Call for Papers | AAH at the University of East Anglia, 2015

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on September 23, 2014

By my hasty count, 11 of the 34 sessions proposed for the Association of Art Historians 2015 conference could include eighteenth-century papers. Be sure to consult the conference website for things I’ve overlooked. CH

41st Annual AAH Conference and Bookfair
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA), University of East Anglia, Norwich, 9–11 April 2015

Proposals due by 10 November 2014

The AAH 2015 conference and bookfair will be located in the famous Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA), designed by Norman Foster and a finalist for the museum of the year. It holds a fascinating collection of work and hosts a range of exhibitions. SCVA is part of the University of East Anglia (UEA) and situated on the UEA campus. The conference will start on Thursday 9 April at various venues in Norwich city centre, and then remain at SCVA for Friday and Saturday.  The SCVA building will be the main hub of the event, in which registration, refreshments and sessions take place.

Founded in 1965, the Department of Art History and World Art Studies is a member of the Sainsbury Institute for Art at the University of East Anglia. The Department has become known for its commitment to geographical and historical inclusivity, and to collaborative and cross-disciplinary scholarship.

This international conference aims to showcase new research in histories and theories of visual art forms and media, of any period and type (including architecture and design). Academic sessions will engage with current scholarship, and foster discussion and debate, on any aspect of the visual arts from prehistory, Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the early modern and modern periods, through to the present day.

Academic Sessions  Proposals due by Monday, 10 November 2014
If you would like to offer a paper, please email the session convenor(s) direct, providing an abstract of a proposed paper of 30 minutes. Your paper abstract should be no more than 250 words, and include your name and institution affiliation (if any). You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenor(s).

Bookfair 2015 will take place on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 April alongside the conference in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, on the University of East Anglia campus in Norwich.

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Session 3 | The Art History of Architectural History
Session Convenors: Mark Crinson, University of Manchester, mark.crinson@manchester.ac.uk; and Richard Williams, University of Edinburgh, r.j.williams@ed.ac.uk

Art history and architectural history are sister disciplines… or are they? How many art history departments regard architectural history as a core component of their provision? What might art history students miss if architectural history were not part of their curricula? Perhaps art objects and architectural objects are so radically different their study cannot be shared. Or perhaps there are modes of enquiry that can be developed to mutual benefit.

This session reviews the art history/architectural history relationship in several ways. One way is to excavate those moments when art and architectural history were tightly bound together: in the very formation of art history as a discipline, for example, when both art and architecture were natural objects of study.

Other ways might be: investigations of the parallel developments of formalism in art and architectural history; of architectural history’s relation to the ‘new art history’; of the ways in which architectural history might adopt recent developments in object studies, global art history, and art writing.

Academics dealing with contemporary architecture find themselves wrestling with debates that in other disciplines may be more abstract or indirect: How does money or power represent itself in visual form? How does the general public (whoever they may be) understand form? How does government use aesthetics to communicate? All of these things are, and always have been, live in architecture. Perhaps this might be part of a case for making architectural history more central to art history. If so, what implications would it have for our curricula and our pedagogy?

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Session 6 | British Art through Its Exhibition Histories, 1760 to Now
Session Convenors: Mark Hallett, Sarah Victoria Turner, and Martina Droth, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, svturner@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk

How have histories of British art been shaped, defined and contested by and through exhibitions? Taking a broad historical perspective, and responding to an upsurge of interest in the study of exhibition histories in recent years, this session will explore the varied exhibition cultures of British art from 1760—the year that saw the first annual exhibition of contemporary British painting, sculpture and printmaking—through to today.

This session does not seek to offer a chronological history of exhibitions but rather a series of critical propositions that take exhibitions and exhibition culture as a lens through which to examine the history, presentation, marketing and reception of British art, both in the UK and internationally. How have exhibitions shaped or disputed the artistic canon, defined particular artistic groupings, or articulated distinctive histories of British art? How have they contributed to new kinds of critical and art-historical writing about British painting, sculpture, graphic and multi-media arts?

