October 1-2, 2009
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Paper submissions are invited for this symposium, which will address the complicated interactions between American and Asian artists and visual traditions from the eighteenth century to the present. Scholars are encouraged to send in proposals engaging all media of visual art, and including craft, architecture, and the moving image. Original, innovative scholarship is sought investigating all manner of artistic interchanges, including issues of patronage, art markets, and popular culture, and engaging a wide range of geographic sites where these exchanges took place.
The title for our symposium stems from the writings of Bert Winther-Tamaki, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, who talks in his book Art in the Encounter of Nations about the need to avoid merely binary understandings of U.S.-Asian cultural exchanges and to steer clear of expectations that East and West have “core characteristics.” Earlier scholarship often has looked at the Asian influence on American art as a unidirectional and limited development, suggesting that Asian culture was unchanging and monolithic while characterizing American artists as dynamic and original in their ability to absorb and meld the best of diverse cultures. This symposium aims to consider instead what Winther-Tamaki calls the “contentious interdependency” born out of a “long and tumultuous relationship” between these cultures.
Scholarship is invited that complicates or reimagines the historical meanings of “East” and “West” as well as terms such as “orientalism” through the prism of multi-directional cultural exchange. The symposium will recognize that the “East” is made up of a wide variety of countries -- not just Japan and China, whose influence on American art has been most discussed to date. In addition to high-art visual exchanges, interdisciplinary explorations of immigration, border cultures, and transnational flows in popular culture are welcome.
“A Long and Tumultuous Relationship”: East-West Interchanges in American Art is being organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, and is supported by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.
To submit a paper, please send a two-page, double-spaced abstract (300-500 words) and a short c.v. to East-West Symposium, Smithsonian American Art Museum, P.O. Box 37012, Victor Building, MRC 970, Washington D.C. 20013-7012. Proposals may also be submitted via e-mail to SAAMSymposium@si.edu.
Proposals must be received by February 20, 2009. Confirmed speakers will be required to submit the text of their 20-minute symposium presentations by September 1, 2009. A final text of the essay with endnotes will be due by January 5, 2010, for possible publication in the symposium proceedings. The symposium will be available for viewing in a simultaneous and, later, an archived webcast.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
P.O. Box 37012, Victor Building, MRC 970
Washington D.C. 20013-7012 Email: email@example.com
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