“Urban Cuts: Appropriation and Resistance in the American City”
Second Visual Culture Graduate Student Conference, Department of American Studies, Saint Louis University
The Department of American Studies at Saint Louis University invites papers for its Second Visual Culture Graduate Student Conference, to be held April 16-18, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. This year’s conference theme, “Urban Cuts: Appropriation and Resistance in the American City,” coincides with the “Urban Alchemy/Gordon Matta-Clark” exhibition at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis. Matta-Clark carved out and dissected abandoned urban buildings to reveal their internal structure and emphasize the constructedness of urban space. Though many of his works were destroyed following his artistic intervention, some pieces of these vanished buildings remain and will be exhibited, along with related visual materials, at the Pulitzer. Referred to as “cuts” by Matta-Clark, these fragments remind us of the ephemeral and constantly evolving nature of the American built environment, shaped by the choices and actions of individuals and groups who generate change and the often-obscured efforts to resist claims to public space.
We welcome proposals from all disciplines exploring visual representations of conflicting uses and contested meanings of urban space. Taking a cue from Matta-Clark’s “cuts,” we seek contributions addressing the effects of changes in urban geography on people’s daily lives. We are particularly interested in projects that examine the role of photography, film, advertising, fine art, performance, architecture, design, and/or new media.
We encourage submissions by graduate students working transnationally and comparatively on urban environments. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following themes:
- Representation & Iconography of Urban Space
- Demolition, Destruction & Displacement
- Fractured/Fragmented Space
- Contested Ownership
- Political Activism through Urban Space
- Memory & Subjectivity
- “Anarchitecture” as concept and practice
- Abandonment & Neglect
- Urban Renewal
- Urban Performance as Resistance
Please submit a 250-word abstract and a curriculum vitae by January 15, 2010 to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions, please contact Elizabeth Wolfson (email@example.com).
For more information, visit the conference web site:
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