New Book | World Antiquarianism: Comparative Perspectives

Posted in books by Editor on September 22, 2014

This collection of essays (published by The Getty in February) includes a chapter by Giovanna Ceserani on “Antiquarian Transformations in Eighteenth-Century Europe,” pp. 317–42.

Alain Schnapp with Lothar von Falkenhausen, Peter N. Miller, and Tim Murray, eds., World Antiquarianism: Comparative Perspectives (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2014), 464 pages, 
ISBN: 978-1606061480, $60.

9781606061480_grandeThe term antiquarianism refers to engagement with the material heritage of the past—an engagement that preceded the modern academic discipline of archaeology. Antiquarian activities result in the elaboration of particular social behaviors and the production of tools for exploring the collective memory. This book is the first to compare antiquarianism in a global context, examining its roots in the ancient Near East, its flourishing in early modern Europe and East Asia, and its manifestations in nonliterate societies of Melanesia and Polynesia. By establishing wide-reaching geographical and historical perspectives, the essays reveal the universality of antiquarianism as an embodiment of the human mind and open new avenues for understanding the representation of the past, from ancient societies to the present.

Alain Schnapp is professor of classical archaeology at the Université Paris I–Panthéon-Sorbonne and director of the Institut d’études avancées (IEA-Paris). Lothar von Falkenhausen is professor of Chinese archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Peter N. Miller is professor of modern history and dean of the Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, New York. Tim Murray is professor of archaeology and dean of the faculty of humanities and social sciences at La Trobe University, Melbourne.

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From the Department of Classics at Stanford University:

Giovanna Ceserani works on the classical tradition with an emphasis on the intellectual history of classical scholarship, historiography and archaeology from the eighteenth century onwards. She is interested in the role that Hellenism and Classics played in the shaping of modernity and, in turn, in how the questions we ask of the classical past originate in specific modern cultural, social and political contexts.

Her book Italy’s Lost Greece: Magna Graecia and the Making of Modern Archaeology appeared from Oxford University Press in 2012. Her current book project concerns the emergence of modern histories of ancient Greece; she is now also writing on the transformations of antiquarianism in the eighteenth century and on modern travels to ancient lands. Her interest in travel is engaging new digital approaches with a focus on the Grand Tour for the Stanford digital humanities project Mapping the Republic of Letters.

Call for Papers | James Gillray@200: Caricaturist without a Conscience?

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on September 22, 2014

From New College, Oxford:

James Gillray@200: Caricaturist without a Conscience?
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 28 March 2015

Proposals due by 15 November 2014

gillrayJames Gillray’s reputation in the two centuries since his death has been as varied and layered as his prints. Trained at the Royal Academy, he failed at reproductive printmaking, yet became, according to the late-eighteenth-century Weimar journal London und Paris, one of the greatest European artists of the era. Napoleon, from his exile on St Helena, allegedly remarked that Gillray’s prints did more to run him out of power than all the armies of Europe. In England, patriots had hired him to propagandize against the French and touted him as a great national voice, but he was an unreliable gun-for-hire. At a large public banquet, during the heat of anti-Revolutionary war fever, he even raised a toast to his fellow artist, the regicide, Jacques-Louis David. Gillray produced a highly individual, highly schooled, and often outlandish body of work with no clear moral compass that undermines the legend of the caricaturist as the voice and heart of the people, so that the late Richard Godfrey described him as a caricaturist without a conscience. Following 2001 and 2004 retrospectives in London and New York, and fuelled by scholarship of a new generation of thinkers, our era’s Gillray is just now coming into focus.

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Gillray’s death, and in conjunction with the Ashmolean Museum’s exhibition, Love Bites: Caricatures of James Gillray (26 March – 21 June 2015), based on New College’s outstanding collection, we are organizing a one-day symposium at the Ashmolean Museum to hear and see the latest Gillray scholarship.

We seek proposals papers that address any aspect of Gillray’s work or that consider artistic duty or purposeful negligence of duty in the period around 1800. Comparative, formal, contextual, and theoretical approaches to Gillray and our theme are all welcome. Proposals should be a maximum of 200 words and be accompanied by a short bibliographical statement.

Organised by Todd Porterfield (Université de Montréal), Martin Myrone (Tate Britain), and Michael Burden (New College, Oxford), with Ersy Contogouris (Université de Montréal)

All enquiries should be addressed initially to the New College Dean’s Secretary, Jacqui Julier, jacqui.julier@new.ox.ac.uk, to whom all abstracts should be submitted by 15 November 2014. The programme will be announced on 21 November 2014.

