An International Conference on Visual Cultures in Contexts: Affect, Subversion and Resistance

Department of Media Studies

CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore

in collaboration with


19 - 20 February 2020

Christ University, Bangalore, India

About the Conference

Keynote Speaker:

Laura Mulvey

Renowned film theorist and feminist, Laura Mulvey is currently the professor of film and media studies at Birkbeck, University of London. Prof. Mulvey was the Mary L. Cornille Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College in 2008. She has three honorary doctoral degrees: Doctor of Letters from the University of East Anglia; Doctor of Law from Concordia University; and Doctor of Literature from University College Dublin. She has been with the British Film Institute for many years. Widely acknowledged for her theory of ‘Male gaze’ and the essay entitled “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, Prof. Mulvey is a seminal figure in the realm of psychoanalytic film theory with Jean-Louis Baudry and Christian Metz. She is well known for her avant-garde films co-wrote and co-directed with Peter Wollen such as Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons (1974), Riddles of the Sphinx (1977), AMY! (1980), Crystal Gazing (1982), Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti (1982), and The Bad Sister (1982).

Conference Note

Contemporary approaches to visual cultural practices has turned out to be a much debated, contested and conflicting terrain as their ramifications are too vivid that incorporate digressive and derivative modalities of locales, regions, spaces, sub-spaces and other niches of many micro-histories. In this context, contemporary visual cultural studies have a whole gamut of deliberations on cultural spaces/ places/ practices/ expressions/ extinctions/ delineations, which continually urge us to rethink a set of standard cultural collocations. Visual cultures, therefore, are products of a certain sense of legitimization and control – that is, something that is recognized through a sense of making the idea of ‘vision’ a monolithic entity. At the same time, the deep rooted divisions – both geographically and politically constituted, have created these visual cultures as a product of doubts, suspicions and something that constantly offers a critique of identities and other related discourses. How then can one contextualize and theorize visual cultures? What can be the probable parameters by which one can look at the varied and dissipated modes of visual cultures? Upon what grounds can one situate the aesthetics of visuality and challenge certain hegemonic notions of culture? How does this visual culture differ from other cultural practices and relations from across of the globe?

This conference on Visual Cultures fundamentally will try to open up a set of discourses connected to levels and platforms of visuality in tandem with recent debates on visual cultures. People increasingly confront a number of visual modes as contemporaneity tries to forefront a set of particular visual cultures in connection with art, religion, ritual, politics, film and mass media.

However, a number of other visual fields connected to ethnography, anthropology, narratives, environment, ecology, academia, technology, cyber world, music and sub-sections of the peripheral, in such a context, are definitely occluded. It is the aim of this conference to reconfigure the textures and visualities of such cultures – in other words, realign those that go ‘invisible’ from the dominant representation of the visible spaces. More than creating a set of binaries to constitute one particular methodology of practices, spaces, expressions and approaches, this conference will open up its platform for ways and methods of developing counter-currents to the / discourses of the hegemonic and the privileged/ authentic/ legitimized. The past and present history of hermeneutics of visual cultures constitute our imagination and everyday life in ways which are neither fully neutral nor solely technical, but as suggested by Arjun Appadurai “shot through with affect and sensation”. Affect seems to be one of the most important philosophical and theoretical dimensions of the visual in life in South Asia as it is inextricably blended with ideas, desires, paradigms, expressions and systemic production of ideas. However, in close relation to this, there are problems deeply connected to interpretation as some of these issues challenge the level of perceiving the visual cultures time and again. It is immensely significant to explore the complex and conflictual terrain of visuality, vision, visual cultures and visibility in our time. The proposed conference envisages to theorize and problematize the domains of seeing, subjectivity and desire.

As contemporary visual cultures operate across numerous levels and layers, we invite responses from people from all disciplines, professions and vocations. This conference will be inclusively interdisciplinary in nature and will open space for a dialogue and wrestle with questions that cross the boundaries of the intellectual, emotional and personal.

Research Papers

Abstract Submission

Submit research abstracts in 250 words, along with a brief biographical note. The abstract file should be named in the following format “Name of the author_ Abstract”. Presenters are allowed to submit more than one abstract but only one will be selected for final presentation. Abstracts with late submission/ incomplete registration form/ absence of registration form, etc. will not be accepted.

Full Paper Submission Guidelines

Maximum word limit: 5000 words formatted in APA/ MLA style sheet (Recent edition). Full papers that do not follow the format shall be rejected. Plagiarized and unacknowledged copyrighted information shall not be accepted. Previously published work should not be submitted. The file should be sent in the following format. “Paper Code (given by us) _Name of the Author”

Email abstract to:


The selected papers of the seminar will be published.

Proposals are invited for presentations, papers, panels and performances. Some of the major areas we look forward to, are the following:


  • Cinema and Visual Cultures
  • History of Moving Images
  • Bollywood and Regional Cinemas
  • Performing arts in South Asia
  • Visualizing Border Crossings, Diaspora and Transnationalism
  • Urban space, Metro Images, City
  • Visual Cultures and South Asian Aborginal/ Native/ Dalit Survival-Identity
  • Sexuality, Gender and Body in South Asia
  • Museums and archiving
  • Media/ Popular Culture/ Mass Media Studies and approaches
  • Visual Cultures of Domination, Political Intervention and Military
  • Cartography, Geography and Nation -State
  • Politics/ Practice of Political Subjectivity
  • South Asian Expressions in the Cyber Age
  • Visuality and Jurisprudence, Penal and Legal Systems
  • Religion/ Festivals/ Rituals
  • Theater, Philosophy of Performance and Stage
  • Dance, Choreography, Dance Histories
  • Village, Images, Narratives and Visual Cultures

Special Features

  • Plenary sessions, Panel discussions and Workshops
  • Scholars from across the country
  • Student-friendly environment to receive feedback on your work
  • Opportunity to network with industry and professionals

Important Dates

  • Abstracts Invitation: 15 September 2019
  • Submission of Abstract: 5 January 2020
  • Confirmation of Abstract: Within 7 working days
  • Full Papers: 30 January 2020

Conference Fee

  • Academics and professional from India: INR 3000
  • Research Scholars: INR 2000
  • Participating Students: INR 500
  • Overseas Presenters: USD 100

Inclusive of two Lunch and one Gala Dinner. Accommodation charges separate.


Seminar Conveners :

Dr Fr Biju K Chacko and Dr C S Biju


Accommodation will be given on a first-come-first-serve basis. Early confirmation will be appreciated.

Cost for Accommodation (Per Person per Night)

  • Single room: INR 1000/Day
  • Twin-share: INR 800/Day
  • 4-6 Share: INR 300/Day