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The 3rd Conference of Visual Encounters with the Other
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5/7/2014 to 5/10/2014
When: 5/7/2014
Where: Estonian Literary Museum

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Constructing the Other Through the Prism of War: Contested Images in Eastern Europe (1930s – 1950s)


WW II changed perspectives, beliefs and existing hierarchies. Our aim is to examine the changes in how the Other is represented visually in the wartime period, as well as the consequences of war from a longitudinal perspective. Although our focus is set particularly on Eastern Europe, we are equally interested in understanding the processes of representing the Other in the context of a global war. The period also showed fast technological development and innovations which introduced new forms of visualisations. The new media and ways of using them (e.g. in propaganda) are also at the very core of our interests. Susan Sontag has argued that we consider the Other – even if s/he is not an enemy – as someone whom we observe, not someone who would also observe us; we consider them as someone to be seen, and not as someone who also, like we, sees. The representation of the Other gains a new shape in the time of war, fuelled by rising nationalism and hatred, causing a change of targets and their visualization.


The third international conference of Visual Encounters with the Other focuses on the visual representations of (non-)ethnic otherness/alterity in Eastern Europe, covering the period of and around World War II, from the 1930s to 1950s. The discussion reflects on a variety of visual sources including the press, printed materials (photography, illustrations, posters, advertisements, caricatures, etc), books, and so on. We accept accounts of humorous and non-humorous representations that would document, interpret and/or construct the ways that the Other has been depicted. The papers should relate to, although are not limited to, the following issues:

  • Other in the war context;
  • Ideas of modernity in representations of the Other;
  • The production and reception of humour;
  • Eastern European perspective of alterity and changes in the looking at enemies and friends;
  • New media and new ways of seeing.

Please submit a proposal that contains your full name, institutional and disciplinary affiliation with a very brief academic CV, the title of your paper and an abstract of 200-250 words, outlining your basic research methods and sources. The organizers give preference to submissions based on fieldwork and/or the use of ethnographic, folkloric, or closely related archival materials. Paper authors will be informed about accepting or rejecting their submission until February 28, 2014. The language of the conference is English.

The deadline for the submission of paper proposals: February 10, 2014.

Deadline for paying early registration (100 EUR) is March 15, 201.

Late registration fee (130 EUR) can be paid until April 30, 2014.


Please send your proposal to:

Conference Site, Travel and Accommodation

The conference will be held in Tartu, Estonia, at the Estonian Literary Museum (Vanemuise 42), close to the city centre and in the vicinity of accommodation, dining and entertainment. Estonia has good flight connections with other European cities (including by budget flight companies like Ryanair, Easyjet and Air Baltic), and ferry connection to Finland and Sweden. Comfortable buses with free wi-fi operate between Tallinn and Tartu every full hour, departing from the airport. Suggestions for accommodation will be announced in due time after special prices for the conference delegates have been arranged. The conference fee includes book of abstracts and other conference materials, coffee breaks, lunches, opening and closing reception, and a boat-trip on the river Emajõgi. Travel costs and accommodation is not included in the conference fee.


Registration Fee

The participants will be asked to pay a registration fee of 100 € via bank transfer by March 30, 2014.


Publication of Papers

A selection of conference papers will be published after peer-review in the third volume of the series.

More information will be sent in the second circular.

See also the conference website at

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