CFP : "Icons in the United States and Great Britain"

Call for papers for an international symposium at the University of Angers 21-23 May 2015

Icons in the United States and Great Britain

This conference seeks to explore American and British history and culture through the lens of iconic figures, objects, images, and emblems, and study their significance and role in creating, sustaining, and renegotiating meaning. Icons are things and representations that have, in the words of Mark Kemp, “achieved wholly exceptional levels of widespread recognizability and have come to carry a rich series of varied associations for very large numbers of people across time and cultures, such that it has to a greater or lesser degree transgressed the parameters of its initial making, function, context, and meaning.”
We invite proposals for 20 minute papers on any American or British icon from any period– from the New York Yankees hat to the zoot suit to a Clockwork Orange t-shirt to bio-flicks about Lincoln to Fish and Chips and Irish bars in Hong Kong and France to Edward Snowden pictured like Obama in a Hope poster - and how these came to embody something bigger than themselves, including national ideals and broad values of justice and social standing, and then traveled across time and place and got reworked and reimagined by different people in different places. Papers can focus on the production and/or consumption of icons. We are particularly interested in the jamming of icons in a global context, or how images and messages get transgressed and are used to create oppositional cultures and messages in the place where the icon originated and elsewhere.

Because the study of icons is by nature interdisciplinary, we invite scholars from all fields to participate in the conference and we encourage papers that take up issues related to cultural studies, history, cinema, literature, philosophy, visual arts, and the social sciences.

Abstracts of up to 250 words, accompanied by a short biographical note, including research interests and university affiliation, are to be submitted via email to :
Gelareh Djahansouz-Yvard (Univeristy of Angers, France), Bryant Simon (Temple University, Philadelphia), and Taina Tuhkunen (University of Angers, France), by November 30th 2014.
Proposals will be peer-reviewed by the scientific board and notification of acceptance will be sent by January 15th 2015.