Kingston University, working in collaboration with Sainsbury Institute and Copad Arts, calls for papers on the cultural representation of the effects of nuclear technology in war and peace for a one-day symposium which will accompany the exhibition After Hiroshima: Nuclear Imaginaries, at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London.
We invite researchers in the field of visual culture with an interest in the depiction of recent and current nuclear threats to submit proposals focusing on aesthetic responses to nuclear technologies in the 20th and 21st centuries, and particularly welcome contributions examining the relationship between visual culture and the nuclear since the early 1980s. Selected papers will be included in a publication.
Nuclear Imaginaries will encompass a broad range of visual media, from Barefoot Gen manga, Rosenthal and Moore’s exhibition Infinity City, Def Jeans ‘nuclear’ campaign, Kenji Yanobe’s atomic suits, and reconstructions in dramas such as the BBC’s ‘Dirty Bomb’. It will situate debates on nuclear representation in an international and multi-cultural context, reflecting on new narratives and metaphors of nuclear threat involving ‘War on Terror’, ‘rogue’ nuclear states, depleted uranium, WMD and environmental contamination.
The purpose of the symposium is to consider whether, after the super-power rhetoric of the mid to late 20th century, we have now entered a phase in which nuclear representation responds to a more amorphous geo-political situation, in which regional and local effects, global environmental concerns, corporate media and industrial and military dynamics meet in complex formations. Have these developments motivated new aesthetic responses to a new culture of annihilation and contamination, many of which redefine the boundary between nuclear fiction and reality in narratives of heroism and nihilism, resignation and resistance, paranoia and paralysis? How do they deal with race, religion, gender, state and nation? What tropes, metaphors and themes do they draw on? How do they differ from previous visions of nuclearization?
Proposals should be no more than 250 words and should be sent to the email address below by March 15th, 2005. Accepted papers will be twenty minutes in length. Please include a CV and list any technical equipment, including software, you will need to present your paper. All applicants will be notified of the conveners’ decision by April 11. This symposium is dependant on funding.
School of Art & Design History
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