CFP: [Cultural–Historical] Roundtable: Technology and Collage/Montage –– Cultural Studies Association (U.S.) 5

full name / name of organization: 
michael filas
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Call for Papers “Roundtable: Technology and Collage/Montage”

The Technology Division invites submissions for the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies
Association (U.S.) to be held on the campus of NYU in Greenwich Village, in New York City, May
22-24, 2008.
Deadline: October 1, 2007

In cultural production, the process of collage and assemblage, be it in music, visual art,
literature, theory, or film, has an implicit relationship with technology. The collage/montage
process extracts elements from preexisting works and texts, and then integrates those
recontextualized fragments into new worksâ€"integrated works that can draw out, or occlude the
severances and ruptures implicit in the method; works that can reflect the violent discontinuities,
or foreground the homogeneity in the new creation. This roundtable invites scholars and
practitioners of collage/montage to share work in an exploration of how the process, aesthetic,
and critical method reflect the relationship with technology.

Historically, in the wake of WWI Dada artists and writers began creating literature,
photomontages, and assemblages as a way of responding to the impact of technology and
politics on the individual subject. From the politicized inclusion of newspaper fragments into
paintings, to the playful, and sometimes pointed inclusion of reproduced images of politicians
and celebrities, collage both reflects and critiques the culture of mechanized reproduction, the
culture of mass media, and sometimes the culture of other technologies, like war machinery. In
literature, the same post-war period yielded T.S. Eliot’s famous poem, “The Waste Land,” a
landmark work comprised of disparate fragments responding, in part, to the overwhelming
impact of war technologies on individual subjectivity and spirituality. The novels of John Dos
Passos, which include stream of consciousness riffs of headlines and popular culture citations,
provide a convenient example of collage techniques in fiction. Contemporary examples of
cultural collage range from sampling lyrics and riffs in hip-hop and rap music, to the montage of
disparate footage in film. In 1994, the film Forrest Gump added another dimension to montage
possibilities by combining the new technology of digital film manipulations with the insertion of
disparate historical materials. In another, more current development, Independent artists are now
making remixes of films and other media and putting these montage video art works on

In addition to analyses of collage/montage in the arts, this session means to open the use of
collage/montage/assemblage to its broader metaphorical dimensions. Can we use an
understanding of collage to examine the new hybridized forms of humanity? Prosthetic limbs, for
example, in the growing coverage of amputee veterans returning from the war in Iraq, might be
illuminated when considered in the context of collage and its relationship with technology. Some
possible topics in this vein might include organ transplantation, xenotransplants (using animal
organs/tissue in humans), recombinant genomic engineering, the plastinated corpses of Gunther
von Hagensâ€"reassembled in artistic assemblage presentations. Concerning collage as metaphor,
theory has a long tradition of using collage/montage as pointed allegory, from the theatrical
interruptions of Bertold Brecht, to the postmodern examinations of identity through collage/
montage in works by Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Gregory L. Ulmer and others.

Roundtable participants will introduce their work with brief remarks, and then we will have an
open discussion of the topics. As this roundtable will allow more than 3 or 4 participants, we will
discuss our work, but not present our entire papers as is done in a typical panel sessions.
Practitioners of collage/montage/assemblage are also invited to submit their work for inclusion.
Please submit a 300-word abstract of your critical project; or a brief description of your creative
writing project, with a 1-2 page excerpt; or a visual art creation with a 300-word artist’s
statement; video art and dramatic performance (recorded) will be considered with a 300-word
artist’s statement. In all cases, the work must be introduced/presented in 10 minutes or less,
and readily circulated through email or email attachments.

Please submit also your name, department and institutional affiliation, email address, phone, and
any needed audio-visual equipment needs, by October 1 to:

Michael Filas, Ph.D.
Chair, CSA Technology Division
Associate Professor of English
Westfield State College
577 Western Avenue
Westfield, MA 01086
(413) 572-5683

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Received on Mon Aug 27 2007 - 17:44:36 EDT