Agora Cultural Centre, Lucca
Panel 4 at the 7th Euroacademia International Conference “Identities and Identifications: Politicized Uses of Collective Identities”
Ever since the so called ‘linguistic turn’ in the 1970s, majority of research on identity in political and social sciences has been focused on language and text – as language has been considered the primary tool for meaning formation, and ideas exchange. Today, we are twenty years from a digital revolution of the 1990s, which on the one hand, made communication faster, more efficient and more global, on the other hand made the linguistic exchange just one of many possibilities. While arguably some visual elements such as symbols and flags have been recognized as important for collective identification, the impact of journalist, fashion and travel photography, films, comic books and documentaries, billboards and brands, sports and arts has largely been neglected by mainstream political science scholars, who viewed images as something rather suspicious. However, with increasing interest in the visual/aesthetic aspects of political and social life (the so called ‘visual/aesthetic turn’ of the late 1990s) it is only logical to take a hard look at identity beyond language, that is, from an interdisciplinary visual perspective.
Images, just like words, are able to communicate norms, meanings and values, they polarize as well as unite communities, identify who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’. Images communicate meanings through logic of association, rather than logic of argumentation as texts often do, appealing to our emotional rather than logical cognition. Images trigger the unconscious processes of stereotyping and value judgments associated with them, effectively constructing affiliation or differentiation, a Self and the Other, with behavioural consequences. Therefore, analysis of visual material in connection to identity should occupy a more prominent place among identity scholars. Political and social science, however, lacks in tools of visual analysis, therefore it needs to broaden its scope into other disciplines such as communication studies, artsand history, cultural studies, media studies, theatre, iconography, semiotics, marketing and advertising, public relations, fashion, photography, cinematography, etc.
Thus, this panel aims at a more inclusive interdisciplinary approach to identity building, especially in terms of the empirical scope. The goal is to collect empirical as well as theoretical and methodological papers on political and social identity, focused on visual aspects of identity construction.
Suggested topics may include/but are not limited to these:
- Role of images in multilingual collectivities’ identity construction
- Role of images in multicultural/multinational collectivities’ identity construction
- Role of sports as visual performance in identity narratives
- Emotional appeal of images, symbols and representations
- American presidential election and the public ‘image’ of the candidates
- Presidential election and the public ‘image’ of the candidates
- Constructing the democrats/the republicans in the media
- Political branding and electoral campaigns
- Media campaigns of the European Parliament
- Statues and monuments of national identity
- Treatment of minorities in films – visualizing the Other
- National cinema and national identity
- Images of patriotism
- Fashion statement as a declaration of belonging
- Folk costumes and clothing in contemporary national identity narratives
- Visualizing the gender
While the papers suggested here approach identity from a social-constructivist perspective, other approaches and criticisms are welcome.
Panel Proposed by: Daniela Chalániová (Anglo-American University, Prague)
If interested in participating and presenting in the conference, please read the complete event details on the conference website and apply on-line. Alternatively you can send a maximum 300 words abstract together with the details of your affiliation until 7th of May 2018 by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
For full details of the conference and on-line application please see: