Art Publishing, Periodicals and Printed Things – Call for Papers

Art Publishing, Periodicals and Printed Things
Conference: Thursday 30 June & Friday 1 July 2022
University of Northumbria

Energised by the post-digital publishing ecology of the past two decades, an expansive field of research has started to re-evaluate the significance of bookshops, presses, periodicals, and reader networks to the history of art in Britain and beyond. Studies have engaged with avant-garde magazines, artists’ bookworks, conceptual writing, scholarly journals, radical pamphlets and political zines, in seeking to comprehend how publishing about art, or as art, has shaped the histories of the discipline. Recognising that historiography has traditionally centred on the textual at the expense of thinking publications as objects, this conference encourages particular consideration of the visual, material and social qualities of print and digital publishing practices. Spanning time periods and geographies, it will reflect on the ways in which audiences access, encounter and engage with information, and how these encounters dynamically generate artistic, intellectual and political communities.

The conference invites proposals for 30-minute presentations from academics, writers, artists and practitioners. In addition, ample discussion points have been built into the programme to enable conversation and reflection between audience and panellists. Proposals should address the theme of ‘publishing, periodicals, and printed things’ in art history and culture. Papers that situate culture in a global context, or which investigate publishing’s relation to the politics of race, gender, sex and class, are especially encouraged.

Possible topics and themes:

  • Artist libraries, bookworks and experimental publishing
  • Art history periodicals and reader networks
  • British publishing networks in a transnational/global context
  • Flyers, pamphlets, zines, and the formation of alternative ‘scenes’
  • Art publishing across print and digital infrastructures
  • The revival of small-press and grassroots print media
  • Collecting and exhibiting art’s publishing histories
  • Experiences and effects of reading
  • The politics of academic publishing

Speakers and delegates will be invited to join the discussion at Northumbria University in Newcastle, where the conference will include further events, visits and film screenings. A full programme will be announced nearer the time.

Abstracts of 250 words should be emailed, along with a short biography, to by 5pm on Friday 4 February 2022.

Bursaries are available for unwaged and low-waged speakers, and creche facilities can be arranged. Please indicate on your proposal if needed.

This event is supported by the Association for Art History, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Northumbria University.