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CFP - Edited Collection - Dancing with Shadows: Explorations in Invisibility
full name / name of organization:
Ravindra N. Mohabeer Vancouver Island University
The word invisibility represents a little understood categorical figure in the shadows that surround all research and practice. As a central theme, this collection represents an opportunity to question invisibility as a theoretical construct. How can some things be seen but also remain invisible, purposefully or by accident? How does invisibility allow other things that can rarely be seen to be profoundly influential?
The word invisible appears in a wide range of literature, spanning multiple disciplines, time periods, geographies and constituencies. When it is used, it typically acts as a placeholder for future intervention in, or deferred explication of a phenomenon. It is important to remember that being ‘invisible’ is an outcome of the process of invisibility. Despite its wide application in research and practice, without deeper deliberation of how invisibility works, the concept will remain imprecise and less helpful than it ought to be. Consider this call for participation as an invitation to share research related to the area of invisibility, perhaps using a new lens to discuss subjects that occupy an outcome of ‘invisible,’ and also as an opportunity to co-construct a theory of one of the most ubiquitous yet under explored aspects of academic thought and active praxis.
As a process and state generally relegated to the shadows, uncontested and taken for granted, invisibility is not only a form of absence, as is typical of its grammatical binary as the absence of the visible/known. It can also be thought of as a strategic form of presence.
Contributors are encouraged to consider invisibility as the context of research and practice where the visible, the knowable, is plucked out of the shadows, transformed and made known.
Conversely, one may wish to consider the ways in which some things operate in a state of invisibility, purposefully among the shadows in whole or in part, and might address how invisibility is used as a formal or informal strategy, either theoretically or in practice.
In so doing, prospective authors are asked to consider a present working theoretical model of invisibility as an intersection of corporeality (seeing), ephemerality (hearing), agency (power), and affect (emotion) as played out through time and expanded by experience. While there are limited discussions of invisibility as a theoretical ground in the available literature, this preliminary model offers a chance to think about invisibility as a multidimensional construct where at least three of these dimensions play out in the arena of the fourth, and then travel through and are changed by time and experience. Proposals should attempt to interact with, expand, and question this model wherever possible. For further details please visit: http://ideacraft.tumblr.com/theory
While the proposed collection will be decidedly multidisciplinary, it is recognized that most contributors will be rooted in a specific discipline. Rather than focusing on disciplinary boundaries, it is hoped that chapters in this volume can work together to identify the categorical significance of invisibility as a construct and can speak across disciplines.
Participation is requested from established and emerging scholars and practitioners, and is especially encouraged from authors working at the junction of theory and practice. Critical case studies, re-evaluations of existing data/theory, and proposals that identify opportunities for experimentation with invisibility (e.g. in art, science, or activism, etc.) are most welcome.
Your proposal should consist of about 500 to 1000 words and must address how your subject can be thought of from a perspective of invisibility. Final papers will be approximately 4000 to 6000 words. Proposals will be adjudicated on how well they attempt to explore and/or help develop invisibility as a construct, and for their potential to contribute to an accessible conversation aimed at a wide audience.
Please structure your proposal as follows (subheadings are encouraged):
- Working Title of proposed chapter
Where contributions are based on original research please also include:
- Methods, techniques, or modes of inquiry (descriptive, experimental, empirical and theoretical papers are welcome)
Initial Proposals due: October 15, 2011 or earlier (email .doc, .docx, or .rtf preferred)
As a guide, the following is a list of possible topics. Though diverse, it is by no means exhaustive. You are welcome to pursue one of these areas or propose another area of inquiry not represented in this list and are encouraged to send an informal inquiry in advance of preparing a full proposal.
Corporeal invisibility (seeing):
- Failures/successes of representation, e.g. affirmative action; ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’; glass ceilings; media representation practices; etc.
Ephemeral invisibility (hearing):
- The work of the translator
Agential invisibility (power):
- Bentham/Foucault and the panopticon
Affectual invisibility (emotion):
- Historical shifts in advertising from detailed description to commodity fetishisms
Please send informal inquiries (encouraged) and completed proposals to:
Proposals DUE: October 15, 2011 (.doc, .docx, or .rtf formats preferred)