Extended deadline: March 24
Photography by Other Means
Panel series sponsored by the 19th- and Early-20th-Century German Forum
MLA Convention in Philadelphia (January 4-7, 2024)
We invite papers that explore how photographic and para-photographic techniques were deployed in German and Germanophone literature, art, media, and science of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Borrowing from Pavle Levi’s conception of “cinema by other means,” this panel series asks how “photography by other means” was practiced in German literature, art, media, and science of the long nineteenth century. Without positing photography as a natural telos of early nineteenth-century visual culture, we ask how para-photographic media and representational practices both drew from and helped to instantiate epistemological and historical claims generally associated with the new technology. How, for example, did panoramas, papercuts, or illustrations advance or anticipate epistemic virtues like objectivity? To what extent did literary texts engage with the promises and limitations of photographic representation? How did photographic and image reproduction technologies shape the print industry, editorial work, and creative practice? We are also interested in the discursive tensions or points of intersection between photography and other media; media archaeology and the rewriting of photography’s early history; and adjacent technologies like x-ray imaging. By putting recent scholarship on nineteenth-century visual culture into dialogue with work from the history and poetics of knowledge, we aim to recontextualize German media at and beyond the threshold of photography. We invite papers that approach these ideas from the perspectives of literary studies, media history, art history, the history of journalism, the history of science, and other related disciplines.
Please submit a 350-word abstract and short bio to Jessica Resvick (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday, March 24, 2023. If your proposal is accepted, you must be an MLA member by April 7, 2023. You may only have two roles at the convention.