We welcome proposals that explore exhibitions of British art in a variety of contexts, at either a national or international level, including: case studies of individual exhibitions or series of displays; monographic or thematic exhibitions; the phenomenon of travelling exhibitions, both historically and today; exhibitions in public, private and commercial spaces.

Papers might examine the role of agencies, institutions and funding bodies; exhibitions as a tool for shaping a canon; exhibitions and changing notions of ‘Britishness’; the display of British art and artists in different international contexts. We seek papers that will interrogate and analyse the dynamic, transformative and sometimes challenging relationship of British art to its exhibition histories across different periods.

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Session 13 | Flow in World Art, 1500–1750
Session Convenor: Margit Thøfner, University of East Anglia, m.thofner@uea.ac.uk

This session considers the notion of flow in the early modern period in the broadest possible terms. During this time, most parts of the globe became connected by shipping lanes. The already steady trickle of people, objects and ideas across the continents and oceans became a full flow. That waterways could both conjoin and divide was evident in a manner that it had never been before. At the same time, liquids such as sap, mercury, lava, semen, milk and blood came under intense interrogation, in moral, political, theological and scientific terms.

What consequences did this fascination with fluidity have for the arts? Depicting flow is of necessity an act of fixing runniness. Liquids may work as boundaries but, at the same time, they are boundless. How did early modern artists and artisans address this paradox? How did they show fluidity, whether of persons, ideas or substances?

The aim of this session is to consider, compare and contrast how image-makers from across the world tackled such problems. Our ultimate goal is to determine whether, how and why the concept of flow changed visually under the manifold pressures of early colonialism. We welcome contributions focused anywhere in the world within the given dates and we are particularly interested in examples where two or more pictorial or artefactual traditions are brought together. We hope to publish selected papers from this session in a dedicated issue of the journal World Art.

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Session 14 | From Distaste to Mockery: The City and Its Architectures Ridiculed
Session Convenor: Michela Rosso, Politecnico di Torino, michela.rosso@polito.it

Since the origins of the contemporary age, the rise of a mass public and a reconfigured public sphere, along with the diffusion of the popular press, have deeply affected the way in which the city and its architectures are interpreted and judged. Among the genres addressing the modern city, some emerge that seem to be highly effective in disseminating the architectural culture, displaying its distortions or singling out its vulnerable features through the deployment of humour. As part of a media-saturated public culture, humour is both a practice of social communication and a plausible portrayal of society, illuminating the ambivalences of modern life and uncovering the shock provoked by processes of modernisation.

This session’s aim is to inaugurate a catalogue of the comic as applied to the spatial criticism of the city, its artefacts and its leading professionals—architects, artists and builders. Punch’s sharp satire of the first World Exhibition, William H Robinson’s caricatures of modernist housing, Tati’s parody of the Corbusian villa, and Dunn’s architecturally situated cartoons for The New Yorker are some of the renowned entries in this possible catalogue. By absorbing the disturbing effects of modernisation and turning them into laughter, they give voice to a diverse range of feelings and social reactions, from distaste to overt dissent.

This session invites case studies that explore the reception of architectural facts through the distinct codes of humour, verbal as well as visual, in any place and time, between 1750 and today, and focusing on any medium from literature to cinema, television and cartoons.

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Sesison 17 | Materialising Modern Identities: Architectural Sculpture after 1750
Session Convenors: Katie Faulkner, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, katie.r.faulkner@gmail.com; and Ayla Lepine, University of Essex, ayla.lepine@gmail.com

In recent years, sculpture studies within art and architectural history have grown exponentially, increasingly taking diverse themes into account including materiality, gender, postcolonialism and affect. In the rapid transformations of state power and imperial activity in the 18th century, through into the post-revolutionary political atmosphere of the 19th century, nations appeared to sponsor the celebration of the public citizen and actively projected imperial stability in the midst of change and resistance. Despite its association with permanence, sculpture was charged with representing change: materialising new identities and formulating representational traditions.

