Matters of Sensation
Call for Submissions – Graduate Conference
Georgia State University
November 2-4, 2017
Keynotes: Dr. Amber Jamilla Musser (Washington University in St. Louis)
Angela Washko (Carnegie Mellon University)
The recent history of theoretical inquiry has been dominated by several shifts that have attended to nonhumans, objects, affects, and other relational perspectives. Likewise, creative media has economically and critically privileged immersive experiences that engage the body and the mind. These turns in thought and production demand a close attention to the specificities of embodied and collective sensation.
In her book Sensational Flesh, Amber Jamilla Musser shows how “structures of sensation move us closer to theorizing embodiment and difference and what it feels like to exist in the space between agency and subjectlessness.” These structures “lay bare concepts of race, gender, power, and subjectivity.” Ultimately, she argues that sensations are “the tools we have for making sense of the world.” They are subjective, yet defined by a relation to the outside. They are grounded in the corporeal, but they are part of an impersonal flow that extends through humans and nonhumans alike.
Creative media, whether they are books, bots, or baked goods, are what modulate these structures of sensation. All of them exist as interventions within the relational space between subjects and subjectlessness. In work such as The Game: The Game and her pieces within World of Warcraft, Angela Washko monitors and comments on the way that online and offline, human and nonhuman, and conscious and affective relationships form, resonate, and fall apart. These pieces, and others like them, generate both creative and critical modes of analysis in conversation with, and as commentary on, the structures of contemporary sensation.
This interdisciplinary graduate conference seeks papers on this year’s theme “Matters of Sensation” that address both matter and sensation from a variety of methodologies, disciplines, and perspectives. From new media art, film, literature, and games to investigative journalism, the digital humanities, data visualization, and VR/AR, the position and function of matter and how it senses, or makes sense, or becomes sensational is an operative question.
This conference will be a collective investigation into the things that emanate sensation and who, or what, receives it. The following is a list of suggested topics. They are not all-inclusive, and the conference organizers stress that submissions are not limited to these areas:
Aesthetics of sensation/matter
Alternative practices in/through sensation
Big data approaches to modelling sense and/or the body
Computational models of narrative
Empathy and embodiment
Experience and identity
Forms of sensation
Matters of gender and sexuality
Histories and structures of oppression
Making sensations matter/material
Mapping sense or sensation
Nonhuman embodiment and sensation
Politics, protest, and activism
Sensation and race
Structures of sensation
Theories and practices of digitality
Theories of embodiment and difference
Paper submissions should include a brief description of the paper or panel (maximum 300 words) and author information. The deadline for submissions is August 14, 2017, via our online form.
In addition to papers, we will also host a multimedia creative showcase during the conference. Please see our Creative Submissions CFP for details.
Additional information on our harassment policy, housing, and other information can be found on our website. Please feel free to contact us with questions.