Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog




Call for Papers:

Caribbean InTransit—“Body/Institution/Memory”


On October 25, 2013, the Caribbean InTransit platform will launch its first annual festival, “Caribbean InTransit: The Meeting Place.” The theme of the symposium is “Body/Institution/Memory.” The symposium component of this event will be launched in conjunction with the Postgraduate Programme in Cultural Studies at The University of the West Indies-St. Augustine. The featured speaker will be Dr. Erica James (History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University).

Please note that, since our last post—1st Annual Festival of Caribbean InTransit: “Body/Institution/Memory”—the SUBMISSION DEADLINE has changed to June 15, 2013.

Description: Questions of embodiment have surfaced as a focus of attention and interrogation in the arts and humanities over the past several decades. Scholars and artists have explored the possibilities of remembering, refiguring and resituating the body as past, present and future – and the construction of the body within networks and institutions. In moving image practice and theory, this shows itself as a renewed interest in the materiality of the medium and the embodied perception of the viewer. In installation art, the body of the viewer/artist might be positioned within/outside of the work as part of a larger statement on our relationship to the virtual, physical or institutional environment. In art history and cultural studies the intersection of body, institution and memory might allow for an investigation of the material and immaterial processes that shape and are shaped by the body as imagined, historicized and “enculturated”. Institutions of family, state, violence, history, memory and art itself are called into question.

In Body/Institution/Memory, we are interested in works which reflect on the body in relation to institutions and memory in contemporary art. We would like to initiate a discussion of the ways in which contemporary artists of the Caribbean and its diasporas have addressed these concerns – and the ways in which these might be l inked to similar concerns internationally. While earlier work has situated the body politically within a nexus of colonial and postcolonial relations, gendered relations and raced relations, we would like to extend the conversation to think also of the body as a set of practices that might address the idea of embodiment itself. How does the body interrogate and signify in the context of memory and institution? How are art and digital technology being used to facilitate this process? How have artists explored the body as a site of changing relations in the past, present and future? How is memory institutionalized within the body? How might we think of contemporary art itself as an institution or a set of practices within this context?

We welcome proposals for papers from established scholars as well as artists and postgraduate students. Submission format: Please submit proposals of 300-450 words and bios of 50 words. Proposals should demonstrate how the presenter intends to address one or more of the selected questions – or make a case for a clearly related set of questions. Bios should include: name; institutional affiliations, if any; areas of work/research; and selected publications/works relevant to contemporary art.


The Caribbean Intransit platform operates a peer-reviewed online journal that is institutionally affiliated with African and African American Studies at George Mason University, conducts community workshops and initiates curatorial events.

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