Graduate and Emerging Scholars Symposium From Trinity to Fukushima and Beyond
Saturday March 10, 2016 University of Montreal
Organizing Committee : Amandine Davre, Livia Monnet, Suzanne Paquet, Mathieu Li-Goyette.
For information on the conference contact Livia Monnet
Conference keynote speaker Robert Del Tredici is a photographer and writer whose first encounter with the nuclear age occurred while documenting the 1979 reactor melt-down at Three Mile Island. He next travelled to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to meet and photograph survivors of the first atomic bombs. This was preparation for a six- year endeavour to document all twelve of the H-bomb factories throughout the United States. Along the way, he interviewed nuclear pioneers, atomic workers, radiation victims, and activists. He then tracked the Soviet Bomb, the attempted cleanup of the US nuclear weapons complex, Canadian uranium mines, and the site of the world’s oldest and largest uranium refinery, Port Hope, Ontario. He has published five books of photographs and text on the nuclear age.
His keynote presentation at the Nuclear Arts Conference will explore the concept of the Nuclear Uncanny — those shape-shifting, fleeting, everlasting, invisible, contradictory materials, energies, perceptions, and anxieties that permeate the nuclear age yet continually evade our grasp. Del Tredici believes that the Nuclear Uncanny can be best captured in art.
Recent debates on the Anthropocene have proposed July 16, 1945 – the date of the Trinity nuclear test conducted in the Jornada del Muerto desert in New Mexico – as the official beginning of this human-induced geologic era. The Nuclear Age has produced a rich archive of nuclear-themed works and representations spanning all genres – post-apocalyptic dystopia, fantasy, horror, comedy, mystery fiction — and all media platforms, from the visual arts, literature, cinema, and television to comics, graphic novels, manga, and video games.
This graduate-and-emerging-scholars symposium proposes to examine some of the productions and mutations of the nuclear arts and cultures in the 20th and 21 centuries. The primary objective of the symposium is to establish a transnational network of young researchers and emerging scholars (MA, doctoral and postdoctoral students, junior scholars) working on the nuclear arts and nuclear culture in the US, Japan, India, France, UK, Germany, Australia, South and North Korea, China, Russia and elsewhere. The symposium also seeks to explore new approaches, theories, and methodologies for the analysis, interpretation, and reimagining of the global nuclear ecology in the arts and in popular culture – in particular in the current, post-Fukushima context when the danger of other nuclear accidents, and of nuclear proliferation in Asia seems imminent.