Association for Art History’s Annual Conference
Courtauld Institute of Art & King’s College London
5 – 7 April 2018, London

Our 2018 Annual Conference for art history and visual culture was co-hosted by the Courtauld Institute of Art and King’s College London and was our largest conference to date. The 3 day programme of 40 sessions, over 300 papers, and keynotes responded to the idea of ‘looking outwards’, and engaged with art history in the broadest sense.

This international academic conference incorporated an ambitious range of perspectives and research about art, art history, visual culture. The conference presents a unique opportunity to engage with new and emerging research from academics, students, researchers, curators, artists and cultural organisations.

Thanks to everyone who made this year’s event so successful and enjoyable; the organisers, conference assistants, session convenors, speakers and of course our supporters, Art Fund, Courtauld Research Forum, Kings College London, Prestel and Wiley.

The 2018 Annual Conference included a Bookfair for publishers and exhibitors, as well as a special lunchtime Festival on Friday 6 April, which featured workshops, music, discussions and visits.

If you have any questions regarding the Annual Conference look at the FAQs on our booking page.

Sessions & Papers

40 parallel sessions will take place over the 3 days, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each session will include up to 8 papers. There will be over 300 papers presented over the 3 days. Each session runs for one-day only (there are no sessions that span multiple days). If you have any questions regarding sessions look at the FAQs.

View and download session timetables for each day:

Session timetable | Thursday 5 April

Session timetable | Friday 6 April

Session timetable | Saturday 7 April

View and download Session & Paper abstracts for each day:

Session & Paper abstracts | Thursday 5 April

Session & Paper abstracts | Friday 6 April

Session & Paper abstracts | Saturday 7 April


A Bacchanal of Truth Art and Law: Objects and Spaces as Legal Actors Art and Religion: Theology, the sacred, and visual culture Art, Craft, Science and Industry in Postcolonial Historiographies Asia through Exhibition Histories Aural Affects and Effects: Explicit and implicit sounds and rhythms in contemporary visual media Beyond Boundaries: Artistic inquiries into borders and their meaning(s) Beyond Disciplinary Borders: History of science and history of art Body as Architecture/ Architecture as Body Contemporary Art Histories Critical Pedagogies: What constitutes ‘critical’ pedagogy for art and art history today? Dada Data: Contemporary art practice in the era of post-truth politics Dangerous Bodies – Look out! Fashioned bodies on the boundaries Dangerous Portraits in the Early Modern World Deskilling or the Displacement of Skill: Artistic production outside of the studio Dialogues: Things and Their Collectors Difficult Conversations: Collaborative art practices across political divides Figuring Change: The early modern artistic reception of Ovid’s Metamorphoses Framing Space through Architecture and Film From the Phoenicians to the Celts: Toward a global art and architectural history of the ancient Mediterranean Global Perspectives on Surrealism HIV in Visual Culture: Looking to interdisciplinary approaches and global histories In/visibility and Influence: The impact of women artists and their work Interdisciplinary Entanglements: Towards a ‘visual medical humanities’ Just Looking? Art, pedagogy & the object lesson in the long 19th century Lesbian Constellations: Feminism’s queer art histories Look out! The Comintern’s about! Rereading 20th-century globalisation before 1939 Looking Out and In: Reflecting, remaking and reimagining historical interiors from contemporary viewpoints Medieval Eurabia: Religious crosspollinations in architecture, art and material culture during the High and Late Middle Ages (1000–1600) Pop Art and Design Remembering and Forgetting the Enlightenment Seeing and Hearing the ‘Beyond’: Art, music, and mysticism in the long 19th century Soundscapes: New challenges, new horizons Speaking Out: Siting the voice in contemporary Asian art Textility The National in Discourses of Sculpture in the Long Modern Period (c. 1750–1950) The Politics and Aesthetics of Error The Weaver’s Workshop: Materiality, craft and efficacies in the art of tapestry Towards an Aesthetics of Geology in the Age of Anthropocene

Tickets & Booking

The Association for Art History’s Annual Conference is open to members and non-members. However, members of the Association for Art History receive preferential rates. We also offer concessionary rates on full conference tickets (proof of concessionary status may be requested at delegate registration)

All tickets include refreshments and access to sessions, the Bookfair, keynote lectures and receptions. Please note that tickets exclude lunch, accommodation and visits.

Early Bird Tickets (booking before 9 March 2018)
Book online

£300 – Full conference (3 days)
£200 – Full conference (3 days) for members of Association for Art History
£130 – Full conference (3 days) student/concession £130
£100 – Full conference (3 days) for student/concession members of Association for Art History
£180 – Day delegate
£160 – Day delegate for members of Association for Art History

Standard Tickets (booking after 9 March 2018)

£355 – Full conference (3 days)
£255 – Full conference (3 days) for members of Association for Art History
£185 – Full conference (3 days) for student/concession
£155 – Full conference (3 days) for student/concession members of the Association for Art History
£235 – Day delegate
£215 – Day delegate member £215

Online booking for the Annual Conference is processed through out Eventbrite page, where you can also find FAQs about ticket and booking options.

Keynotes & Receptions

Thursday 5 April 2018
18.00 – 19.00 Opening Keynote  – Sonia Boyce, MBE, RA, (artists and Professor of Black Art and Design at University of the Arts London) in conversation with Dorothy Price (Editor, Art History and Reader in History of Art at the University of Bristol).
19.00 – 20.30 Drinks Reception, The Courtauld Gallery. Free but ticketed, delegates must pre-book via Eventbrite.

Friday 6 April 2018
18.30 – 19.30 Keynote Lecture –  Tristram Hunt (Director of the V&A) ‘V&A: The Civic and the Global’
19.30 – 20.30 Drinks Reception – Bush House roof terrace. Free but ticketed, delegates must pre-book via Eventbrite.

Saturday 7 April 2018
13.30 – 14.30 Closing Keynote Lecture – Griselda Pollock (Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (CENTRECATH) at the University of Leeds), ‘Looking Back to Look Forward: Looking in to Look Out. Anxious Thoughts for Dark Times.’

You can view and download all Keynote Speaker biogs (pdf)
Keynotes and receptions are free and open to all registered conference delegates and bookfair exhibitors.

Timetable & Programme

See below an overview of the 3 day conference. Sessions and keynotes will take place everyday on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. View and download the full programme (pdf)

Thursday 5th April 2018

08.30 – 17.00 Registration at The Courtauld Institute of Art (Somerset House)
11.00 – 18.00 Book Fair & Exhibitors (King’s College London, Strand Campus)

09.50 – 10.00 Opening remarks from Session Convenor(s)
10.00 – 17.25 Academic Sessions (Courtauld Institute of Art & King’s College London)
17.25 – 17.35 Closing remarks from Session Convenor(s)

11.15 – 11.40 Refreshments and networking
13.00 – 14.30 Lunch break, networking, Bookfair and lunchtime activities
15.40 – 16.10 Refreshments and networking

18.00 – 19.00 Keynote Lecture, Sonia Boyce in conversation with Dorothy Price
19.00 – 20.30 Drinks Reception

Friday 6th April 2018

08.30 – 17.30 Registrationat The Courtauld Institute of Art (Somerset House)
09.00 – 17.30 Bookfair & Exhibitors (King’s College London, Strand campus)

09.20 – 09.30 Opening remarks from Session Convenor(s)
09.30 – 17.55 Academic Sessions (Courtauld Institute of Art & King’s College London)
17.55 – 18.05 Closing remarks from Session Convenor(s)

10.45 – 11.15 Refreshments and networking
12.30 – 15.00 Lunch, networking, Bookfair
16.15 – 16.45 Refreshments and networking

12.30 – 15.00 Festival (Courtauld Institute of Art & King’s College London)
(Discussions, demonstrations, talks, performances, visits to sites of interest)
18.30 – 19.30 Keynote Lecture, Tristram Hunt
19.30 – 20.30 Drinks Reception

Saturday 7th April 2018

08.30 – 13.00 Registration at The Courtauld Institute of Art (Somerset House)
09.00 – 15.00 Bookfair (King’s College London, Strand Campus)

09.20 – 09.30 Opening marks from Session Convenor
09.30 – 17.40 Academic Sessions (Courtauld Institute of Art & King’s College London)
17.40 – 17.50 Closing remarks from Session Convenor

10.45 – 11.15 Refreshments and networking
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch, networking, Bookfair
16.00 – 16.30 Refreshments and networking

13.30 – 13.40  Awards & Prizes presentation
13.40 – 14.30 Keynote Lecture, Griselda Pollock

18.00 – conference close

Festival & Visits

During the conference there will be opportunities for delegates to participate in a range of different things, including a one-off Conference Festival, visits and tours, as well as self-led options for local exhibitions.

Conference Festival

This year, for the first time, the Annual Conference will include a 3-hour lunchtime Festival on Friday 6 April. This will include performances, tours, exhibitions and workshops, as well as interest sessions on topical issues such as publishing, copyright and crowdsourcing knowledge. You can view and download the Festival Programme (pdf).

All visits and tours, as well as this year’s Festival, will be available to delegates as part of the Annual Conference Programme. The lunchtime Festival will also be open to members of the general public.

Conference Visits

Visits must be pre-booked prior to the conference. You will need to show your your visit booking confirmation at Registration.

Thursday 5 April

lunchtime tours: 1.15 – 2.15pm 
Free, but pre-booking necessary. max 30 people.
From housing the magnificent collections of England’s Stuart Queens, through William Chambers’ creation of a palace of the Arts, learning and bureaucracy in the 1770’s to the establishment of Somerset House Studios in 2017, throughout its history, Somerset House has been a great European centre for the exhibition, production and study of truly outstanding art and architecture. Delegates will have the opportunity to attend one of two tours of the site exploring this splendid legacy and considering the future of the site in the wake of the upcoming Courtauld Connects project. Choose option 1 or 2.

Thursday visit option 1 – A Palace for the Arts: Somerset House Yesterday

This tour will consider the history of the site from royal palace to palace of bureaucracy with a particular emphasis on the architecture of Sir William Chambers. The tour will include access to the Dead House, Nelson Stair, Model Room, Portico Room and Navy Commissioner’s Barge House – all areas not generally accessible to the public – and will conclude on the roof of the South Wing (weather permitting) with utterly spectacular views both of the building itself and downriver towards St Paul’s. Led by, Kyle Leyden, Courtauld Institute. Pre-book your ticket for this visit.

Thursday visit option 2 – A Palace for the Arts: Somerset House Today

In October 2017 Sadiq Khan opened the Somerset House Studios, a new creative and affordable workspace for artists and makers in the heart of London. The Studios is now home to 75 of the country’s most talented multi-disciplinary, experimental artists who are joined by Makerversity, a cooperative of over 200 designers, craftsmen, technicians and engineers. This tour will give exclusive access to the Studios and an opportunity for delegates to meet with several contemporary artists. Delegates will also be able to take a guided tour of the exhibitions on display in the Terrace Galleries and Great Arch Room. Led by Leonora Gummer, Somerset House Trust. Pre-book your ticket for this visit.

Meeting point: Registration desk in Seminar Room 4 at The Courtauld at 13.00
Start time of visit 1 and 2: 13.15. Finish time of visit 1 and 2: 14.15
Cost: Free. Max 30 people per tour.

Thursday visit Option 3 – The Classical Now

Join us for a curator-tour of The Classical Now exhibition at King’s College London, guided by Michael Squire (project-lead on the associated ‘Modern Classicisms’ project at King’s). The exhibition pairs the work of modern and contemporary artists with classical Greek and Roman antiquities, tracing the ways in which ancient art has captured and permeated the modern imagination. Alongside ancient Greek and Roman objects, The Classical Now exhibits work by Edward Allington, Pablo Bronstein, Léo Caillard, Jean Cocteau, Michael Craig-Martin, André Derain, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Damien Hirst, Alex Israel, Derek Jarman, Yves Klein, Louise Lawler, Christopher Le Brun, Roy Lichtenstein, George Henry Longly, Ursula Mayer, Henry Moore, Bruce Nauman, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Giulio Paolini, Grayson Perry, Frances Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Marc Quinn, Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley, Sacha Sosno, Mark Wallinger and Rachel Whiteread. During this Association tour, Michael Squire will explain the thinking behind the exhibition – and discuss how The Classical Now ties in with the Annual Conference’s provocation to ‘Look out!’.
Across two sites: Bush House Arcade, King’s College London & Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, King’s College London.
Pre-book your ticket for this visit.

Where and when to meet: Bush House Arcade at 13.15. We will move over to Somerset House together at c. 13:30
Start time of the visit: 13.15. Finish time of the visit: 14.15
Cost: Free. Max 25 people.

Friday 6 April

Lunchtime tour: 1.15 – 2.15pm
£10 contribution. pre-booking necessary. max 15 people.
Friday visit option 1: Sir John Soane’s Museum
This 60-minute tour of the eccentric townhouse built and owned by the preeminent neoclassical architect, Sir John Soane, covers both Soane’s professional career, his personal life, and his collecting habits. The tour of the ground and first floors visits the Picture Room to see Soane’s three paintings by Canaletto and two series by William Hogarth (The Election and The Rake’s Progress) and also covers such treasures as the fourteenth-century BC sarcophagus of Seti I and a maritime painting by JMW Turner. Please note that photography, food and drink are not allowed in the museum. Stiletto or narrow heels are not permitted due to the 200 year old wooden flooring. The tour takes place across several floors and delegates will be on their feet for the whole duration of the tour.
Pre-book your ticket for this visit.

