BEND! Photography, Gender, & the Politics of Representation
An Interdisciplinary Symposium
Princeton University, April 22-23, 2011
Keynote Speaker: Professor George Baker, Department of Art History, UCLA
The past decade has witnessed widespread institutional and scholarly efforts to historicize the relation between art and feminism, and between art and identity politics. These efforts unfold in a present that is often characterized as "post-gender" and/or "post-racial." Just as categories of identity seem to lose traction in cultural discourse, so boundaries between artistic media become unfixed. Yet photographic representation is increasingly pervasive, and increasingly bound to the performance of subjectivity.
This symposium aims to consider the interrelated production of gender and photography, along with their dissolution as stable categories of inquiry. An interrogation of photography today requires looking within as well as beyond the boundaries of traditional art-historical frameworks. It compels us to account for the political and social dimensions in which photography participates, and demands that we re-consider the mise-en-scène of photography's production as art.
How has the evolution of photography--from b/w to color, from analogue to digital, from mass media to social media--served to articulate or blur aesthetic and subjective differences? What politics of representation emerge when the individual can be both agent and object of photographic voyeurism, exhibitionism, and surveillance? Might photography's expanded field offer the potential for reshaping feminist politics today?
We invite participants to explore historical, existing and possible relationships between photography and the (re)production of gender, from the perspectives of visual culture, philosophy, (art) history, and art practice. Papers might consider photography in relation to:
gender bending - histories and politics of sexuality - performance and/or portraiture - the construction of masculinity - women artists - representations of gender, race, and class - advocacy, activism, and political practice - feminist politics, ethics, and aesthetics - medical and biological discourses - capitalism, terrorism, and war
We welcome submissions from graduate students and emerging scholars in all fields and disciplines. Please submit a CV and 300-word abstract for a 20-minute paper by March 1, 2011 to Frances Jacobus-Parker, Elena Peregrina-Salvador, and Mareike Stoll at firstname.lastname@example.org.