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RIT College of Liberal Arts
William A. Kern Professorship in Communications

Kern Conference on Visual Communication

April 24-26, 2014

Invited Speakers
For Further Information

6th Kern Conference on Visual Communication
Communicating Identity/Consuming Difference

April 24-26, 2014

Call for Proposals

Communicating identity – hero, villain, native, immigrant, minority, celebrity, terrorist – often leads to controversy and conflict. These identities are frequently represented with implicit comparative differences, such as friend vs. foe or familiar vs. strange. This conference seeks to explore how identities are presented and performed in consumer culture, and why it matters. What are the connections between communication, consumption and ‘difference’? …and between audiences, citizens, viewers, and consumers? What can we say about the production and consumption of images of identity? What can theory from post-colonial, post-gender, post-race, and post-class perspectives contribute? How do representations of identity in cultural discourses including advertising, art, branding, fashion, film, journalism, photography, social media, and web design intersect with consumption? How can consumer culture theory strengthen our understanding of visual communication?

We invite submissions that address these themes from multiple points of view. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary perspectives that discuss and theorize how identity is communicated, constructed and consumed in contemporary and historical consumer culture. Following in the tradition of Kern conferences, we plan a rich program of interdisciplinary scholarship and conversation.

Individual papers, visual presentations, panels and workshop proposals are welcomed.

Send extended abstracts (500 – 2500 words) via email to Jonathan Schroeder (

Submission deadline: January 15, 2014