The Department of the History of Art and Architecture at UCSB invites graduate students and emerging scholars (recent PhDs and junior faculty) to submit paper proposals for “Seeing Knowledge Work,” a conference about the ways in which we structure our understanding of the creation, purpose, and meaning of visual knowledge.
The Oxford English Dictionary broadly defines “knowledge work,” as “a job which involves handling or using information.” The term, however, typically refers more specifically to the dominant business paradigm of the postindustrial age. As producers of knowledge that inescapably functions as a commodity, the humanities have begun their own metacritical ponderance of the possibilities and limitations of the work that they create and disseminate. The act of making knowledge visible, and of seeing it at work and at play, makes it available as an object for comprehension and critique. How does visual knowledge
work, and how, in an age saturated with easily accessible visual information, do historians of art and architecture imagine their own knowledge labor?
We conceive of “knowledge work” as a concept with a broad range of applications to histories of art, architecture, and visual culture. We invite papers from a wide range of thematic, methodological, and philosophical perspectives, and we encourage submissions across a variety of time periods and geographical designations. Possible topics include discussions of visual representation and modernization, the history of science and religion, political and technological
revolutions, and landscape and the environment. Alan Liu, Professor of English at UCSB and author of The Culture of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information, will join us as our keynote speaker.
Abstracts of 300 words or less for 20 minute papers should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 1st. We will notify participants by February 15th.
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