CFP: [Graduate] The Street, UC-Irvine Visual Studies Conference (2/29-3/1)

full name / name of organization: 
Thomas Stubblefield

The Street

The 2008 UC Irvine Visual Studies Graduate Student Association Conference
February 29 â€" March 1

In the most literal sense, “the street” denotes a passageway that
connects various points in space. However, a quick catalog of the phrase
in everyday language reveals that “the street” is a dynamic social and
symbolic space, an intersection of public and private interests that are
often difficult to isolate. For example, “the street” does not only refer
to a thoroughfare but also denotes the place where one lives. This
relationship prompts the phrase “my street,” which connotes a community
affected through ownership, and links its author to a greater metropolis
at the same time that it embeds him or her in place as owner and agent.
In this sense the street also represents the confrontation of a sense of
place and the codes of public policy, thereby pointing to a larger
interpenetration of the public and the private that lies at the core of
this elusive space. In other instances the phrase transcends space
altogether, referring instead to a mode of existence that is independent
of site specificity. In this capacity “the street” is used to convey
authenticity as in “receiving one’s education from the street” or in
being “from the street,” a usage that usually implies an opposition to
artificial or abstract representations of reality. While these examples
make clear that “the street” often functions in opposition to a
privileged class, it is, in practice, precisely that space which refuses
class distinction by forcing interactions among diverse social groups.
This interaction is itself as diverse as the space in which it takes
place as one may address the street with the apathy of the flâneur or
with the fervor of political protest.
We seek papers, projects, or organized panels from a variety of
disciplines and approaches all of which address and expand upon the many
layers of meaning that constitute this rich object of study. Please
submit abstract (250 words max) and c.v. to
by Dec. 1, 2007 for consideration.

Fields of Interest may include:

The 40th anniversary of May '68
Limits of 'the public' in a surveillance society
Graffiti and contemporary art
Public infrastructure and urban planning
Globalization and Wall Street
Advertising and public displays of consumption
Homelessness and nomadism
Situationism and the practice of the dérive
Public performance and the choreography of the street
GPS, G-Maps and virtual negotiations
The simulated street of the Sims and Second Life
Car crashes, accidents and public fatality
The peripheral space of the street as a site of exhibition
The representation of “the street” and street life in various media

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Received on Thu Sep 20 2007 - 00:18:28 EDT