CfP: Black Venus. Body, Desire, Figuration, and Narrative (Event: 04/2014, Bergen); DL: 15.01.2014

Department of Foreign Languages (IF) and the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK) (Web), University of Bergen

Venue: Bergen, Norway
Time: April 10-11, 2014
Deadline: January 15, 2014

We invite papers by scholars from a variety of fields (art history, anthropology, cultural studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, film and media studies, gender studies, history, literature, natural sciences, etc.), who are interested in the ways in which the colonial archive has preserved or impacted the construction of the emblematic figure of Black Venus. Not only do representations of Black Venus often derive from the conflation of exoticism with eroticism, they also embody dichotomies between desire and fear, staging or reading the body as “a cultural rather than natural artifact” (Brooks), the myth of racial difference, and “icon for deviant sexuality,” thus pathology vis-à-vis normal sexuality (Gilman). Black Venus, as understood in this context, is not exclusively bound to the Atlantic world of slavery but serves as a generic concept, long embedded in Western culture, which has advanced and challenged different manifestations of the myth of “exotic” female sexuality.

Papers can address, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Sexuality as a historical construct organized along the axis of knowledge and power
  • “Innocent” sexuality versus “animality”: aesthetics versus science
  • Codification of Black Venus as object of desire
  • Narratives of body and race as spectacle
  • The politics and ethics of codifying, presentation and re-presentation of the black body
  • The politics of spectatorship: emotion and affect
  • Black Venus: voyeurism and narrative violence
  • Aesthetics of violence or the violence of the aesthetic
  • Black Venus and the silence of the archive
  • Figurations of Black Venus in colonial and postcolonial discourse

Please send an abstract of 300 words by January 15, 2014 to the workshop chairs:

  • Jorunn Svensen Gjerden:
  • Kari Jegerstedt:
  • Željka Švrljuga:

Notification of acceptance by January 20, 2014.


Schreibe einen Kommentar