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Annual Conference 2023

Written in the Margins: Interpreting Early Modern Artistic Literature

Early modern artistic literature is a crucial source for the study of art between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. Treatise writers such as Vasari, Pacheco, Baldinucci, and Palomino were crucial to the construction and future interpretation of art and their... Read More...

Visualising Addiction

Experiences of addiction span human history and extend across all cultures. Yet it was not until 1877 that Eduard Levinstein published the first Western medical definition of addiction. Since then, our understanding of addiction has continued to evolve. From the... Read More...

Uttering: Magical and Alternative Spiritual Practices in Art

This session concentrates on modern and contemporary art’s enchantment with magic and esoteric themes. It does so at a moment when a presumed turn towards the numinous is recorded in various aspects of culture, which coalesces with philosophical re-evaluations of... Read More...

Romantic Legacies in the Twentieth Century

Against a backdrop of rapid industrialisation, the Romantic movement that emerged at the turn of the nineteenth-century upheld the fantastical possibilities of the imagination against the hard-edged reason of scientific empiricism, decried the wanton destruction of the natural world, and... Read More...

Picturing Wartime Sexual Violence Before Modernism

The ubiquity of sexual violence at times of military conflict has been recognised in a range of geopolitical contexts. Historically, the principal targets of wartime rape have been women and girls, nevertheless, victims can include men and boys or those... Read More...

Last Works 1500 – 2000

Art history is, most often, a history of beginnings. Its art historical chronologies invoke a history of firsts: first artists, first artworks, first movements. Classification and periodization often accord with an artist’s life, and acts of initiation and points of... Read More...

Media and Militarism

Confronted with the televised spectacle of Operation Desert Storm during the American war in Iraq in the early 1990s, Hal Foster described experiencing “a thrill of technomastery.” For the art historian, footage drawn from cameras mounted on missiles and new... Read More...

Feral Objects:  A Proposition for a Speculative Animism

For The Milk of Dreams (Venice Biennale 2022), curator Cecilia Alemani posed a series of questions about the nature of humanity and ensuing future responsibilities, asking ‘what would life look like without us?’ For the British Art Show 9 2021/22,... Read More...

Digital Medievalism

This session will discuss the benefits and advantages (or disadvantages) modern technology can bring to the field of medieval studies. Digital technologies have created new methodologies for the humanities. With the help of three-dimensional scanning, for example, researchers can “visit”... Read More...

Deconstructing Russian Imperialist Aesthetics: Repression, Resistance, and Representation in the Long Nineteenth Century

In Imperial Russia, as well as during the Soviet and post-Soviet periods, artists from across the empire (and later, the U.S.S.R.) were claimed by centralising state cultural policy as “Russian” with little or no acknowledgment of regional specificity. Yet many... Read More...

Conflicts, Disputes and Protest in Pre-Modern Print and Visual Culture

From engravings capturing scenes of war and destruction, to posters campaigning for socio-political causes, or even copper plates exchanged between families to settle financial disagreements, this session seeks to explore the full range of scenarios in which the themes of... Read More...

Art and Populism

As a political concept, ‘populism’ gained traction over the 2010s to describe governments that reject pluralism and exclude among ethnic, religious and political lines. Yet this discussion has far deeper roots within philosophical debate. Several theorists have offered alternative understandings... Read More...

Toward a Media History of Art and Design Education

Instructional forms function surreptitiously, as actors that help determine subjectivity. Yet we rarely think about how ordinary classroom tools actually circumscribe the ideas and practices that come across to students, let alone how these tools convey ideologies or inscribe power... Read More...

Watery Circulations in the Early Modern World

This session explores how early modern water enabled and resisted the circulation of objects, makers, and ideas. Recent work across the humanities has highlighted the role of water and, in particular, the sea in history. So-called blue humanities are foregrounding... Read More...

Animal Drag

Animal Drag is a proposition for art and design that consciously and critically engages with or performs aspects of nonhuman animals. For example, when the feminist artists and activists, the Guerrilla Girls, adorn their gorilla masks in order to retain their... Read More...

Vizazi vingi:  Tanzanian Modern & Contemporary Art in Regional & Globalising Art Worlds

Recently, artists born in Tanzania or with a Tanzanian affiliation have been gaining new levels of recognition in international exhibitions, heritage initiatives and art historical discourse. This includes practitioners from different generations who use diverse visual media, some of whom... Read More...

Scales of Landscape, 1750-1900

This panel invited contributions about the different scales —spatial, historical, social —at which landscape representation operated between 1750 and 1900. Natural historical thought in this period transited between, on the one hand, the minute and the infinitely small, and on... Read More...

Participatory Needlework as Tangible and Intangible Heritage

   Since the start of the twenty-first century, there has been a resurgence of interest in participatory textile processes (Shercliff and Holroyd 2020). Needlework groups are emerging as knots in a supranational art movement. A 'textiles turn' has occurred that... Read More...

New Art and New Arts of Government:  Artistic Form and Authoritarian Liberalisms in the 1970s

At the outset of the 1970s, the onset of a global economic downturn, breakdown of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates, and rise of nationalisms among oil-producing Arab states, among other factors, produced a series of crises in... Read More...

Intersections:  Gender and Art in the Global South

Art has often been employed as a means to question (or conversely normalise) latent power relationships in society and to consider how difference is socially constructed. Artists who work from a position of gendered identities in particular have grappled with... Read More...
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