Image, Truth and Distortion
The Third Annual Graduate Conference
Hosted by the Graduate History Society
At the University of Rochester
Saturday, February 25, 2012
We are pleased to announce the Third Annual Graduate Conference, hosted by the Graduate History Society, at the University of Rochester. The theme for this year’s conference is “Image, Truth, and Distortion.” We invite proposals from graduate students of all disciplines which examine the complex and highly contested relationship between the image, in all of its various manifestations, and the concept of truth. The term “image” is broadly construed: images from any time period and of every variety from political cartoons to frescoes to digital photography, as well as literary, biographical, metaphorical or mental images, are acceptable subjects of investigation. Ideal submissions should explore the ways in which images have been used throughout history to reflect, refract, or even reinvent truth in regards to people, events, ideas, movements, cultures, or time periods, as well as how these images have been embraced or contested. More broadly, submissions should ultimately address the limits of our ability to comprehend and communicate truth as well as the ways in which interpretations of “truth” can be claimed, distorted or imposed on others.
Our keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Professor Susie Linfield. Linfield is Associate Professor of Journalism at New York University, and has been director of the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program since its inception in 1995. A frequent contributor to a variety of publications, including The Washington Post Book World, The Boston Review, Dissent, and The Nation among others, Linfield is most recently the author of The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence (University of Chicago Press, 2010). In this widely-acclaimed work, which is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Linfield examines how photographs of traumatic events such as the Holocaust and China's Cultural Revolution have helped provide impetus to the modern human rights movement, and argues that confronting these images of human cruelty is not voyeuristic but a necessary ethical act.
The conference will consist of 3-4 paper sessions on Saturday, February 25, 2012 as well as a keynote address. We invite graduate students to submit abstracts of approximately 250 words, contact information, and a brief biography. All proposals must be submitted by November 30. Please submit all information via our website at http://www.rochester.edu/College/HIS/Conference
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