This interdisciplinary conference proposes to explore the visual cultures Italians have created, consumed, and been the subject of from early modernity to the contemporary “post-text” era. Italians—including inhabitants of the nation-state, members of the diaspora, and former colonial subjects—have been conceptualized, rendered, and understood to a large degree by the visual. Landscapes (e.g., Roman ruins, the “old neighborhood”), individuals (e.g., the picturesque contadina, the criminalized immigrant), objects (e.g., fascist architecture in Asmara, pizza), and cultural concepts (e.g., bella figura, the evil eye) have been the stuff of visual arts, media, advertisement, tourism, and vernacular renderings concerning Italy’s histories and identities, within and beyond the country’s geopolitical boundaries. These and other visual frames are didactic modes by which tropes of Italy and Italians are promoted and consumed, contested and re-imagined.
This conference builds on the work of Visual Culture Studies scholars with their concern for scopic regimes, commodities, and the visual manifestations of race, gender, and sexuality. We are looking for papers that engage with a wide range of visual characterizations as found in literature, the visual arts, media (e.g., television, online gaming, the Web), graphic design, entertainment, and other areas and technologies. Italy, and by extension italianità, is a hyper- visualized locus that is well suited for critical interventions on visual culture.
SUGGESTED PAPER TOPICS INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
The touristic gaze
Tropes of the picturesque and the folkloric
Visualizing landscapes and chronotopes, e.g., the “Old Country”
Postcards, comics, graphic novels
Scopophilia and eye-centricity (e.g., the passeggiata)
Digital humanities and visual culture
Advertisements and consumerism
Architecture and the visual
Art periods, styles, and movements (e.g., the Baroque, Futurism)
Visual culture and literature
Religious iconography (e.g., bleeding statues, ex-votos)
CALL FOR PAPERS
The official language of the conference is English. All presentations are to last no longer than twenty minutes, including audio and visual illustrations. Thursday evening is dedicated to welcoming comments and reception; sessions and panels will take place all day Friday and Saturday.
NOTA BENE: There are no available funds for travel, accommodations, or meals. There is no conference registration fee. The conference does not make arrangements with local hotels, so participants are responsible for booking their own accommodations.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: SEPTEMBER 14, 2018.
Abstracts for scholarly papers (up to 500 words, plus a note on technical requirements) and a brief, narrative biography should be emailed as attached documents by September 14, 2018, to firstname.lastname@example.org, where other inquires may also be addressed. We encourage the submission of organized panels (of no more than three presenters). Submission for a panel must be made by a single individual on behalf of the group and must include all the paper titles, abstract narratives, and individual biographies and emails.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, SEE OUR WEB SITE: WWW.QC.EDU/CALANDRA
The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College, is a university-wide research institute of The City University of New York, dedicated to the history and culture of Italians in the United States.
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