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Visualità e (anti) razzismo / Visuality and (anti) racism

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Call for papers + Call for visual contributions

Visualità e (anti) razzismo / Visuality and (anti) racism

 

Simposio 2016 di InteRGRace – Interdisciplinary Research Group on Race and Racisms (FISPPA, University of Padova)

intergraceitaly@gmail.com

www.intergrace.it

(English version follows)

Visualità e (anti) razzismo

21-22 gennaio2016

Università di Padova

Relazioni plenarie

Monica Moreno Figueroa – Università di Cambridge

Anna Scacchi – Università di Padova

Il secondo simposio di InteRGRace – Interdisciplinary/Intersectional research group on Race and Racisms (FISPPA, Università di Padova) si concentra sul rapporto tra visualità e ‘razza’, visibilità e (anti)razzismo: esso si propone di esplorare l’importanza della visualizzazione e della controvisualità (Mirzoeff 2011) nelle pratiche sia di costituzione, assegnazione ed incorporamento della ‘razza’ e della bianchezza,sia di resistenza ai codici estetici egemonici e razzisti da parte dei soggetti razzializzati.

Partendo da ciò che ha affermatoShawn Michelle Smith a proposito del rapporto tra Visual Studies e Critical Race Studies, il simposio vuole pensare alla ‘razza’ come visual cultural dynamic: non come l’oggetto dello‘sguardo’, ma come status soggettivo generato dalla performance di quellostesso sguardo. In tal senso, ‘razza’ e sguardo corrispondono a quelle dinamiche sociali e culturali che producono sia gli oggetti di una visione razzializzata sia i soggetti di tale visione.

Pur restando, l’Italia, al centro delle riflessioni, quest’ultima verrà collocata nell’orizzonte delle traiettorie transnazionali in cui vengono costituiti i materiali che sostanziano i regimi (visuali) che producono e significano la ‘razza’.

La prospettiva sarà dunque quella di una lettura della specificità storica, sociale e culturale italiana con uno sguardo a dinamiche comuni e alle fratture storiche e geografiche del discorso sulla ‘razza’.

Muovendoci nel solco di una prospettiva intersezionale che posiziona il genere, la classe, il colore e la sessualità di chi parla la ‘razza’ e di chi è detto/a incarnarla, il simposio vuole stimolare uno sguardo multiprospettico ed interdisciplinare, in grado di cogliere genealogie, significati e effetti materiali dello sguardo.

Storicamente, è mediante la visualità ela reiterazione di modelli di rappresentazioni visive in cui ‘ciò che si vede corrisponde al vero’, che sono stati costruiti quei ‘regimi di verità’ (si veda Judith Butler 1993) che hanno diviso il mondo coloniale nelle due sfere del Sé e degli Altri e assegnato al secondo lo status del mostruoso (si vedano, ad esempio, gli studi per il Pacifico e l’India rispettivamente di Tracy Banivanua Mar e Radhika Mohanram e Sòrgoni per la traduzione in Italia dell’immagine della Venere ottentotta).

All’inizio del Ventesimo secolo fu l’intellettuale afroamericano W.E.B. Du Bois ad esplorare criticamente la connessione tra sguardoche disciplina e naturalizza, mostruosità e doppia coscienza, questione a cui Frantz Fanon, cinquant’anni dopo, dedicherà uno dei capitoli più significativi del suo Pelle nera, maschere bianche (1952). Poco più tardi, saranno i movimenti emancipazionisti e anticoloniali della seconda metà del Ventesimo secolo a porre al centro la questione della visibilità come strumento di contrasto all’egemonia culturale che assegna significati inferiorizzanti ad una determinata ‘apparenza’. Vent’anni dopo, a partire dalla fine degli anni Ottanta, sarà il recupero della riflessione fanoniana sulla costruzione (anche) visuale ‘dell’uomo nero’ [the fact of blackness] a stimolarel’esame dell’orientalismo all’interno dell’estetica coloniale e dell’egemonia bianca da parte della critica femminista nera e postcoloniale.

Materiali di ricerca sono allora divenute le rappresentazioni razzializzate nei disegni e nei dipinti imperiali, nelle fotografie‘etnografiche’ così come nel cinema, nell’industria pubblicitaria e nelle immagini di copertina di giornali sportivi e riviste di moda (si vedano, ad esempio, i lavori di Stuart Hall, Shirley Tate, Monica Moreno Figueroa, Diana Poole, James R. Ryan e, per l’Italia, i lavori, tra gli altri, di InteRGRace, Liliana Ellena, Anna Scacchi e Leonardo de Franceschi).

