Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"The Street" A Graduate Student Conference in Visual Studies

(An announcement from H-ASIA...)

Call for papers: "The Street" A Graduate Student Conference in Visual Studies
University of California Irvine, February 29-March 1, 2008

The 2008 UC Irvine Visual Studies Graduate Student Association Conference
February 29 - March 1 2008

In the most literal sense, "the street" denotes a passageway that connects various points in space. However, a quick catalog of the phrase in everyday language reveals that "the street" is a dynamic social and symbolic space, an intersection of public and private interests that are often difficult to isolate. For example, "the street" does not only refer to a thoroughfare but also denotes the place where one lives. This relationship prompts the phrase "my street," which connotes a community affected through ownership, and links its author to a greater metropolis at the same time that it embeds him or her in place as owner and agent. In this sense the street also represents the confrontation of a sense of place and the codes of public policy, thereby pointing to a larger interpenetration of the public and the private that lies at the core of this elusive space. In other instances the phrase transcends space altogether, referring instead to a mode of existence that is independent of site specificity. In this capacity "the street" is used to convey authenticity as in "receiving one's education from the street" or in being "from the street," a usage that usually implies an opposition to artificial or abstract representations of reality. While these examples make clear that "the street" often functions in opposition to a privileged class, it is, in practice, precisely that space which refuses class distinction by forcing interactions among diverse social groups. This interaction is itself as diverse as the space in which it takes place as one may address the street with the apathy of the flâneur or with the fervor of political

We seek papers, projects, or organized panels from a variety of disciplines and approaches all of which address and expand upon the many layers of meaning that constitute this rich object of study. Please submit abstract (250 words) and c.v. to by Dec. 1, 2007 for consideration.

Fields of interest may include:

The 40th anniversary of May '68
Limits of 'the public' in a surveillance society
Public infrastructure and urban planning
Protest on the global street
Globalization and Wall Street
Benjamin's Arcades Project
Advertising and public displays of consumption
Homelessness and nomadism
Situationism and the practice of the Derive
Public performance and the choreography of the street
GPS, G-Maps and virtual negotiations
The simulated street of the Sims and Second Life
Car crashes, accidents and public fatality

For more information contact:
Visual Studies Graduate Student Association
University of California, Irvine

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