Academia United on Climate Change

Posted in opportunities by Editor on June 7, 2017

An invitation for members of academic institutions in the United States:

Academia United on Climate Change
Launched 5 June 2017

Global climate change presents a grave threat to humanity and the ecosystems we depend on. Overwhelming scientific evidence indicates that increases in greenhouse gas levels must be reversed in order to avoid catastrophic and irreversible change. The Paris Agreement, signed by 195 nations, represents the only unified global effort to address this challenge. Despite the scientific evidence and popular support for global cooperation, the United States government has indicated that it will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Therefore, U.S. leadership must come from state and local governments, businesses, and other groups uniting and organizing to meet the greatest challenge of our time. Colleges and universities, tasked with advancing scientific knowledge, developing innovative technologies, and educating leaders of the future, must play a central role. Focused research and education are essential for avoiding climate change, and can transform enormous challenges into innovation, growth, and prosperity. Many institutions are already taking action, but the impact of our efforts will be much greater if we are united.

We, the undersigned faculty, students, and staff of U.S. colleges and universities, urge the leaders of our institutions to develop a unified, national academic climate initiative that includes:

1)  working with states, cities, and businesses to lead the U.S. effort to fight climate change;

2)  agreeing on local measures for our campuses that reflect Paris Agreement guidelines;

3)  coordinating and strengthening science, technology, and education on climate change;

4)  informing the public about climate change science, impacts, and potential solutions.

Call for Papers | The Africa of European Scholars

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 7, 2017

From the Call for Papers:

The Africa of European Scholars, 17th–20th Centuries
Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar (Senegal), 5–7 February 2018

Proposals due by 30 August 2017

The production of knowledge about Africa was not left to the sole initiative of merchants, missionaries, soldiers, or editors of travel narratives. Contrary to what one might think, Africa and Africans were at the heart of scholarly concerns in the 17th and 18th centuries. The scholars of the great European Academies were also constructing their own Africa. Although this Africa did not represent a split from the common contemporary prejudices of the time on Africans, it could fashion its own existence, borne out of the epistemological demands of scholarly disciplines. Thus, from the Maupertuis’s Dissertation physique à l’occasion du nègre blanc (1744) to Buffon’s theories on the color of Blacks (A. Curran), Africa and the Africans inspired all sorts of intellectual constructs animated by a certain « will to truth » (Foucault).

Nevertheless, although the issue of skin color was the main focus of attention (the nature of which to be scientifically explained), preoccupations about Africa began to shift. The imagined and theorized Africa of the past would gradually be replaced by an Africa drawn from exploration and in situ scientific investigation, in direct contact with the African environment. Detailed memories of learned travelers trained in the methods of scientific observation were added to the preliminary data reported by the ‘surgeons’—who were the best qualified, among those travelling with the commercial Companies, for such work of erudition.

In its simplest sense, the Africa of scholars refers to a tradition of writing that claims to break with an imaginary Africa to propose a “concrete” Africa. Within the framework of a “reorientation of the scientific esprit” (Gusdorf, Foucault), it tends to build upon the African experience of scholarly travelers, and it confers an increasing importance to African societies. No part of the fauna, the flora, nothing relating to the peoples, their languages, their customs, their religious beliefs and rites, was neglected by these “explorers of the unknown” (A. Bailly).

This Africa at the crossroads of western scientific theory and practice is the proposed object of our study. Depending on a periodization structured both by scientific mutations and the evolution of historical contexts, the Africa of European scholars is not one but many. Be they Michel Adanson (1727–1806), considered in the French milieu as the first scientist of formation to have traveled in Africa and to be interested in all fields of knowledge, or Theodore Monod (1902–2000), considered by the French as the first educated naturalist, motivations and the results of scientific research continue to be influenced by political and ideological contexts.

Although initiated by GRREA 17/18, a research group dedicated to the study of European representations of Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries [Groupe de Recherche sur les Représentations Européennes de l’Afrique aux 17e et 18e siècles], this interdisciplinary reflection will be open to researchers in the sciences and in the humanities specialized in the subsequent two centuries (19th and 20th centuries). The geographical areas studied will cover the Francophone, Anglophone, and Lusophone fields.

Paper proposals may include one of the following four areas of study:

I. Training of European scientists
• What kind of scholars contributed to the construction of knowledge on Africa?
• What were their main motivations?

II. Information channels of scholars
• First hand information: letters and field notes of the scholarly traveler
• Second-hand information: printed or informal travel accounts (reports, lectures, and handwritten communications)
• Third-hand information: collections of travel stories

III. Channels of diffusion of learned knowledge
• Academies of sciences in Europe
• Scholarly journals
• Museums (Natural history museums and cabinets of curiosities)
• Obstacles to the diffusion of knowledge
• Science and colonization

IV. What knowledge of Africa can we learn from this past scholarly literature?
• In natural history (fauna, flora…)
• Cultural history (languages, manners…)
• History of religions (religious and cultural practices, polytheisms and monotheisms)
• Political and economic history (evolution and dissolution of great empires, wars of succession, wars and economic co-operation)

Paper proposals (in English or French), of a length not exceeding 500 words, and followed by a short Curriculum Vitae, are to be sent before August 30, 2017, to David Diop diop.david@wanadoo.fr and Ousmane Seydi oumane.seydi@unibas.ch.

