Conference : Screens. Rhetorics of (dis)connection
30th November-2nd December 2022, University of Milan
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30th June 2022
Given their increased presence in everyday life, screens have sparked new interest and lead to new considerations inside the academia (see M. Carbone, Schermi/Screens 2014). Because of this, media archaeologist Erkki Huhtamo suggested the creation of a new area of study called screenology, focused on screens as “information surfaces” (2006). The history of screens, as Huhtamo himself argues, has always lingered between reality and imagination, the physical and the intangible, the concrete and the theoretical. Therefore, these objects may, after careful examination, be considered intermedial bridges that favour the exchange between cultures, words, voices, faces and images (see ibid.).
Screens as objects have a complex nature as the semantic evolution of the word suggests and, as a matter of fact, the term presents itself as polysemic in a variety of languages. In Italian, for example, the Treccani dictionary lists several meanings: the first, mainly literary, is that of “shield”, to be understood literally and figuratively; a one is that of “device” which prevents something from expanding through space (for example, radiations); and the third is “surface”, on which pictures and words are shown.
Francesco Casetti, a semiologist, has centred his most recent studies around screens and reassures us about the overlap of meanings, arguing that “the idea of a shielding and covering surface adds to that of another surface which allows to sense what is behind it. The latter then embraces representations of new worlds, and can finally contain figures reflecting our personality” (Casetti 2014, our translation). At this point Casetti wonders whether or not all of this may still be called communication (see ibid.). This is, of course, a provocation and it gives birth to our desire to investigate the mechanisms behind these complex (concrete and abstract) objects in various interactional contexts, also linguistic, translatological, didactic, literary, and cultural. Screens create and implicate the presence of a space between all the parties involved, a space that can be enlarged or restricted through the use of different types of rhetoric. While on the one hand, they create protection, impediments, and blockage, on the other, screens also allow the creation of new relations and, at times unprecedented, connections. Continuer la lecture de Appel à contributions : Screens. Rhetorics of (dis)connection (Université de Milan)