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Dr Allen Meek

Senior Lecturer

School of English and Media Studies

Allen Meek is the author of Trauma and Media: Theories, Histories and Images (Routledge 2010) which explained how the concept of trauma has been used to understand modern media in the writings of theorists such as Freud, Benjamin, Adorno, Barthes, Derrida and Zizek. He teaches a 300 level paper called Trauma and Media which explores the role of media images in shaping our understanding of war, genocide, atrocity, terrorism and other catastrophes. He is currently researching how natural history and biology have shaped modern conceptions of cultural memory, particularly the transmission of the past by media.


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Research Expertise

Research Interests

I am researching the role of biological conceptions of society in cultural criticism, particularly with reference to catastrophes such as the Holocaust and the bombing of Hiroshima. I am specifically interested in the ways that theories of hereditary transmission and degeneration influenced discourses about the collective memory of catastrophe. How does the contemporary preoccupation with trauma in cultural criticism both respond to and reiterate earlier debates about race and human evolution? Both Freud and the Nazis were influenced by Darwin. I argue that cultural memory needs to be understood in the context of biopolitical forms of social identity and exclusionary violence.

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 2

Completed Projects

Project Title: Transmission: Media, catastrophe and cultural memory

This book investigates how cultural memory in the post-World War II era has been progressively shaped by representations of catastrophic events in visual media. It focuses on particular events, such as the bombing of Hiroshima, the Vietnam War and the 9/11 attacks, which have become points of reference for cultural critics, public intellectuals and media professionals who articulate influential ideas about cultural identity. The book analyses the role of technological media and the spectacular display of violence and destruction in the redefining of collective memory in Western culture over the past 60 years. It also seeks to construct a pre-history of the role of media in transmitting shock and trauma in our contemporary era of globalized war and terror. The purpose of this research is to understand the complex social and cultural roles that media images play in defining 21st century citizenship. This project follows on from my earlier book Trauma and Media (Routledge 2010), which looked specifically at how conceptions of history and media representation have been influenced by theories of psychological trauma. The new project is focused on areas not covered by the previous book, particularly Cold War and post-Cold War ideological formations.
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Date Range: 2012 - 2012

Funding Body: Massey University

Project Team:

Research Outputs

Journal

Meek, AG. (2017). Media traumatization, symbolic wounds and digital culture. CM: Communication and Media. XI(38), 91-110
[Journal article]Authored by: Meek, A.
Lawn, J., Bortolotto, MC., Worthington, K., & Meek, A. (2016). The Limits of Responsibility. Borderlands e-Journal : New Spaces in the Humanities. 14(2), 1-14
[Journal article]Authored by: Bortolotto, M., Lawn, J., Meek, A., Worthington, K.
Meek, AG. (2015). Cultural trauma, biopolitics and the limits of responsibility. Borderlands e-Journal : New Spaces in the Humanities. 14(2), 1-19
[Journal article]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2014). German Cinema -- terror and trauma: Cultural Memory since 1945, by Thomas Elsaesser (NewYork: Routledge, 2014). New Review of Film and Television Studies.
[Book Review]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2013). Through Amateur Eyes: Film and Photography in Nazi Germany, by Frances Guerin (University of Minnesota Press 2012). Screening the Past. (36)
[Book Review]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2012). Trauma: With or without theory. Mathew Broderick and Antonio Traverso (eds), Trauma, Media, Art: New Perspectives (Cambridge Scholars 2010.. Cultural Studies Review. 18(2), 347-352
[Book Review]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2012). Interrogating Trauma: Collective Suffering in Global Arts and Media, Mathew Broderick and Antonio Traverso (eds) (Routledge 2011). Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. 26(6), 949-951
[Book Review]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2012). Holocaust Images and Picturing Catastrophe: The Cultural Politics of Seeing by Angi Buettner (Ashgate 2011). Sites: A Journal for South Pacific Cultural Studies. 9(2), 174-176
[Book Review]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2008). On Jameson: From Postmodernism to Globalism. Social Semiotics. 18(1), 106-107
[Book Review]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A. (2007). Benjamin trauma and the virtual. Transformations: Region Culture and Society. 15, 1-16
[Journal article]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2000). Exile and the electronic frontier: Critical intellectuals and cyberspace.. New Media and Society. 2(1), 85-104
[Journal article]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2000). Mourning, media and the "virtual space of spectrality".. Space and Culture. (8), 95-106
[Journal article]Authored by: Meek, A.

