Archival Program Information
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USC's Thirteenth Annual "Expanding the Visual Field" Graduate Student Symposium

Algiers, Taken from the Casbah /  Bettinger
Saturday, October 3, 2009
9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Reception follows.
Getty Research Institute Lecture Hall, The Getty Center

Keynote Speaker: Susan Slyomovics, Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages, UCLA

Inspired by the Walls of Algiers: Narratives of the City exhibition, this symposium seeks to discover fissures and tensions in the relationship between colonizer and colonized, and to examine the role of the visual in articulating these phenomena. Traditional scholarship too often conceives of colonization mechanistically as a set of fixed and irredeemably unbalanced power relations. This symposium explores colonization as a process rooted in spaces, and the visual practices performed on the margins—both literal and metaphorical—of these spaces and examines how the visual functions as a site of resistance and equivocation in colonial relationships.

The keynote lecture Algeria in Black and White, explores the complex relationship between the camera and the Algerian conquest through examination of the visual biometric technologies that mark the French colonial era. Examples include tourist postcards of Algeria (Scènes et Types), the ID photo, and anthropometric classification systems.

Presented by the USC Association of Art History Graduate Students in collaboration with the Getty Research Institute, this symposium features a tour of the exhibition with curator Frances Terpak and a visit to the GRI Special Collections Reading Room.