An interdisciplinary conference sponsored by the Graduate Program in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine
Date: April 5-6, 2012
Location: Irvine, California
Keynote Speaker: Lisa Parks, Professor of Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
“When I ask, ‘What is worlding?’ I’m asking what the material, semiotic, world-making practices at stake are for whom. Who-what-lives-dies-how in this worlding? What imaginaries and flesh are conjoined in these particular acts of worlding?”
- Donna Haraway, Wellek Library Lectures, 5/2/11
Worlding, in Haraway’s model, is an overlapping and intersecting of both tangible and intangible practices which decide who or what exists, how, when, where, and why - in short, how worlds are established, maintained, ordered, and deconstructed. Taking into account the introduction of
various technological, philosophical, and political developments into our contemporary cultural discourse, the 2012 Visual Studies Graduate Conference at UC Irvine will ask what it means to make a world, sense a world, exist in a world, or destroy a world.
The conference will explore constructed worlds in all their visual manifestations and encourages submissions that deal with the idea of a world that is not preexisting and fixed, but constructed, or in the process of creation. This idea of a world is exceedingly supple and open to numerous complex interpretations. A world can be both tactile and virtual, exterior and interior. It can be ancient, contemporary and
everything in between. Technology, language, physical migration, global economics, political discourses, and a litany of other phenomena contain the power to not only construct new worlds, but also to redefine and destroy existing worlds. With these ideas in mind, we seek papers that highlight not only the generation of worlds, but also their delineation within society. We welcome papers that discuss how ideology implements and transforms the process of world making or world breaking, provoking new methods of communication and cultural interaction.
We hope to receive submissions from across the humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural and technological sciences which engage issues of vision, visibility, and visuality, including (but not limited to) gender and sexuality studies, critical theory, ethnic and cultural studies, history, anthropology, sociology, environmental studies, literature and language studies, information and technology studies, philosophy, political science, classics, art history, and film and media studies.
Potential topics include:
+ The construction and experience of built environments: leisure worlds
such as theme parks, themed attractions, World’s Fairs and expositions, tourist destinations, malls, Spectropoli, and virtual worlds
+ Distinctions and definitions of urban, suburban, and rural territories; nature and recreation preserves
+ Creating order out of chaos: authority, regulation, and discipline in the construction of worlds, colonization, nation-building, the rise of the state, and biopolitics and necropolitics
+ The world in binaries: public/private, representation/reality, utopia/dystopia, creation/destruction, global/local, universal/particular
+ World making as art/art as world making: design practices, museum exhibitions, and cooperative collaborations which engage in world making
+ Worlds constructed around social categories: ethnicity, cultural practice, socioeconomic standing, religion, political orientation, gender, and sexual orientation and practice
+ Phenomenological aspects of world making + Time and space: the evolution of worlds over time, and the establishment
and revision of boundaries
+ Rendering worlds: geospatial categorizations, urban planning, ancient and modern cartography, GIS, digital or virtual globes, scientific imaging, space, ocean and earth-based photography
The deadline for submissions is January 16, 2012. Please email your 200-250 word abstract to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Final presentation
length is 20 minutes. Conference presentations will also be part of a special online issue of Octopus Journal (www.theoctopusjournal.org).
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