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CFP: Something Missing

July 15, 2011

Until the 8 August, 2011 deadline, Mimi Thi Nguyen (who composes one-half of the illustrious Threadbared) and I will be accepting submissions for our proposed panel at the 2012 Society of Cinema and Media Studies conference. You can follow this link to find the panel abstract. You need to register with SCMS to submit a paper proposal, though you are only required to become a member in order to present.

Something Missing: Transnational Discourses and Practices of War, Embodiment, and Vision

This panel seeks to consider the “someone missing something”—in which the face, a limb, or a particular sense (sight, for instance) functions analogically to impede another’s cognition or premonition of interiority or humanity. Henri-Jacques Stiker observes that at the scene of modern war, personhood is violently made partial in body and also mind: “Mutilation applied to all alteration of integrity, of integralness. It amounted to a degradation, but one by removal—or deterioration—which has the effect of suppression. The maimed person is someone missing something precise, an organ or function.” We extend this concept to the age of hypervisibility and screen culture. This “missing” or unseen part that blocks recognition—because it is covered, obscured, or otherwise absented—becomes a microsite for surveillance, incarceration, rehabilitation, even imagined or actual death. We especially seek papers that explore the consequences of sovereign powers and governmentality “restoring” a sense, function, body, or organ that aligns the target once again with a regime or liberal government. Paper topics are not restricted to but may include economies of the body, technologies of surveillance, advertising and photography, biopolitics/thanatopolitics, borders, simulacra (masks, prosthetics, artifices), panoptic sites of policing and soldiering, battlegrounds of war (including the global “War on Terror”), and cinematic depictions thereof. Please send a 300-word abstract to Maryam Monalisa Gharavi and Mimi Thi Nguyen [see link for emails] by 8 August, 2011. You may include a 3-5 item bibliography if you wish. We will notify participants by 15 August, 2011.

(Art by Ala Dehghan, from The White Rope series, 2009, Iran.)

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