Panel: The Violence of the Photographic Image and itsLegacies:
30 Years After Susan Sontag’s On Photography
38th Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 1-4, 2007
Contact: Marcelline Block, firstname.lastname@example.org and Masha Mimran, email@example.com
Deadline for Paper Proposals: September 1st, 2006
This panel aims to re-examine Susan Sontag’s groundbreaking work On Photography (1977), particularly the “ethics of seeing,” as well as the semiotics of death, violence, and captivity inherent to the medium of photography. For Sontag, “the modern camera is trying to be a ray gun” and taking a picture is “as simple as pulling the trigger.” If the violent gaze of the camera can be seen as a tool of and for surveillance, the photographic image materializes itself as evidence, while the mechanisms of photography can frame the image as a missed encounter with reality. We would like to explore the intrusion, occasionally disruptive, of photography into text and cinema. We invite papers that consider the legacies of Sontag’s work on violence and photography, focusing on the ways in which literary and cinematic works (mis)appropriate photography as an aesthetic tool of investigation, detection, seduction, violence, crime, and death.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
How does photography thwart and/or advance the resolution of a crime: photographic evidence, the manipulation of photography, photographic ekphrasis?
How do still pictures and motion pictures interact?
What are the ways in which the camera becomes fetishized and represented as an object of desire in narrative?
How are the conventions of crime cinema and literature upheld and/or frustrated by the intrusion of photography?
Please submit a 250-word abstract, short bio, and contact information via e-mail attachment (MS Word, please), by September 1st, 2006, to Marcelline Block, firstname.lastname@example.org and Masha Mimran, email@example.com.
For further information on this convention, consult www.nemla.org
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