[URBANTH-L]CFP: Brokering Images, Casting Differences (3/16/07; AAA '07)

Zeynep Gursel zgursel at berkeley.edu
Wed Feb 14 12:48:21 EST 2007

Call for Papers
Proposed Session
American Anthropological Association (AAA), Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2007
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington DC

Practices of Anticipating the Imagination of Others
Zeynep Devrim Gürsel, University of California, 
Berkeley & Stephanie Sadre-Orafai, New York 

We live in times of constant production and 
consumption of images, incessantly being 
represented, interpellated by images, and 
engaging in acts of representing others. Yet in 
whose image(s) are we being cast and who is doing 
the casting? What constitutes knowledge 
production in the visual realm and on what terms 
do the stakes of visual production get 

This panel broadly examines the production and 
circulation of "images"-both as visual 
representations of peoples and things as well as 
the public perceptions sparked by them. Paying 
specific attention to the practices of various 
kinds of image brokers whose job it is to select, 
edit, and arrange for the circulation of images 
they themselves have not produced, the panel will 
address the kinds of work enacted upon visual 
representations that shape how they are framed 
and intended to be taken up by a broader public. 
Arguing that the temporal management of past 
categories and future uses is a central feature 
of image brokering, the panel will attend to the 
specific practices of anticipation and 
imagination used by image brokers in various 
ethnographic locations.  Focusing on the moments 
of selection as critical sites to investigate the 
decision-makers' imagination and the brokering of 
images as an everyday practice of imagination, 
the panel will explore the political potential of 
these practices, including the role of stereotype 
and innovation, or how particular images get 
repeated and transformed.

We invite paper submissions to address these 
issues through any of the following sets of 

 How do expectations of what something should 
look like inform the selection of images?

 What are the linguistic dimensions of these visual practices?

 How are categories of peoples and things 
produced in institutional settings through 
everyday discursive interactions and visual 
practices of image brokers?

 How do image brokers put images to work? To what types of work are they put?

 What kind of labor is image brokering?

 What are the broader structural constraints of 
image brokers' work and how does attention to 
their everyday practices reveal something more 
about these constraints?

 How do we think about imagination in a context 
where cultural producers anticipate the impact of 
a particular image on a viewer's imagination?

 How does the image broker's imagination and 
his/her anticipation of the imagination of others 
shape the ways in which both the past and future 
get imaged?

Please send abstracts (250 words) for 15-minute 
papers and a brief bio or cv to Stephanie 
Sadre-Orafai, sso212 at nyu.edu, or Zeynep Devrim 
Gürsel, zgursel at berkeley.edu by Friday, March 16, 

Zeynep Devrim Gürsel
PhD. Candidate
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley

(510) 642 2854

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