Friday, January 6, 2012

Constructing Worlds: Making and Breaking Order CFP: 1/15/12

Constructing Worlds: Making and Breaking Order
An interdisciplinary conference sponsored by the Graduate Program in
Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine
April 5-6, 2012
Irvine, California

“When I ask, ‘What is worlding?’ I’m asking what the material,
semiotic, world-making practices at stake are for whom.
Who-what-lives-dies-how in this worlding? What imaginaries and flesh
are conjoined in these particular acts of worlding?”
- Donna Haraway, Wellek Library Lectures, 5/2/11

Worlding, in Haraway’s model, is an overlapping and intersecting of
both tangible and intangible practices which decide who or what
exists, how, when, where, and why - in short, how worlds are
established, maintained, ordered, and deconstructed. Taking into
account the introduction of various technological, philosophical, and
political developments into our contemporary cultural discourse, the
2012 Visual Studies Graduate Conference at UC Irvine will ask what it
means to make a world, sense a world, exist in a world, or destroy a

The conference will explore constructed worlds in all their visual
manifestations and encourages submissions that deal with the idea of a
world that is not preexisting and fixed, but constructed, or in the
process of creation. This idea of a world is exceedingly supple and
open to numerous complex interpretations. A world can be both tactile
and virtual, exterior and interior. It can be ancient, contemporary
and everything in between. Technology, language, physical migration,
global economics, political discourses, and a litany of other
phenomena contain the power to not only construct new worlds, but also
to redefine and destroy existing worlds. With these ideas in mind, we
seek papers that highlight not only the generation of worlds, but also
their delineation within society. We welcome papers that discuss how
ideology implements and transforms the process of world making or
world breaking, provoking new methods of communication and cultural

We hope to receive submissions from across the humanities, arts,
social sciences, and natural and technological sciences which engage
issues of vision, visibility, and visuality, including (but not
limited to) gender and sexuality studies, critical theory, ethnic and
cultural studies, history, anthropology, sociology, environmental
studies, literature and language studies, information and technology
studies, philosophy, political science, classics, art history, and
film and media studies.

Potential topics include:
● The construction and experience of built environments: leisure
worlds such as theme parks, themed attractions,
World’s Fairs and expositions, tourist destinations, malls,
Spectropoli, and virtual worlds
● Distinctions and definitions of urban, suburban, and rural
territories; nature and recreation preserves
● Creating order out of chaos: authority, regulation, and discipline
in the construction of worlds, colonization, nation-building, the rise
of the state, and biopolitics and necropolitics
● The world in binaries: public/private, representation/reality,
utopia/dystopia, creation/destruction, global/local,
● World making as art/art as world making: design practices, museum
exhibitions, and cooperative collaborations
which engage in world making
● Worlds constructed around social categories: ethnicity, cultural
practice, socioeconomic standing, religion, political orientation,
gender, and sexual orientation and practice
● Phenomenological aspects of world making
● Time and space: the evolution of worlds over time, and the
establishment and revision of boundaries
● Rendering worlds: geospatial categorizations, urban planning,
ancient and modern cartography, GIS, digital or
virtual globes, scientific imaging, space, ocean and earth-based photography

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2012. Please email your
200-250 word abstract to:
Final presentation length is 20 minutes. Conference presentations will
also be part of a special online issue of Octopus Journal

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