“Solidarity” recalls notions of inclusivity, activism, and movement. Adopted from the French solidarité in the early 19th century, the word continues to indicate the communal union of interests or aspirations, as well as collective responsibility. From its use by labor unions to its association with socialism and communism, solidarity has historically been made to bear a sense of the political. We recognize in the powerful images of recent events a renewed need to assess strategies of togetherness, both historical and contemporary. We propose this topic with the aim of critically engaging pictures and their power to mobilize both differences and commonalities. Can we envision solidarity outside the pursuit of common political aims? Can we find common ground amidst different struggles?
We invite scholars, artists, and activists to draw upon our understanding of solidarity and the visual dimensions in which solidarity is organized in social movements, represented in art and activism, and studied in and out of the academy. Possible topics might include, but are by no means limited to:
- Artistic practice in political movements (labor, civil rights, climate change)
- Tactics and strategies of historical and contemporary grassroots movements
- Media images, hashtag #solidarity, spectacle
- Protest songs, union anthems, “The Internationale,” “Solidarity Forever”
- Armchair activism, “slacktivism,” and the ethics of involvement
- Documentation of collectivity, alternative journalism
- The politics of love and kinship
We invite individual submissions as well as pre-constituted panels (of 3-4 presenters) in the form of 300 word abstracts (for 20-minute paper presentations) and 100 word bios for each presenter, to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org byFebruary 15, 2015. Please see our website for the most up-to-date information: http://humanities.lib.rochester.edu/vcsconference
Select presenters may be invited to revise presentations for publication at InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal of Visual Culture (http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu).
About the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester: http://www.rochester.edu/college/vcs