Sensory Communication: Expressive Culture and Youth Media


About the Symposium

8:00 am-4:00 pm, April 14-15
Film Screening: 7pm, April 14
Visual Arts Performance Space (Next to Sixth College)

Schedule of Events

Sponsored by the Departments of Communication and Visual Arts, UCSD
and Supported by the Institute for International, Comparative, and Area Studies, UCSD.

This two-day symposium, to be held at UCSD April 14-15, 2010, will bring together an interdisciplinary and international team of scholars whose work is about youth, media, representation, and technology practices in, respectively, Sweden, the United States, England, Indonesia, and Argentina, and whose work investigates national identity and the role of state systems and national cultures in informing everyday uses of media technologies, and which addresses strategies of working with sensory ability and visual culture. These scholars study film, digital media, art, and objects as they are produced and used by and as they represent young people in a variety of cultural, educational, technological, and everyday contexts. The media texts and objects considered by the participating scholars include films, auto-ethnographic videos, photographs, built objects, and paintings. The vast scholarship about youth and media consumption and children as audience or child representation in media forms engaging in issues of sexuality and identity across or within given national contexts is an important reference for this forum.

The symposium investigates the relationship of local visual youth cultures in national contexts to globalized visual youth cultures: In what ways are photography, video, film and manipulated dimensional forms produced by youth in educational and medical therapeutic settings to express aspects of national selfhood and identity, relative to issues such as emotions, healing, or cultural acceptance? What are the differences in practice and in usage that can be linked to differences in national systems? Also considered are national youth cultures of self-produced media and the use of multimodal and multi-sensory forms of communication, linking video, digital, photographic, audio, and/or tactile form to work with and through gaze, gesture, touch, sound and smell among children with impaired or limited cognitive or sensory abilities. The focus on visual culture does not foreclose attention to work through sensory systems and modalities in the range of the visual.


Lisa Cartwright, Professor of Communication and Science Studies, UCSD,; Brian Goldfarb, Associate Professor of Communication and Teacher Education, UCSD,; Anna Sparrman, Associate Professor, Department of Child Studies, Linköping University, Sweden,;
UCSD Communication Grad Liaison: Andy Rice,;
UCSD Communication Grad Liaison: Lauren Berliner,;
UCSD Communication Undergraduate Liaison: Elena Buenrostro,;
High Tech High School Liaison: Trinity DeKervor,