CFP: [Graduate] The Street Conference - Photography Section

full name / name of organization: 
Chris Balaschak

The Street

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

Keynote Speakers:
Susan Buck-Morss, Cornell University
Mike Davis, University of California, Irvine

We are currently seeking papers for our photography panel, entitled “Sites
and Citations: The Photographic City.”

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.

Please submit abstract (250 words) and c.v. to by January 15, 2008 for consideration.
Conference website:

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Received on Thu Dec 20 2007 - 02:03:41 EST