VI Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture - Transvisuality

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Call for Papers

VI Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture


Lisbon, June 27 – July 2, 2016

Deadline for paper proposals: January 31 2016

* Travel grants available *

The VI Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture addresses the role of visual regimes in the creation of meaning, in the refashioning of identity, in organizing the political, long before the awareness that the social is increasingly being constructed in visual terms. The very process of modernization, from the late 18th century onwards and more so later with the development of reproducible technologies, is deeply entangled with a transformation of optical regimes, that is, ways of seeing that impact ways of doing and the fashioning of identity. Even the hailed 'visual turn' was coined many decades before the visual euphoria of the 1990s, when in 1924 Hungarian theoretician Béla Balász described a 'visual turn' which spoke to the impact of film on culture.

The Summer School wishes to focus on the longue durée of the visual construction of the cultural by inviting a reflection on transvisuality. Because visual practices are unavoidably comparative, and visuality, i.e. the semiotic and cultural system that structures the way visual artifacts are produced, interpreted and disseminated works across dialogue and hybridity, through citation, borrowing and adaptation, a discussion of the cultural process of visualization is best understood through a comparative strategy, such as that of transvisuality.

The circulation of images under the aegis of modernity has not only changed modes of production, but also modalities of reception, aesthetic forms and cultural environments. It has also made us aware that the way we see and what we see are not singular acts built on biological determination, but depend heavily on cultural frames, which are unstable, situated and comparative.

This is a process that is deeply complex, and certainly ambiguous and contradictory, because visual regimes may support a democratic or authoritarian gaze; repression or resistance; de-individualization or singularity; tradition or transformation. Located precisely at the intersection where the national and the cosmopolitan collide, and where situated comparison between systems, genres, institutional and technical relations, and modes of viewing contribute to a deeper, if more complex, understanding of visual culture, transvisuality both refers to and invites a conversation between visual practices.

The Summer School invites proposals by doctoral students and post-docs that address, though may not be not be strictly limited to, the topics below:

The globalization of images
Visual economies
Transvisuality and citizenship
Global streaming: production and technological deterritorialization
The right to look and the streaming of images
How much comparison can there be in images of atrocity?
Transvisual modernity/ Transvisual modernisms
Photography and the birth of the modern habitus
Gender and transvisuality
Film and authoritarianism
The civil contract of images
Film as industry (Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood) and the (re)fashion of the nation
Fleeting images in advertising and television
Image critique and emancipation
Transvisuality and the critique of national film
World Cinemas
The visual after the end of sight.

Confirmed keynote speakers

Eric Rentschler (Harvard University)
Anders Michelsen (University of Copenhagen)
Pepita Hesselberth (University of Leiden)
Claudia Benthien (University of Hamburg)

* more to be announced *

Venues and programme

The Summer School will take place at several cultural institutions in Lisbon and will gather outstanding doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers from around the world. In the morning there will be lectures and master classes by invited keynote speakers. In the afternoon there will be paper presentations by doctoral students with respondents from international faculty members.

Abstract and paper submissions

Proposals for 15-minute papers should be sent to no later than January 31st, 2015.

Submissions should include paper title, abstract in English (200 words), name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation and a brief bio (max. 100 words) mentioning main research interests and ongoing projects.

Participants are requested to send their full papers by May 30 in order to be circulated amongst chairs and students.


Registration fees

Participants with paper – 250€ for the entire week (includes entire academic programme, lunches and closing dinner)

Participants without paper – €50 per session/day | 150€ for the entire week (lectures only; does not include lunches)

For The Lisbon Consortium students, the students from Universities affiliated with the European Summer School in Cultural Studies, the Phd-Net in Literary and Cultural Studies and members of the Excellence Network in Cultural Studies there is no registration fee.


Due to a partnership with FLAD – Luso-American Foundation for Development, the Summer School will provide travel and accommodation grants for doctoral candidates based at American universities and flying from to the US. To apply for the bursary send us a paper proposal and your full CV until January 31.

No further grants are available at this time.

Organizing Committee

Isabel Capeloa Gil
Peter Hanenberg
Alexandra Lopes
Paulo de Campos Pinto
Daniela Agostinho

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The Lisbon Consortium is a collaborative MA and PhD network ranked nr. 3 in the world by the Best Masters Ranking in Arts and Cultural Management 2015.