12th World Congressof the International American Studies Association

Jul 1, 2024

Description: As we approach the end of the twenty-first century’s first quarter, we find ourselves in an era that W.J.T. Mitchell famously termed the “pictorial turn”—a period marked by the abundance and explosion of visual imagery. Indeed, the phenomenon is by no means new; our species has always relied on its visual perception, in combination with other senses, creating a hybridity of perception expressed through cultural and artistic products. Visuals and visuality have become the expected and primary end-points of human experience and are key in our interpretation of the world. Moreover, what Mitchell described as a “postlinguistic, postsemiotic rediscovery,” a novel burgeoning of the visual, is placing the image, regardless of the form in which it is created and presented, at the center of our social and cultural interactions.

Recognizing the crucial role of visuality in shaping our everyday experiences, we invite scholars and practitioners to contribute to a vibrant dialogue on the role and impact of visuality in the American context. The congress venue, Ankara, located in Anatolia, a bridge between two continents, offers a distinct blend of cultural visuality. The figurative and nonfigurative art forms of multiple Anatolian civilizations over the centuries provide a fitting backdrop for discussions on visual narratives and cross-cultural exchange.

The congress will delve into the multifaceted aspects of the visual culture of the Americas, exploring how visual narratives, from ancient cave drawings to contemporary digital forms, have evolved and continue to shape our understanding of the Americas and/in the world. It will also investigate how contemporary visual practices, empowered by digital technologies, are redefining the ways we produce, circulate, and contextualize images in the translocal, hemispheric, and transoceanic contexts.

Key questions:

  • How do past or contemporary visual practices inform and influence societies?
  • What is the role of digitalization in shaping our perception and experience of imagery?
  • How does visuality contribute to and alter meaning-making processes?
  • In what ways do ideologies influence the creation and interpretation of visual objects and texts?
  • How do visual components enhance literary works and other textual forms?
  • How does visuality contribute, shape, and change performance and/or theatrical space?

Suggested topics:

  • The text as image, the image as text; i.e., the narrative function of visuality and the image within the text
  • Visual storytelling in its various forms (e.g., drawing, painting, television, film, illustrations, graphic novels, comics, video or computer games, social media)
  • The interplay of visualities in the performing arts and media
  • The aesthetics and politics of visuality
  • The impact of digital visual culture in modern society
  • Visuality and the concept of visibility as a matter of equality and/or representation in society, politics, culture, and the arts
  • Analyses, ideologies, and the ethics of visuality including looking, seeing, making in/visible, showing, or withholding an image
  • Policing, or a refusal to regulate, visuality and visibility

Submission Guidelines: We welcome proposals for 20-minute presentations. Submissions are open to academics, early-career researchers, and creative practitioners. Please send submissions as an attached Word document to: congress@iasa-world.org

Deadline for proposal submission: November 15th, 2024

Institution: IASA (International American Studies Association) and Hacettepe University

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