Oggi il rapporto tra visualità, visibilità e ‘razza’ è al centro di molta riflessionedel femminismo postcoloniale e nero, impegnato nella decostruzione del pensiero egemonico da un lato, e nel fare emergere l’agency femminile nella costruzione di codici estetici differenti (si veda la cospicua produzione accademica all’interno dei Beauty Studies, diffusi soprattutto negli Stati Uniti e in Gran Bretagna, ma con importanti esempi anche in Australia e in Asia. Per l’Italia si veda, ad esempio, il lavoro di Annalisa Frisina).

Il lascito di questi studi – in termini di approcci e metodi – ci guiderà in una mappatura della relazione tra visualità, visibilità e costruzioni intersezionali della ‘razza’ e della bianchezza in grado di far dialogare tutti gli ambiti disciplinari, sia all’interno delle scienze umane, sia delle scienze sociali e delle cosiddette scienze dure.

La prospettiva comune sarà quella che parte da un’idea della ‘razza’ come costruzione sociale e come campo semantico mai conchiuso una volta per tutte, risultato della sedimentazione nel tempo di immagini e immaginari razziali locali e transnazionali.

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Il simposio apre la seconda e la terza – delle 4 di cui si compone – a contributi esterni.

La seconda sezione (pomeriggio del 21 gennaio) verrà costruita mediante call for papers. I papers selezionati, che possono essere presentati sia in inglese sia in italiano, andranno a comporre 1 o 2panel consecutivi per un numero complessivo di 6-8 papers di 15 minuti ciascuno e discussione.

La terza sezione (mattina del 22 gennaio) verrà costruita attraverso la call for visual contributions in italiano e in inglese realizzati da artisti e ricercatori attivisti. Le produzioni potranno essere sia nell’ambito delle arti visuali sia in quello delle arti performative.

Termine per l’invio all’indirizzo intergraceitaly@gmail.com degli abstract di massimo 1500 caratteri spazi inclusi: 15/11/2015.

English version

InteRGRace Symposium 2016 – Interdisciplinary Research Group on Race and Racisms

(FISPPA, University of Padova)

intergraceitaly@gmail.com

www.intergrace.it

Visuality and (anti) racism

21-22 January 2016

University of Padova, Italy

in collaboration with FISSPA, Centro Interuniversitario di Storia Culturale (CSC), DISGSGeA, Postcolonialitalia, ZaLab, Docucity, CUC/Centro Universitario Cinematografico

Keynote speakers

Monica Moreno Figueroa – Cambridge University

Anna Scacchi – University of Padova

The second symposium of InteRGRace – Interdisciplinary/Intersectional Research Group on Race and Racisms (FISPPA, University of Padova) focuses on the relationship between visuality and ‘race’, visibility and (anti)racism: it intends to explore the importance of visualisation e of counter-visuality (Mirzoeff 2011) both in the practices that constitute, assign and incorporate race and whiteness, and in those by racialized subjects resisting the hegemonic and racist aesthetic codes.

Leading from what Shawn Michelle Smith has said about the relationship between Visual Studies and Critical Race Studies, the symposium aims to think about ‘race’ as a visual cultural dynamic: not as the object of the gaze, but as the subjective status generated by the performance of the same gaze. In this sense, race and gaze correspond to those social and cultural dynamics which produce both the objects of a racialized vision and the subject of such a vision.

The symposium will maintain Italy at the core of its reflections, but this geographical focus will be positioned in the context of the transnational trajectories in which the materials that substantiate the (visual) regimes that produce and signify race are built.

The angle will thus be that of a reading of the historical, social and cultural specificity of the Italian case, keeping an eye on the common dynamics and on the geographical and historical fractures around the discourse of race.

Following an intersectional perspective that positions the gaze, the subject that sees, the one assigned with race, and the one who embodies and/or resist it, along gender, class, colour and sexuality lines, the symposium aims to encourage a multifaceted and interdisciplinary approach, able to understand genealogies, meanings and material consequences of racialised visual codings.

Historically, the ‘regimes of truth’ (see Judith Butler 1993) representing the colonial Self and its Others, where the latter corespond to the monstrous, were established through visuality and the repetition of models of visual representations in which ‘what you see corresponds to the truth’ (see for example the studies for the Pacific and India by Tracy Banivanua Mar and Radhika Mohanram respectively, and Sòrgoni for the translation in Italy of the image of the Hottentot Venus).

At the beginning of the twentieth century African-American intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois critically explored the link between the gaze that disciplines and naturalises monstrosity and double consciousness. Fifty years later Franz Fanon devoted to the issue one of the most important chapters of his Black skin, white masks (1952). Soon after, the emancipatory and anticolonial movements of the second half of the twentieth century focused on the issue of visibility as an instrument of opposition to a cultural hegemony which assigns inferiorising meanings to a certain ‘appearance’. Twenty years later, from the late Eighties, Fanon’s reflections on the visual construction ‘of the black man’ [the fact of blackness] are taken up by black and postcolonial feminists: their critique goes on to examine the many orientalisms present in colonial aesthetics and white hegemony.

Since then a variety of racialized representations coded in imperial drawings and paintings, ‘ethnographic’ photographs, cinema, advertising, sport and fashion magazines, all become research materials (see for example the work of Stuart Hall, Shirley Tate, Monica Moreno Figueroa, Diana Poole, James R. Ryan and, with regards to Italy, the work, among others, by InteRGRace, Liliana Ellena, Anna Scacchi and Leonardo de Franceschi).

Today the relationship between visuality, visibility and race is at the centre of many of the reflections of black and postcolonial feminists, engaged in both a close analysis of (racialised) cultural hegemony, and its counter- (aesthetic/visual) discourse (see the significant academic production within the field of Beauty Studies, popular especially in the United States and United Kingdom, but with important examples also in Australia and Asia. For Italy see, for example, the work of Annalisa Frisina).

The legacy of these studies – in terms of approaches and methods – will guide us in mapping the relationship between visuality, visibility and the intersectional constructions of race and whiteness. This mapping will bring together all disciplinary fields, in the Humanities, Social Sciences and so-called hard sciences.

The common approach will be that of leading from an idea of race as a social construction and sematic field which is never foreclosed once and for all, resulting from the sedimentation over time of racialized images and imaginations both locally and transnationally.

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The symposium opens the second and third sessions – out of the four that form it – to external contributions.

The second section (21 January afternoon) will be built through a call for papers. The selected papers, which can be presented either in English or in Italian, will compose one or two consecutive panels, for a total number of 6-8 papers of 15 minutes each plus discussion.

The third section (22 January morning) will be built through a call for visual contributions in Italian and English carried out by artist and scholar activists. The productions can be either in the field of visual arts or of performative arts.

Abstract – of a maximum length of 200 words – need to be submitted to intergraceitaly@gmail.com by 15/11/2015.

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 Call for papers

ISLAMOPHOBIA: GENDER, SEXUALITY AND RACISM

 

Special Issue of the Islamophobia Studies Journal  

Islamophobia Studies Journal

 

Abstracts due: October 10, 2014

Full Articles due: March 2, 2015

This special issue of Islamophobia Studies Journal (ISJ) aims to generate and circulate new knowledge about the relationship between Islamophobia, gender, sexuality and racism.

It has been over a decade since the mediatization of events on 9-11-2001 created new forms and techniques of Islamophobia and brought along intensified scrutiny of politicized forms of Islam. Across the globe we note interactions between context-specific Islamophobia and its powerful transnational flows from elsewhere. We live in a world of increasing inter-connectedness, such that news, policies, images and practices can travel instantaneously between different sites. And in the current deepening economic crisis, we are witnessing an escalation of migration from postcolonial sites including Muslim-majority countries.

 

In this context gender, sexuality and race are enlisted in a variety of ways to legitimize and bolster Islamophobic discourses and practices. For instance, under the guise of saving women and queers from Arab and Muslim communities, Islamophobic colonial feminism and more recently imperialist concerns about “the status of homosexuality” has been used to legitimize invasions, occupations, war and destruction. Scholars have addressed some highly publicized examples, such as the occupation of Afghanistan that then U.S. President George W. Bush claimed, with the active support of colonial feminists, as a plan to “free” Afghan women from Afghan men. Islamophobia and Orientalism also guided the manipulation and deployment of queer sexualities in Abu Ghraib. While a plethora of examples abound, the analyses are very few. This project will shift that disconnect by providing a means to understand site-specific as well as transnational phenomena.

 

While Islamophobia is thought to have intensified since 9/11/2001, we note that such a presupposition problematically places the United States in the center of life across the planet. In the United States and in many other places across the globe, especially in Western Europe, there is surely an increase in Islamophobic profiling, criminalization, harassment, persecution, incarceration and disappearances. However, in many of these sites, including the United States, there is a long history of slower and more insidious Islamophobia formations in nearly all registers of life from dominant and popular culture (from opera and ballet to world fairs, cinema, music, etc.) to (official) governmental and juridical practices and discourses.

