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CFP: Traveling Photographies / Photographies de voyage

12-13 March 2010

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Christraud Geary, Teel Curator of African and Oceanic Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Call For Papers

Concordia University’s Art History Graduate Students Association invites proposals for Travelling Photographies, a two-day graduate symposium that will investigate the movement of photographs, photographers, and photographic histories through space and time.

Many scholars have interrogated the often fluid relationship between the context and meaning of photographs. But what happens when photographs travel across either literal or figurative borders? How do the uses and meanings of photographic images and practices change when their contexts themselves are transient? Photography has long been the handmaiden of the tourist industry, but in this symposium the term “travel” will be interpreted loosely, accommodating the many ways in which photographs move, circulate, are appropriated, borrowed or reframed both in the past and the present. This symposium also aims to examine the impact of the Euro-Western photographic canon on the travel of certain styles, practices and even modes of history writing.

As we would like this symposium to be an interdisciplinary investigation of the theme, we invite graduate students and emerging scholars from all disciplines to submit abstracts. Papers addressing historical or contemporary examples are welcome, as are case studies of specific images (artistic and/or vernacular), photographers, exhibitions, publications or institutions. We also encourage submissions that address photography produced outside the Euro-Western world.

Potential topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • The longstanding relationship between tourism and photography
  • The travel and reinterpretation of colonial and/or imperialist photographs
  • The reinterpretation (even misinterpretation) of photographs across cultural borders
  • The reinterpretation or re-framing of photographs through time
  • The imposition of dominant photographic histories on different countries and cultures
  • The travel of photographic styles and traditions across borders
  • The mediation of photographs as a form of travel
  • The museum or exhibition as a site of shifting photographic meaning
  • The use of historical photographs in contemporary art
  • The travel of photographs in cyberspace
  • The travel of photographs across disciplinary and discursive borders

Presentations will be 20 minutes in length (or approximately 2,500 words), and will be followed by a discussion period.

Please send a 300-word abstract (in English or French), a short biographical note and all relevant contact information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday, December 14, 2009. Notifications will be sent by January 15, 2010.