Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CFP: Cultures of the Image

Iconotopoi/Bildkulturen (Cultures of the Image)
Current Academic Practices in the Study of Images
Joint Eikones-McGill Graduate Conference
Department of Art History and Communication Studies
McGill University, Montreal
December 3 to 5, 2008

The joint McGill-Eikones Graduate Conference Iconotopoi/Bildkulturen (Cultures of the Image) aims to identify and challenge cultural and linguistic barriers within the academy, so that the study of images may one day become as mobile as its objects of inquiry.

Since the early 1990s, at least two interdisciplinary fields dedicated to understanding images attest to the differences in cultural/academic approaches to the study of images: Visual Studies in America, and Bildwissenschaften in German-speaking Europe. Each of these fields traces its roots back to the Linguistic Turn, and both stem from the Pictorial or Iconic Turn (cf. W.J.T. Mitchell’s Critical Iconology and G. Boehm’s notion of Bildkritik). Bildkritik emphasizes the singular image, its inner tensions and structures, and its temporal and affective interplays. In contrast, Visual Studies often focus on the social and political contexts of image productionand reception, thereby broadening the field in which images are considered.