Professor Nico Baumbach Receives Columbia University Alliance Program Grant 2021

BY Felix van Kann, March 24, 2021

Associate Professor Nico Baumbach was awarded the Columbia University Alliance Program Joint Projects Grant for his project Reshaping our Digital Interactions: Subjectivity in the PostCinema age, in cooperation with Judith Michalet of the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Baumbach’s initiative seeks to bring together an international group of scholars and artists for a two-day symposium investigating the relationship between the technological environment and processes of subjectivization in the 21st century. It is one of four projects to receive the grant. 


According to the Columbia Alliances website, “In the era of what Gilles Deleuze has called “control societies”–associated with the rise of the Internet and governed by algorithmic reason, racialized surveillance, the “attention economy,” and new forms of digital labor–what strategies are being explored by artists, amateurs, and anonymous “users” for producing new (non-addictive, critical) relations to the digital devices that are not simply communications media but technological prostheses that reshape our perception and transform our biological and cognitive capacities?”

The symposium, which is the second part of an earlier Alliance Program held in 2019 on Expanded Documentary, Baumbach and Michalet investigate a range of resistant and critical practices from conceptual art installations and found-footage montage to digital documentary films and queer post-cinema.


Nico Baumbach holds a PhD in Literature from Duke University. His research and teaching focus on critical theory, film theory, documentary, and the intersection of aesthetic and political philosophy. His first book Cinema/Politics/Philosophy was published by Columbia University Press in 2019. He is currently working on a book titled The Anonymous Image.


The Alliance Call for Joint Projects are intended to support transatlantic projects of the highest quality, both in scientific research and collaborative teaching efforts, between faculty members of all disciplines within the Alliance network. They aim to promote new efforts in joint research proposal development, pilot research, collaborative teaching endeavors, and other activities in order to create new international collaborative initiatives.