2020 Annual Conference

1 – 3 April 2020

Newcastle University & Northumbria University

In 2020, Newcastle University and Northumbria University will co-host the Association for Art History’s 46th Annual Conference. The 2020 Annual Conference will be held across both campuses in the city centre and will include many opportunities to explore the vibrant cultural landscape of the North East of England. In addition to academic sessions and research papers, we anticipate that the 2020 Annual Conference will include a mix of events including artists’ film screenings, performances, roundtable discussions, and local visits.

The Annual Conference is open to all. Members receive a discount but you do not need to be a member to present or propose a session or paper, or attend.

Both universities have firm roots in the studio practice of art. Conference sessions will engage with research and the relationship between theory, history, and practice. Newcastle and Northumbria have different histories through the nineteenth-century art department and mid-twentieth-century polytechnic college, which trace the evolution of art education and its intersections with other disciplines, including cultural studies, design, film, and fashion.

Annual Conference panel sessions will comprise of six, 25-minute papers, presented over a single day, and may accommodate alternative session formats, such as film screenings and open discussions.

Session listings appear below, or you can download a pdf version of sessions.

The 2020 Annual Conference is a partnership event which is co-organised by
Association for Art History – Claire Davies and Cheryl Platt
Newcastle University – Fiona Anderson and Northumbria University – Victoria Horne


Working Together to Expand the Pool of Art History Students  ‘What’s love got to do with it?’ Queer-feminist desires in researching and writing art histories Walking on Images Troubling Borders: Art worlds in sites of conflict Toxic Masculinity (Classical to Contemporary) Theatre, Art, and Visual Culture in the 19th Century The Visual Politics of Independent Print Media in the Twentieth Century The Real Price: Between art and the (art) market The Institutionalisation of Critique? – Artists’ interventions in the field of heritage ‘The Book of the Future’: Photobooks between disciplines Representing the Nation: The historic and continuing role of national art institutions ‘Queer’ ‘British’ ‘Art’? – Theory and practice since 1970 Portraiture in Digital Culture Political Appropriations Museum for the Global Majority: Expanding the limits of museum practice Matter, (Im)materials and Materiality: On the life of digital artworks Material/Immaterial: The lives (and afterlives) of objects Jewish Visual Culture in Modern Europe (c.1840–1940) Hybrid Marines From Keeper to Maker: British curatorial practices Exploring the Plurality of Artists’ Practices: Artists as dealers and agents Exploring Diversity in Public Sculpture Early Modern Tolerance Cyclical Classical: Rebirths, renaissances, and reinventions of antiquity Creative Cartographies and Inherited Aesthetics: Craft, tradition and labour in contemporary fine art practices Craft and War Climates of Colonialism Changing Approaches to Histories of British Art, 1660–1735 Art, Obscurity, and the Politics of Rescue Art, Labour and Inequality: Interdisciplinary perspectives Art into Pop (Redux) Art History, Theory and Practice for an Ecological Emergency Art Disputes: Conflict and competition across the ages Afrotropes as an Analytical Framework to Expand Art Historical Methodologies of the Black Atlantic? A Foreign Eye: Interwar European photographers abroad


EARLY BIRD TICKETS  – book by 31 December 2019
book online

£310     3 day ticket

£205    3 day ticket for members

£140     3 day ticket for concessions*

£120     3 day ticket for concessionary members

£125     1 day ticket

£95      1 day ticket for members

£75      1 day ticket for concessions*

£55      1 day ticket for concessionary members

Doctoral and Early Career Researchers can also apply for conference bursaries.

Book your early bird ticket online before 31 December

STANDARD TICKETS – booked after 1 January 2020

£370     3 day ticket

£245    3 day ticket for members

£165     3 day ticket for concessions*

£140     3 day ticket for concessionary members

£150     1 day ticket

£115      1 day ticket for members

£90      1 day ticket for concessions*

£70      1 day ticket for concessionary members

*concessions apply to students and those with an annual income below £20,000.
Tickets include access to all conference sessions, keynotes and receptions, and includes buffet lunch on Thursday 2 April. The ticket does not include lunch on Wednesday 1 and Friday 3 April, accommodation and parking. Some visits may charge.



