CFP: Visualizing Violence in Francophone Cultures-abstract 8/10/12

full name / name of organization: 
Magali Compan - College of William and Mary

Call for Papers for an edited volume on

Visualizing Violence in Francophone Cultures

August 10, 2012 – Deadline for 300-400-word proposal submissions
December 30, 2012 – Deadline for 7000-8000-word contribution

Edited by Robert St. Clair and Magali Compan

The publication of Susan Sontag's landmark study of photography, Regarding the Pain of Others, touched off a critical and at times controversial interrogation of the power and problems of visual representations of violence. Taking as its point of departure the postulate that visual discourses of violence generate a complex field of aesthetic, ethical, political, and epistemological resistance, exploitation, desensitization, shock, and naturalization, this edited volume will offer an exploration of representations of violence in visual arts in French-language cultures. We seek papers that examine the role visual texts have played in narrating violence while also formally articulating political expression, shaping historiographies of the colonial, inscribing postcolonial history, and reflecting modernization and migration. What is the role of visual cultures in generating or resisting violence? What are the unique possibilities, limitations, or problems for visual cultures in rendering and responding to (the subjects and objects of) violence? What are the aims and functions of visual representation of violence ? Do visual texts offer the underrepresented a more efficient means of expression more readily available to a global audience? In either representing or resisting violence, how do visual cultures work in relation to, in partnership with, in tension with, or in opposition/contrast to, literary texts?
The intention is to bring together a range of critical perspectives and approaches on visual arts and violence in cultures of French expression. The editors would welcome papers examining the following fields of research: Graphic novels, Films, Caricatures, Sculptures, Paintings, Photography, Computer animation, Fashion, Public performance.

Potential topics for papers may include but are not limited to:

Rhetoric of the Image
Visual Rhetoric of Violence
The Limits/Thresholds of Visual Representation
Counter/Discourses of (Collective) Memory
The Figure/Discourse of the Witness/Witnessing
Spaces of Display and Performance
Landscapes of Violence
(Dis)Figuring Trauma, Traumatic Figures
Performance of Identity

Articles in French or in English will be considered. If you would like to participate in the project, please send a 250-300 word abstract of your article by Friday August 10, 2012 to the following address: