project, directed by Kurt Koenigsberger, seeks to explore the extent
to which the image broadly conceived--verbal, visual, and iconic--promotes,
resists, reflects, and indexes the complexities of globalization.
the wake of our successful working conference at
the 2001 MMLA, we sponsored programs for the 2002 MMLA
and MLA conventions. Please see our
program information by clicking above.
The first phase of this project has resulted in a special issue
of Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture (Fall/Winter 2003).
The Table of Contents and cover image
are now available; the original call for papers is archived here.
In 2005, we are sponsoring a pair of panels at the MLA meeting in
Washington D.C. on the topic of "Globalization,
Imperialism, and Cultures of Exhibition." In 2007, the project collaborated with the SCE's Cultures of Writing to mount a pair of programs on "Writing Empires." We welcome your
suggestions about potential future directions for "Globalization
and the Image."
If you have questions about the project, the conferences, or the
special issue, or if you would like to be added to the Project mailing
list, contact Kurt Koenigsberger.
Topics we have been considering over the past years include:
Images and Empires: Edward Said asserts that European imperialisms
in effect "made the world one." To what extent were the global
reaches of these empires enabled, sustained, and resisted by
images (of, for example, exoticism or Western domesticity)?
How does the image help to ground and structure narratives of
expansionism and conquest? How have images served to confront
or to resist the extension of these empires? Do particular images
indicate lines of continuity or fracture between the machinations
of the old empires and the new aims of global capitalism?
of the Image: To what extent do images shape and deform narratives
of globalization? The image is usually understood as describing
a synchronic moment, but how does it establish, modify, and
de-form relations with the diachronic, especially narratives
of globalization, capitalism, and their others? Do images encourage
us to explore models of narrative, social, and political affiliation
other than direct causality, influence, or allegiance--for example,
homologies, intertextualities, and networks?
and Globalization: How does an increasing movement toward globalization
in a range of institutions challenge or affirm the aims of various
nationalisms? To what extent do specific images of globalization
and/or of the nation serve as sites of mutual affirmation or
Images: How do images (logos, slogans, pictorial ads, Mickey
Mouse, Michael Jordan) help market global capitalism? How does
globalization modify marketing strategies aimed at national
and regional audiences? How do images of the South enable the
extension of Northern markets into the South? What kinds of
images become battlegrounds for intellectual property disputes
in a global market?
of Resistance: How do images (of impoverished children, of rainforests,
or of trash, for instance) assist in local resistances to and
manipulations of globalization? How do they enable threatened
spaces, species, and communities--whether minority populations
within and across national boundaries, traditional architectures,
cities, and environments, or indigenous flora and fauna--to
oppose or to turn to their advantage the march of global capitalism?
Image as a Rhetoric of the Global: In the context of the Internet's
transnational reach, how has the World Wide Web's emphasis on
the image and the icon fostered or forced innovations in writing?
Can a rhetoric of the image or the icon penetrate where traditional
written texts cannot? How do imagistic strategies in various
media (again, including the WWW) produce "the global" as a new
kind of "imagined community," in Benedict Anderson's sense?