Friday 14 April 2017

Graphic Reading

I am happy to confirm that I will be presenting a paper on three manifesto-like books on high modernist aesthetics (Ozenfant's Foundations of Modern Art, Le Corbusier's Towards a New Architecture, and Moholy-Nagy's Painting, Photography, Film) at Graphic Reading next month.

A passage from the CFP/description reads as follows:

Graphic Reading: A One-Day Conference
University of Birmingham, 19 May 2017

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.”
– James Baldwin

“The surface of the page is a problem to solve.”
– Art Spiegelman

Perhaps no other word in our critical vocabularies is changing as quickly as “reading”. As critics such as Franco Moretti, Stephen Best, Sharon Marcus, and Heather Love offer highly visible ways of approaching the digital through distant reading and surface reading, they have limited their focus to the textual. The purpose of this conference is to take reading out of its literary comfort zone and to move away from the traditional parameters of fiction, poetry, and prose. Comics, film, the book, book art, maps, sculpture, the digital, and, often, the archive, comprise of words and images that require us to learn new or unfamiliar reading practices. We invite participants in Graphic Reading to interrogate and explore these practices, cutting across visual, material, cultural, and literary contexts to follow their global intricacies and interdisciplinary implications.

Critical attention is increasingly turning to the graphic but the graphic itself has long been treated as a peripheral, “low” or crude form of art. Less and less of a guilty pleasure, critics are finding that the unconventional, controversial, and popular aesthetics that comics, pulp genres, films, and games often entertain make for nothing like easy reading. The presence of pleasure in this work – whether overt or insidious – gives trouble to its readers. We therefore want to consider how the na├»ve, the confessional, the indecent, the violent, the gratuitous, and the explicit function in both familiar and less established mediums. In short, what happens when we read the graphic?

Keynote speakers

Dr. Sarah Dillon (U. Cambridge), “The Ungrammatical Knife”

Author of The Palimpsest: Literature, Criticism, Theory (2007) and Queer Intimacies: Deconstruction, Feminism, Film(2018)

Prof. Jason Dittmer (UCL), TBC

Author of Popular Culture, Geopolitics, and Identity (2010) and Captain America and the Nationalist Superhero: Metaphors, Narratives, and Geopolitics (2013)

James Baldwin

"I missed the way the dark face closes,
the way dark eyes watch,
and the way, when a dark face opens,
a light seems to go everywhere.
I missed, in short, my connections,
missed the life which had produced me
and nourished me and paid for me.
Now, though I was a stranger,
I was home."

"I was to discover that the line which separates
a witness from an actor is a very thin line indeed;
nevertheless, the line is real."

- James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro

Melancholic sketches

Tuesday 4 April 2017

On The Margin - The Centre as Margin

I am very much looking forward to speak at the conference 'On The Margin - The Centre as Margin' to be held in Coimbra, Portugal 25-26 May 2017. My paper is entitled: 'In the peripheries of modernist foundations'.