Historiography in the Expanded Field

Session Convenor

Samuel Bibby, Association for Art History samuel@forarthistory.org.uk

Session Abstract

‘A Museum of Language in the Vicinity of Art’, Robert Smithson’s well-known intervention from 1968, sought to align the contemporary practice of artists’ writings with the production of art itself. Such a demarginalisation conceived the publication as a site, one that Rosalind Krauss would in turn come to define as an expanded field. This session intends to perform just such an action upon the discipline of art history. Whilst historiography is today a burgeoning mode of enquiry for the subject, the majority of work produced remains fundamentally textual in its focus; the material and visual nature of art history (as a combination of words and images) is all too often overlooked. An expanded field should thus extend beyond simply considering art history’s status as language – textual discourse – to incorporate alongside it the physical space of the page, and its role as an object in its own right: as both content and form. Such an operation is all the more important precisely because of the subject’s concern with questions of materiality and visuality in relation to the objects of its enquiry. Artists’ books and magazines have in recent years proved to be particularly fertile ground for art history; this session seeks similar approaches in relation to the production of art historians’ books and magazines.

Contributions reflecting the full chronological and geographical breadth of art history (in both print and digital forms) are encouraged, ones which, to expand upon Krauss, aim to present ‘an organisation of [historiographical] work that is not [merely] dictated by the conditions of a particular [textual] medium’.

To offer a paper
Please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenor, details above.

Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because it will appear online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenor.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 5 November 2018

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