Call for Papers | L’image Railleuse

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on September 22, 2014

From INHA:

L’image Railleuse: La satire dans l’art et la culture visuelle, du 18e siècle à nos jours
Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris, 25–27 June 2015

Proposals due by 30 October 2014

unnamedColloque international organisé par l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art, l’Université du Québec à Montréal et le LARHRA UMR 5190 de Lyon

La satire, soit l’attaque moqueuse, contestataire ou réformatrice d’un individu, d’un groupe, d’une époque, voire de toute une culture, constitue l’une des armes privilégiées de la fonction critique des images et, au-delà, de l’ensemble des artefacts visuels. Se constituant en genre littéraire dès l’Antiquité, la satire a gagné les beaux-arts et les arts graphiques à l’âge classique, seule ou en conjonction avec l’écrit. Ce sont toutefois les médias modernes—édition, presse, expositions, télévision, internet—qui, en élargissant progressivement sa sphère d’influence, ont renouvelé ses formes et ses objectifs, et augmenté leur efficacité. Autorisant une diffusion planétaire et presque instantanée des images satiriques, internet et les technologies numériques n’ont pas seulement transformé la matérialité et les moyens d’action de cette imagerie et leurs effets socio-politiques, ils ont aussi affecté les formes de la recherche sur le satirique en donnant accès de plus en plus rapidement à des corpus extrêmement vastes. La satire est ainsi partout, et aucun acteur ni canal de diffusion ne peut prétendre désormais en contrôler ses usages généralisés.

Ce colloque porte sur la satire visuelle du 18e siècle à nos jours, entendue comme genre aussi bien que comme registre, selon que l’on s’intéresse à un type de représentations (caricaturale, en particulier) ou à une veine (le satirique) traversant de multiples champs, parmi lesquels celui de l’art contemporain. Envisagée dans sa visualité même, elle recouvre des objets, particuliers ou partagés, des mécanismes et des effets spécifiques que nous souhaitons interroger à partir des études visuelles.

Les propositions d’intervention de 30 minutes seront adressées avant le 30 octobre 2014 à frederique.desbuissons@inha.fr afin d’être examinées par le comité scientifique. Elles comprendront 500 mots maximum et seront accompagnées d’une courte bio-bibliographie.

Pour lire l’intégralité de l’appel à contributions, cliquez ici.

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Note (added 2 October 2014) — Here’s the English version:

Satire—which can be understood as the mocking, contesting or reforming prosecution of an individual, a group, an era, or an entire culture—is one of the main weapons of the critical function of images and, more broadly, of visual artefacts. Emerging as a literary genre in Antiquity, satire joined the fine arts, and particularly the graphic arts, in the early modern era, either on its own or in connection with the written word. Modern media—publishing, the press, exhibitions, television and the Internet—have progressively widened its sphere of influence, renewing its forms and objectives and increasing its efficacy. Enabling the worldwide and nearly instantaneous dissemination of satiric images, the Internet and digital media have not only transformed the materiality and means of this imagery and its socio-political effects, they have also had an impact on the forms that research can take with respect to the satiric, by giving ever swifter access to an ever-wider range of bodies of work. Satire is thus everywhere, and no actor nor platform of dissemination can now claim to control its generalized usages.

The subject of this conference is visual satire from the eighteenth century to today. Visual satire is understood not only as genre but also as a register, depending on whether one is interested in a type of representation (caricatural, in particular) or as a vein (the satiric) that crosses several fields, among which that of contemporary art. Satire, envisaged in its visuality, ranges across individual or shared objects, specific mechanisms and effects that we hope to question from the perspective of visual studies.

We welcome proposals for papers that address, but that need not necessarily be limited to, the following thematic strands :

1. Historiographical perspectives

How can we think about and construct a history of visual satire within the history of art and visual studies? Studies in caricature and graphic satire have been delineated by a number of (?) researchers and approaches, the limits of which are fairly precise and have contributed to the establishment of a pluridisciplinary set of tools that have tended to become normative. Following the first large inventory projects (Champfleury, Wright, Stephens and George) and studies centred on perception and psychoanalysis (as just one example, Gombrich and Kris), international research, based around the university, the museum, among collectors and archives, has given us results that typically align with a certain range of objectives: the publication of monographs and studies that focus on artistic procedure, on iconology, on political discourse or on the sociology of artists. It might be important to identify the characteristics of this wide range of approaches in order to understand the disciplinary impact they have had. In this international framework, do linguistic, territorial and ideological borders play a role? Beyond this, we might reflect on the impact of this work on our critical and historical consideration of the satiric as it manifests itself in contemporary art. In short: what does satire do, what has satire done to art history—and vice-versa?

