Visualizing the Self in Flux

deadline for submissions: 
April 26, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Liberal Arts Collective
contact email: 

Visualizing the Self in Flux

25th - 26th October 2019

The Liberal Arts Collective at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park campus invites scholars and professionals to submit presentation proposals around issues of visuality and the self in flux, the self in search of identity, in transformation, or the self which is in process. We borrow the word flux from metallurgy where it is used as an agent to promote melting and de-oxidize the surface of a metal so that it can be joined with another metal in the process of soldering or welding. Likewise, we hope to encourage flow between disciplines and promote discussion on transformative processes. How can this process of joining, via the agent flux, be applied to thinking of identity formation and the self in visual and literary forms? What are these “flux points” where different aspects of identity, old and new, are mixing and new flows are created? What is at stake in visualizing the self and the performance of the self? What role does performance have in visual representations of the self (Taylor, 2003) and who has “visual sovereignty”? (Hokowithu and Devadas, 2013) Who has the right to look at these images and to produce them? What do these visual performances of the self do? Critiques of visuality as inherently imperial (WJT Mitchell, 2005) or of the ways that “visuality sutures authority to power and renders this association ‘natural’” (Mirzoeff, 2001) can also be useful in investigations of the self in flux. This conference encourages submissions that reflect on visuality in these spaces of in-betweenness, contradiction, process, becoming, and spaces of metamorphosis.

Entry points to this discussion may include discussion of self:

● As depicted in the media

● As nexus of contradictory ideologies or cross cultural currents

● As racialized and gendered

● In intersectional representations

● In premodern and pre-colonial contexts

● In displacement

● Virtual selves and performance

● Other negotiations of self in non-western thought, field specific commentary or interdisciplinary investigation All presentations that consider questions of visuality and identity/subject formation in process will be considered. Possible fields of work may include but not be limited to Languages and Literatures, Visual Studies, Media Studies, Art and Art History, Geography, Digital Humanities, Medical Humanities, Early Modern Studies, Philosophy, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Archaeology, Anthropology, Religious Studies, and Ethics.


Abstract Submission

The deadline for the submission of paper and panel proposals will be Friday, April 26th at 11:59pm EST. The Organizing Committee will respond to potential presenters by Friday, May 10th . Travel and accommodation information will be provided once proposals are accepted and can be found on our sites as well. The Liberal Arts Collective is unable to accommodate requests for specific presentation dates and times. The Liberal Arts Collective Organizing Committee will be accepting two types of proposals:

● Individual Paper and Creative Project Submissions: The individual paper submission will consist of a 250-300 word abstract and five keywords. The submission will have a cover page that consists of: name, affiliation, email, and phone number.

● Pre-organized Panel Submissions: Panel submissions will consist of a document including: panel title, 250-500 word abstract, a list of titles and short abstracts (100-250 words) of papers, and a list of participants (with affiliation and contact information). Proposed panels will have between three and five presenters (which will affect the amount of time available to each person). Four presenters per panel is recommended. Diversity within panels is recommended as well – language, gender, institution, and seniority.

If you are the chair/organizer of the panel, please note the following: You will become the main point of communication between the Organizing Committee and your panel. You will be responsible for relaying information to the members of your panel in a timely fashion.

Please submit all proposals and direct any inquiries to with your last name and LAC 2019 included in the email subject.