Book

Meek, AG. (2016). Cultural trauma and the media. In Y. Ataria, D. Gurevitz, H. Pedaya, & Y. Neria (Eds.) Interdisciplinary Handbook of Trauma and Culture. (pp. 27 - 38). : Springer International
[Chapter]Authored by: Meek, A.
Allen, N., Beausoleil, E., Bignall, S., Meek, A., Meffan, J., & Pino-Ojeda, W. (2016). The Limits of Responsibility. J. Lawn, MC. Bortolotto, K. Worthington, & A. Meek (Eds.) (Vol. 4) ,on-line: borderlines e-journal
[Scholarly edition]Authored by: Beausoleil, E., Meek, A.Edited by: Bortolotto, M., Lawn, J., Meek, A., Worthington, K.
Meek, AG. (2015). Towards a natural history of the Cinema: Walter Benjamin, film and catastrophe. In Film on the Fault Line. (pp. 146 - 161). : Intellect
[Chapter]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A.(2016). Biopolitical Media Catastrophe, Immunity and Bare Life. : Routledge
[Authored Book]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2013). Postcolonial trauma: Child abuse, genocide, and journalism in New Zealand. In B. Hokowhitu, & V. Devadas (Eds.) The Fourth Eye: Maori Media in Aotearoa New Zealand. (pp. 25 - 41). Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press
[Chapter]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2012). Trauma images in photography, film, and video. In Encyclopedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide. (pp. 714 - 716). : Sage
[Chapter]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A.(2010). Trauma and Media: Theories Histories and Images. New York and London: Routledge
[Authored Book]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A. (2008). Indigenous virtualities. In D. Butt, J. Bywater, & N. Paul (Eds.) Place: Local Knowledge and New Media Practice. (pp. 20 - 34). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
[Chapter]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A. (2008). Fantasising history as trauma. In H. Margolis, S. Cubitt, B. King, & T. Jutel (Eds.) Studying the Event Film: 'The Lord of the Rings'. (pp. 214 - 221). Manchester, UK and New York: Manchester University Press
[Chapter]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2005). Postcolonial virtualities: The other's giant body. In H. McNaughton, & J. Newton (Eds.) Figuring the Pacific: Aotearoa & Pacific Cultural Studies. (pp. 43 - 52). Christchurch, NZ: Canterbury University Press
[Chapter]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2003). A century of exiles: National cinemas and transnational mediascapes. In Moving pictures, migrating identities. (pp. 3 - 17). Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi
[Chapter]Authored by: Meek, A.

Conference

Meek, AG.Keynote: Real time transmission: Mediating trauma and managing political identity. . Dunedin
[Conference Other]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2015, September). The past awaits: Identity, repetition and catastrophe. Presented at Triggering Memory
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2014, July). Media, Trauma and Biopolitics. Presented at Future of the Past: Representing the Holocaust, Genocide and Mass Trauma in the 21st Century. Deakin University, Melbourne.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2014, August). Testimony and the chronophotographic gesture. Presented at Lopps and Splices: Changing Media Technologies. Victoria University, Wellington.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2013, November). Media, catastrophe and biopower. Presented at Disaster! A Symposium. University of Otago, Dunedin.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2012, December). Cultural trauma and the biopolitical imagination. Presented at The Limits of Responsibility: Histories, Species, Politics. Massey University, Palmerston North.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2011, November). Cultural trauma and the biopolitical image. Presented at Citizenship in an Era of Global Crisis. University of Otago.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2011, November). Cultural trauma and the biopolitical image.. Presented at Citizenship in an era of global crisis.. University of Otago.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A. (2008, December). Family violence: Media trauma and sovereignty in Aotearoa New Zealand. Presented at Interrogating Trauma: Arts and Media Responses to Collective Suffering. Murdoch Universtiy, Perth, WA.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A. (2006, August). Benjamin's theory of historical trauma. Presented at Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity. University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2005, September). Mediating trauma: Film and public culture in Aotearoa New Zealand. Presented at Biculturalism or Multiculturalism. Christchurch, NZ.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2003, December). Postcolonial virtualities. Presented at Cultural Studies Association of Australia Aotearoa NZ 2003. Christchurch, NZ.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2003, February). Postcolonial trauma: Indigenous cinema and global Hollywood in Aotearoa New Zealand. Presented at Between Empires: Communication, Globalisation and Identity. Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, NZ.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2003, July). Trauma, terror and the exilic optic. Presented at The Poetics of Exile: An International Conference. University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2002, December). Postcolonial trauma: Global Hollywood and the indigenous image. Presented at Cultural Studies Association of Australia Conference. University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG., & Wright, AC.(2001). Ghosts of the Pacific: Documenting pastcolonial histories. In Co-Chair of a conference panel. Brisbane, QLD: Visible Evidence 9th Conference
[Conference Other]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2001, December). Indigenous documentary and the politics of Antipodean identities. Presented at Visible Evidence IX. Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.

Other

Meek, AG. (2014). Trauma and Cinema. (pp. 484 - 488). Routledge
[Other]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2014, July). Media, Trauma and Biopolitics. In Future of the Past: Representing the Holocaust, Gencide and Mass Trauma in the 21st Century, Deakin University, Melbourne.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, AG. (2014, August). Testimony and the chronophotographic gesture. In Loops and Splices: Changing Media Technologies, Victoria University, Wellington.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A. (2012). Encyclopedia entry: Trauma images in photography, film, and video in Encyclopedia of trauma: An interdisciplinary guide. (pp. 714 - 717). SAGE Publications
[Other]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A. (2010, October). Modern media and the transmission of historical trauma. Presented at University of Auckland, NZ. : Department of Film, Television and Media Studies.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A. (2010, August). Trauma and media: The transmission problem. Presented at Massey University, New Zealand.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.
Meek, A. (2007, September). Falling man: Trauma and history after 9/11. Presented at Massey University, New Zealand.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Meek, A.

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
CoSupervisor 1 0

Current Doctoral Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

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