Call for papers
Beyond the Frame: The Future of the Visual in an Age of Digital Diversity

Published: 2013-12-13


The Nordic Network for Digital Visuality is issuing a call for papers to its final conference, Beyond the Frame: The Future of the Visual in an Age of Digital Diversity

It has been argued that the move from studying visual culture to its digital manifestations demands that we think beyond the frame of the image – theoretically, methodologically and epistemologically. Yet “seeing” and its material expressions (as photographs, films, etc.) have never been isolated from other senses and expressive forms. The frame is never arbitrary, but a construction that must be interrogated parallel with our examination of what it appears to “contain”. The demand to think beyond the image itself can provide a useful reminder of the limitations that the frame places on our abilities to explore fully the meanings of the visual. How can we make the frame more “permeable” at the same time that we keep in mind its power in organizing how people think and see?

This is particularly important when our research engages with ways of seeing that are not familiar to us. In today’s diverse media landscape, digital media interact with the visual in a range of constellations that are distributed quite differently across the globe, but also in places traditionally considered ‘local’. Our ongoing encounter with visual practices and forms of expression that lie outside of our own cultural “frame” is a challenge for the future of research into the diverse meanings of the visual and its digital manifestations.

We invite papers that address these challenges, particularly in research where we find people expanding their own concepts of the visual, within new media landscapes, particularly in diverse digital forms. We are also interested in papers that address people’s attempts to retain familiar or traditional ways of seeing, including established forms of visual documentation and expression, in the face of technological, social and cultural change. Note that the focus may be either on researchers as they encounter these issues, or on individuals and groups who are being studied. Also welcome are papers that report on comparative studies of how these challenges are being met by different researchers and/or their subjects in different research settings.

Confirmed keynote speakers

  • Scott McQuire, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne. Co-founder of the Spatial Aesthetic research cluster, McQuire’s research explores the social effects of media technologies with a particular focus on urban space.
  • Gillian Rose, Open University, London. Rose works broadly in the field of visual culture, focusing on visuality as a practice carried out by human subjects in collaboration with different objects and technologies.

The conference will include approximately 35 participants, and is being planned thematically organized paper sessions, and will conclude with a round-table discussion of the conference theme. A visit to a local museum is also likely to be part of the program. The site we have selected is a charming conference center on the sea, fifteen minutes by commuter train from central Stockholm. See

We invite doctoral students and other researchers who are doing research on this theme to apply in one of two ways:

  1. Submit an abstract (max 500 words) for a paper, no later than January 15, 2014. A small selection of papers will be made that address the conference themes in interesting ways, and in addition further appear to be in dialogue with each other. Note that if your abstract is selected, we are expecting you to participate in the entire conference.
  2. If you are interested in attending the conference without giving a paper, please write a brief motivation (max 300 words) stating your reasons for wanting to attend, and the specific ways you wish to engage with the conference theme in your own work. We will use these statements to select people who appear to offer interesting perspectives as active discussants during the two days.

Clearly indicate which option you are choosing and send your application to karin.becker[at] no later than Jan 15. Include NNDV Beyond the Frame, as the subject of your email, and also your position and institutional affiliation.

Although priority will be given to applicants from the Nordic countries, we expect to be able to accomodate a small number of participants from other countries. We particularly encourage Ph.D. students to apply who are “mid-stream” in their dissertation research.

A friendly reminder: The word limit will be strictly observed. Any words that exceed the limit will be cut before we review your abstract or motivation.

You will be notified no later than 14 February if your abstract or motivation is accepted.

If your abstract is accepted, you will be asked to distribute a full-length paper to all conference participants no later than March 28.

The network will cover participants’ costs for round-trip travel (economy class) to Stockholm, and meals and lodging at the conference center. Additional costs, such as local transportation or food purchased outside the conference site, we ask that participants pay themselves.

Karin Becker, Professor of Media Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden

On behalf of the NNDV Steering Group:

Asko Lehmuskallio, Postdoctoral Researcher, Tampere Research Center for Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Tampere, Finland

Kim Rasmussen, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Educational Studies, Roskilde University, Denmark

Minna Räsänen, Researcher in human-computer interaction, Södertörn University, Sweden

Árni Sverrisson, Professor of Visual Culture, Dalarna University, Sweden

Paula Uimonen, Director, Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER)

Trond Waage, Professor of Visual Anthropology, University of Tromsø, Norway

Ida Wentzel Winther, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Anthropology, Aarhus University, Denmark