Matters of Sensation

Atlanta, GA, USA (2.-4.11.2017), 14. August 2017.

Call for Submissions – Graduate Conference

Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA
November 2-4, 2017

Keynotes: Dr. Amber Jamilla Musser (Washington University in St. Louis)
Angela Washko (Carnegie Mellon University)

The recent history of theoretical inquiry has been dominated by several shifts that have attended to nonhumans, objects, affects, and other relational perspectives. Likewise, creative media has economically and critically privileged immersive experiences that engage the body and the mind. These turns in thought and production demand a close attention to the specificities of embodied and collective sensation.

In her book Sensational Flesh, Amber Jamilla Musser shows how “structures of sensation move us closer to theorizing embodiment and difference and what it feels like to exist in the space between agency and subjectlessness.” These structures “lay bare concepts of race, gender, power, and subjectivity.” Ultimately, she argues that sensations are “the tools we have for making sense of the world.” They are subjective, yet defined by a relation to the outside. They are grounded in the corporeal, but they are part of an impersonal flow that extends through humans and nonhumans alike.

Creative media, whether they are books, bots, or baked goods, are what modulate these structures of sensation. All of them exist as interventions within the relational space between subjects and subjectlessness. In work such as The Game: The Game and her pieces within World of Warcraft, Angela Washko monitors and comments on the way that online and offline, human and nonhuman, and conscious and affective relationships form, resonate, and fall apart. These pieces, and others like them, generate both creative and critical modes of analysis in conversation with, and as commentary on, the structures of contemporary sensation.

This interdisciplinary graduate conference seeks papers on this year’s theme “Matters of Sensation” that address both matter and sensation from a variety of methodologies, disciplines, and perspectives. From new media art, film, literature, and games to investigative journalism, the digital humanities, data visualization, and VR/AR, the position and function of matter and how it senses, or makes sense, or becomes sensational is an operative question.

This conference will be a collective investigation into the things that emanate sensation and who, or what, receives it. The following is a list of suggested topics. They are not all-inclusive, and the conference organizers stress that submissions are not limited to these areas:

•  Aesthetics of sensation/matter
•  Alternative practices in/through sensation
•  Animal studies
•  Big data approaches to modelling sense and/or the body
•  Computational models of narrative
•  Empathy and embodiment
•  Experience and identity
•  Food cultures
•  Forms of sensation
•  Matters of gender and sexuality
•  Histories and structures of oppression
•  Making sensations matter/material
•  Mapping sense or sensation
•  Nonhuman embodiment and sensation
•  Politics, protest, and activism
•  Queer sensations/matter
•  Sensation and race
•  Sentiment analysis
•  Structures of sensation
•  Theories and practices of digitality
•  Theories of embodiment and difference

Paper submissions should include a brief description of the paper or panel (maximum 300 words) and author information. The deadline for submissions is August 14, 2017, via our online form.

In addition to papers, we will also host a multimedia creative showcase during the conference. Please see our Creative Submissions CFP for details.

Additional information on our harassment policy, housing, and other information can be found on our website. Please feel free to contact us with questions.