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54102-01 - Doktoratsveranstaltung: States of Seeing 1 KP

Semester Frühjahrsemester 2019
Angebotsmuster einmalig
Dozierende Lorena Rizzo (lorena.rizzo@unibas.ch, BeurteilerIn)
Inhalt Many scholars have invited us to think about how states see subjects. Most famously among them Foucault and his highlighting of surveillance practices in spaces such as prisons, hospitals, schools and barracks. Twenty years ago, James Scott detailed “seeing like a state,” albeit without particular attention to actual practices of visualization. Allan Sekula and John Tagg eloquently drew attention to ways in which photography served as a generative medium for state surveillance but also reminded us that seeing is in some ways continuous with other genres. Sekula offered the term of shadow archive to get at how other archives emerge alongside that of the state and suggested that these might offer new perspectives.
In titling this workshop, States of Seeing, we want to build upon these conversations but also to underscore the plurality of states as well as to think deeper about particular conditions of seeing whether by, through, in opposition to or despite the state. Photography has been and continues to serve as a critical medium for states of seeing.

This workshop brings together a group of scholars to open up questions about everyday practices of states of seeing. Some of the questions we are interested in are:
- How can we explore states of seeing without assuming a monolithic state or reinforcing hard and fast boundaries between state and society?
- How do states see beyond mere surveillance? Furthermore, how can we refine our understanding of surveillance itself?
- How might we think about states of seeing that gets beyond the instrumental purposes assigned to representations?
- What kinds of non-state actors need to be investigated in order to expand our understanding of how a state shapes and is shaped by practices of seeing?
- Might state formation itself be dependent on states of seeing?
- Similarly, might institutionalization itself be an image-based practice?

The workshop is organized around four conceptual clusters intended to collectively sharpen our understanding of states of seeing rather than exhaust the topic:
• Containment – Photography as an image form, technology and practice was and continues to be implicated in the state’s preoccupation with institutionalized containment (policing and imprisonment). Likewise, the photographic medium was often deployed by the state in its attempt to contain subjects of rule within stable categories of gender, race and class. However, the relationship between image and power remains problematic, and photography both sustains and undermines the representational spaces of containment.
• (Dis)placement – Photography constitutes what Foucault calls a practice of emplacement, i.e.it establishes relations between locations and determines principles of space perception. Thinking about photography as emplacement raises questions about the location of seeing. It also helps us investigate how practices of seeing and photographic (dis)placements determine circulation and mobility – of people, things and images.
• Death – Photographic states of seeing sway between visibility and disappearance, presence and absence, life and death. Thinking about death in terms of an ‘aesthetics of historical disappearance’ (Ruin) we can begin to explore how and to what end sight configures the emergence and disappearance of bodies.
• Desire – Repressive modes of photography (Sekula) associated with containment, displacement and death, emerge alongside and sometimes in opposition to modes of seeing that are more generative of longing, desire and aspiration. It seems productive, therefore, to ask what modes of seeing are rendered desirable, how desire itself is visually generated, and how images construct aspirations and longings.

The workshop will have 16 participants (including the conveners and graduate students at the University of Basel), most of whom work on photography in some capacity. We would also like to invite a few scholars who do not work on photography per se but who would serve as interlocutors in getting us to collectively think critically about the multiple and complex interrelations between states and photography. The themes addressed will include Tunisian prison environment, photography and 19th century Bulgarian revolutionaries, the Atlantic slave trade, US prison photography, African exile and diplomacy in the US, Russian remembrance of the Soviet period, the Israeli Defense Force’s visual policies, drone warfare, Indonesian art and depictions of the 1965-66 mass killings of Chinese, and labor in Iran.

Hans Ruin, Martina Baleva, Darren Newbury, Karen Strassler, Olga Shevchenko, Yvette Christianse, Héla Ammar, Rebecca Stein, Nicole Fleetwood, Zeynep Gürsel, Lorena Rizzo.


Teilnahmebedingungen The number of participants is limited to five graduate students. Please contact lorena.rizzo@unibas.ch.
Anmeldung zur Lehrveranstaltung Please register by email to lorena.rizzo@unibas.ch
Unterrichtssprache Englisch
Einsatz digitaler Medien kein spezifischer Einsatz


Intervall Block
Datum 06.06.2019 – 07.06.2019
Zeit Siehe Detailangaben

To be confirmed

Keine Einzeltermine verfügbar, bitte informieren Sie sich direkt bei den Dozierenden.

Module Doktorat Afrika-Studien: Empfehlungen (Promotionsfach Afrika-Studien)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
Hinweise zur Leistungsüberprüfung All participants and graduate students will give 30 minutes presentations and/or will act as discussants (15 minutes responses).
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala Pass / Fail
Wiederholtes Belegen nicht wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Zentrum für Afrikastudien