We are delighted to announce the following keynote speakers:

Lynda Nead, Pevsner Professor of History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London.

Courtney J Martin,  Director of the Yale Center for British Art.

Geoffrey Batchen, is currently Professor of Art History at Victoria University of Wellington, but will become Professor of History of Art at the University of Oxford in January 2020.

There will also be an artists’ performance with Maria Fusco


On Wednesday 1 April there will be a networking brunch at Baltic39 and in the evening the Laing Art Gallery will host a reception and exhibition view.

On Thursday 2 April delegates are invited to a lunchtime Bookfair reception (with complimentary buffet lunch).

On Friday 3 April there will be refreshments after the morning keynote, and closing drinks accompanied by an artists’ performance.

You can find out more about the current and potential networking opportunities at the Annual Conference here.


You will find an overview of the three-day conference programme here.

A full programme of sessions and papers will be available from January 2020 once all papers have been accepted and paper abstracts received.

In our continued efforts to reduce waste and unnecessary printing and production, the 2020 Annual Conference will not print a paper programme, all information will be stored and made available to delegates digitally. We will however, print a limited number of session timetable for delegates who request them. You will be asked whether you want a printed timetable when you book your ticket.


In addition to the programme of sessions, papers, keynotes and receptions, delegates we will also have an opportunity to engage with a number of fringe activities.

These will include a performance with artist Maria Fusco, film screenings, an exhibition about fine art pedagogy, and multiple gallery and archive tours. There will also be time in the programme for delegates to network and do their own thing.


You will find information about the 2020 Bookfair here.

The 2020 Bookfair will take place on Thursday 2 April at Northumbria University. There will be a special lunchtime bookfair reception with complimentary lunch on the same day.

Publishers and organisations wishing to exhibit can book online before 17 January 2020.



Questions about proposing and presenting papers

Do I need to be a member to attend or propose or present a session/paper?
You do not need to be a member to attend or propose or present a paper or session. Our Annual Conferences, like all our events, are open to everyone. However, members of the Association do receive a discounted ticket price, but standard tickets apply for individuals and concessions (see FAQs about ticket prices and eligibility below).

Can I propose papers for more than one session?
Yes you can propose multiple papers, but you can only present a paper in one session. So if your paper is accepted for more than one session you will need to choose which session you want to present in.

Can I convene a session and present a paper?
You can present a paper in your own session, but not in another session.

Questions about tickets, paying and eligibility 

Do speakers and convenors have to pay to attend?
All delegates, including speakers and convenors must pay to attend (which is standard practice for many academic conferences). There are no specific tickets for speakers and convenors. If you are a speaker or convenor choose the ticket option that applies to you. For example, if you are a student and speaker then opt for the student/concession ticket.

Why is the conference ticketed in this way?
The Association for Art History is a charity and our Annual Conference is run as a sustainable event. Because we often work with University conference offices, who charge us commercial rates, we need to cover event costs, such as venue hire, catering, security, technical and facilities. We ensure that our Annual Conference tickets are comparable to, or cheaper than, similar academic conferences. We keep ticket prices as low as possible and consistent year on year if we can. Conference ticket prices are often determined in relation to the commercial charges that we have to pay to deliver the event.

What does my ticket cover?
Your Annual Conference ticket includes access to all sessions, keynotes, receptions and conference fringe activities. The ticket also includes morning and afternoon refreshments, buffet lunch on Thursday 2 April, some visits and access to the bookfair. Tickets do not include lunch on Wednesday 1 April and Friday 3 April, evening meals, accommodation, parking and paying visits.

Can I pay to attend just one session/paper?
Whilst we aim to make the event as flexible and accessible as possible for people we currently only offer day-rate options, not tickets for single sessions or papers.

