Paper Proposals for Next Year’s CAA Due by May 3rd

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 28, 2010

The 2011 College Art Association conference takes place in New York, February 9-12. The HECAA session will be chaired by Kristel Smentek and Meredith Martin. Also included here are various sessions related to the eighteenth century. The full Call for Participation is available at the CAA site. Proposals are due by 3 May 2010.

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The Global Eighteenth Century (Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture)

Kristel Smentek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Meredith Martin, Wellesley College. Mail to: Kristel Smentek, Dept. of Architecture, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave., 10-303c, Cambridge, MA 02139; or email smentek@mit.edu and mmartin@wellesley.edu

Contemporary debates on globalization have encouraged us  to examine eighteenth-century art and design from an intercultural perspective. We invite papers that address the circulation of peoples and things—between India, Africa, Europe, Asia, and beyond—and explore the mutually transformative potential of such encounters. Topics to be addressed might include visual appropriation and translation, markets, collecting and display, and the political and diplomatic uses of objects. We especially encourage methodologically innovative approaches to analyzing these artistic exchanges and their historical specificity.

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Imitation, Copy, Reproduction, Replication, Repetition, and Appropriation

Malcolm Baker, University of California, Riverside, Dept. of the History of Art, 235 Arts Bldg., Riverside, CA 92521, mcbaker@ucr.edu; and Paul Duro, University of Rochester, Dept. of Art and Art History, 425 Morey Hall, Rochester, NY 14627, paul.duro@rochester.edu

Despite a growing body of recent work, imitation is still commonly confused with copying, to the detriment of the many forms of repetition that are thereby negatively contrasted with notions of originality and authenticity. Yet within some categories of artistic production—including that of the Renaissance bronze statuette—there is no “original.” We seek papers on any aspect of imitation, copying, reproduction, replication, repetition, and appropriation, whether drawn from art theory, practice, criticism, or historiography. These might include case studies that have implications for our wider understanding of these terms or discussions of key texts in which such terms have been formulated. Our goal is to disconnect the association between imitation and copying and to question the value of originality as the sole means to understand the artwork.

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New Approaches to the Study of Fashion and Costume in Western Art, 1650–1900

Helen Burnham, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Justine DeYoung. Mail to: Helen Burnham, Dept. of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115; or email: HBurnham@mfa.org and justine.deyoung@gmail.com

This panel seeks to foster discussion of the significance of dress to the making of art and its reception from the late seventeenth century to the end of the nineteenth century, while encouraging panelists to reflect on questions raised by recent scholarship (e.g., gender and identity, the politics of dress, and the economics of fashion). Papers that focus on particular moments or themes in the history of Western art and dress are welcome and might include, for example, studies in portraiture or patronage; exotic or historic costume in painting or sculpture; symbolic and theatrical dress in art; certain media or techniques and their perception in dress-oriented terms; or fashion and modernity. Preference will be given to those proposals that take into account the discourse (e.g., aesthetic debates, criticism, instructions to artists) surrounding dress or fashion in art.

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From Physiognomy to Portraiture

Deborah Dorotinsky, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM, Mexico City; deborah.dorotinsky@gmail.com

This session will explore the relationship between scientific knowledge production about population groups in the Americas (indigenous, blacks, and other minorities) and their documentation through drawings, prints, paintings, plaster casts, sculpture, and photographs between the sixteenth and the twenty-first century. Papers should address images that concentrate on body form, and particularly on portraiture as a means of addressing diversity, alleged abnormality, and other concepts in the range of criminal anthropological theory, racialist theories, eugenics, and biotypology. How does the canon set forth by academic portraiture foster the inquiry into the human head as indexical of moral and racial traits? How did local art academies and scientific institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean respond to the need for these images? How did they foster nationalist discourses and ideology? How do gender issues bare on the syntax and style of these images? How do present day visual culture and art differentiate from these discourses on race to deal with diversity?

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Architecture and Space in the Early Modern Ibero-American World

Jesús Escobar, Northwestern University; and Michael Schreffler, Virginia Commonwealth University/CASVA. Mail to: Michael Schreffler, CASVA, National Gallery of Art, 2000B S. Club Dr., Landover, MD 20785

From the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, Spain, Portugal, and their American dominions were sites of great innovation in architecture and urbanism. Recent scholarship in these fields has erased modern geographical borders and embraced the cosmopolitanism of the Ibero-American world. Some of these studies have focused on models of stylistic hybridity, but less attention has been paid to theoretical considerations of space as a reflection of political will and might. This session seeks to build upon the recent literature by exploring the nexus of architecture, space, and politics, the latter understood here to encompass aspects of political theory as well as the practices of imperial administration in the early modern Ibero-American world. We especially encourage papers that situate studies of key monuments, sites, or cities in their socio-political and intellectual contexts whether through case studies or considerations of methodology and historiography.

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Luxury and Consumption in Early Modern Northern European Art

Wayne Franits, Syracuse University, Dept. of Art and Music Histories, Ste. 308 Bowne Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244-1200; wefranit@syr.edu

In recent years, a large number of historical studies, including books by Simon Schama, Lynda Levy Peck, Woodruff Smith, and Jan de Vries, have explored evolving concepts of luxury and consumption in Northern Europe during the early-modern era. Yet, the ramifications of this scholarship for early modern Northern European art have not been sufficiently investigated. This is regrettable since art works of the period frequently feature luxurious objects and often enjoyed the status of luxury commodities themselves, owing to the high prices they commanded. This session solicits proposals for papers concerning ever-changing concepts of luxury and consumption in relation to art, such as the depiction of material culture, the function of “old” and “new” perceptions of luxury in the contemporary reception of art works, the commodity status of art works; the rituals wherein they were potentially deployed, and the social traits and status of those who “consumed” them.