Architectural sculpture in particular marked sites of urban modernity, such as stations, cultural institutions, civic landmarks and sacred structures; these large and prestigious commissions often sparked public debate around identity and artistic production. As the onset and outcomes of the First World War shaped the power and politics of cultural memory, sculpture took centre stage, with new responsibilities amongst global tensions. Interwar architectural sculpture negotiated and articulated increasing anxieties regarding ornament, historicism, modernism and minimalism. With the arrival of modernism worldwide, some believed architectural sculpture was anathema. Others looked to it as the vehicle to facilitate and embody vitality in bold new architectural experimentation. Architectural sculpture was a crucible for artistic and wider cultural dialogue concerning modern life and modern subjects.

We invite proposals for papers that explore architectural sculpture and identity in a global context between 1750 and the present. Potential themes include: collaboration and networks between architects and sculptors; materiality, production and reproduction; modernism and tradition; beauty and ugliness; figuration and abstraction; style and historicism; form, function and ornament; spectacle and the everyday; memory and ritual; nationhood and transnationalism; and empire and its afterlives.

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Session 22 | Navigating the Pacific: Latin America and Asia in Conversation
Session Convenors: Kathryn Santner and Paul Merchant, St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, kathryn.santner@gmail.com and pm437@cam.ac.uk

The critical role of Asia in the history of Latin American art has often been overlooked; recent scholarship has, however, begun to reassess this longstanding cultural engagement. This session will examine the significance of Asia–Latin America exchange from its earliest days via the Manila Galleon and Portuguese trade networks through to the present day.

Iberian trade brought luxury goods—porcelain, lacquerware, folding screens, ivories, and inlaid furniture—to the Americas, where they were adapted and incorporated into local artistic practice, spawning new art forms like the biombo. The decline of the galleon trade after 1815 did not mark the end of this transpacific relationship; ensuing centuries brought successive waves of Asian immigrants to Latin America – notably the Chinese to Peru and the Japanese to Brazil.

In the wake of this diaspora, artists have recently begun to explore Asian identity in Latin America, notably in several successful documentary and fiction film productions from the region. The presence, for the first time, of a Latin American pavilion at the Beijing Art Expo 2013 also points to the increasing recognition of a centuries-old dialogue in the visual arts. So too does the ‘Latin American Artists in Asia’ network, whose members practise in fields from sculpture to photography and digital art. This session will cover a broad historical period, and adopt a variety of methodological approaches. Key issues to be considered include (post) national identity, materiality and its relationship to place, and the opportunities and complications offered by digital technologies.

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Session 23 | Petits-maîtres: ‘Minor’ Genres and Their Meanings in Post-Revolutionary France
Session Convenor: Richard Taws, University College London, r.taws@ucl.ac.uk

While studies of French art of the late 18th and early 19th centuries have historically tended to privilege the work of a few prominent artists, increased attention has been paid more recently to artists working in less prestigious genres, in other media, and to those who helped disseminate their work. This session focuses on, among others, the genre painters and miniaturists, flower and animal painters, landscapists and portraitists, and printmakers of all types who were active in France from the beginning of the French Revolution through to the end of the July Monarchy.

In the aftermath of the Revolution, a diverse range of artists working in ‘minor’ genres negotiated the shifting parameters of artistic practice, documenting (some more explicitly than others) a modern world subject to rapid social and political change. Meanwhile, new venues for the display and dissemination of art, alongside technical innovations in printmaking, created novel opportunities for reproductive image-makers and publishers. Consequently, this session also welcomes papers that address the implications of the circulation, sale and display of prints by, and after, so-called petits-maîtres, the lives of images in reproduction, and the practices of replication, remediation and recontextualisation to which they were subject.

How did the new political, social and commercial circumstances of early 19th-century France enable or constrain artistic practices of this kind, and how might they be understood in terms of evolving hierarchies of class or gender? How did art made during this period relate to other techniques, institutions, spectacles, careers, audiences or social practices?

While this session encourages papers that focus closely on lesser-known artists or works, it is also hoped that speakers will take the opportunity to situate their subjects imaginatively within broader tendencies in early 19th-century visual culture.

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Session 24 | Portraiture and the Unworthy Subject in the Early Modern World
Session Convenor: Carmen Fracchia, Birkbeck, University of London, c.fracchia@bbk.ac.uk

In the early modern period, the production of portraiture was governed by restrictive conventions. According to the first European treatise on portraiture since antiquity (Francisco de Holanda’s Do tirar polo natural [On Taking Portraits from Life], 1548), the essence of the genre was the worthy sitter’s moral or intellectual prestige. Thus, the main function of the portrait image was to immortalise the worthy elite, with the implicit moral understanding that there could be no room for the portrayal of the unworthy subject. What are the political and visual implications of this belief about portraiture? What are the notions of human diversity that prevent the portrayal of undeserving subjects? How are these concepts negotiated in the production of the portrait image outside Europe?

This session aims to build on research by historians of art, literature and the colonial world, and work on slave narratives that illuminate the paradoxical nature of ‘slave portraits’ in the Atlantic World. It intends to explore a wider spectrum of what were considered ‘unworthy subjects’, and the complexity of the mutually exclusive categories of ‘portraiture’ and ‘undeserving subject’. It also seeks to tackle the oxymoronic categories of ‘self-portraiture’ and ‘unworthy subject’, and investigate how notions of human diversity might challenge the boundaries of traditional portraiture and self-portraiture.

Contributions are invited that address the portrayal of ‘undeserving people’ across different media and cultures in the early modern world, as well as the historical context of social inferiority and the ‘undeserving’ between the 15th and the 18th centuries.

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Session 28 | Surface Affects and Shiny Things: Bringing Meaning to Light
Session Convenors: Nic Maffei, Victoria Mitchell and Marcia Pointon, Norwich University of the Arts n.maffei@nua.ac.uk, v.mitchell@nua.ac.uk and m.r.pointon@manchester.ac.uk

The visual qualities of a surface that shines are such as to attract or distract the eyes, which themselves are often attributed with gleaming, shining or glinting. The silkiness of high polish invites tactile attention too, or deters for fear of spoiling. Shine may materialise through use or careful positioning of an object. It is often not inherent in a material but may be derived from working up a shine. Within art, design and architecture, materials (metal, plastic, glass, fabric, wood, paint) and processes, often labour-intensive (polishing, burnishing, glazing), can combine to reveal shine. The manifestations of shininess can imply bodies in motion and individual subjectivity, while the gloss of film or magazines points to a more socially pervasive ‘look’. Although dependent on specular-reflective properties of light and absorbency of materials, reflective patina or sheen is often intentionally sought, in order to generate affect or effect.

This session addresses the cultural, historical, critical and often paradoxical meanings of ‘shine’ as this pertains to the making, using or viewing of objects and surfaces. Depending on context, shininess might suggest religious or poetic allusion, sensory engagement, luminosity, spectacle, desire, cheapness, cleanliness, protection, health, wealth and perhaps also disgust (as in the surface of slime). Shininess was held in high regard in Byzantine and Anglo-Saxon art, as also for many designers of the mid-20th century. Spurred on by fashion, the superficial nature of shininess has been linked to postmodern theory on late-capitalism. We seek papers that engage with such issues in relation to any period, reflecting a range of practices and perspectives.

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Session 29 | Things and Their Ideas: Exchanges in the Visual and Material Cultures of Islamicate Asia
Session Convenors: Sussan Babaie, The Courtauld Institute of Art, sussan.babaie@courtauld.ac.uk; and
Elizabeth Lambourn, De Montfort University, Leicester, elambourn@dmu.ac.uk

In recent decades, the theoretical turn to cross-culturality has produced important reflections on the global in art history. A persistent feature of such trans-regional explorations remains nevertheless rooted in networks that implicate Europe in some prominent way: the Mediterranean exchanges are invariably about Europe and the Muslim cultures, the European interests in chinoiserie that skip the vast inter-Asian land and water routes of exchange, or post-colonial interests that reflect, in the end, more on the European colonist than on the Asian colonised.

