CFP: Visible Evidence 18 (NYC)

Visible Evidence 18
New York City
August 11-14, 2011

Call for Proposals

Visible Evidence, an international conference on documentary film and media, now in its 18th year, will convene August 11-14, 2011 in New York City, at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and other locations around the city. Visible Evidence 18 will feature the history, theory, and practice of documentary and non-fiction cinema, television, video, audio recording, digital media, photography, and performance, in a wide range of panels, workshops, plenary sessions, screenings, and special events. Proposals for panels and presentations are invited, according to the following suggestions and guidelines:

Threads and Themes

As in previous editions of the conference, proposed panels and presentations may address any aspect of documentary and non-fiction film, media, and performance, or any theoretical or historical approach to documentary. At the same time, Visible Evidence 18 will draw upon both the location of the 2011 conference and themes we’d like to see continued from previous conferences; proposals in keeping with these directions will be especially welcome. Possible themes include (but are not limited to):

¶ Life during wartime: in/visible evidence (photography, film, video, sound, print, and new media documentation) of the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as on the "home fronts” and the "black sites” of the "War on Terror” since 2001; local and global activist documentary responses to the September 11th attacks and their aftermath; documentary media of witness, testimony, and memory in the service of cultural and political movements for and against war; censorship, the law, and the sound or image of war; the un/authorized circulation of documents of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the "War on Terror” at large, or wars of other eras.

¶ Archiving, preservation, and the material of actuality and documentary: lost and found documentary film, television, and recording; issues of storage, censorship, access, copyright, acquisition, appropriation, circulation and re-circulation of artifacts and records of documentary culture and practice; regional, national, and transnational collection and transmission of documentary history; museological, curatorial, technological, legal, and financial technics in documentary archives; new critical and creative approaches to visual, auditory, and print records and documents.

¶ Talking heads and other documentary sounds: voice, music, noise, scoring, and audition in/and/of documentary radio, video, film, theater, performance.

¶ Radical/experimental New York: individual, collective, and institutional practices of non-mainstream documentary and non-fiction art and media in New York City, 1890s to the present; New York as topic, source, location, and crucible of oppositional and avant-garde documentary practice; the city symphony in the five boroughs; New York City and state in the history of alternative, community, and public access television and video; the New York avant-gardes in international context.

¶ Transnational cities: New York and other urban spaces as loci of im/migration in documentary; urban documentary as form of intercultural practice; terrains of nation and ethnicity in documented cities; the "undocumented” citizen and the ethics, politics, labor, or aesthetics of documentary.

Panel, Workshop, and Paper Guidelines and Deadlines

o Each panel or workshop session will be allotted one hour and forty-five minutes.

o Panels will consist of three papers of no more than 20 minutes each. Panel chairs will ensure that at least thirty minutes is available for questions and discussion following paper presentations.

o Workshops will consist of between four and six opening statements, in which workshop leaders can present up to thirty minutes collectively of prepared or informal material. However, the emphasis of workshops is on the open and unstructured exchange of ideas and techniques between all workshop participants, and topics suited to this format will be given priority.

o Individual paper proposals may be submitted to the open call (see below).

o Proposed panels and workshops may be preconstituted, either through public calls for submissions or individual solicitation. Panel and workshop calls may be posted publicly until December 15, 2010 in the Panels and Workshops Forums area of the Visible Evidence website ( Chairs of proposed panels and workshops must accept proposals until January 1, 2011. Prospective chairs are encouraged to require standard formatting of individual proposals (250-300 words; descriptive title; bibliography; brief bio, including history of VE participation) to streamline panel submission process.

o Proposals for preconstituted panels, workshops, and papers for the open call may be submitted for consideration at the Submission area of the Visible Evidence 18 website by January 15, 2011. Standard proposal formats will be expected for both individual presentations and workshops/panels.

o Participants may present in a workshop or on a panel, but not both. Chairs may present only on their own panel or workshop. Prospective participants may submit to a panel or workshop, or to the open call, but not both; prospective members of rejected panels may opt to have their individual presentation proposals reconsidered for the open call.

Complete submission instructions for each category of participation can be found at and the dedicated conference website. Sign up at the VE18 conference website to submit and register.

Questions? Email conference coordinator Jonathan Kahana, Department of Cinema Studies, NYU (jonathan.kahana -AT-; subject line: VE18 question.


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