Conference | Art History Before English

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on February 24, 2018

From the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz:

Art History Before English: Negotiating a European ‘Lingua Franca’ from Vasari to the Present
Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Florence, 8–10 March 2018

Organized by Alessandro Nova in collaboration with Robert Brennan, Marco Mascolo, and Oliver O’Donnell within the framework of the research project Languages of Art History

The expansion of art historical scholarship across cultural and linguistic boundaries reveals problems with the inherited vocabularies of the discipline. Today, for better or worse, English has become an ever more prominent common language of academic discourse, art history being no exception, and yet the problems this development poses are not without historical precedent within the European tradition of art writing.

Alongside the task of adapting classical concepts to modern usage, scholars have long had to contend with what was arguably the ‘lingua franca’ of art historical discourse in their own time: Italian in the 16th and 17th centuries, French in the 17th and 18th, and German in the 19th and 20th. This conference seeks to leverage this succession of dominant languages in order to shed light on the present assumption of English as a ‘lingua franca’ of art history. In so doing, the conference seeks to evaluate how Italian, French, and German have decisively shaped the discipline, assembling a cache of certain terms, concepts, and modes of thought—often to the exclusion of others—that remain central across a wide variety of languages in the field today.

T H U R S D A Y ,  8  M A R C H  2 0 1 8

14:30  Introduction
Alessandro Nova, C. Oliver O’Donnell, and Robert Brennan

15:00  Panel 1 | Inventions of Academic Languages
Chair: Alessandro Nova
• Massimiliano Rossi (Università del Salento, Lecce), Di lotta e di governo: Lessico, codici e categorie critiche degli scritti accademici sull’arte dagli Umidi alla Crusca
• Robert Williams (University of California, Santa Barbara), Terms of Art

16:20  Coffee Break

16:50  Panel 1, continued
Chair: Marco Mascolo and Robert Brennan
• Jacqueline Lichtenstein (Université Paris-Sorbonne), The Conferences of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture: A New Discourse on the Arts
• Olivier Bonfait (Université de Bourgogne), La lingua francese e la scrittura della storia dell’arte, 1660–1700
• John Leavitt (Université de Montréal), Language Ideologies and the Inventions of Art History

F R I D A Y ,  9  M A R C H  2 0 1 8

9:30  Panel 2 | Assimilation and Transformation of Academic Models
• Alessandra Russo (Columbia University), Antiguidade and Pintura: Concepts Redefined by a Novel Artistic Universality
• Francesca Terrenato (Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza), In the Manner of Vasari: Italian Loanwords and Calques in Karel van Mander’s Schilder-Boeck (1604)

10:50  Coffee Break

11:20  Panel 3 | In the Shadow of the Academy
Chair: Alexander Nagel
• Michael Fried (Johns Hopkins University), Reading Diderot in America
• Stephen Bann (University of Bristol), Historical Genre: Negotiating a Hybrid Concept in and outside of 19th-Century France

12:40  Lunch Break

14:00  Panel 4 | Translating and Untranslating Art Writing
Chair: Brigitte Sölch
• Elisabeth Décultot (Universität Halle), Winckelmanns Sprachen: Kunsttheorie als Übersetzung
• Andreas Beyer (Universität Basel), Art Historical Untranslatables
• Christopher S. Wood (New York University), Why did the ‘Renaissance’ Resist Translation?

16:00  Coffee Break

16:30  Site Visit
Chapel of Saint Luke, Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, led by Fabian Jonietz (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz) — for speakers only

S A T U R D A Y ,  1 0  M A R C H  2 0 1 8

9:30  Panel 5 | Ekphrasis in the 20th Century
Chair: Andreas Beyer
• Marco Mascolo (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz), Roberto Longhi e la sua ricezione, tra ekphrasis e connoisseurship
• Émilie Passignat (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia), Nello specchio della traduzione: l’ecfrasi longhiana alla prova della lingua francese

10:50  Coffee Break

11:20  Panel 6 | Art History and Social Science
Chair: Hana Gründler
• C. Oliver O’Donnell (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz), Schapiro and Lévi-Strauss: Structuralist Arguments among Color Field Paintings
• Whitney Davis (University of California, Berkeley), Reading-In: Franz Boas and the Languages of the Anthropology of Art

12:45  Concluding Discussion

Image: Joseph Kosuth, Ten Locations of Meaning, 2009 


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