What are the challenges of doing interdisciplinary work? Drawing on her experiences in coming to film studies as a historian, Ruth Ben-Ghiat will bring the methodologies and questions of one field to bear on another. Using her work on Fascist empire cinema as a case study, Ben-Ghiat will explore the task of conveying the place of history in images, and the place of images in history. This talk will also consider the interpretative issues posed in studying objects and texts about which little is known, and the place of what Ben-Ghiat calls "informed intuition" in such circumstances, while also reflecting on why interdisciplinary work is so vital to the humanities today.
Ruth Ben-Ghiatis Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University and a cultural critic who has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other fellowships. She writes and speaks frequently on fascism, authoritarianism, propaganda, and the politics of images. Her latest book is the award-winningItalian Fascism's Empire Cinema(Indiana, 2015). Ben-Ghiat also writes for CNN and other media outlets on authoritarianism, strongmen, and Donald Trump.