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Recurating: New Practices in Exhibition Making

Betti-Sue Hertz, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103

Approaches to organizing exhibitions shifted in the 1960s as postminimal, conceptual, performative, and political art practices challenged traditions in the relationship between the art object and the viewer. In the past twenty years, curatorial practice has become a highly self-conscious activity, fueled by a deepening archive of precedents providing a springboard for new inventive possibilities. Taking this history into consideration, this session will focus on a new vision for curatorship, where the preexisting exhibition becomes a destabilized object or entity for curatorial consideration. What value can new presentations add to an exhibition conceived and constructed by an originating curator in an earlier historical moment? What new contemporary interpretive meanings become available when the original presentation of an exhibition is adapted, rearranged, changed, or expanded to correspond with new formulations of the object/audience relationship? How does recycling, rearranging, repackaging, and redirecting, as methodologies for recurating fully realized exhibitions, reflect current innovative practices in art and design?

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Dissemination: Prints, Publishing, and the Early Modern Arts in Europe

Sheila McTighe, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, Somerset House, the Strand, London WC2R 0RN, UK; sheila.mctighe@courtauld.ac.uk

The publication of artists’ biographies across the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries changed forever the relation between artists and their posterity and between innovation and the emulation of past art, as well as relations between individual works of art and the collected oeuvre of an artist. As with printed texts, the publishing of printed images changed the trajectory of artistic careers and shaped new, international publics for the arts. This session invites studies of any aspect of the world of printed texts and printed images in the early modern period. Papers that address the concept of print culture are particularly welcome, as are studies that cut across the boundaries that divide the study of prints from the study of cultural history and visual culture as a whole.

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Radical Neo: The Past in the Present in British Art  and Design (Historians of British Art)

Jason Rosenfeld, Marymount Manhattan College, New York; and Tim Barringer, Yale University. Mail to: Jason Rosenfeld, Dept. of Art History, Marymount Manhattan College, 221 E. 71st St., New York, NY 10021; or email: jrosenfeld@mmm.edu

British art has been at its most compelling when mobilizing the past to critique or reformulate current practices. From eighteenth-century Neo-Classicism through the Gothic revival, Pre-Raphaelites, Arts and Crafts Movement, Primitivism, and Neo-Romanticism, the resurgence of interest in a cultural moment in the past, and its related visual style, formed the basis for radical new creativity. We invite papers on any period that discuss the revival of art, architecture, or theory from an earlier age. In addition to fine arts and architecture, the fields of fashion, graphic and product design, food, and popular entertainment fall within our remit.

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Seeing through the Medium (Historians of British Art, shorter session)

Imogen Hart, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Yale Center for British Art; and Catherine Roach, Postdoctoral Associate, Department of the History of Art, Cornell University; imogen.hart@yale.edu and cr342@cornell.edu

A central but challenging question for art history is the relationship between objects and their audiences. This issue, like most of the questions faced by the discipline, is usually addressed in terms of individual media. Yet how might the study of the historical interpretation of objects complicate current academic divisions by media? Recent scholarship testifies to the breadth of British artistic production, yet histories that focus on different media do not always speak to one another, with the result that an integrated picture of the arts of a period often proves elusive. While a specialist understanding of specific media may be essential to a thorough study of the process and experience of making, a broader, more inclusive approach may be more appropriate to a study of the ways in which contemporaries engaged with objects. Recent scholarly interventions such as the Henry Moore Institute and J. Paul Getty Museum’s exhibition and catalogue Taking Shape: Finding Sculpture in the Decorative Arts and Caroline Arscott’s book William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones: Interlacings offer models of how art historians might engage in cross-media analysis. This panel seeks papers focusing on British art of any period, including colonial contexts, that address the question of reception and cut across current scholarly divisions, especially between the “fine” and “decorative” arts.

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Rococo, Late-Rococo, Post-Rococo, New Rococo: Art, Theory, and Historiography

Katie Scott, The Courtauld Institute of Art; and Melissa Hyde, University of Florida; Email: mlhyde@ymail.com

This session invites contributions on the continuing debate about the periodicity of the Rococo, style moderne of the early decades of Louis XV’s reign. Was Rococo always already late—the end of Gothic or the Baroque—or, on the contrary, radically modern? Our working hypothesis is that time or periodicity, rather than form, constitutes the problem of the Rococo. We hope to prompt inquiry into the wide range of meanings (cultural, political, gendered, etc.) that attach to a visual language that lacks theoretical and historical anchorage and which undergoes conscious revival in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, usually as pastiche. Papers might consider issues of contrivance, reproduction, simulation, dissemination, the fake, and the souvenir, or take up questions  of when and under what conditions the Rococo is revived. In addition to papers on designed objects and representations, we welcome reflections on the critical fortunes and historiography of the Rococo.

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Collectors, Dealers, and Designers in Modern Asia: Historiographical Categories Revisited

Mercedes Volait, Institut national d’histoire de l’art, InVisu, 2, rue Vivienne, Paris 75002, France; mercedes.volait@inha.fr

This session focuses on connoisseurs who played a pivotal role in the development of cross-cultural exchanges between Asia and the West from the eighteenth century on. At the edges of Western imperial territories and institutions, local collectors, dealers, designers, and patrons embodied the complexities of a process that involved as much mixing and negotiating as separation, division, or resistance. Border-crossings of all sorts—geographical, sociocultural, and religious—intensified as the century progressed, not only transforming Asia, but also European formulations of identity and knowledge. In both places, new sets of relations to art and architecture, as well as interactions between art, heritage and design developed. By shedding light on the ambivalent condition of colonial “in-between-ness” and processes of self-invention in imperial contexts, the panel seeks to address the problematic place assigned to the history of modern “Islamic art and architecture” in conventional art history.

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