Illustrating War: The Aesthetics and Ethics of Representation

full name / name of organization: 
International symposium to be held at Brigham Young University.
contact email: 
IllustratingWar@gmail.com

“I want you,” the pointing Uncle Sam poster famously proclaims, calling all American soldiers and citizens to service. Throughout the twentieth century, authors, artists, and propagandists alike represented war in ways that reflected, constructed, and manipulated American ideologies of self, nation, and other. Whether it was “Christie Girls” soliciting draftees during WWI, Norman Rockwell pronouncing “Four Freedoms” during WWII, Mad Magazine lampooning hawks and doves during the war in Vietnam, or Artists Against the War challenging American action in Iraq, visual media have constituted a significant front in the nation’s wars and conflicts. Because representations trigger psychological and ideological responses, they prompt aesthetic and ethical questions. How does one represent war? To what end? What is one’s responsibility in so doing? To whom? This symposium will pursue these ideas and others from various cultural, philosophical, and historical perspectives as it interrogates how war as an event prompts particular representations before, during, and after battle. Selected papers will be included in a proceedings volume to be published by a university press.

The interdisciplinary symposium will be held on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 February 2011 at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Provo, Utah. This symposium is presented in
conjunction with the new exhibition “At War! The Changing Face of American War Illustration” which runs from February—August 2011.

The keynote speaker is Jim Aulich whose research engages with the relationships between history, memory, and representation, especially in the field of propaganda and publicity in the graphic arts. His publications include, _The War Poster: Weapons of Mass Communication_; co-authored book _Seduction or Instruction: First World War Posters in Britain and Europe_, and edited volume _The Politics of Cultural Memory, Contested Spaces: Sites, Representations and Histories of Conflict_.

Submit an abstract of no more than 500 words. Your submission should include your name, your presentation’s title, a short biography, and your contact information (address, phone number, and email address).

Proposals should be emailed to Dr. Kristin L. Matthews at IllustratingWar@gmail.com by 1 October 2010. All entrants will be notified by the start of November. If you have any questions, please call the symposium organizers at 801-422-5295 or 801-422-5323.

cfp categories: 
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ethnicity_and_national_identity
interdisciplinary
international_conferences
journals_and_collections_of_essays
popular_culture
theory