Association for Art History | New Voices Art & Text

Association for Art History
New Voices 2019 | Art & Text
6 November 2019, University of Nottingham

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New Voices is the Association for Art History’s annual one-day conference for new postgraduate research about art, art history and visual culture.

Keynote Speaker: Azadeh Fatehrad, University of Leeds

The relationship between pictures and words is fundamental to culture. From illuminated manuscripts and printed books, to graphic design, film, and digital media, knowledge and expression has emerged through the complex interplay of verbal and visual forms.

Images give immediacy, depth, and nuance to written communication, mediating between text and reader, and acting as a means of negotiating narrative. Language is the primary agent used to interpret, contextualize, and critique pictorial construction and, more recently, literary theory has become a key analytical tool in art history.

With the ongoing growth of multi-modal structures of communication, in computer games, the internet, and virtual realities, the border between text and image has become increasingly blurred, and now, more than ever, the complementary, contradictory, and ambiguous connections between these modes of representation demands interrogation.  From the curation and display in galleries, to archival storage, and public dissemination on the internet, the categorisation of text -based images is continually modulating. How does the role of the curator as opposed to the maker effect the display and meaning making of a text-based piece? How do we understand and navigate the multiple contexts that encompass a work of art? How can we consider the display of text from a variety of viewpoints – the interrelation between other written and verbal media – including inscriptions, information panels, oral histories, artist biographies, social media interaction and criticism?


We welcome contributions from those working on any aspect of the wide-ranging and interdisciplinary themes of art and text. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Illustration and photography in print culture
  • Illuminated manuscripts, paleography, and book design
  • Comics, graphic novels, and visual narratives
  • Text and image in digital media, social media, and computer games
  • Text as an essential aspect of art production – art criticism, artist biographies, art theory and methodologies
  • Ekphrasis; art works as a subject of literature and literature as source material for art
  • Discontinuity and misinterpretation between word and image
  • Contested definitions (in theory and practice) and the institutional framework of art and text.
  • Text and power (the manipulation of text and image)
  • Symbols, semiotics, and semantics
  • Art historical writing as artistic practice
  • Font design and typographic art; uses of text as aesthetic phenomenon and visual material

Call for Papers is open to all postgraduate and doctoral researchers who are engaged with research around art, art history and visual culture and text.  We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers. Please email paper proposals of no more than 300 words, along with a 150-word biographical note by Friday 23 August 2019. Please send your proposals by email to with the email subject ‘New Voices Paper Proposal’.

Attendance to New Voices is open to all. Members of the Association receive discounted ticket prices, but anyone can propose a paper or attend the conference.

New Voices is organised by the Association for Art History’s Doctoral and Early Career Research (DECR) Committee. This year’s organisers are Lucy Mounfield (University of Nottingham) and Treena Warren (University of Sussex).

Image: ‘America. A Prophecy, Plate 6, “Appear to the Americans….”‘ by William Blake (1793), Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

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