All posts filed under: CFP

Call For Papers: Issue 28, Contending with Crisis

For its twenty-eighth issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the complex and multiple meanings of contending with crisis. Defined by the global uncertainty of a world afflicted by varied and ambiguously interrelated states of emergency, the present can be seen as a critical historical conjuncture characterized by crisis. In the context of its worldwide occurrence, crisis refers irreducibly to a multitude of circumstances, events, and thematizations: military conflict, debt crises, issues of political representation, the mass migration and displacement of refugees, increasing ecological disruptions. Such ruptures in the social demand constant attention from individuals and communities, constituting a need for committed artististic and scholarly engagements with questions of what it means to be in crisis and how to deal with it. Following Lauren Berlant’s understanding of crisis as “an emergency in the reproduction of life, a transition that has not found its genres for moving on,” we encourage authors to contemplate the fluidity/liminality of crisis, exploring both its emancipatory and repressive potentials. As an …

Call For Papers: Issue 27, Speculative Visions

For its twenty-seventh issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the complex and multiple meanings of speculative visions. The last decade has seen a rise in popularity among science fiction, fantasy, and horror. These genres encourage the capacity to imagine post-human bodies, extraordinary worlds, techno-utopias, and claustrophobic spaces of violence. In their reliance upon the imagination, these speculative visions provide a space to consider contradictions and a carnivalesque interaction between popular culture and critical theory. For Issue 27, we would like contributors to consider a range of questions produced by both historical and contemporary science fiction, fantasy, and horror across all visual media. How are objects transcribed and/or adapted from one medium to another? How do the limitations and possibilities of a medium structure works? How have these genres endured over time beyond their originary forms? How have technological advances altered the literalization of these imagined worlds? We welcome papers and artworks that further the various understandings of speculative visions. Please send completed papers (with …

Call for Papers: Issue 26, Border Crossings

For its twenty-sixth issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the complex and multiple meanings of border crossings. In September 2015, a photograph shocked the world by showing the body of a small boy lying facedown on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey. Later identified as Aylan Kurdi from Syria, he and other members of his family perished in a failed attempt to flee to Canada. The image became the focal point of the on-going refugee struggles, confronting us with the power of images, their affective potential, and the politics of representation. IVC Issue 26 seeks to examine how border crossings can challenge the stable, ontological distribution of power, capital, and resources along constructed lines of demarcation. In considering the crossing of a border, we must first understand what constitutes a border and how it performs in the visual field. Globalization tries to dissolve borders through the decentralization of power, yet at the same time, it immanently and symbolically re-inscribes national borders through the unequal distribution …

Call for Papers: Issue 25, Security and Visibility

For its twenty-fifth issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that explore the concept of security and visual culture. For almost two decades, both scholarly and public interests in matters of national security and the corresponding surveillance of public space have increased immensely. Notions of visibility figure prominently in these discussions. The expanding academic fields of Security and Surveillance Studies have successfully engaged with the multiple layers connecting (national) security, surveillance, and the visual. Focusing on present-day phenomena, sociologists, political scientists, and culture and media scholars have already developed an integrative perspective when it comes to relating issues surrounding security to the field of visibility. Consequently, newer research on security has focused on decentralized practices of security, encompassing much more than just “official” government agencies and their mediaries. For this issue, we seek to engage a historical perspective on issues of security and visibility through a close reading of texts in contemporary social sciences and cultural studies. With a special insert edited by scholars Barbara Lüthi and …

CFP InVisible Culture, Issue 24: Vulnerability

“Vulnerability” – Issue 24 (Download PDF) For its twenty-fourth issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that explore the concept of vulnerability. Almost two weeks after Thomas Eric Duncan’s plane landed in Dallas from Liberia in late September, the Centers for Disease Control announced the first case of Ebola in the United States. News feeds immediately jumped at the report, the Dow Jones plunged 266 points and petitions to ban flights from Ebola-stricken countries have since been circulating across social media platforms. From ISIS to the crisis in Ukraine to employment security, the media’s pronouncement of threats posed by vulnerabilities (and certain invisibilities) are ubiquitous. It is worth considering, however, what the stakes are in maintaining such rhetoric, and whether it is possible to imagine alternatives. As urgency slips into a normative state of being, for Issue 24, we would like contributors to explore the various meanings of vulnerability. Are there critical practices which uniquely encourage or discourage vulnerability? Can we imagine vulnerability as a position of …

