Call for Papers : Photography and Migration

LIEU: Colby College, Waterville, ME, 24-25 avril 2015
DATE LIMITE : 15 décembre 2014

On April 24-25, 2015, scholars, artists, students, and members of the
Waterville community will come together at Colby College to interrogate
the relationship between photography and migration. This conference is
one of many events taking place at Colby that address the college-wide
humanities theme in 2014-2015, “Migrations,” hosted by the Center for
the Arts and Humanities. It will include formal presentations and
roundtable discussions, film screenings, as well as displays of
historical photographs and artworks.

Throughout its history, the photographic medium has played an important
role in the movement of people, objects, identities, and ideas across
time and space, especially in the human crossing of geographical and
cultural borders. Scholars have shown how cameras documented, enabled,
or controlled such forced and voluntary movement, while photographers
attempted to put a face on immigration around the world, making visible
its associations with transition, displacement, hardship, and
opportunity. The goal of the conference is to consolidate and expand
upon the critical questions asked about photography and migration. What
does it mean, for instance, to represent photographically the
experiences of immigration, exile, diaspora, and passing? How might we
reimagine concepts essential to migration, such as (im)mobility and
dissemination, in specifically photographic terms? How do photographs
themselves, moreover, migrate across local, regional, national, and
global contexts?

Confirmed keynote speakers include: Anthony Lee (Mount Holyoke
College), who will discuss the art photography of F. Holland Day in
relation to period discourse on immigration; anthropologist Jason De
León (University of Michigan) and photographer Michael Wells, who have
collaborated on the Undocumented Migration Project on the US-Mexico
border; and Thomas Allen Harris, a New York-based writer and
documentarian who co-founded the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion
project and directed the critically acclaimed film Through a Lens
Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (2013).

To stimulate lively and productive exchanges during the conference, we
are soliciting proposals for 10-minute presentations from scholars,
curators, image-makers, and others that highlight major questions about
photography and migration. Following each presentation will be a short
response by a discussant from Colby College and 20 minutes of
conversation with the audience. We are looking for proposals that
address directly the theme of the conference; foreground their own
critical and creative interventions; and engage deeply with a set of
images, or even a single image.

Please submit the following materials to Tanya Sheehan, Associate 
Professor, Department of Art, Colby College, by 
December 15, 2014:

– Cover letter; please include your contact information and explain
your interest in the conference theme
– Abstract; no more than 200 words, including a working title for your
– Professional bio; no more than 100 words
– Curriculum vitae

Decisions on proposals will be made by January 15, 2015. Details about
the conference will be posted to

This conference is sponsored by the Colby College Center for the Arts
and Humanities, Colby College Museum of Art, and Colby Libraries
Special Collections. For more information about the college’s annual
humanities theme, please go to

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