Farther back, there are multiple, place-specific genealogies to and manifestations of Islamophobia globally. Some of the most intense moments include: the crusades; the 1492 expulsion of Arab Muslims from Andalucía; settler colonialisms; the kidnapping and enslavement of Africans in the Americas; the 15th and 16th century colonization of Africa and Asia; the attempts to crush anti-colonial resistance movements in the 18th to 20th centuries.

Importantly, from the earliest to the most recent of its manifestations, gendered, sexualized and racist discourses and practices have been integral to the formation, maintenance and life of Islamophobia. While gendered, sexualized and racialized Islamophobia is there to mine in historical archives, it has only been partially researched.

Across the globe today, there is some excellent, albeit sporadic critical work by feminist, queer, critical race and area studies scholars on gender and Islamophobia, the racialization of Islam and Muslims, and the place of queer gender and sexualities in Islamophobia. This includes analyses of the U.S. wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, the French military interventions in Mali and other African countries, and the gendered, sexed and racialized relationship between Islamophobic discourses and policies in the heart of Empire and in colonial and “postcolonial” sites. An example is the scholarship on how France’s neo-colonialism reinforces and extends its official national Islamophobic policies while it maintains its “civilizing mission” of third world spaces and peoples it colonized and whose decolonization France has never fully accepted.

This special issue of the ISJ on Islamophobia, Gender, Sexuality and Racism, to be co-edited by Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi (San Francisco State University) and Paola Bacchetta (University of California at Berkeley), will draw upon insights of existing scattered earlier and current scholarship. The special issue of ISJ aims to radically deepen and extend our analytics for today. While the relatively few prior related works tend to be site-specific, we will bring together a body of innovative international scholarship on Islamophobia in which gender, sexuality, race and other relations of power are central. Our intent is to de-center the habitual U.S.-centric starting point of 9/11/2001 without glossing over its impact on lives and the ways in which it has altered scholarship on Islam and Muslims. Rather, this special issue of ISJ seeks to open up the discussion on Islamophobia to other temporalities, problematics and political geographies including but not limited to Africa; Asia; Central and South America and the Caribbean; Eastern and Western Europe; North, Central and South America; and the Pacific.

The present issue will include scholarship that individually and together opens up, expands and creates new conversations in which gender, sexuality and race are central to the study of Islamophobia. We seek fresh interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, international and comparative contributions that alone, in dialogue and/or inter-translation, enable the formation of new areas of knowledge production. We especially welcome work that moves beyond the bounds of current dominant epistemologies with their modes of interpretation, categories, terms, presuppositions and logics. We seek articles that present new, counter-hegemonic analyses, approaches and concepts.

We welcome a range of critical contributions about flagrant as well as more subtle mechanisms and manifestations of gendered, sexualized and racialized Islamophobia. Within these contours articles may also address questions such as:

  • Settler colonialism and other forms of colonialism; enslavement; neocolonialism; occupation; global capitalism; neo-liberalism; Islamophobia across the political spectrum from left to liberal to centrist and right-wing politics; political traumas; militarization, policing, surveillance, incarceration and security states; the juridicial; deployments of gendered and sexual imageries in psychological warfare.
  • Material conditions of African, Arab and Asian Muslims; marginalization, exclusion and murderous inclusions; Orientalism, colonial feminisms and the saving enterprise; the construction, generalization and/or homogenization of Muslims; the uses and limitations of homonationalism; the exceptionalizing constructions of African, Arab and Asian Muslim queer and transgender subjects, and of African, Arab and Asian Muslim femininities and masculinities; materialities of dress codes and repressions.
  • Dominant and popular culture; Islamophobic misidentifications or the extension of racialized targeting of Muslims to others; critiques of dominant fields of intelligibility, categories, terms, presuppositions and logics; constructions and deployments of Islamophobic terminologies such as “fundamentalism”; the notion of secularism; etc.
  • Resistance to and solidarities against Islamophobia and its material conditions including: south-south, third world, and subaltern-to-subaltern feminist and queer alliances and solidarities; political organizing, art, writing, performance, cultural jamming, music and other cultural and intellectual labor.

Abstracts of 500 words are due by October 10, 2014 to islamophobia.racism.gender.sex@gmail.com. Full articles of no more than 8,000 words are due on March 2, 2015. Abstracts submitted for the special issue of IJS may also be considered for a subsequent larger anthology on Islamophobia: Gender, Sexuality and Racism to be co-edited by Rabab Abdulhadi and Paola Bacchetta. Please specify at the time of submission if you would like your manuscript to be considered for the Islamophobia Studies Journal, the book or both.