Scientific Committee for L’Afrique des savants européens
Sylviane Albertan-Coppola (Université d’Amiens, France), Mamadou Ba (Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Sénégal), Alia Baccar (Académie Beït El Hekma, Tunisie), Isabelle Charlatte Fels (Université de Bâle, Suisse), Andrew Curran (Wesleyan University, Etats-Unis), Hélène Cussac (Université de Toulouse, France), Catherine Gallouët (Hobart and Willliam Smith Colleges, États-Unis), Patrick Graille (Wesleyan University, Paris, France) Françoise Le Borgne (Université de Clermont-Auvergne, France), Jean Moomou (Université des Antilles, France), Claudia Opitz-Belakhal (Université de Bâle, Suisse), Ibrahima Thioub (Recteur de l’Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Sénégal) Izabella Zatorska (Université de Varsovie, Pologne), Roberto Zaugg (Université de Bâle, Suisse).

A day of preliminary work to the conference in Dakar gathering the members of the scientific committee is planned for November 7, 2017, at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour.

Call for Papers | Recasting Reproduction, 1500–1800

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 7, 2017

From The Courtauld:

Recasting Reproduction, 1500–1800
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 18 November 2017

Proposals due by 6 July 2017

David Teniers, The Monkey Painter (detail), ca.1660, oil on panel (Madrid: Museo del Prado).

The contested concept of ‘reproduction’ stands at a critical nexus of the conceptualisation of early modern artistic thought. The early modern period has been characterised by the development of novel and efficient reproduction technologies, as well as the emergence of global empires, growing interconnectedness through trade, warfare and conquest, and the rise of new markets and cultures of collecting. This ethos of innovation and exchange was, however, contextualised against myriad contemporary ideologies still rooted in the values and legends of past narratives. Reproduction stood at the centre of this dichotomy. Set against the context of changing cultural tastes and the increasingly overlapping public and private spheres, ‘reproductions’ were involved within changing viewing practices, artistic pedagogy, acts of homage, and collecting.

The idea of reproduction connotes a number of tensions: between authenticity and counterfeit; consumption and production; innovation and imitation; the establishment of archetype and the creation of replica; the conceptual value of the original and the worth of the reproduction as a novel work of art; the display of contextualised knowledge and the de-contextualisation of the prototype. At the same time, production is shaped historically through practices and discourses and has figured as a key site for analysis in the work of, for example, Walter Benjamin, Richard Wolin, Richard Etlin, Ian Knizek, and Yvonne Sheratt. Participants are invited to explore reproduction ‘beyond Benjamin’, investigating both the technical and philosophical implications of reproducing a work of art and seeking, where possible, a local anchoring for the physical and conceptual processes involved.

We welcome proposals for papers that investigate the theme of reproduction from the early modern period (c.1500–1800), including painting, print making, sculpture, decorative arts, architecture, graphic arts, and the intersections between them. Papers can explore artistic exchanges across geopolitical, cultural and disciplinary divides and contributions from other disciplines, such as the history of science and conservation, are welcome. Topics for discussion may include, but are not limited to

• The conceptualisation and processes of reproduction and reproduction technologies before and at the advent of ‘the mechanical’
• Reproduction in artistic traditions beyond ‘the West’
• The slippage between innovation and imitation
• Part-reproduction and the changing, manipulation and developments of certain motifs
• Problematizing the aura of ‘authenticity’ and the ‘value’ of the original, copies and collecting
• Fakes and the de-contextualisation of a work through its reproduction
• Reproduction within non-object based study e.g. architecture
• Theoretical alternatives and the vocabulary used to describe the process and results of reproduction in contemporary texts

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words along with a 150 word biography by 6th July 2017 to kyle.leyden@courtauld.ac.uk and natasha.morris@courtauld.ac.uk.

Organised by Kyle Leyden, Natasha Morris, and Angela Benza




Canova and His Legacy at Tomasso Brothers Fine Art

Posted in Art Market by Editor on June 7, 2017

From Tomasso Brothers Fine Art:

Canova and His Legacy
Tomasso Brothers Fine Art , London, 30 June — 7 July 2017

Antonio D’Este, Portrait of Antonio Canova.

Tomasso Brothers Fine Art is opening a new London gallery space at Marquis House, 67 Jermyn Street, St. James’s with a very special exhibition timed for London Art Week 2017. Canova and His Legacy will focus on the Italian master Antonio Canova (1757–1822), arguably the greatest and most illustrious sculptor of his age, and synonymous to this day with the height of Neoclassicism. His works, celebrated for their timeless beauty and grace, have never ceased to inspire generations of artists and collectors alike, and are exhibited in pride of place in the most important museums across the world.

Highlights include a magnificent and exquisite pair of plaster busts by Antonio Canova depicting Paris and Helen, cast at the artist’s atelier in 1812; the supremely graceful Baccante Cimbalista (1837) by Cincinnato Baruzzi (1796–1878), one of Canova’s leading pupils; and, by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844), a charming portrayal of Cupid with His Bow (Amorino), dating to 1826–28, and which has remained in the same Scottish family since its purchase from Thorvaldsen in 1828.

“Tomasso Brothers is committed to being part of the rich and vibrant art scene in the heart of this historic area of central London. The opening of our new space on Jermyn Street, timed for London Art Week 2017, is an exciting development,” says gallery Director, Dino Tomasso, who has recently been appointed to the Board of London Art Week.

“We chose Canova as a central subject for this exhibition,” adds Raffaello Tomasso, Director, “because, like Michelangelo and Bernini, Canova was a revolutionary force in the field of sculpture. His impact on the Italian School and beyond cannot be overstated. Throughout the Neoclassical period his workshop represented the focal point of sculptural studies in Europe and for generations of marble carvers to come. His legacy reached as far away as Denmark and Scotland, Germany, and Spain.”

Dino and Raffaello Tomasso are recognised internationally for specializing in important European sculpture from the early Renaissance to the Neoclassical periods, and have had a presence in St. James’s since 2013, in addition to their principal gallery at Bardon Hall, Leeds.