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CFP: the processes of imaging / the imaging of processes

Call for papers for a special issue of catalyst: feminism, theory, technoscience

Edited by Bettina Papenburg, Liv Hausken, Ingvil Hellstrand, Sigrid Schmitz, and Natasha Myers
We invite submissions to a Catalyst special issue on “The Processes of Imaging / The Imaging of Processes” in order to mobilize new-materialist, critically and theoretically engaged feminist interventions into the study of the aesthetics and epistemic status of new imaging technologies across the visual cultures of science, arts, media and everyday life.
New imaging technologies alter our access to a variety of phenomena. Subsequently, these technologies not only shape and change our experience, knowledge and conceptualization of these phenomena, but also impact social practices, discourses and power relations. Feminist critiques of imaging processes and technologies have addressed their roles in shaping the optics of race, gender, sexuality, and ability; their foundations in colonial, capitalist, and military projects; as well as their appropriation for alternative, counter, or resistant ways of seeing. Submissions that speak to these issues are welcome.
Emerging imaging practices establish new connections between different scientific, artistic, and societal fields, challenge traditional boundaries between these fields, and established divisions of labor. Imagination, for
one, is no longer seen as confined to the domain of art, but refers instead to the role of thinking or conjecture at the heart of any process of imaging. At the same time, new imaging technologies confront taken for granted notions and theories of images and imaginations, of the visible and the knowable, and thus open up fruitful illuminations of the roles or agencies of technology and materiality. 
These contexts prompt a rethinking of the processes of imaging / the imaging of processes. Focusing on the processes of imaging means to foreground the dynamics of imaging and imagination, and the ways in which these dynamics are embedded in established conceptual landscapes as well as assessing how they contribute to changing such landscapes. Examining the imaging of processes involves attending to the processual qualities and the emergent potentials of the objects of investigation such as plasticity, movement and the relational dynamics of the objects under study in visualization, ranging from the cosmos, to faces and brains, and from tissues to cells and organelles, to bodies, technologies, and social formations. What is needed is a critical and creative engagement with the complex and entangled ways of creating images, ranging from the conceptual and theoretical situations that call for new imaging technologies, via the constructions of these technologies, through registration and storage of phenomena, to dissemination, experience and interpretation, and finally to the effects, or functioning of these images in their environments. 
The special issue seeks to contribute to basic research on imaging technologies and develop further theories and practices with a new materialism perspective from feminist STS, visual studies, film and photography studies, and media studies through an engagement with objects of analysis from science and everyday life. The philosophical framework of new materialism provides a number of tools that open up innovative and creative ways to look at, think through and theorize the multiple relations between dynamic and agential matter, the construction of images, their enactment in knowledge production, justification of knowledge, and power relations. Based on three key concepts – imaging technologies, apparatus, and dynamism – this special issue investigates the entanglement of imaging and imagination
through interdisciplinary, in-depth studies of selected technological imaging practices in science, arts, media, and everyday life. 
The contributions should address pressing questions such as:
  • How can imaging be understood as an exchange between the material and the non-material world? 
  • How do technologies and materialities take part in the construction of images and thus in practices of conceptualization, production and justification of knowledge? 
  • How do capitalist, racist, heteronormative, and military ideologies shape imaging technologies and how do these ideologies inform the materialities and material practices in the production of which these technologies are involved? In which ways do imaging technologies contribute to reproducing or challenging the political economy? 
  • How to assess the multi-faceted power relations that shape imaging technologies from a critical feminist, queer, postcolonial, and critical race perspective?
  • How to rethink the dualistic view on science and art by scrutinizing the practices and discourses associated with the two fields and by critically relating them to the general socio-cultural history to which they both belong?
  • How do new materialist approaches help us to rethink processes of imaging / the imaging of processes?
  • What does the understanding of processes of imaging / the imaging of processes contribute to new materialist scholarship?
We invite both scholarly articles and shorter, experimental contributions that creatively and critically, yet affirmatively investigate and problematize how imaging practices in science, arts, theory and everyday life are intertwined with each other. Interdisciplinary research and co-authored papers are particularly welcome. See the Catalyst website for suggestions and policies for possible formats.
A workshop devoted to this theme will be held at the 7th Annual Conference on the New Materialisms in Warsaw, 21-23 September 2016. To be considered for inclusion in this workshop, please send an extended abstract (max. 1000 words) plus a short bio (max. 100 words) to Bettina Papenburg ( and Natasha Myers ( by 31 May 2016. Selected scholars will be invited to discuss draft papers at this workshop. All selected authors are encouraged to submit fully developed papers to Catalyst via the Journal’s online submissions portal by 28 February 2017. These submissions will undergo double-blind peer review along with all other submissions.
Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience

Updated:  7 November, 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute