everybody – a political iconography

‘Everybody’ refers to a type of figure used in films and photography, but also in political popularisation processes and advertising or in the internet, to appeal to “all of us” and to testify to the truth or reality of what is portrayed.
In this project we are aiming to draw up a cultural-historical iconography of the figure of everybody (which is also the nobody, the common man, the common women, the girl next door) with a particular focus on its more recent history. We are locating exemplary figures of the everybody in a longer tradition of political-democratic figures of popularisation that began with the change towards potential republican or democratic political systems in the 18th and 19th centuries. Finally we are critically and comparatively discussing current philosophical conceptualisations of the everybody as a figure of thought for the diagnosis of the present (for example in the work by René Girard, Giorgio Agamben, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Friedrich Kittler or Michel de Certeau) as they appear in relation to the examples of visual culture being studied.
By completing these goals we are analysing the mediating, socialising and mobilising role the figure of the everybody exercises in a contemporary context, marked by increasing mobile, plural and often transitory group-building processes, by a celebration of ‘individual initiative’ and a pronounced scepticism vis à vis the universal.
The project receives funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (2015–2018).

For project results, please see the following books/ articles (selection):

Anna Schober, „Everybody. Figuren ‚wie Sie und ich‘ und ihr Verhältnis zum Publikum in historischem und medialem Umbruch. In: Jörn Ahrens, York Kautt and Lutz Hieber (eds.), Kampf um Images, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2014, 241–270.

Anna Schober, “Everyday Life“. In: Kathrin Fahlenbrach, Martin Klimke and Joachim Scharloth (eds.), Protest Cultures: A Companion Vol. 1: Elements of Protest, New York: Berghahn Books, 2016, 294–303.

Anna Schober, „Jenseits von progressiv versus konservativ. Nicht-konformistische Geschlechterinszenierungen und der neoliberale Zeitgeist“. In: INDES. Zeitschrift für Politik und Gesellschaft, Themenheft „(Non-)Konformismus“, No. 3/2016, 43–54.

Anna Schober, „Erotik, Gewalt und Folklore: Die Inszenierung geschlechtlicher und ethnischer Differenz im jugoslawischen Kino um 1968“. In: Aylin Basaran, Julia B. Köhne, Christina Wieder and Klaudija Sabo (eds.), Sexualität und Widerstand. Internationale Filmkulturen und Literaturen, Vienna: Mandelbaum Verlag 2018, 207–226.

Anna Schober (ed.), Popularisation and Populism through the Visual Arts: Attraction Images, London and New York: Routledge (Arts and Visual Culture Series) 2019 (in print).

Anna Schober, „Particular faces with universal appeal: A genealogy and typology of everybodies”. In: The same (ed.), Popularisation and Populism through the Visual Arts: Attraction Images, London and New York: Routledge (Arts and Visual Culture Series) 2019 (in print).

Anna Schober, „Introduction“. In: The same (ed.), Popularisation and Populism through the Visual Arts: Attraction Images, London and New York: Routledge (Arts and Visual Culture Series) 2019 (in print).

Anna Schober, „Un uomo di strada diventa un leader populista: Arriva John Doe (Capra 1941) come riflessione cinematografica sul ruolo degli ‘uomini qualunque’ nei processi politici“. In: Cinema e Storia, No. 1/ 2019, Sonderheft Cinema e populismo. Forme, immaginari e genealogie condivise (in print).

Anna Schober and Brigitte Hipfl (eds.), Wir und die Anderen: Visuelle Kultur zwischen Aneignung und Ausgrenzung, Cologne: Herbert von Halem Verlag 2019 (in print).

Anna Schober, „Als italienisch durchgehen. Passagen und Posen des globalen Dolce Vita Mythos“. In: the same and Brigitte Hipfl (eds.), Wir und die Anderen: Visuelle Kultur zwischen Aneignung und Ausgrenzung, Cologne: Herbert von Halem Verlag 2019 (in print).