CFP: Brokering Images, Casting Differences (3/15/07; AAA, 11/28/07-12/2/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Stephanie Sadre-Orafai
contact email: 

Call for Papers
Proposed Session
American Anthropological Association (AAA), Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2007
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington DC

Practices of Anticipating the Imagination of Others
Zeynep Devrim Gürsel, University of California, Berkeley & Stephanie
Sadre-Orafai, New York University

We live in times of constant production and consumption of images,
incessantly being represented, interpellated by images, and engaging
in acts of representing others. Yet in whose image(s) are we being
cast and who is doing the casting? What constitutes knowledge
production in the visual realm and on what terms do the stakes of
visual production get negotiated?

This panel broadly examines the production and circulation of
"images"—both as visual representations of peoples and things as well
as the public perceptions sparked by them. Paying specific attention
to the practices of various kinds of image brokers whose job it is to
select, edit, and arrange for the circulation of images they
themselves have not produced, the panel will address the kinds of work
enacted upon visual representations that shape how they are framed and
intended to be taken up by a broader public. Arguing that the
temporal management of past categories and future uses is a central
feature of image brokering, the panel will attend to the specific
practices of anticipation and imagination used by image brokers in
various ethnographic locations. Focusing on the moments of selection
as critical sites to investigate the decision-makers' imagination and
the brokering of images as an everyday practice of imagination, the
panel will explore the political potential of these practices,
including the role of stereotype and innovation, or how particular
images get repeated and transformed.

We invite paper submissions to address these issues through any of the
following sets of questions:

• How do expectations of what something should look like inform the
selection of images?
• What are the linguistic dimensions of these visual practices?
• How are categories of peoples and things produced in institutional
settings through everyday discursive interactions and visual practices
of image brokers?
• How do image brokers put images to work? To what types of work are they put?
• What kind of labor is image brokering?
• What are the broader structural constraints of image brokers' work
and how does attention to their everyday practices reveal something
more about these constraints?
• How do we think about imagination in a context where cultural
producers anticipate the impact of a particular image on a viewer's
• How does the image broker's imagination and his/her anticipation of
the imagination of others shape the ways in which both the past and
future get imaged?

Please send abstracts (250 words) for 15-minute papers and a brief bio
or cv to Stephanie Sadre-Orafai,, or Zeynep Devrim
Gürsel, by Friday, March 16, 2007.

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Received on Sat Feb 24 2007 - 13:53:45 EST