2. Norms and inventivity : the creativity of the satirical

While it is possible to understand how the satirical and the caricatural have been used throughout the history of art, the integration of this artistic undertaking—or should we speak of process, mode, genre?—nevertheless sets up certain challenges for research. These challenges arise when we think through artists’ manipulation of cognitive and narrative elements (in the articulation of figural representation with the possibilities of narrative structure, for example). It might be useful, then, to think of visual satire as a form of inventivity that connects to a wider form of social behaviour, one that might index a satiric field in which a number of expressive forms, among them those of the visual arts, have their place. If satire can be linked to the parameters of normativity in a given society or period (parameters that might in turn be malleable according to shifting social contexts), might it be possible to consider the satiric or caricatural endeavour as the site of meta-representational undertakings? Can we connect the satiric endeavour to precise historical conditions?

3. Parody of art and autonomy of the satiric genre

Satire and caricature were part of artists’ graphic practices since well before the eighteenth century. Whether created as exercises or for private recreation, they often represent the personal sphere or the artistic community. Starting in the mid-nineteenth century, the satire of art becomes a genre in its own right and conquers a public that is all the more far-reaching(?) as access to contemporary art becomes democratized. At the same time, it becomes a set of recurring themes and processes, notably at the end of the century and even more so among certain avant-gardes of the twentieth century, modern or post-modern. What is the importance of this phenomenon? What does satire do to art, notably in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and what does art do to satire, especially in the twentieth and twenty-first? What are satire’s objectives, its publics, and to what aims?

4. The satiric body and violence

Satire cannot be reduced to a figure of rhetoric and to visual objects. Because it is a form of social and political action, its efficacy (whether rhetorical, effective or fantasized) makes it a weapon directed towards whatever it mocks. Its violence is deployed on three levels: it is made thematic in its motifs, instrumentalized so that its targets can be attacked, and shared with those who see it. Satire used against real persons, or against targets that are more collective and abstract (institutions, political ideas, social events, etc.) and that are almost always represented by characters or types, affects its spectators before it reaches those it targets. The corporeal dimension thus plays an important role in the workings of satire. It is sometimes put into play by caricature’s expressive deformation, thus leading to a somatism and a materialism of critical laughter. The modalities of this satirical violence will be the starting point for studies that can explore any of the paths it takes, or that can focus on the relationship between the strategies used and their resulting effects, as much for satire’s victim as for its spectator.

5. Materials and dissemination of satire

The efflorescence of the satiric genre is closely linked to the emergence of new means of reproduction and dissemination: engraving in the sixteenth century, the trade in prints, the introduction of lithography and the renewal of wood-engraving at the turn of the nineteenth century, photo-montage, etc. It seems nonetheless useful to develop a critique of the reality of such a deterministic account, both with respect to the periods just mentioned as well as in the case of more recent developments. More importantly, it seems important to measure the effects of dissemination on the modalities of reception. Several contemporary examples have shown the extent to which the Internet platform is itself a component of such a reception. In what terms is it necessary to consider this phenomenon? Does it have an impact on artists working today?

6. The configurations of the visual

Visual satire, as opposed to its literary counterpart, has elicited only too few historical and theoretical studies. What accounts for this contrasted situation? Is it because the reading of an image can be assimilated to that of a text? Is it because its elucidation is often determined by accompanying texts (dialogues, legends and other paratexts)? If so, how can we explain the ambiguity of satiric images, their semantic instability that means that the same figure can lead to highly divergent interpretations? Is this because the phenomenon is of the order of the visual, or is it due to something that might be fundamental to the satiric genre as a whole? These questions could be addressed through the study of visual and discursive configurations that are set in play in the field of satire.

On June 25th, a joint “Bande dessinée and satire” session will be presented in collaboration with the International Bande Dessinée Society and the International Comics and Graphic Novel Society. Proposals for papers, not to exceed 30 minutes, should be sent by October 30, 2014, to frederique.desbuissons@inha.fr in order to be sent to the Conference review board for evaluation. Proposals should be a maximum of 500 words in length and accompanied by a short bio-bibliography.