CFP Jul 4, 2014

Photography's Shifting Terrain (Abu Dhabi, 8-10 Mar 15)

New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Mar 8–10, 2015
Deadline: Oct 3, 2014

Shamoon Zamir, New York University Abu Dhabi

Call for Papers and Presentations

Photography's Shifting Terrain: Emerging Histories & New Practices

Language of Papers & Presentations: English

Our understanding of the histories and practices of photography is
changing as more and more critical attention is being paid to
photographic cultures from outside of Europe and North America, and to
new forms and functions emergent in a variety of contemporary social and
political contexts and digital formats. This conference will bring
together up to forty scholars, photographers, curators and archivists
from around the world in order to undertake new explorations of
photography's past and its present.

Models for global, regional and local histories of photography are being
rethought as a growing number of case studies develop our knowledge of
previously unexamined or little known traditions as well as individual
photographers. New visual vocabularies and practices are being
constructed in vernacular, documentary and fine art forms; the same
vocabularies and practices can also challenge these very categories and
are often characterized by a turn to local histories and mythologies and
personal experiences and needs. Emergent nations and cultural groups are
using photography to construct their own histories and a sense of shared
cultural heritage. At the same time, both photographers and photographs
increasingly move between cultures, and the space between the local and
the global has become a space of situatedness in its own right.

Documentary photography has been the object of critique but photography
committed to human rights or ‘peace photography' is thriving – not just
in new forms but also through new strategies of intervention. The
concern with aesthetics has similarly been out of favor in some quarters
but there is also a renewed interest in the relationship of aesthetics
and ethics.

In such contexts, the work of archives, galleries, photo agencies,
festivals and other cultural organizations committed to the photographic
image is more important than ever, as is the role of visual education.
Where there is little state support for photography, such institutions
often carry the responsibility for creating, preserving and
disseminating photographic culture.

These are some of the areas and issues the conference aims to examine.
The conference will focus in particular on the Middle East, North Africa
and Asia. However, work about and from other regions is also welcomed,
as are suggestions for other topics.

We invite both scholarly papers as well as presentations by those
working with photography outside the academy.

The organizers plan to publish a volume of selected papers and

In addition, we would like to gather together important and previously
un-translated writings on photography from the non-English-speaking
world with a view of publishing an anthology in English. We would very
much welcome suggestions and contributions in this area.


Funding & Organization:

All travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses will be covered for
all participants presenting at the conference.

The conference is funded and hosted by the New York University Abu Dhabi
Institute. It is organized in collaboration with the Arab Image

Principal organizers:
Shamoon Zamir
Associate Professor of Literature & Visual Studies, NYUAD, and Director
of Akkasah: Center for Photography at NYUAD.

Issam Nassar
Professor of Middle East History and Member, Arab Image Foundation


Suggested topics:

Possible topics for proposals include, but are not limited to:

- New visual vocabularies in photography
- Archives & archival practices
- Alternative histories of photography
- Photography & human rights / "Peace Photography"
- Photography and history
- Photography and aesthetics
- Cross-cultural encounters & movements
- Photographic genres, modes and audiences
- Image & text / the photobook


Proposal guidelines, submission process & schedule:

Proposals for papers or presentations, or for panels should provide as
much detail as possible but should not exceed 500 words.

Proposals will be reviewed by the principal organizers and an advisory

All papers and presentations will be 20 minutes.

Submit a 500 word abstract and a 150 word biographical note to:
Özge Calafato

Proposals should be submitted in the following format:

Name of the author(s)
Telephone and e-mail address
Title of proposal
Body of proposal


You will be notified by November 7, 2014 regarding the status of your


Contact & Link:

For further information on the conference, please contact:
Shamoon Zamir
Arts and Humanities, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Details of the conference and the call for papers & presentations are
also available at:

CFP: Photography's Shifting Terrain (Abu Dhabi, 8-10 Mar 15). In:, Jul 4, 2014 (accessed May 18, 2024), <>.