Visual Culture MLA Convention CFPs

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    Adrienne Brown

    Below you’ll find four CFP’s for proposed panels sponsored by the Visual Culture Forum for this year’s MLA.  Please do circulate widely and consider contributing.

    1- Visual Culture Forum seeks proposals for guaranteed MLA session, Women and Frames of Violence. How do women engage, practice and perform violence in visual culture? Considerations beyond survival, self-defense especially welcome. March 15, 2022.

    2- Visual Culture Forum seeks proposals for non-guaranteed MLA session, Protest Visualities. How do visual artists, activists, and viewers create, deploy, and engage photography, film, digital platforms to render and remember protest? March 15, 2022.

    3- Religio-visual Cultures in the Digital Age (Religion & Literature + Visual Culture)

    How are various new media forms (e.g. apps, memes, gaming avatars, Webcast rites) creating performative representations of religion? 200-word proposals.

    Deadline for submissions: Thursday, 10 March 2022

    Manisha Basu, U of Illinois, Urbana ( ) Adrienne Brown, U of Chicago ( )

    4- Looking Like Property

    The history of property is also the history of property’s recognizability.  This guaranteed panel, organized by the MLA Visual Culture Forum, invites contributions that consider what property looks like, whether property has “a look,” how looking itself is shaped by property’s regimes, and alternative ways for thinking the visual beyond property’s strictures.

    Does a property relation change what commonly held lands, objects, and things look like? Is “property” a visual condition that can be distinguished from what’s unpossessed or dispossessed? What does property’s visual aesthetic entail and how do we tell the story of property’s “look” over time, as property’s hold has expanded from what can be held in a hand to what has to be imagined (like sound) to be “real”? How does something start to look (or not look) like property and what does the ease or difficulty of this process teach us about property’s bonds? In turn, how has property shaped structures of looking? Who has historically been imagined to have the capacity to recognize, protect, and benefit from property and how has that shaped legal, social, and aesthetic notions of personhood and valuation? What alternative modes of sensing have emerged to disrupt or refute regimes of looking organized and otherwise limited by property? Moreover, how have artists, writers, and thinkers represented the experience of seeing as either property itself or an otherwise formation that might not be proprietary, observing the world from the point of view of the possessed, the copyrighted, and the enclosed?  And, lastly, has the emphasis on visual properties of property occluded its other sensorial registers? We welcome proposals taking up these questions and more.

    Please send a 200-300 word abstract and 50-100 word bio to by March 15th, 2022. Notifications will be emailed by March 25th. Successful proposals will require attending the MLA conference scheduled January 5-6, 2023 in San Francisco or online.

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