The Re/active Image
Tisch Cinema Studies Graduate Student Conference, 15–16 February 2019
This call for papers is a call to re/action.
Speaking on the evolution and significance of black aesthetics throughout film, music, and history, Arthur Jafa recognizes an explicitly reactive dimension in black cultural production, one predicated on the treatment or transformation of given materials. He demonstrates that black creativity and artistic expression in the United States has been elementally shaped by—and in reaction to—the parameters and circumstances of chattel slavery and its violent legacies.
We intend to explore manifold instances and modalities of this reactive dimension in cinema and its kindred forms. We are interested in how the image, broadly conceived, reacts—and has reacted—to culture, to discipline, to history, to theory, to itself. But we are also concerned with how it acts—as autonomous, animating, innervating, interactive, activist.
In this global political moment, as the sweeping proliferation of screens and their breakneck dissemination of ideology recall and revitalize the interpellation of the basic cinematographic apparatus; as technology and the image can both topple and occasion autocratic regimes, and can create spaces of love and coalition as they promote and validate hate and misunderstanding; and as public discourse seems intractably lodged in a reactive mode, it is crucial that we come to grips with the many roles visual culture now plays in our world.
We welcome submissions from any discipline, and encourage those that engage area studies and work from nonwestern contexts. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
Activist imagemaking, e.g., didactic nonfiction, the social problem film
Adaptation, interactivity, and remediation (between and across media forms)
Countercultural, counterhegemonic, and contrapuntal imagemaking
Disciplinary or discursive reactivity (one good turn deserves another)
Exilic and diasporic imagemaking (cf. Deleuze and Guattari’s minor literatures)
Formal reactivity, e.g., remakes, references, postmodern citation
Industrial reactivity, e.g., authorship, fandom, stardom, creative control
Restoration, e.g., theatrical rereleases, curatorial streaming platforms
Resurrection, remixing, and revision, e.g., directors’ cuts, fan edits
Speculative art (reacting to the conditions of the present or of the real)
Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, along with a brief biographical statement, to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on December 31st, 2018. Proposals for preconstituted panels of three will be considered, provided that each presenter submits an abstract and a bio, as will proposals for creative work that include a link or relevant documentation.