Statement on our Annual Conference

To Members of the Association for Art History Community:

We are sharing two decisions we have made in relation to the 2022 Annual Conference.

As you may know, we had planned the 2022 conference as an in-person event. We also stated that we would closely monitor the situation with regards to Covid-19, as well as any travel practicalities to help inform a decision as to whether we proceed with these plans or move the conference to a solely digital format.

After careful consideration of the risks and benefits of holding an in-person versus digital conference, we have decided to move the 2022 Annual Conference online. The near-term future of the Omicron variant and potential travel restrictions remain too uncertain to rely on our ability to present an in-person event that delegates would be comfortable or even able to attend.

The dates and timings of the conference and sessions will remain the same: 6-8 April. We have also decided to maintain ticket pricing at our current discounted early bird rates. (Therefore, if you have already purchased a ticket this will automatically transfer from an in-person to a digital participation ticket.)

You may also be aware that our partner, Goldsmiths, University of London, has been ‘grey listed’ by the UCU (University and College Union) in response to the College’s plan to eliminate 46 staff positions to help solve its operating deficit. The grey listing asks members and those in the international academic community to, among other things, refuse to speak at or organise academic events at the university and to relocate any events scheduled to take place at Goldsmiths. We stand in strong solidarity with our members there and will not host the Annual Conference in partnership with the institution. We are, therefore, taking the highly unusual step of presenting our conference independent of a university affiliation.

One of our keynote speakers for the conference will be Irit Rogoff, Professor of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths. We will keep our commitment to her as the grey listing does not call for other organisations to sever ties with university staff, and we do not want any individual academic to be disadvantaged by the action.

We will provide further information in due course.

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