This session takes the global from the vantage point of the centrality of the Asian nexus in producing its principal vectors in pre-colonial times. It invites innovative approaches that focus on the specificities of, and excavate deeply into, isolated ‘things’ or a cluster of desirable things. It asks for trans-disciplinary reflections on the mechanisms of exchange and transmission of ideas, through art and material culture, in between the local histories and global networks across regions where Islamic cultural modes were dominant or influential, throughout the Asian landmass. Collecting or commissioning of cut precious stones, of album and manuscript paintings, of embroidered textiles and inlaid objects, of garden designs and tomb edifices, and the collection and circulation of animalia; with such topics, we hope the papers in this session will bring fullness to our understanding of things as a way to access their global implications through an Islamicate Asian lens.

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Session 30 | Thinking Images
Session Convenors: Hanneke Grootenboer, Anita Paz and Lucy Whelan, University of Oxford, lucy.whelan@trinity.ox.ac.uk

This session explores the rising interest in art as a mode of thinking, apparent in academic writing as well as artistic practice. Images have long been seen as thought-provoking or as tools for contemplation. However, recent years have revealed a shift towards giving art works agency to think. Cézanne and Klee famously declared that they thought through painting, while Jean-Luc Godard claimed cinema as a mode of thinking. More recently, Jacques Rancière declared photography as thoughtful, while Ron Burnett’s How Images Think links the digital image’s thinking power to the technology from which it derives.

This session will examine how images might be capable of thinking. Questions to be pursued include: By what mechanisms do images think? What visual language do they use or create? How do they shape thought? How is a mode of thought specific to a particular medium—film (stills), installation art, sculpture—or a particular culture—Chinese Ming painting, Buddhist imagery? What are the political implications of ascribing thought processes to visual materials? This session intends to establish a genealogy of the thinking image, and encourages papers addressing these and related questions through a variety of approaches, media and ideas.

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.

New Book | Mr Kilburn’s Calicos

Posted in books, journal articles by Editor on September 21, 2014

From WoI:

Ros Byam Shaw, “Mr Kilburn’s Calicos,” The World of Interiors (October 2014): 112–18.

A scuffed little album discovered by Gabriel Sempill among her late mother’s possessions contains exquisite watercolour patterns by the esteemed 18th-century textile designer William Kilburn. Now, a facsimile of this rare find, complete with a variety of juvenilia added by a later hand, plus modern takes on Kilburn’s repeats, is published.


Detailed pattern units from William Kilburn’s
album, as a composite image.

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From Fleece Press:

Gabriel Sempill and Simon Lawrence, Mr Kilburn’s Calicos: William Kilburn’s Fabric Printing Patterns from the Year 1800 (London: Fleece Press, 2014), ISBN: 978-0992741051, £175.

Printed, bound and published at breakneck speed to coincide with The World of Interiors’ extensive feature on this book (October 2014 issue, with five pages reproduced), this is the full reproduction of a very important pocket book once owned by the great fabric designer and printer, William Kilburn (1745–1818). Hitherto known only for his highly elaborate and sumptuous chintz designs which are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, this pocket book includes 62 basic units for patterns which could be built up and repeated on a larger scale for dress material. It is a most exciting find, and Kilburn included notes of variant colourways and orders; the notebook’s subsequent use by a great grandson as a child’s scrapbook ensured its survival.

The book comprises a letterpress introduction, with the entire notebook being reproduced in the second half. There is a separate booklet of 16 patterns printed full-page, made up from Kilburn’s original units by Sholto Drumlanrig, and both the book and booklet are housed in a solander box. There are three variant bindings of quarter cloth with one of three different Kilburn patterned papers over boards.

