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CfP: Lifestyle pages

International conference of the reseach group "Lifestyle pages – German-language home journals from the 19th century to the present and their dissemination as media", frist by October 15th 2018

Deadline: October 15, 2018

Browsing through the lifestyle pages – strategies for displaying the domestic sphere in magazines
10 - 12 May 2019 in Bremen

International conference of the reseach group Lifestyle pages – German-language home journals from the 19th century to the present and their dissemination as media within the research program wohnen+/-ausstellen (living+/-exhibiting), a collaboration between the Institute for Art History - Film Studies - Art Education at the University of Bremen and the Mariann Steegmann Institute - Art & Gender (Directors: Prof. Dr. Irene Nierhaus, Dr. Kathrin Heinz).

How to dwell needs to be learned ... More changeable than immovable, dwelling is also action. This action is a part of societal and political processes and ascriptions and is conveyed both constantly and repeatedly. The decisive role played by media such as magazines in this context entails the utilization of specific display mechanisms to address subjects with regard to the ways they dwell and to prompt them to act. These media are collected, stacked, folded, arranged in sequence and inscribed, and this is done repeatedly and continually.

The (popular) magazine market offers an immense array of images and discourse formations that have to do with dwelling and furnishing: who lives how and with whom, sophisticated, precarious, minimalistic, ostentatious … Page after page conveys furnishing tips, home stories and instructions on how to dwell “properly”. This conference focuses on magazines, journals and media networks dealing with dwelling practices and on their serial, didactic aesthetic. How is dwelling visualized, what images of dwelling are designed and staged? How do (lifestyle) magazines configure our engagement with them and what didactic strategies are made (in)visible? Who is positioned where by the magazine, how is the subject as actor designed? How does the magazine present familiar relationships and gender positions? What politics of the subject do we encounter when we look, browse and skim?

We are interested in the investigation of representations of dwelling as self-maintaining categorization and evaluation practices over time, from early fashion and family journals to current formats. The aesthetic structure of the magazine reveals power constellations through which inhabitants and readers are addressed as social and politically acting, gendered and consuming subjects. By studying the way magazines display we hope to gain insights into the different processes of the visual presentation of dwelling space, its architecture and furnishings, and the inhabitants acting in and interacting with this space.

A goal of the conference is to bring together positions and current research focuses at the interface of dwelling and magazine research from a range of disciplines and academic cultures, such as aesthetics and the study of visual culture, architecture, literature studies and media studies.

Possible thematic fields for conference papers relating to media concepts, (re)presentations and the politics of dwelling include:

  • dwelling, residential history
  • gender / gender history
  • dwelling bodies / health / hygiene
  • design / typography / graphics / imaging processes / photography
  • performativity  in and through magazines
  • hygiene & health
  • architecture / design / textiles in the dwelling space
  • the social fabric of dwelling

Please send an abstract (max. 500 words) and a brief CV by October 15 2018 to:
anna.riedelprotect me ?!msi.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de
rosanna.umbachprotect me ?!msi.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de


Concept and Organisation:
Dr. Katharina Eck
Anna-Katharina Riedel
Rosanna Umbach


Mariann Steegmann Institut. Kunst & Gender
c/o Universität Bremen
SFG 1410/1420
Enrique-Schmidt-Str. 7
28359 Bremen

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