If I want to come for one day only should I specify which day?
Yes please. You should chose the one day ticket for the day you require.

Am I eligible for a member ticket if my institution has organisational membership?
Yes, if you are one of the named people attached to the organisational membership.

Am I eligible for a concession ticket?
Concessionary tickets apply to delegates, convenors and speakers who are students or have an annual income below £20,000. You may be asked to provide proof of your concessionary status when you register at the event.

Will I receive an actual ticket?
You should receive booking confirmation by email (check your spam folders as well as your primary inbox). We encourage you to keep a copy of this booking for your records and reference. When you arrive at Registration at the Annual Conference your name will be checked on a list of bookers and you will be given your delegate badge and any additional information that you have requested.

Questions about support and provisions

Do you offer any conference grants or bursaries?
Yes we offer a number of bursaries for Doctoral and Early Career Researchers wishing to attend the conference. There are competitive bursaries and allocated on basis of highest need for support. We also run a grants scheme for which members of the association are eligible to apply for support of up to £1000 towards research, professional practice and teaching and learning of art history, under which conference attendance is applicable.

Can you provide me with a letter of support/invitation for my visa application?
If you are a confirmed speaker or convenor at the Annual Conference then yes we can provide letters for use for visa application. We do not issue visa letters for delegates who are not convening a session or presenting a paper in a session.

Do you provide printed copies of the Conference Programme?
In our continued efforts to make the conference as environmentally friendly as possible and to reduce waste where possible, we try to limited what we print and produce. 2020 Annual Conference will see further reductions in printed materials, including a printed programme. We encourage all delegates to use the digital versions of the programme and timetable, but we can provide printed copies if requested.

Can I bring a guest to see my session/paper only?
Anyone attending the conference needs to purchase an appropriate ticket and be registered. This is not just our policy but increasingly important in terms of knowing who’s at the event and on the premises at any one time.

Will papers be translated and/or delivered in different languages?
Because this is a UK based academic conference papers are usually delivered in English unless specific arrangements have been made for a translator to be present or the paper to be made available in another language as the request of the speaker or convenor.

Will transcripts of papers be made available after the conference?
We do not currently make available transcripts of papers before or after the event largely because there are so many of them (often over 300) and also because many of the research papers presented are part of an individual’s research practices, and therefore their own intellectual property. The Association for Art History does not own the research presented at the Annual Conference.

How can I contact the organisers with any questions?
For Annual Conference booking enquiries, and other questions, please contact the Association for Art History main office, details for which you’ll find online at www.forarthistory.org.uk

Questions about refunds and cancellations

What is the refund policy?
We offer a 30 day full refund policy up until 1 March 2020. No refunds will be made after 1 March. Cancellations made beyond this date will be non-refundable, but pre-paid bookings may be transferable to the next Annual Conference depending upon circumstances.

Questions about the Conference experience and who the event is for

What is the Annual Conference like?
The conference prides itself on promoting broad and inclusive art history from within and outside of the UK.

Taking place over 3 days, the international annual academic conference hosts around 35- 40 panel sessions and around 300 research papers within different panels. Research papers are about art, art history and visual culture, but cover many different topics, periods, practices and fields of research.

There are also keynotes presented by prominent people involved in arts, humanities and culture. Keynotes are often followed by evening drinks receptions. The conference includes a fringe programme of sessions focused on areas of professional development or practice, local visits & tours, workshops, film screens and exhibitors.

The Annual Conference hosts international research and delegates from all around the world. Delegates are often university or college academics, curators, researchers, doctoral and post-doctoral students, artists and other practitioners and anyone else with a research interest in art history and visual culture. Publishers and editors also attend and exhibit at the conference.

There is a huge range of cross disciplinary papers and presenters, not everyone who attends is an art historian, there are many people who’s research or work encompasses art history, such as areas of social history, visual anthropology, art practice, architecture, sociology, written and visual languages, etc.