Call for Papers
American Anthropological Association (AAA), Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2007
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington DC
BROKERING IMAGES, CASTING DIFFERENCES:
Practices of Anticipating the Imagination of Others
Zeynep Devrim Gürsel, University of California, Berkeley & Stephanie Sadre-Orafai, New York University
We live in times of constant production and consumption of images, incessantly being represented, interpellated by images, and engaging in acts of representing others. Yet in whose image(s) are we being cast and who is doing the casting? What constitutes knowledge production in the visual realm and on what terms do the stakes of visual production get negotiated?
This panel broadly examines the production and circulation of “images”—both as visual representations of peoples and things as well as the public perceptions sparked by them. Paying specific attention to the practices of various kinds of image brokers whose job it is to select, edit, and arrange for the circulation of images they themselves have not produced, the panel will address the kinds of work enacted upon visual representations that shape how they are framed and intended to be taken up by a broader public. Arguing that the temporal management of past categories and future uses is a central feature of image brokering, the panel will attend to the specific practices of anticipation and imagination used by image brokers in various ethnographic locations. Focusing on the moments of selection as critical sites to investigate the decision-makers’ imagination and the brokering of images as an everyday practice of imagination, the panel will explore the political potential of these practices, including the role of stereotype and innovation, or how particular images get repeated and transformed.
We invite paper submissions to address these issues through any of the following sets of questions:
• How do expectations of what something should look like inform the selection of images?
• What are the linguistic dimensions of these visual practices?
• How are categories of peoples and things produced in institutional settings through everyday discursive interactions and visual practices of image brokers?
• How do image brokers put images to work? To what types of work are they put?
• What kind of labor is image brokering?
• What are the broader structural constraints of image brokers’ work and how does attention to their everyday practices reveal something more about these constraints?
• How do we think about imagination in a context where cultural producers anticipate the impact of a particular image on a viewer’s imagination?
• How does the image broker’s imagination and his/her anticipation of the imagination of others shape the ways in which both the past and future get imaged?
Please send abstracts (250 words) for 15-minute papers and a brief bio or cv to Stephanie Sadre-Orafai, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Zeynep Devrim Gürsel, email@example.com by Friday, March 16, 2007.
Zeynep Devrim Gürsel
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley
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