MEDIATING MOUNTAINS. 46th International Conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies
46th International Conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies
organized by the Department of American Studies, University of Innsbruck, Austria (Christian Quendler and Cornelia Klecker)
November 22–24, 2019
Mountains confront us in many guises. They visualize space and provide geopolitical orientations that address questions of historical, cultural, social, national, and individual identity. Mountains are subjects of philosophical reflections, environmental meditations, and ecocritical ontologies. They serve as means of spiritual invigoration, scientific experimentation, medical therapy, and recreation. They are also the sources and resources of technological and artistic innovations, of human and non-human exploitations. Mountain spaces are often borderlands and contested zones of war and migration. They are sites of tourism and industrialization, deposits of waste, and repositories of cultural memory. This polymorphous and fluid nature turns mountains into a “dynamic medium” (W.J.T. Mitchell) that both reflects and grounds subjectivities. Mountains are not only objects of reflection that mirror, archive, and project human and cultural investments, but they can also be conceived of as “hyperobjects” (Timothy Morton) that affect the ways we come to think about existence, earth, and society.
The conference “Mediating Mountains” sets out to explore mountains as objects and agents of mediation in all artforms and media, including painting, literature, theater, music, film, television, performance and video art, video gaming, photography, and architecture.
Possible areas for contributions may include but are not limited to
- mountain imaginaries that analyze the ramifications of viewing mountains as romantic wilderness, national parks, sporting sites, material resources, etc.;
- mappings that locate and translate mountains in national, imperial, post-colonial, and global discourses as well as in theories of gender, media, and mobility;
- landscape research and the material, perceptual, emotional, and social ecologies of mountain images;
- the temporality of mountains in historiographic, media-archeological, and eco-critical theories.
While the focus of this conference is on American cultures, we also invite contributions from transnational and global perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches in comparative mountain studies.
Proposals for entire panels are more than welcome. The deadline for submissions of complete panels as well as individual paper proposals is May 19, 2019. Please click on the link below and follow the instructions: