CFP: [General] [ACLA 2009 Seminar] Images of Order: Catalogs, Maps, Archives

full name / name of organization: 
Ana Olenina
contact email:

We are looking for paper submissions for the following panel/seminar at
the annual American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) conference
to be held at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (March 26-29, 2009)

Abstracts should be submitted by November 1, 2008, using the form on this

Limited travel grants available (For details, see

Contact panel organizer:
Ana Olenina (


Images of Order: Catalogs, Maps, Archives [Panel at ACLA Conference]

This seminar explores forms of global vision and systems of presenting
information as they have been configured in discursive and institutional
practices. We will investigate spatial and visual strategies of ordering
and displaying data, which have been used historically to create
functional overviews — global pictures — in which all elements appear
manageable and systemically integrated. Tracing genealogies of such
techniques of organization, we will attempt to chart out the forces and
power relations that brought them into being, as well as networks of
effects they have produced for cultural, social, and political practices.
The central questions of the seminar include: How does the format of
visualizing large quantities of data — in maps, diagrams, tables,
archival catalogs, or PowerPoint presentations — regulate what we know
and what we can know? How do these formats and regimes of visualization
position us as subjects?

We welcome contributions from scholars of literature, film, and media who
are interested in post-foucauldian analysis, history of science,
cognitive poetics, communication studies, and other fields concerned with
forms of presenting and perceiving information.

Seminar topics will include but are not limited to:

--Systems of visualization and their
cognitive/epistemological/poetic/political aspects
--History of techniques and apparatuses of presentation
--Strategies of data presentation in relation to strategies of thinking
and acting
--Relations between text and image, label and object, icon and object,
general category and particular specimen

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Received on Fri Oct 03 2008 - 17:26:39 EDT

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