The Art History Graduate Students Association of Concordia University announces its annual
graduate symposium in Art History at Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Writing Between the Lines: Art and its Historians
March 27-28, 2009
CALL FOR PAPERS
Concordia University’s Art History Graduate Students Association invites proposals for Writing
Between the Lines: Art and its Historians, a two-day graduate symposium that will investigate
the roles, opportunities, and quandaries of those involved in the writing of art history.
Taking as a starting point the idea that the author is present in the art historical text – both
literally, as the narrator of art’s story, and figuratively, as a culturally and historically-bound
subject acting “behind” the text – this symposium seeks to ask the following questions: In what
way do the culture, gender, or social standing of the art historian inflect an understanding and
recording of the art discussed? Historically, how have certain prominent authors influenced both
the course of art history and the way it has been written? What social, political, and economic
determinations affect who writes art history? Is the work of the art historian on the same plane
as that of the artist? Is self-reflexivity a necessary component of art historical writing today?
How is the idea of the art historian being transformed by the increasing emphasis on visual
culture and interdisciplinarity?
This symposium aims to consider figures from many disciplines as active agents in the writing of
art history, including curators, art critics, conservators, public educators, artists, and scholars
from other fields. Papers that take the work of specific authors as objects of study are welcome,
as are papers engaging more generally with the conditions of art historical writing. The
symposium is, more importantly, an opportunity for contributors to examine their own roles as
authors of art history.
Potential topics may include, but are not restricted to:
- The biography/identity of the art historian
- The history of art as a history of authors
- The socio-political determinations of art historical writing
- The art historian as primary viewer of works of art
- The art historian as mediator of artistic practice
- The role of the art historian in defining the conceptual boundaries of the discipline
- Art historical writing as a task for non-art historians
- The art historian as ambassador: cultural, political, institutional
English and French submissions from graduate students and emerging scholars in all areas of
art history as well as related disciplines are welcome. Presentations will be twenty minutes in
length (or approximately 2,500 words), and will be followed by a discussion period.
Please send a 300-word abstract, a short biographical note and all relevant contact information
to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 19, 2008.
Engineering and Visual Arts Building EV3.784
1455 Boul. de Maisoneuve, Ouest
H3G 1M8 Email: email@example.com
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