Interdisciplinary and international Summer School at the Humboldt-University of Berlin
22 to 26 July 2013
Deadline for application: 1 February 2013
The summer school on The Power of Colour calls for highly innovative work on the impact, influence, force and agency of colours. How do colours re(produce) socio-cultural power relations? How do they contribute to fixing and replicating social, national and economical differences? In what ways do colours either explicitly or implicitly work as mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion?
Colours serve to construct, manage, and secure (hierarchised) social relations, be this by colour coding gender differences, racially segregating populations, associating beauty with fair skin, using national colours to identify and demarcate the borders of territories and their people, or differentiating social rank by colour in sumptuary laws.
Colours are also economically powerful – best exemplified by the implementation of colours by the fashion and advertising industries. In the current battle for visual attention colours seem to be a (cost)effective means to circulating codes and emotions. For colours are contagious: They are believed to – consciously or unconsciously – affect multiple senses, invite to play with varied, constantly shifting colour semantics, and to unfold their force as a seemingly neutral visual and emotional language. Hence colours’ spheres of influence must be analysed as both historically-specific effects of meaning systems (e.g. codes) and of emotional habitus (e.g. embodied feelings). In this vein it is this summer school’s goal to explore the hidden and at the same time highly visible force and power of colour in culture and society.
We are looking for submissions by postdoctoral and doctoral candidates in the Humanities and Social Sciences who distinguished themselves in the field of »colour« and are working on colour in their current research projects and/or dissertations.
Contributions on topics within these broader themes are welcomed:
1. The Power of Colour. Introduction (Margrit Vogt and Dominique Grisard)
Colours of power/The power of colours
- Colour as social space
- Colour as cultural distinction
2. Colour Gender Codes
- Gender differences marked by colours – historically as well as currently
- The meaning of colours in Developmental and Child Psychology
- The Sexualization of colours
3. Racing Colour
- Racism, colourism and pigmentocracy
- Blackness, Brownness, Whiteness – historically as well as currently
- Notions of beauty connected to skin and eye colour
- Practices of lightening, tanning and bleaching
4. Colouring the Nation (Focus: National Socialism)
- National colours, maps, flags, uniforms etc.
- Colours of sports (soccer) teams and national belonging
- Colours in National Socialism
- Architectural colour contest
5. Colour Consumption or the Affective Power of Colours
- in art, Art History and Theory
- Colours in consumer culture, colours as sales boosters
- in Advertising Psychology and advertising
- in the fashion and toy industries
Please send one page abstracts (for 20 Minute presentations) in either German or English as well as a short CV briefly outlining research interests.
Deadline for submissions is February 1, 2013.
Submissions to: email@example.com (Keyword: The Power of Colour).
Conceptual and Organizational Directors of the Summer School: Dr. Dominique Grisard (New York/Basel) and Dr. Margrit Vogt (Berlin)
Please direct questions to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Dr. Margrit Vogt, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Dr. Dominique Grisard, University of Basel / Columbia University (email@example.com)
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