Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies Graduate Students Database
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Jake Silver, of Cultural Anthropology and Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies

Jake SilverContact Info

Office Location: 
Email Address:   jake.silver@duke.edu
Web Page:  

Education:

  • BA Reed College 2012

Research Interests:

My research concerns the intimate dynamics of mediation, specifically how we feel that we come to know the world and the violence, beings, and things that populate it through forms of, and at the limits of, representation. The formation of mass imaginaries is at the center of my work. I'm primarily interested in the ways that individual narratives become neat and tidy portrayals of crisis, destruction, and colonialism. Ethnographically, I'm currently exploring how stories of those that have been injured or killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict come to be harnessed in a global theatre and affect engagement with Israeli and Palestinian politics. At the anthropological level, I am interested not only in the social dissemination of these narratives, but how mass gossip is consumed, worked with, and becomes an affective means of relating to the world. The ways these stories circulate through publics illuminate how individuals treat facticity in a mediated world, and reactions to these forms of media point to the power of mass publicity in the formation of identity. Pursuing these themes has driven me to question what the limits of life and death are in a mass mediated age, especially in relation to how the public attempts to (re)animate the dead by building politics around the dead, their identities and desires, and their (after)lives. I have previously explored the politics of citizenship through my work with queer Palestinian activists, and so a strand of queer theory and method—particularly a critical eye towards reproductive and exclusionary national projects—ties all of my thinking together.


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