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Call for Papers | Exotic Switzerland?

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 18, 2018

From the session Call for Papers:

Exotic Switzerland? Circulating Art, History of Collecting, and Global Material Culture, 1600–1800
Fourth Swiss Congress of Art History, Mendrisio, 6–8 June 2019

Proposals due by 30 June 2018

Switzerland is often perceived as a secluded country with neither maritime borders nor official colonies in its past; yet its inhabitants have a long history of connecting with the outside world, be it for scientific research, political, artistic, or economic reasons. The ways and means European artists discovered, transformed, and integrated foreign objects and imagery into their works has been researched abundantly for the 19th century—for instance in the context of Orientalism and Japonisme—but still needs to be explored for the early modern period in general and for Switzerland in particular.

In this panel, we would like to explore how the travelling of objects and persons shaped the art world and material culture of Switzerland throughout the Baroque and the Enlightenment. Of interest is the connection between the decorative and the fine arts and their respective market situations. How did, for instance, the makers of fine and decorative arts, like porcelain, lacquer or textiles, as well as scientific and technical objects, alter its iconography, style, and materiality stimulated through global exchange? We would like to analyze to what extent the circulation of goods, artefacts, or art works as well as crafts and technologies transformed Swiss material culture in the era of an early globalization.

Furthermore, the political dimension of exchanges across continents shall be examined. Since the 1990s a growing number of scholars have focused on the representation of other parts of the world in Europe and related theoretical questions, leading to concepts of ‘hybridization’, ‘encounter’, ‘translation’ as well as ‘contact zone’ for instances. The word ‘exotic’ has also been used extensively in this context, particularly in the field of decorative arts—often without taking into account its etymology, political connotations, and problematic undertones. Therefore, this panel is also an opportunity to discuss the politics of classification and terminology related to cross-cultural exchanges.

Section Organizers
Prof. Dr. Noémie Etienne, Universität Bern, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, noemie.etienne@ikg.unibe.ch
Dr. Chonja Lee, Universität Bern, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, chonja.lee@ikg.unibe.ch

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The Fourth Swiss Congress of Art History will be held in Mendrisio from 6 to 8 June 2019. Organized jointly by the Swiss Association of Art Historians SAAH and the Institute for the History and Theory of Art and Architecture ISA (Accademia di architettura, Università della Svizzera italiana), it is aimed at art historians from all fields and institutions. Scholars are invited to submit proposals for 20-minute papers within one of the nine panels. Acceptance decisions will be made by the directors of individual panels. We welcome contributions in Italian, German, French, and English in the hope to assemble multilingual panels that would reflect the institutional diversity of the field and foster the young generation of academics.

Please send an abstract (1 page, max. 3000 characters) and a short curriculum vitae including institutional affiliation and contact details to the relevant panel directors by 30 June 2018. Please also CC the office of the SAAH at vkksgeschaeftsstelle@gmail.com.

The complete Call for Papers is available as a PDF file here»

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