VI Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture


 June 27 – July 2


The VI Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture addresses the role of visual regimes in the creation of meaning, in the refashioning of identity, in organizing the political, long before the awareness that the social is increasingly being constructed in visual terms. The very process of modernization, from the late 18th century onwards and more so later with the development of reproducible technologies, is deeply entangled with a transformation of optical regimes, that is, ways of seeing that impact ways of doing and the fashioning of identity. Even the hailed ‘visual turn’ was coined many decades before the visual euphoria of the 1990s, when in 1924 Hungarian theoretician Béla Balász described a ‘visual turn’ which spoke to the impact of film on culture.

The Summer School wishes to focus on the longue durée of the visual construction of the cultural by inviting a reflection on transvisuality. Because visual practices are unavoidably comparative, and visuality, i.e. the semiotic and cultural system that structures the way visual artifacts are produced, interpreted and disseminated works across dialogue and hybridity, through citation, borrowing and adaptation, a discussion of the cultural process of visualization is best understood through a comparative strategy, such as that of transvisuality.

The circulation of images under the aegis of modernity has not only changed modes of production, but also modalities of reception, aesthetic forms and cultural environments. It has also made us aware that the way we see and what we see are not singular acts built on biological determination, but depend heavily on cultural frames, which are unstable, situated and comparative.

This is a process that is deeply complex, and certainly ambiguous and contradictory, because visual regimes may support a democratic or authoritarian gaze; repression or resistance; de-individualization or singularity; tradition or transformation. Located precisely at the intersection where the national and the cosmopolitan collide, and where situated comparison between systems, genres, institutional and technical relations, and modes of viewing contribute to a deeper, if more complex, understanding of visual culture, transvisuality both refers to and invites a conversation between visual practices.

The Summer School invites proposals by doctoral students and post-docs that address, though may not be not be strictly limited to, the topics below:

  • The globalization of images
  • Visual economies
  • Transvisuality and citizenship
  • Global streaming: production and technological deterritorialization
  • The right to look and the streaming of images
  • How much comparison can there be in images of atrocity?
  • Transvisual modernity/ Transvisual modernisms
  • Photography and the birth of the modern habitus
  • Gender and transvisuality
  • Film and authoritarianism
  • The civil contract of images
  • Film as industry (Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood) and the (re)fashion of the nation
  • Fleeting images in advertising and television
  • Image critique and emancipation
  • Transvisuality and the critique of national film
  • World Cinemas
  • The visual after the end of sight.


  • Peter Greenaway
  • Isabel Capeloa Gil (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
  • Pepita Hesselberth (University of Leiden)
  • Daniel Blaufuks (Lisbon-based artist)
  • Claudia Benthien (University of Hamburg)
  •  Nicholas Mirzoeff (NYU)
  • Eric Rentschler (Harvard University)
  • Anton Kaes (Berkeley)
  • Ana  Gabriela Macedo
  • Nelson Ribeiro
  • Carla Ganito



The Lisbon Consortium will award two prizes:

  • Best Paper Award for a Lisbon Consortium student (travel grant for the 2016/2017 academic year)
  • Best Paper Award for an external student (Fee waiver for the Lisbon Summer School 2017)


Due to a partnership with FLAD – Luso-American Foundation for Development, the Summer School will provide travel and accommodation grants for doctoral candidates based at American universities and flying from to the US. To apply for the bursary send us a paper proposal and your full CV until January 31.


Organizing Committee

  • Isabel Capeloa Gil
  • Peter Hanenberg
  • Alexandra Lopes
  • Paulo de Campos Pinto
  • Diana Gonçalves
  • Clara Caldeira