Graduate Humanities Forum | http://humanities.sas.upenn.
Penn Humanities Forum | http://humanities.sas.upenn.
University of Pennsylvania
DEADLINE: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2010
SUBMIT proposals (250 words maximum) and one-page CV by e-mail
attachment to Scott Enderle (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Graduate Humanities Forum of the University of Pennsylvania
invites submissions for its 11th annual conference: "Virtual
Histories." The one-day interdisciplinary conference will take place
on Friday, February 18th, 2011 at the Penn Humanities Forum in
conjunction with its 2010-2011 topic: "Virtuality."
Ours is, as the commonplace would have it, an age of information.
Viewed as part of the old-fashioned scheme of Stone, Bronze, and Iron,
our age seems rarefied indeed: hard yet malleable, iron is apt to be
shaped by our will, but information is infinitely more so. Poised to
escape into pure ideality, we may find it easy to forget that the
virtual also has a history.
"Virtual Histories" foregrounds the historical matrix in which our
information technologies are embedded, seeking traces of the virtual
in the rituals and dreams of the past, while at the same time
considering the history of virtuality as one not yet enacted.
We invite submissions from a wide range of disciplines exploring
points of continuity and rupture between past, present, and future
virtualities. How do the other worlds of religious doctrine overlap
with the other world of Second Life? What is the long history of
icons, scripts, and avatars? To what degree are instant wire transfers
more virtual than the bills of sale and credit, bank notes, or paper
money of earlier centuries? What is the phenomenology of a bank run?
What are the ramifications of virtual experience for the empiricism of
Locke, Berkeley, and Hume? What is the material history of the
virtual? How have constructs of gender and race virtualized bodies,
and what are the ethics of bodily escape and transcendence among
Platonic users of sites such as match.com?
At the same time as we seek to historicize the virtual, we invite
contributions that limn possibilities not yet realized, exploring the
potential of distant reading and text mining, and considering
prospects that continue to emerge for politics, social interaction,
and art, not only in visual, but also in auditory and even tactile
forms. What new subjectivities and experiences might the virtual make
available, perhaps even as it calls into question the stability of
Other topics for proposals might include the following:
-The demarcation of the virtual.
-The material bases of virtual superstructures.
-"New" media of past eras and virtual appropriations of "old" media.
-Grammars and ideologies of the virtual.
-Imagined communities and virtual nations.
-Intellectual Property and virtual appropriation.
-Mimesis, simulation, and sensory prosthetics.
Conference Keynote: LISA NAKAMURA (Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
GRIEFING CULTURE AND INCIVILITY ON THE INTERNET
Lisa Nakamura is the author or coeditor of four books, including
_Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet_ (University of
Minnesota Press, 2007) and _Race After the Internet_ (with Peter
Chow-White, Routledge, forthcoming 2011). She is currently working on
a new monograph tentatively entitled Workers Without Bodies: Towards a
Theory of Race and Digital Labor in Virtual Worlds. Nakamura is the
Director of the Asian American Studies Program, Professor in the
Institute of Communication Research and Media Studies Program, and
Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign, where she teaches courses on Asian Americans and
media as well as introductory and advanced courses on new media
criticism, history, and theory.
Proposals should be no longer than 250 words, and should be submitted
along with a one-page CV by email attachment to Scott Enderle
(email@example.com). The deadline for proposals is Thursday,
October 14th, 2010.
Brizdle-Schoenberg Fellow in the History of Material Texts
Graduate Research Assistant
Penn Humanities Forum
University of Pennsylvania
Paul Brown - based in OZ April to November 2010
OZ Landline +61 (0)7 3391 0094 == USA fax +1 309 216 9900
OZ Mobile +61 (0)419 72 74 85 == Skype paul-g-brown
Synapse Artist-in-Residence - Deakin University
Honorary Visiting Professor - Sussex University