Literature and the Mass-Produced Image, NYU, April 2, 2010 (deadline for abstracts: February 1)

full name / name of organization: 
New York University Graduate English Organization
contact email: 
nyugeo.conference@gmail.com

The New York University Graduate English Organization's Conference on Literature and the Mass-Produced Image

April 2, 2010
Deadline for Abstracts: February 1, 2010
New York University, New York, NY

New York University's English Department will host a graduate student conference exploring the fate of literature in the age of the reproducible image. The nineteenth-century emergence of photography, a medium which Walter Benjamin referred to as “the first truly revolutionary means of reproduction,” coupled with the subsequent development of the motion picture, irrevocably shook not only the art world, but also the literary. This conference aims to uncover the affinities, negotiations, and interrelations between literary texts and visual media like photography, cinema, and the more recent medium of digital imaging and video. Investigating these issues from the perspectives of both literary and visual culture, this one-day event aims to bring together new work being produced by graduate students studying literature, cinema studies, visual culture, the history of media, and social historiography.

We will be focusing on a number of related questions including (but not limited to): How has the development of visual media affected literary aesthetics? In what sense has the vocabulary of film and photography been appropriated from and by literary culture? How do motion and pacing – elements inherent to cinema – reveal themselves in creating and staging action, plot, and character development in literary narrative?

Other possible topics include:

  • Photographic representation in literary texts
  • Literature as motion: imagery and the mind’s eye, storytelling and motion
  • Cinema, literature, fragmentation and non-linear chronology
  • Descriptions of photographs within literary works
  • The ‘urban’ and its centrality to cross-media works
  • Modernist critique/appropriation of visual culture
  • Art, the avant-garde, and experimental motion/stop-motion
  • The function of written text in a visual medium
  • Depictions of movies and movie-going in literary narrative
  • Film vs. Literature: ‘high art’ in the era of mass culture


    Please send abstracts (400 words) to nyugeo.conference@gmail.com by FEBRUARY 1, 2010. Abstracts should include your name, contact information, paper title, and a short bio with your institution & department affiliation and year in graduate school. Please specify any audio-visual requirements. Panel proposals are also welcome for panels comprised of 3-4 participants; in your proposals, please include panel title and brief description (limit 500 words) as well as a list of papers with corresponding abstracts and speaker information. Visit our conference website at http://nyugeoconference.wordpress.com.

    cfp categories: 
    american
    cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
    film_and_television
    graduate_conferences
    poetry
    popular_culture
    theatre
    twentieth_century_and_beyond
    victorian