[Air-L] Imaging Identity symposium Canberra July 2010

Melinda Hinkson Melinda.Hinkson at anu.edu.au
Tue Nov 17 16:30:56 PST 2009



A symposium hosted by the National Portrait Gallery and the Research
School of Humanities, Australian National University. To be held at the
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra 15-17 July 2010.

Keynote speakers

WJT Mitchell, Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English
and Art History, University of Chicago
David Elliott, Independent curator and Artistic Director of the 2010 Sydney
David Marr, Journalist, author and commentator


Understandings of self and other occur universally through images.
Traversing history and cultures, the production, presentation and
apprehension of images has been essential to how we come to know ourselves
and make sense of our relations with others. Images reflect different
conceptions of what it is to be human and reveal continuities and
discontinuities over time. At a moment of deep global uncertainty, images
from the past and present provide a vital and potent medium for envisaging
our collective future.

This symposium is concerned with the many ways in which humanity images
identity. Within this broad frame lies a more particular interest, to
understand what images of personhood are and how particular kinds of images
operate in diverse social contexts. Can it be said that certain image making
practices are associated with particular ways of being human? Do
imaging media have different effects cross-culturally? What kinds of
pictures of self and other emerge from such understandings of images? Under
what conditions can images produce or encourage empathy?

In posing these questions we invoke debates about the efficacy, impact and
agency of images. How do images mean? What does an image carry with it? In
what ways do context and temporality influence our regard of images?
The digital age presents both new possibilities and new challenges to the
way we image identity, enabling new kinds of multi-media production and
distribution, providing unprecedented access to visual information, but also
carrying with it what might be perceived as a new cultural attitude to
images, in which the properties of material form and particularities of
context can be overlooked.

This symposium seeks to explore this potent and complex set of issues around
the relationship between persons and images in the present. We particularly
welcome proposals that respond to the theme Imaging Identity in the
following areas:

€ The possibilities of portraiture: what can a portrait reveal about past
and present understandings of the human condition?
€ Relations between images and persons: how are these understood at the
interface between the humanities, social and natural sciences?
€ Persons and place: how is this relationship figured visually across and
within cultures, and in the precariousness of the present?
€ Empathy and conflict: how do images function as sites of contestation or
reciprocal understanding between persons?
€ Art museums and their audiences: how are these relations being
reconfigured in the digital era?
€ Seeing and temporality: does digital mediation influence the way we regard
other kinds of images?
€ If there is such as thing as an image for our times what might it look

Melinda Hinkson RSH, ANU melinda.hinkson at anu.edu.au
Howard Morphy RSH, ANU howard.morphy at anu.edu.au
Louise Doyle NPG louise.doyle at npg.gov.au
Pamela Clelland Gray NPG pamela.gray at npg.gov.au
Michael Desmond NPG michael.desmond at npg.gov.au
Caroline Turner RSH, ANU caroline.turner at anu.edu.au

Please send a 2-300 word abstract plus a 100 word biographical statement to
melinda.hinkson at anu.edu.au by Friday 8th January 2010.
Melinda Hinkson
School of Archaeology & Anthropology and Research School of Humanities
A.D. Hope Building
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200

T: +61 2 6125 8246
F: +61 2 6125 2711
W: http://arts.anu.edu.au/AandA/

For information about postgraduate studies in Visual Culture Research go to:

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