BAA Conference 2009


Thursday, 2 July - Saturday, 4 July 2009

The general significance of the "visual turn" indicates the innovative potential of visual culture studies as a field encouraging interdisciplinary and transnational approaches.

The 2009 conference addresses processes of visualizing legitimacy and authority, the analysis and interpretation of visual images and representations, and the significance of visual sites of memory in a comparatist, transatlantic perspective.

Contributors will focus on the creation of political iconographies, on the contested relationship between visuality and the discourse of racial and ethnic difference, on images of gender and sexuality in experimental cinema and comic subculture, on the role of visual representation in journalism, and discuss the importance of visual representations in the construction of an American historical memory.

These interdisciplinary perspectives serve to understand complex concepts. Visual literacy allows to decode not only films and photographs, but also memorials, landscapes and urban spaces.


No conference fee - please register for participation.


Detailed Conference Program (312KB)

Biographical Information and Abstracts (168KB)


Conference Program

Thursday, 2 July 2009

18.15 Welcome Addresses:

  • Klaus Benesch, Director Bavarian American Academy
  • Aaron Hellman, U.S. Consulate General, Munich
  • Representative of Munich Ministry of Sciences, Research, and the Arts

Awards Ceremony: 2009 BAA Dissertation Award
19.00 Keynote Address
Martin Jay (University of California, Berkeley): Scopic Regime of Modernity Revisited
19.50 Reception

Friday, 3 July 2009

9.30 Panel I: Visualizing Democratic Legitimacy and Authority
Chair: Volker Depkat (University of Regensburg)

  • Mark Thistlethwaite (Texas Christian University): The Face of Nation: George Washington‘s Image and American Identity
  • Wolfram Pyta (University of Stuttgart): A Failure of Symbolizing Democracy: The Case of the German Weimarer Republik

11.00 Coffee Break
11.30 Panel II: Visual Culture and the Representation of Race and Ethnicity

Chair: Christof Decker (University of Munich)

  • Shawn Michelle Smith (School of Art Institute of Chicago): Imag(in)ing Race and Nation: Augustus Washington and John Brown
  • Astrid Böger (University of Hamburg): Performances of Racial and Ethnic Otherness at the early American World‘s Fairs

13.00 Lunch Break

15.00 Panel III: Gender and Sexuality in Post/Modern Image Culture
Chair: Antje Kley
(University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Robin Blaetz (Mount Holyoke College): Home Movies: Framing the Domestic Sphere in Experimental Cinema
  • Klaus Theweleit (University of Freiburg): San Francisco Underground Comix: ‘America‘s only Real Revolution in the 20th Century‘

16.30 Coffee Break

17.00 Panel IV: Visuality and the News

Chair: Petra Dorsch-Jungsberger (University of Munich)

  • Michael S. Griffin (Macalester College): Images From Nowhere: Visuality and News in 21st Century Media
  • Caja Thimm (University of Bonn): Visual Dynamics in Politics - The US Election 2008

18.45 BAA MEMBERES´ MEETING (Members only!)

Saturday, 4 July 2009

9.30 Panel V: History and Visual Sites of Memory

Chair: Karsten Fitz (University of Passau)

  • Sarah J. Purcell (Grinnell College): Seeing Martyrdom: Revolutionary Memory at the Outset of the U.S. Civil War
  • Birgit Spengler (University of Frankfurt): Medical Gazes, Gender, and the Nation in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing

11.00 Coffee Break

11.30 Panel VI: Visual Culture in Geography

Chair: Barbara Hahn (University of Würzburg)

  • Michael Conzen (University of Chicago): Cartography as Conquest: Visualizing the American West through Maps in the Era of National Expansion
  • Julia Lossau (Humboldt University Berlin): Geography, Art and the Visual

13.00 End of Conference


The following organizations support the conference

 Bayerisch-Amerikanisches Zentrum
im Amerika Haus München e.V.
     U.S. Consulate General, Munich