Fellowships | Newberry Library, 2015–2016

Posted in fellowships by Editor on September 21, 2014

The Newberry Library Fellowships in the Humanities, 2015–2016
Applications due by 1 December 2014 (Long-Term) and 15 January 2015 (Short-Term)

Newberry Library, Chicago (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The Newberry’s fellowships support humanities research in our collections. Our collections are wide-ranging, rich, and sometimes a little eccentric. If you study the humanities, chances are good we have something for you. We promise you remarkable collections; a lively interdisciplinary community of researchers; individual consultations on your research with staff curators, librarians, and scholars; and an array of scholarly and public programs. Applicants may apply for both Long- and Short-Term fellowships within one academic year. All applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the Newberry’s online catalog and collection guides before applying.

Long-Term Fellowships

Long-Term Fellowships are intended to support individual scholarly research and promote serious intellectual exchange through active participation in the Newberry’s scholarly activities. Applicants must hold a PhD at the time of application in order to eligible. Applicants may apply for 4 to 12 months of support, with a stipend of $4,200 per month.

Short-Term Fellowships

Short-Term Fellowships are available to postdoctoral scholars, PhD candidates, and those who hold other terminal degrees. Most fellowships are restricted to scholars who live and work outside the Chicago Metro area. Short-Term Fellowships are generally awarded for one continuous month in residence at the Newberry, with stipends of $2,500 per month. Applicants must demonstrate a specific need for the Newberry’s collection.


Symposium | Portuguese and Italian Relations

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on September 20, 2014

Programme from the Centro de História d’Aquém e d’Além-Mar:

Portugal e os territórios italianos (séculos XVI–XVIII)
The Centre for Overseas History (CHAM), Lisbon, 22 September 2014

FlyerEste Workshop tem como objectivo propor- cionar uma visão global das relações políticas, económicas, sociais, artísticas e culturais do relacionamento entre Portugal e a península italiana na Idade Moderna. As linhas de força do encontro são sinteti- zadas pela imagem do coche, escolhida como “símbolo dinâmico” do conjunto de abordagens transnacionais desenvolvidas e apresentadas neste workshop.


9:00  Boas-vindas

9:15  Mario Spedicato (Facoltá di Lettere e Filosofia, Università del Salento), Napoli e la Penisola Iberica nei recenti studi di Storia Sociale e Religiosa

10:00 A Comunidade Portuguesa em Roma
• Antonio J. Díaz Rodríguez, (CIDEHUS-UÉ), Os agentes de Portugal em Roma durante a dinastia filipina
• James Nelson Novoa (CESAB/CLEPUL, UL), A nação na Cidade Eterna: cristãos-novos portugueses em Roma, 1542–1590

10:40  Pausa-café

11:00  A Monarquia Portuguesa e os Estados Italianos: Entre o Comércio e a Política
• Francisco Zamora Rodríguez (CHAM, FCSH/ NOVA-UAc), Pedro de Silva Enriques, a Companhia Geral do Comércio do Brasil e a posição de Portugal em Itália
• David Martín Marcos (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia), Estratégias matrimoniais e diplomacia entre Portugal e os estados italianos: o caso de D. Isabel Luísa Josefa, Princesa da Beira (1669–1690)
• Sara Pereira (ISCTE/IUL), A Partilha de Informação Política e Cultural entre Nápoles e Lisboa na segunda metade de Setecentos: dinâmica diplomática

12:00  Arte e Cultura entre Itália e Portugal
• Pilar Diez del Corral Corredoira (IHA, FCSH/ NOVA), La política artística de João V (1689–1750) en el marco de las relaciones diplomáticas con la Santa Sede
• Paola Nestola (CHSC-UC), Linhas de Erudição ou Itinerários do Olhar? Listas dominicanas barrocas entre Lisboa e Península Itálica

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About the Centro de História d’Aquém e d’Além-Mar:

The Centre for Overseas History (CHAM) is an inter-universitary research unit of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, of the New University of Lisbon and of Azores University, financed by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. CHAM develops research related to the History of the Discoveries and the Portuguese Expansion, as well as the Portuguese presence around the world, with a special focus in the period between the origins of the Overseas Expansion and the Independence of Brazil (1822), with an interdisciplinary perspective and incorporating comparative history, paying particular attention to the history of the regions with which Portugal maintained contacts.

