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CFP: Graphic encounters – Colonial prints and the inscription of Aboriginality

Until 1900 print media (principally engravings, but also etchings, lithographs, aquatints, etc) comprised the only means to visualise settler encounters to the wider public. In recent years considerable attention has been given to colonial photography depicting Indigenous Australians, yet relatively little has been undertaken into the earlier and formative archive of colonial-era prints of Indigenous Australians.

This conference will bring together scholars working in print media and visual culture to explore the production, circulation, collection, publication and exhibition of prints of Indigenous peoples in transnational circuits of communication. Attention to the mobility of technologies, techniques and technicians along with traces of resistance and assertions of sovereignty are encouraged. We seek to interrogate how settlers inscribed ‘prospects for settlement’ and the ways they ‘put themselves in the picture’ of colonial incursion. The conference is interested to explore all aspects of racialized thought within the production and dissemination of the foundational and formative visual library of colonial prints.

The 2018 Graphic Encounters conference is joint hosted by the History program and the Centre for the Studies of the Inland at La Trobe University, providing a forum for a much needed examination of this overlooked archive of inscribed Indigenous peoples. The conference is designed to encourage reflection on Australian prints in transnational circuits, and those produced in prints workshops around the world and the impacts of these imaged meanings across disciplines. The movement of images and artists, printers, publishers and collectors through these ‘webs of empire’ through networks of dispersed yet intersected publics as they competed to lay claim to the New World will be showcased through the conference. It will focus on hundreds of well-known and still unknown and startling images, yielding new understandings about settler impressions of Aboriginality, race relations and their sense of place in New Holland/Australia.

Panels and papers are invited which address the following themes in historical/cultural perspectives and contemporary debates:

Sovereignty and resistance
Periphery and portrait
Technicians, techniques and technologies
Mobility and trade
Printing and publication
Collecting and exhibiting
Local and global connections

We welcome proposals for presentations in a variety of formats and media, including standard paper presentations (typically 20 minutes) and thematic papers comprising several presenters.

Proposals for presentations/ papers/ panels should be no more than 200 words and must include your name, institutional affiliation (if applicable), postal address, phone number and email address, the title for your presentation/ panel and the presentation format (standard paper or thematic panel).

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