of surviving in proximity to one's mortality, and it suggests that violences stemming from social, cultural, and biological environments condition the burden of such injury. Drawing on psychoanalyst Melanie Klein's concept of "reparation," wherein constructive forces are harnessed to repair damage to internal psychic objects, Lin proposes that the prospect of imminent destruction paradoxically incites creativity. The afflicted are obliged to devise means to reinstate, at least temporarily, their destabilized physical and psychic unity through creative, reparative projects of love and writing.

“Lana Lin's Freud’s Jaw and Other Lost Objects is at once searingly beautiful, analytically searching and technically clarifying. The case is cancer, the main object is the breast, and through Freud, Lorde, and Sedgwick Lin elaborates a 'subjectivity of survival.' She tells a story of how these authors died in their own fashion, processing the invasiveness and strange freedom of becoming an object in illness. She also sees their modes of identification, and her own, as a kind of reparative teaching in the middle of crisis. Lin's work with her authors, plus Melanie Klein, W.R. Bion, and D. W. Winnicott, makes this book important for any scholar of affect and embodiment. But general readers of illness memoir will also find a richness of description that will allow them to feel held in the volatile, rich, and searching space illness can become.”

-- Lauren Berlant George M. Pullman, Distinguished Service Professor at The University of Chicago

Sponsored by the School of Media Studies.

Event Type

Author Readings and Discussions


General Public


Media and Technology


Schools of Public Engagement, School of Media Studies




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