Study Day | Rome, Naples, Paris, Lisbon: Musical Practices

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on September 20, 2014

From the conference programme:

Roma, Nápoles, Paris, Lisboa: artistas, estilos e repertórios em trânsito ao longo do século XVIII
Casa-Museu Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves, Lisbon, 7 October 2014



(Moderador: Rui Vieira Nery)
• Pilar Diez del Corral: “Para nos ter Roma inveja”: artistas ibéricos e o paradigma romano em confronto
• Cristina Fernandes: Lázaro Leitão Aranha (1678–1767), secretário régio da Embaixada do Marquês de Fontes e Principal da Patriarcal: um agente na circulação de modelos culturais e musicais entre Roma e Lisboa

11:00  Coffee Break

(Moderadora: Cristina Fernandes)
• Vanda de Sá: Irmandade da Gloriosa Virgem e Mártir Santa Cecília dos Professores da Arte da Música da Corte de Lisboa – Implementação local na segunda metade do século XVIII: os casos de Évora e Porto
• Fernando Miguel Jalôto: ‘D. Antonio Tedeschi, Virtuoso della Cappella Reale’: 37 anos ao serviço de Sua Majestade Fidelíssima
• Diana Vinagre: João Baptista André Avondano/Jean-Pierre Duport: a ligação improvável à escola francesa de violoncello

13:00  Almoço

(Moderadora: Vanda de Sá)
• Rui Vieira Nery: Do “som tremendo” aos “minuetes saltitantes”: o órgão litúrgico português na visão dos viajantes estrangeiros
• Cristiana Spadaro: A realização do baixo contínuo nos Motetes de Giovanni Giorgi destinados à Patriarcal de Lisboa
• Pedro Castro: A problemática de classificação das serenatas no tempo de D. Maria I: exemplos ibéricos e italianos
• Maria João Albuquerque: A circulação de edições de música parisienses em Lisboa nos finais do séc. XVIII

16:30  Coffee Break

(precedido de breve apresentação da Linha Temática do INET-MD “Abordagens Históricas à Performance Musical”, a funcionar a partir de 2015)
• Anónimo Português? (século XVIII)
Obras para instrumento melódico e baixo contínuo em Sol menor / Sonata: [Adagio] & [Allegro] – Minuet
Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra, MM63
• José António Carlos de Seixas (1704–1742)
Sonata para cravo nº 19-7 em Lá Maior / Allegretto – Adagio – Allegro
Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, MM338
• Jean-Pierre Duport (1741–1818)
Sonata para violoncelo e baixo op.2 n.º1 em Fá Maior / Allegro – Andante – Allegretto
Paris, 1772
•  Juan Bautista Plà (fl. 1747–73) ou José Plà (1728–1762)
Sonata para oboe e baixo contínuo em Dó menor / Allegretto – Andante – Allegro assai
Kungliga Musikaliska Akademiens Bibliotek – Estocolmo

Pedro Castro, oboé barroco; Diana Vinagre, violoncelo barroco; Fernando Miguel Jalôto, cravo

Exhibition | Embroidery Inspired by the Garden

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 19, 2014

As noted at the website of the Chelsea Physic Garden:

Inspired by the Garden
Royal School of Needlework, London, 8 September 2014 — 20 March 2015

Curated by Susan Kay-Williams

The Royal School of Needlework will exhibit a display of embroideries with a garden theme at its home at Hampton Court Palace.


