States of Emergency: New Iconographies and the Narratives of Catastrophe--ACLA Seminar, 2012; CFP Deadline November 15, 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Stephenie Young (Salem State University), Lisa Mulman (Salem State University)

Since WWII visual and written work documenting traumatic historical events in diverse geographic locations has emerged as one of the most prolific spaces of artistic production, yet still remains a relatively under-examined area of scholarly analysis. This is particularly true of comparative and interdisciplinary work. This seminar will focus on imaginative and testimonial narratives from sites of cultural or historical rupture/disruption/insurgence and the ways in which such narratives re- envision states of emergency as moments of artistic invention and/or transformation.

The use of innovative or unconventional materials and/or genres as a means of representing trauma is of particular interest. For example, the preponderance of graphic novels centered on moments of political oppression is suggestive of a new (and newly necessary) visual/iconographic vocabulary. Similarly, uncommissioned art is increasingly drawing more attention with street art and other unsanctioned and unofficial cultural artifacts.

We welcome papers which juxtapose or experiment with various disciplines and genres, with the aim of producing a richer and more theoretically significant discourse about what has come to be known as the urgent "emergency" issues of our time: genocide, geographical and cultural upheaval and displacement, and human rights violations more generally.

Possible topics include but are by no means limited to:
War and Remembrance
The Graphic Novel and Political Oppression
New Iconography
Uncommissioned/Non-Sanctioned Art and Architecture
Monuments and Memorial Memorials
Nostalgia and OstalgiaStreet Art
Literature of Trauma
Tattooing/Body Art/Body as Art
The Off-Modern

Please submit a 250 word abstract through the ACLA website, and select "States of Emergency" as the seminar for submission:

Abstracts should be for papers of 15-20 minutes in duration (please refer to the ACLA website for general conference details). The deadline for all abstracts is November 15, 2011