Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CFP: AAH10 Conference, University of Glasgow, 15-17 April 2010

The year 2010 marks the beginning of a new decade in 21st-century art historical investigation and an ideal moment for a reassessment of historical objects, issues, and methods, as well as an acknowledgement of newer works of art and criticism developed across disciplines, periods, media and practice boudaries. We trust that the sessions here announced will encourage that process of reassessment. Papers that address or employ new methods and issues are welcome, but equally important will be state-of-the-discipline investigations and critical assessments that may be uni- or multi-disciplinary, object-based, pedagogical, interrogative, theoretical, or performative.

2010 also marks the 20th anniversary of Glasgow as European City of Culture, and the city as a whole will feature in the hosting of this conference. Though the majority of sessions will take place on the Gilmorehill campus of the University of Glasgow, sections of the conference will be hosted by The Glasgow School of Art, in conjunction with the Centre for Contemporary Arts.

If you would like to offer a paper, please contact the session convenor(s) directly, providing an abstract of your proposed paper in no more than 250 words, your name and institutional affiliation (if any). Please do not send paper proposals to the conference convenor.

Deadline for submission of papers : 9 November 2009.

For queries about the conference or bookfair please contact the Conference Convenor and/or Conference and Bookfair Administrator at aah2010@arthist.arts.gla.ac.uk.

Further details can be obtained from : www.glasgow.ac.uk/aah10 and www.aah.org.uk

Conference Convenor : Dr John Richards, University of Glasgow, Department of History of Art.
Conference and Bookfair Administrator : Dr Ailsa Boyd, Department of History of Art, University of Glasgow, 8 University Gardens, Glasgow, G12 8QH, UK.

NOTABLE SESSIONS (all sessions : here) :

The Relic and the City
Helen Hills, University of York (hh508@york.ac.uk)

Recent years have seen a renewed scholarly interest in relics and reliquaries amongst art historians, especially those working outside the medieval period. Relics have been considered in relation to political power, to dynastic authority, to gendered devotion, and to venerational practices, amongst other important issues. To date, however, they have been considered above all as passive objects, valuable items for powerful individuals and institutions to possess, rather than as active affective objects productive of change.

Relics occupy curious positions both in relation to time and space. They look both forward and backward simultaneously. Thus they can be seen to divide and link death and life, heaven and earth, heavenly Jerusalem and earthly city, and to participate in both simultaneously. They gesture back to the saint's death and forward to the resurrection of all humans at the Last Judgement. This anomalous and ambiguous relationship to both time and space endows relics with significant potential. This session investigates that potential with regard to the city. It aims to explore the relationships between relics, reliquaries, devotion to relics, and the city. How might we most productively think the relic-city relation ? how might we usefully map relics ? What are the effects of relic veneration on the city and vice versa ? In what ways have patronal saints' relics inflected or contributed to urban developments ? How have relics impacted urbanistically ? How did/do relics work to produce particular forms and practices within urban spaces and in relation to specific urban institutions and groups ?

If we think of extensive space as that which can be measured, and of intensive space as that which defies linear measurement, but as potentially productive of spiritual , political, and social change, in what ways, and to what ends might we think of relics in relation to intensive space ? How do relics disrupt extensive space and with what consequence for cities ?

Picturing the Sensorium in Art from Antiquity to 1800
Rachel King, The University of Manchester (r.king@cantab.net)
Christopher Plumb, The University of Manchester (christopherplumb@gmail.com)

In recent years, scholarship has become increasingly sensitised to the fact that historical human interaction with the material world, as it still does today, engaged not only the visual, but also the spectrum of the sensory and affective. The result has been a raft of histories of tasting, smelling, touching and hearing - all of which, directly or indirectly, work with and extend Baxandall's concept of the 'period eye'. Then, as now, these oral, aural, visual, olfactory and haptic practices were not only culturally determined but also often communicated without written explanation or in transitory form. We welcome papers that explore the performance of the senses in art from Antiquity to 1800 (for example hearing music, touching sculpture, smelling flowers, stroking animals, tasting food) as well as affective responses, such as pleasure or disgust. Papers might discuss sensorial engagement with art and/or its materials in contexts such as the artist's studio, domestic interior or gallery/museum. They could also consider how art reflects the contingent medical and social contexts of the senses or how artistic media, for example tapestries or objects to be handled, were viewed in times when contagion was feared. Equally, contributions could relate to the inhibition or loss of the senses, such as the depiction of blindness or the deterioration of an artist's own faculties of sight and/or colour as revealed in his/her writings or work. This panel welcomes contributions that provide fresh interpretations of existing knowledge, or presentations of new material emerging from research, conservation, or archival discoveries.

Poster Session
Veronica Davies, The Open University (veronicadavies4@aol.com)
Janet Stiles Tyson, Independent Art Historian (jtyson@earthlink.net)

Building on experience gained in the successful inauguration of a Poster Session at AAH09, we are inviting submissions to a Poster Session for AAH10 in Glasgow, for which participants will prepare materials that lend themselves to visual display. This can be a combination of visual, textual, and other media, whose presentation focal point will be a freestanding panel or allotted area of reserved wall space at the conference venue. These displays then can be viewed by conference delegates : authors also can make themselves available, at times of their choosing, to discuss the display content. The poster session will therefore provide delegates with an opportunity to participate in the conference as authors, whose ideas might not fit neatly into conventional presentation formats.

We are calling for abstracts for the poster session, prepared in the same way as conventional proposals, bearing in mind the conference's wide-ranging engagement with methodologies and issues : a particular welcome is extended to medieval and renaissance topics. Guidelines on parameters for display and on effective presentation of visual and textual material will be made available to selected session participants. Joint authorship of posters would also be welcomed.

New Perspectives on the Art of the Middle East : From Ancient History to the Contemporary
Christine Riding, Tate Britain (christine.riding@tate.org.uk)

Since the publication of Edward Said's Orientalism in 1978, a substantial literature has grown up taking as its critical object western perspectives on 'the East'. This session seeks to widen this focus and venture beyond 'western Orientalism' to a more representative understanding of the visual culture of the Middle East.

There is a strong scholarly literature on the art of the Middle East, generated by Middle Eastern scholars over the last few decades, which is relatively unknown in the West. There is important work on the art of the Ottoman Empire, contemporary art and visual culture, and the art of the Holy Qu'ran ; while the question of Middle Eastern appropriation of Orientalist discourse, Ottoman Orientalism or contemporary collecting is a live issue of debate.

Proposals are encouraged on any aspect of historical and contemporary art of the Middle East from perspectives originating from the region itself. These may include, but are not limited to, the reception and consumption of Western art and culture (including Orientalist art) and contemporary art making and collecting. We are keen to obtain proposals which cover the whole chronological span from the pre-Islamic to the very contemporary, thus encouraging scholarship to range more widely than the nineteenth-century, the heyday of Western Orientalism.

This is a deliberately broad call for papers with the intention of identifying the key areas of current scholarship and opening them to a broader Western audience. The session will both assess the state of this scholarship and identify priorities for new avenues of research in what is emerging as a vibrant field.