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Annual Conference 2023

Heading Uptown:  Art and Activism in the Bronx

Unlike the southern portion of its sister borough to the south (Downtown Manhattan), the art and cultural production both created in and associated with New York City’s northern most municipality has gone largely unremarked upon in scholarly discourse. While there... Read More...

Documenting and Preserving the Undescribed

History of art and its categories, as a European framing, are being questioned by its insufficiency in addressing works based on distinct traditions and cosmogonies. When it comes to contemporary art production in the global south, history of art is... Read More...

Design Pedagogy Beyond Utopia: Modernism, Social Change and Everyday Life

Marking the centennial of the Bauhaus, the year 2019 witnessed a surge of exhibitions and scholarship on the history of the school, still considered the paragon of modern design pedagogy. Increasingly, however, accounts of the school disrupt the progressive aura... Read More...

Critical Histories of the Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts movement has long-been hailed for the radical shifts it generated and realised in artmaking and culture with its critique of the conditions and value of labour, design and ornament reforms, promotion of “truth” to materials, association... Read More...

Chance and Control Today

The diminishment of authorial intention has been a key tenet of artistic movements since the early twentieth century, the time that saw the emergence of artists experimenting with chance as a provocative source of creativity. Chance remains crucial as a... Read More...

A Common Ground? Exploring Class, Culture and Collections

Culture has a class crisis. Working-class people are under-represented within the cultural sector and further understanding is urgently needed to build a picture of how the arts and art history represent working-class identities to ensure that the stories told through... Read More...

Art, Empire and Nation

The sun has set on the British Empire. But, whilst the ‘high noon’ of Imperial Britain is decidedly over, it casts a long shadow. In 2020, BlackLivesMatter protestors toppled the statue of seventeenth century slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol.... Read More...

Against the Nation: Rethinking Canadian Art History in the World

The history of Canadian art is a transnational history. Canadian art historiography, however, is strongly rooted in national narratives. As a settler-colonial nation, the country itself cuts across dispersed territories of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. Taken one way,... Read More...

Matter Matters:  The Aesthetics and Politics of Soil

Soil constitutes the world we live from and in. It is the foundation of all life, provides food and fuel, shapes landscapes and cities. It is an “inscribed body” and “scarred terrain” (Savvy Contemporary 2019), visualizes time and teaches us... Read More...

Art and Abortion

On May 2, 2022, a draft decision leaked from the US Supreme Court confirmed what many had feared: that the highest US court was set to overturn the 1973 decision Roe vs. Wade and roll back protections governing women’s rights.... Read More...

Photography and 21st Century Migration

The issue of migration is often portrayed with popular photographic motifs such as a group of people on the move or an overcrowded boat, but these kinds of images invariably oversimplify and do not address the complex circumstances of leaving... Read More...

Mongol Bling: From Xanadu to Tabriz to Venice

Stunning objects, wonderous new materials and technologies, and novel ideas constitute what was the shared Mongol taste for splendour across the four khanates that made up the Great Mongol State from its foundation by Genghis Khan (r. 1206-27) on the... Read More...

Visceral Journeys:  Art and Anatomy in Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture

This session seeks to explore the mobility of the visceral image in medieval and early modern Europe. It understands visceral as relating to bodily organs, to the inside of the body, but also as embodied emotion – as visceral response... Read More...

Picturing Infrastructure: or the infrastructure of Picturing

Art and art historians are irretrievably sunk into global infrastructures. Artists, photographers, engineers, surveyors, cartographers – both professional and amateur – have pictured the ‘infrastructural imaginary’ (Parks, 2015) on all continents. So, where infrastructure studies has emphasised invisibility, insofar as... Read More...

Queer Medievalisms in British Art

Recent work has interrogated the expression of alternate genders and sexualities in episodes of medievalism in British art, film, and literature. From Horace Walpole’s Gothic villa at Strawberry Hill to the art of Simeon Solomon and the films of Derek... Read More...

Rethinking Global Conceptualism

Almost 25 years ago, the exhibition Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s traced the “spontaneous” emergence of various practices across multiple localities, subsequently expanding the study of conceptual art beyond Anglo-American historiography. In the intervening decades, scholars have provided increasingly... Read More...

Remaking Femininity:  Women’s Portraiture in Modern Asian Art and Visual Culture

How is femininity represented in portraiture in modern Asian art and visual culture? What kinds of meanings do women carry as a subject matter? How does the portraiture of specific women represent their self-identity and social status? Usually interpreted as... Read More...

Transcultural Asia: Movement of Art & Ideas across Borders

“Transcultural Asia” examines the way in which the cross-cultural interactions among artists, collectors, and intellectuals across Asia, Europe, and the Americas contributed to the establishment of art movements in a global context from the seventeenth century to the present. It... Read More...

Victorian Colour Revolution: the Nineteenth Century Chromatic Turn

The nineteenth century is often perceived through a black-and-white filter, as a funereal age filled with coal pollution and bleak, working class slums. And yet, despite the prevailing monochrome understanding of the industrial age, this was a period in which... Read More...
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