News/Research

HTNM Video Now Online: "System Addict"

20 Jul, 2015

HTNM Video Now Online: "System Addict"

Alexander Weheliye concluded the 2014-2015 History and Theory of New Media lecture series with his riveting talk "System Addict: Technologies of Humanity in Contemporary R&B Music" on Thursday, April 2. This lecture was the culmination of a wide-ranging and thought-provoking year of guest speaker events. View a recording of the lecture below!

Dr. Weheliye's research introduces questions about where, how, and why mobile technologies appear in R&B music, and how these appearances emphasize textural/affective/haptic relationships with technology. These are questions that have not been theorized yet raise important insights into the "performance" of human labor that is not recognized as labor, plus the "performance" of technological labor. The lecture demonstrated the limitations of our current definitions of the technological as well as the still fraught relationship between Black culture and technology.

Ultimately, in his next book, Dr. Weheliye expands this work into an embodied and relational theory of mobile technologies. Entitled Feenin: R&B’s Technologies of Humanity, it offers a critical history of the intimate relationship between R&B music and technology since the late 1970s.