We invite proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and artwork for "Marking Time: Prison Arts and Activism Conference" at Rutgers University on October 8-10, 2014. This conference aims to provide national and international perspectives on art created inside prison and in response to mass incarceration. The conference has three primary objectives: 1) to facilitate the development of networks and support for prisoners, artists, scholars, and organizations working in the field; 2) to promote the importance of prison artistic practices as vital components of contemporary culture and vernacular arts traditions; and 3) to provide a forum to examine the impact of prison systems on culture and specific populations. We hope that the conference will appeal to a broad audience, ranging from students to arts educators, and from legal scholars to prison reform activists.
The conference organizers are the Institute for Research on Women (IRW) and the Department of American Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, with the participation of several other academic units including the Mountainview Program. Additional conference partners include nonprofit organizations, such as the William James Associations Prison Arts Project and the American Friends Service Committee's Prison Watch Project, as well as professional curators and artists such as documentarian and curator David Adler.
Some of the thematic areas for critical inquiry, creative engagement and activism include, but are not limited to:
Connections between nonprofit organizations and the prison industrial complex
Political art and posters
Gender identity and testimony
Aesthetic influences of prison on everyday cultures
Prison theater projects
History of prison writings
Spoken word and rap traditions
Vernacular art and photography
Documentation of prison interiors
Folk and outsider art traditions
Prison architecture and landscape
Censorship in/out of prison
Collecting and the art market
Ethics and politics of socially engaged art
Surveillance technologies and visuality
Issues of consent
Institutional archives and issues of access
To submit individual papers or artwork as well as proposals for workshops or group sessions, please send the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to: Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 160 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.
Affiliation (independent scholar, artist, educator, activist)
Office and cell phone numbers
Biography (50 words)
Title of Presentation
Abstract (250-300 words)
Note: For panels, please provide the name of the main contact person, the title of the proposed session, and *for each panel member* all the information requested above. Due to the length of sessions, panels should consist of no more than three presenters and a moderator. We will not consider larger panels. We will give preference to panels that include both scholarly and activist perspectives.
Travel assistance may be available, contingent on funding.
Deadline for submissions is February 1, 2014. Date of notification is April 21, 2014
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