Meeting point: Registration desk in Seminar Room 4 at The Courtauld at 12.45
Start time of the visit at the museum: 13.15. Finish time of the visit at the museum: 14.15
Cost: £10. Number of delegates: 15 delegates

Friday visit option 2: Jean Cocteau murals and Aubusson tapestry at The Église Notre-Dame de France

The Église Notre-Dame de France is a small Catholic Church on Leicester Place, originally consecrated in 1868 in a circular space previously used as an entertainment Panorama. Following bomb damage during the Second World War, the church was reconstructed and renovated. A Stations of the Cross cycle on Delft tiles was all that remained of the original artworks, and so between 1953 and 1959 a number of prominent modern artists were commissioned to help redecorate. We will look in particular at the murals in the Lady Chapel by Jean Cocteau and the magnificent Aubusson tapestry by Dom Robert. Overlapping with some key themes of this year’s conference, notably the sessions on Art and Religion and The Weaver’s Workshop, this will be an opportunity to consider the tensions and productive relationships between modernity, Catholicism, traditionalism and revivalism.
Pre-book your ticket for this visit.

Meeting point: Information Desk, King’s Building, King’s College London at 12.45
Start time of the visit at the museum: 13.15. Finish time of the visit at the museum: 14.15
Cost: Free. Number of delegates: 15 delegates

Bookfair & Exhibitors

The Bookfair is a key part of our Annual Conference programme. It is open to a range of different exhibitors, including academic publishers,independent publishers, magazines and other educational or cultural organisations and businesses who are keen to engage with those researching or practicing art history. The Bookfair is a perfect occasion for exhibitors to engage directly with delegates who are at the forefront of today’s art history and visual culture.

Find out more about exhibiting or attending the Bookfair.

Delegate Information & App

Here is some information that you may find useful to look at ahead of the event. There are also FAQs on the Annual Conference Eventbrite page.

Conference App
Delegates can download and access the 2018 Annual Conference app on to their phone, tablet or PC.
You will need to download Guidebook app first via an appstore or search. Once you have this on your device you will be able to use a code below to access the conference app.

Get our guide here: https://guidebook.com/g/forarthistory2018

Android and iOS users:

  1. Tap the “Download” button to download the free Guidebook app
  2. Open Guidebook and you can find our “Association for Art History Conference 2018” guide
  3. Tap “Enter passphrase” and enter forarthistory2018 to download our guide


All pre-booked delegates will need to register on arrival to pick up a badge, programme and pack. Registration will take place at the Courtauld Institute of Art (Somerset House) during the following times:

Thursday 5 April 08.30 – 17.00
Friday 6 April 08.00 – 17.00
Saturday 7 April 08.00 – 15.00

Minimal luggage may be left at Registration, Thurs 09.00 – 17.30, Fri 8.00 – 17.30, Sat 8.00 – 16.00. Sessions and keynotes will take place in King’s, Courtauld and Bush House.


Conference delegates must book and pay for their own accommodation. Here are some useful links.










There are no car parking facilities at King’s or Courtauld. Some hotels may offer car parking. There is a pay and display parking system in operation in nearby streets including Surrey Street.


Tea and coffee will be available during the morning and afternoon breaks on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Pre-booked Grab&Go lunch bags will be available on Friday, these will cost £10 and those who have pre-booked lunch will be given a lunch token at registration.  There are plenty of places to get lunch nearby. Delegates should arrange their own evening meals and are encouraged to book tables.



Temple (District and Circle lines): 2 minute walk. Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines): 10 minute walk, Embankment (District, Circle and Bakerloo lines): 10 minute walk, Waterloo (Jubilee, Northern, Bakerloo, Waterloo & City lines): 12 minute walk, Holborn (Central and Picadilly lines): 12 minute walk, Chancery Lane (Central line): use exit 4 – 15 minute walk.


Charing Cross: 9 minute walk. Waterloo: 12 minute walk. Waterloo East: 10 minute walk. Blackfriars: 12 minute walk.


Buses stopping outside the university: 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 76, X68, 168, 171, 172, 176 (24 hour), 188, 243 (24 hour), 341 (24 hour), 521, RV1.

A shuttle bus service is available for staff and students (carrying their college ID) wishing to travel between the Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital sites, the latter also being within walking distance of Waterloo and the Strand. The pick-up and drop-off points are:

  • at St Thomas’, the lower-ground car park opposite the Florence Nightingale Museum
  • at Guy’s Campus, on Great Maze Pond on the lay-by to the Bloomfield Clinic.

AV and Printing

All session rooms will include an overhead projector with screen. Sound and internet will be available in all session rooms. WiFi will be available via the Cloud and Eduroam.

Speakers should bring their presentation on either a USB drive and use Powerpoint or equivalent (and a printed copy if necessary). Additional technical requirements must be confirmed with the Conference Coordinator by 10 March 2018. We cannot guarantee access to a printer or photocopier on site.

Other Useful Information

Conference proceedings may be photographed and filmed for media use by the Association for Art History, Courtauld and King’s. You can find more FAQs on the Eventbrite page. You can find out about how we collect and use your data via our terms and conditions page.