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Damien Stankiewicz, Ph.D.
Office telephone: 215-204-7574
My research grapples with the meaning and problem of "identity" and "culture" in today's world. I am generally interested in understanding how shifting economic, political, and communicative realities (mass and digital media, neoliberalism, trans-border governmental institutions) impact upon ideologies of belonging, and especially national belonging.
More specifically, I am interested in the actual terms and concepts that populate debates about what is happening to how people think about who they are and where they belong in today's "World." While completing dissertation fieldwork at the headquarters of the trans-European cultural television station ARTE, I found that my own categories of analysis often aligned, albeit awkwardly, with those of the media professionals I was studying—"culture," "identity," and even "habitus" were both my terms of analysis and their quotidian categories for understanding their own colleagues and work. I eventually came to understand that close attention to this meta-discourse (akin to what Douglas Holmes and George Marcus have termed "para-ethnography") would be crucial for disentangling the politics of various formulations and mediations of contemporary identity in Europe.
My book manuscript, Mediating Europe: Nation and Culture at the Television Channel ARTE, examines how staff at ARTE, a self-consciously transnational and transregional television channel, go about crafting broadcast and web media intended to promulgate trans-border European C/culture. The manuscript describes the various strategies that producers use in their attempts to cultivate transnational and cosmopolitan sensibilities, arguing that a variety of such strategies are in evidence, but which for the most part implicitly draw upon entrenched logics about circumscribed and homogenous (national) identities and culture(s). Ethnography at ARTE helps us to understand, I argue, both how discourses of belonging are changing—and not changing—in a globalizing world, as well as the need for ongoing anthropological revisions to our fundamental conceptualizations of sameness, difference, and national imagined community.
I am beginning new projects on transregional environmentalist initiatives in North Africa, as well as on the Front National nationalist political party in France. I am also working on a documentary film about solar energy in Europe and North Africa, called Power Lines.
I received my B.A. in International Studies from the University of Chicago, and my M.A., Certificate in Culture and Media, and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at New York University.
"Regathering the Imagined Audience: Shifting Strategies at a Trans-European Public Television Channel." Television and New Media. Forthcoming, Spring 2014.
"Anthropology and Fiction: An Interview with Amitav Ghosh," Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 27, Issue 3, pp. 535–541. July 2012.
"The Discursive Disjunctions of Globalizing Media: Ideological Claims and Tensions at the French-German and European Television Channel ARTE." Chapter in edited volume Global Media, Cultures, and Identities, Rohit Chopra and Radhika Gajjala, eds. New York: Routledge. May 2011.
"Anthropology on European Television: The Case of l'Art du Mythe / Kunst und Mythos." "Public
Anthropology" section, American Anthropologist, Vol. 112, No. 2. June 2010.
Book Review: Ruth Mandel's Cosmopolitan Anxieties: Turkish Challenges to Citizenship and Belonging in Germany. Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, Vol. 9,1. Spring/Summer 2009.
Power Lines, about trans-regional solar energy initiatives in Europe and North Africa (Morocco). In production.
Produced, directed, and edited twenty-minute documentary film Mamun's Hot Dogs, 2005-2006, New York University Culture and Media Program (New York, NY):
FIFEQ International Ethnographic Film Festival of Quebec (Festival International du Film
Ethnographique du Québec), Université Laval, Quebec City, January 2008.
"Ethnographies Without Texts" Workshop, Media Anthropology Laboratory, Harvard University,
"Docs on the Edge" Documentary Film Screening, Landmark Sunshine Theatre, New York, May
Sound recordist, camera operator, The Professor (2006), documentary short by Jason J. Price, distributed
by Documentary Educational Resources.
Sound recordist, camera operator, Nothing to Lose (2006), documentary by Robert Chang, distributed by
Documentary Educational Resources.