CFP: Images: Signs and Phenomena of Time, Hamburg, 12-14 November 2015

Images: Signs and Phenomena of Time, University of Hamburg, 12-14 November 2015

CFP Deadline: 31 July 2015

This is a trans- and interdisciplinary conference at the University of Hamburg, 12–14 November 2015.  The capacity to distinguish between past, present, and future plays an important role in the formation of (self-)consciousness. Time is an essential criterion to order the flow of contingent events and experiences and to build up coherence and meaning. In turn, the narratives emerging from such temporal ordering are crucial for the development of identities. However, theoretical concepts of time in philosophy, physics, biology, sociology, or cultural studies are numerous and often opposing. It only remains obvious that humans have the ability to make some sort of experience of time.

Images have always played a part in these processes. Moving and still images represent time and duration and contribute to the organisation of temporality or atemporality in many ways. They may represent the flow of time, or singular moments or – through their subjects, modes of representation, or being objects of preferences or dislikes – stand as signs for the period in which they were produced or shown. Often the material body of the images becomes an indicator of time or a trigger of dynamic experiences of time. By means of their modes of representation, images also facilitate various experiential dimensions of time such as eventful or presentist moments and the stretching or folding of time.

The relationship between the pictorial representation of time and perception of time is influenced by various factors. Experience of time may be seen in relation to the different senses constituting such experience. On the other hand, it may be influenced by cultural concepts of time, time regimes, practices of perception, and environmental processes. To analyse time experience one may apply semiotic or phe- nomenological methods or turn to integrative concepts like cybersemiotics, biosemiotics, or theories of embodiment. Therefore, basic questions for the conference could be:

  • How do images represent time?
  • How is it possible that images represent time or duration?
  • How are representations and experiences of time influenced by concepts and regimes of time?
  • Which senses take part in the experience of time?
  • How are the materials of media involved in the experience of time?

This third conference on visual culture at the University of Hamburg which is organised by students and postgraduates of archaeology, art history, and cultural anthropology will provide lectures on the main topics and opportunities for detailed discussion. We are particularly looking for trans- and interdisciplinary contributions which deal with the above questions in visual media of all kind (still images, sculpture, installation art, film etc.). There is no limitation to certain periods or cultures. The contributions will be published after the conference. Proposals for lectures (30 min) in German or English may be sent to until 31 July 2015. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words. Furthermore, we would be grateful for the inclusion of a short academic CV. We especially encourage young scholars and students of all levels to contribute.

Funding of speakers’ travel and accommodation expenses cannot currently be guaranteed. However, participation in the conference is free of any charge. The conference will take place in the Warburg-Haus in Hamburg.

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