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[liberationtech] CfP: Watching Politics: The impact of visual culture on politics

Yosem Companys companys at
Fri Mar 15 17:08:38 PDT 2013


                Watching politics: an interdisciplinary symposium on the impact of visual culture on politics

                                                                       Friday 31 May 2013

Jointly hosted by the Department of Film and Television Studies and the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick

Deadline for abstracts: MONDAY 15 APRIL 2013

This symposium will explore the ideological, psychological and sociological impact of the ‘aestheticisation’ of politics in mass media and visual culture – cinema, television, radio, photography and on the internet. The aestheticisation of politics has been a significant avenue of popular and scholarly discourse for decades – where once the media’s influence inspired concern regarding the possibility of demagoguery, it has now become a discussion about whether it has created a superficial politics entirely lacking in substance. In its most extreme terms, visual culture has either humanised politicians and provided clarity to our political processes, or has resulted in a catastrophic ‘dumbing down’ of political debate. Where do the answers lie?

‘New’ media (e.g. user-generated video-streaming platforms such as YouTube, social networking sites like Twitter) has opened up fresh and urgent areas to consider: the internet has played significant, contrasting roles in partly facilitating the ‘Arab Spring’, but also provided a forum for instantaneous satire of figures like Nick Clegg and Mitt Romney. Moreover, supposedly ‘old’ media continue to have significant influence on our understanding and conceptualisation of political processes and issues – this year’s Oscar-nominated films like Argo, Lincoln, Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty all generated significant argument surrounding issues of continued political importance (American intervention in the Middle East, and the legacies of slavery).

Cinema, television, radio, photography, and now the transfusion of aspects of these forms through the internet have had, and continue to have, enormous impact on our politics. This symposium aims to examine the contours of this relationship, exploring its historical significance as well as providing a forum to debate its contemporary effects. Have these forms played a role in critiquing our politicians and political processes, or have they provided uncomplicated reinforcement to dominant ideological and mythological constructs?  How have these forms changed politics, and how might the rapidly changing media environment further alter our relationship with politics and politicians in the future?

20-minute papers might address (but are not limited to) the following areas:

·         * Representations of political processes in cinema and television
·         * ‘New’ media and politics: parody and protest
·         * Politics and/in digital culture
·         * Politicians, performance and the media
·         * The political biopic in film and television
·         * Politics and television satire
·         * Historical perspectives on the impact of media on politics
·         * The sociological impact of media on political activity, engagement and understanding

      Please send abstracts (max 200 words), and a brief biographical note to G.R.Frame at by MONDAY 15 APRIL 2013.

Thank you and best wishes,

Dr Gregory Frame
Early Career Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Study
University of Warwick
United Kingdom

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