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Seminar "Camera Memoria", Paris

Paris, France, January 10 - June 30, 2017
Deadline: Oct 31, 2016

Camera Memoria

Seminar on the histories of photography

LARCA - UMR 8225

Call for papers

This seminar seeks to bring together researchers from various
backgrounds to study the uses of photography in the English-speaking
world as well as their global impact.

From its inception, photography has been an instrument of memory-making
as well as an artistic endeavor; it has become a versatile practice
allowing to capture historical moments in the form of unique prints or,
on the contrary, to expose them as comprehensive documentation or at
least as material traces. With the emergence of a cultural history of
American photography (Trachtenberg) as well as the rise of visual
studies (Mitchell, Mirzoeff), the strong visual culture which is a
particularity of the Anglo-American world, has become apparent. This
heightened sensibility to images is reflected in a "collective memory"
(not an uncontested notion) which is mainly constructed through
photographic traces of the past.

The attribution of new spaces granted to photography in museums and
archives has contributed to its institutionalization which, in turn,
has reinforced the process of collective memory-making through images.
When entering these institutionalized - allegedly objective - spaces,
photography becomes subject to critical examination. Its contemporary
practices are at times considered immemorable or even iconoclastic when
the life of an image is ephemeral, its content limited or perhaps
immoral. We therefore want to study the function(s) of photography in
the construction - or the deconstruction - of memory by examining the
various theories which appreciate and criticize this aspect.

This seminar welcomes proposals by doctoral candidates, PhDs, and
professors in the humanities - and, when relevant, in the ''hard
sciences'' - who adopt a cultural, historical, sociological, esthetic,
rhetorical, political, anthropological, or economic approach to the
medium. Papers may treat methodological questions by re-examining
existing theories (an attachment to cultural studies would be
appreciated but is not required per se). From this perspective,
photographic practices can be examined through the lens of art,
illustration, press and other media coverage, documentation, survey,
etc. Proposals may include but are not limited to the uses and
applications of photography in museums, archives, memorial and
discursive practices, as well as in private or public spaces,
collective or individual uses, communal or universal spaces.

The seminar will start in January 2017, at the University Paris VII
Denis Diderot and will take place every two months. Limited to two
speakers per session, communications of about 30 to 40 minutes will be
held in French or English, followed by a discussion.

Organizing committee: Camille Rouquet and Carolin Görgen, PhD
candidates at the LARCA-UMR 8225. Sponsorship LARCA-François Brunet,
Université Paris Diderot.

Please send your proposals (350 words or less) accompanied by a short
biographical notice to by October 31, 2016.
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