Silk shading 18th-century floral display

Almost since the start of embroidery, capturing flowers and the natural world has been an irresistible subject for stitch. Embroidery lends itself perfectly to capturing the textures, colours, shapes and movement of nature and on show will be beautiful pieces of work including traditional floral interpretations and a host of more unusual embroidery subjects from vegetables and fruit to fungi.

The exhibition will feature historic work from the RSN Collection together with current embroideries by RSN students and tutors—all inspired by the natural world using a variety of stitched techniques. Historical pieces date from the 18th century and the exhibition will come right up-to-date with pieces submitted in Summer 2014 for the RSN Degree, Certificate and Diploma courses. Techniques will include silk shading (also known as ‘painting with a needle’) as well as canvaswork, blackwork, metal thread embroidery, crewelwork and raised embroidery.

Dr Susan Kay-Williams, Chief Executive of the RSN and curator of the exhibition says, “Embroidery is such a versatile medium that it can transform a humble vegetable into a work of art; it can reveal new elements of a flower and maximise the sense of colourful riot that is a garden in full bloom. This exhibition which takes us through the autumn and winter months will give food for thought for the gardener, the embroiderer and the lover of colour, right through to spring.”

Individuals and groups are welcome, though pre-booking is essential. Tours are on set dates and times each month: £16 per person for 1.5hr tour or £22 per person for 2hr curator’s tour. All places must be pre-booked.

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As described by Wikipedia:


1903 home of the School of Art Needlework; the building was demolished in 1962 (photo from the website of Brisbane-based architect Michael Heath-Caldwell).

The Royal School of Needlework (RSN) is a hand embroidery school in the United Kingdom, founded in 1872 and now based at Hampton Court Palace.

It has an archive of over 30,000 images covering every period of British history. There are also over 5,000 textile pieces, including lace, silkwork, whitework, Jacobean embroidery and many other forms of embroidery and needlework.

The Royal School of Needlework is a registered charity and has always been under royal patronage. The current patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The RSN began as the School of Art Needlework in 1872 founded by Lady Victoria Welby. The first President was Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Queen Victoria’s third daughter, known to the RSN as Princess Helena. She received help from William Morris and many of his friends in the Arts and Crafts movement. It received its royal prefix in March 1875 when Queen Victoria consented to become its first patron. The word ‘Art’ was dropped from the title in 1922.

Its initial space was in a small apartment on Sloane Street, employing 20 women. The school had grown to 150 students, moving in 1903 to Exhibition Road, near to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The purposed-built building was designed by group of architects, including prominent British ‘Arts and Crafts’ architect James Leonard Williams (d.1926), who designed All Saints church in Oxted (1914–28) and St George’s in Sudbury, Middlesex (1926–27). The school moved from Princes Gate in Kensington to Hampton Court Palace in 1987 . . .

More information about the RSN’s 1903 home is available in volume 38 of the Survey of London, South Kensington Museums Area (1975), pp. 231–32, available online here.

Call for Essays | Terra Foundation for American Art Essay Prize

Posted in opportunities by Editor on September 19, 2014

Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize
Submissions due by 15 January 2015

The Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize recognizes excellent scholarship by a non-U.S. scholar in the field of historical American art. Manuscripts should advance the understanding of American art, demonstrating new findings and original perspectives. The prize winner will be given the opportunity to work toward publication in American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s scholarly journal. He or she will also receive a $1,000 cash award and a travel stipend of up to $3,000 to give a presentation in Washington, D.C., and meet with museum staff and fellows. This annual prize is supported by funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Ph.D. candidates and above who have not published in American Art previously are eligible to participate in the competition. Essays may focus on any aspect of historical (pre-1980) American art and visual culture; however, architecture and film studies are not eligible. Preference will be given to submissions that address American art within a cross-cultural context and offer new ways of thinking about the material. A strong emphasis on visual analysis is encouraged.

Submissions for the 2015 prize must be sent to TerraEssayPrize@si.edu by January 15, 2015. For more information about eligibility and the format for submissions, please visit www.americanart.si.edu/research/awards/terra.



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