CFP InVisible Culture, Issue 23: Blueprints

“Blueprints” – Issue 23 (Download PDF) For its twenty-third issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that consider the multiple valences of the topic: blueprints. In his theoretical manifesto, Toward An Architecture, Le Corbusier wrote, “The plan is the generator. Without plan there can be neither grandeur of aim and expression, nor rhythm, nor mass, nor coherence. . . . The plan is what determines everything; it is the decisive moment.” The plan or blueprint is the primary tool of the architect’s and the drafter’s trades—a technical document that bridges creative impulse and constructive labor, intent and execution, virtuality and materiality. Taking shape as a conversation among concept, form, and representation, a blueprint insistently nudges its spectator’s gaze outside its frame. It is understood as a necessary stage on the way to something larger, something grander, something more, and is usually seen not as a self-contained object, but as prescription directed toward a particular outcome. Yet a blueprint may also be the terminus of the unrealized and …

CFP InVisible Culture, Issue 22: Opacity

“Opacity” – Issue 22 (Download PDF) For its twenty-second issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the multiple meanings of opacity. In the spring of 2013, former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden began releasing documents pertaining to the wide-ranging data collection methods of the National Security Agency. Alternately hailed as hero and traitor, Snowden’s actions have fueled intense public debate regarding issues of privacy and transparency. For Issue 22, we would like contributors to consider the tension between transparency and opacity and reflect on the cultural and political contexts that gave rise to their connotations of openness and secrecy. What does it mean to claim either as a right? The late writer, poet, and critic Édouard Glissant (1928-2011) developed a model of opacity as a means of creating ethical relationships, writing in Poetics of Relation, “Transparency no longer seems like the bottom of the mirror in which Western humanity reflected the world in its own image. There is opacity now at the bottom of the …

CFP InVisible Culture, Issue 21: Pursuit

“Pursuit” – Issue 21 (Download PDF) For its twenty-first issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the topic of pursuit. We encourage authors and artists to reflect on the meaning and mechanics of pursuit across broad ranging phenomena. This term is meant to address two larger and related concerns. First, it prompts a discussion about matters of narrative, aesthetics, and medium, including topics as specific as the ‘chase film’ and crime narratives, to those as seemingly abstract as failure, paranoia, and process. Second, the word pursuit is meant to direct thinking toward a number of more clearly socio-political concerns, including, but not limited to, the topics of work and profession. In his new book, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the End of Sleep, Jonathan Crary worriedly observes that in the current global paradigm “the highest premium is placed on activity for its own sake,” and that it is the pursuit of sleep that stands as the most meaningful form of resistance in this context. We offer …

CFP: “Temporalities of Material Culture,” April 5-7, 2013, University of Rochester

CALL FOR PROPOSALS “A Matter of Time: Temporalities of Material Culture” 9th Visual and Cultural Studies Graduate Conference University of Rochester, April 5-7 2013 As cultural critics have noted over the past thirty years, we seem to be living in an age of dematerialization. Increased information transfer speed, the disintegration of boundaries between private and public, and the commercialization of image networks have provoked anxiety regarding the control of objects and images. Yet, taking a critical stance toward the temporal thrust of this thinking–its teleology, its faith in progress–we seek to historicize the anxiety as merely another renegotiation in a continually evolving relation of time and matter. Has our relationship to material objects ever been fixed? While indebted to the work of material culture studies, we invite papers from a wide range of topics of relevance and disciplines that address questions of materiality and temporality. We understand the relationship between material and time to develop in at least three distinct ways: material in our time, material that generates temporalities, and material that endures. Possible topics …

CFP InVisible Culture, Issue 20: Ecologies

Ecologies InVisible Culture, Issue 20 InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites papers that consider “ecologies” for Issue 20. We imagine ecologies primarily as organizational spectrums. Political philosopher Jane Bennett argues that attuning our critical sensibilities to the animism of images and objects might “induce a stronger ecological sense.” Similarly, art historian David Joselit suggests that relations between images amount to ecologies of form. Following such thinking, this call for papers signals a desire to flesh out the ecological metaphor vis-à-vis image relations. How do images generate connections? How does an ecological engagement with the visual world alter definitions of life? This issue theme explores the complex relations of nature and culture, image and thing, subject and object, rooted in liveliness. Visual culture scholars have long asserted that things lead social lives, linking up and separating as they traverse networks. Yet notions of life – of objects and things, their power to define and destabilize us as subjects, as well as the liveliness of nature – animate networks, creating ecological systems of thingly …