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Conference Paper Call: Photographic Proofs

CALL FOR PAPERS
Photographic Proofs
Yale University, New Haven, CT
Friday-Saturday, April 4-5, 2008

“A photograph passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing
happened. The picture may distort; but there is always a presumption
that something exists, or did exist, which is like what’s in the
picture.” – Susan Sontag

“But the proof of the pictures was in the reading. The photographs had
to have their status as truth produced and institutionally sanctioned.”
– John Tagg

The Yale University Photographic Memory Workshop, in conjunction with
the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale, invites
submissions for a graduate student conference entitled “Photographic
Proofs.” The theme of this conference should be interpreted
broadly. Papers could be theoretical, historical, or critical
explorations based upon one photograph or a collection of photographs.
They might interrogate the theme of photographic proofs from one of
many different angles, including documentary, artistic, commercial, and
vernacular photography. Selected sets of photographs may relate to
war, science, medicine, race, class, law, business, reform, the natural
and built environment, frontiers, performance, gender, sexuality, or
family, among other subjects.

In order to engender an inter-disciplinary community and to further
challenge and develop the vocabulary that surrounds photographic
criticism, we encourage submissions from graduate students at all
stages of their studies, working in any discipline. The Beinecke
Library will add to this discussion by hosting a workshop for
conference participants highlighting the library’s extensive
photographic holdings.

We are pleased to announce that Professor John Tagg will deliver the
opening keynote address. John Tagg is Professor of Art History and
Comparative Literature at Binghamton University. His books, which
often focus on the relationship between photography and power, include
The Burden of Representation: Essays on Photographies and Histories,
Grounds of Dispute: Art History, Cultural Politics and the Discursive
Field
, and the forthcoming The Disciplinary Frame: Photographic
Regimens and the Capture of Meaning
.

In an effort to foster a geographically diverse community of graduate
student presenters, we are pleased to be able to cover travel and
accommodation expenses for students whose papers are selected.

Email CVs and abstracts to photographic.proofs@yale.edu by Monday,
October 15. Abstracts should be under 300 words. Final papers should
not exceed 20 minutes in length. We will notify selected speakers by
December 15.

Co-organizers: Alice Moore and Francesca Ammon, graduate students in
American Studies. Please address any questions to
photographic.proofs@yale.edu.

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Conference Paper Call: Photographic Proofs

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