The Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites graduate students and emerging scholars (recent PhDs and junior faculty) to submit paper proposals for The Limits of Knowledge, a one-day symposium scheduled for February 20, 2009. This conference will address the ways in which skepticism, doubt, and uncertainty delineate the boundaries of what is knowable, and what is true in the history of art, architecture, and visual culture.
The visual representation of ideas and of objects is inextricably bound to concepts of truth and objectivity. If, however, these concepts are historically variable, dependent on engrained social practices and moral cultures, so too is the definition of an image with claims to truth or objectivity. What are the possibilities of knowledge in the visual field? What are its limitations? How can skepticism inform, complicate, question, or reject claims to the representation of truth through visual artifacts? To what end?
We conceive of skepticism in its broad range of applications—moral, scientific, metaphysical, and religious as they relate to the visual arts. 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 the history of science and technology, landscape and the environment, the history of religion, and archaeologies of knowledge. Our keynote speakers are Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor at Harvard University, and Gail Wight, conceptual artist and Associate Professor at Stanford University.
Abstracts of 300 words or less for 20 minute papers should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 1st. We will notify participants by December 15th.
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