Environmental Sustainability in Art History, Theory, and Practice
Call for papers for a session sponsored by the Radical Art Caucus to be held at the 99th annual College Art Association conference, February 9-12, 2011 in New York, NY.
This panel is intended to spawn broader dialogue within the arts community on the issue of environmental sustainability. It is also intended to be the springboard for an edited book or special issue of a journal. One of the most compelling critiques of humankind in today’s world is that we are enmeshed in fundamentally unsustainable systems. Much like radical thinking has helped scholars to understand relationships between art and the exploitation of people of color, workers, disabled people, women, and queer people, we believe that it can illuminate connections between art and the environment. Given that critiquing the roots of problems is a hallmark of radicalism, the session will tease out the strengths and weaknesses of environmental sustainability as a concept—a task that might be accomplished in numerous ways. Historical papers could interrogate how artistic or visual culture has been used to promote or undermine ecological sustainability. Artists might discuss how their creations or working processes are sustainable or unsustainable. Explorations of how community-based art fosters awareness of sustainability or alters institutions could help us to understand progressive change. Reinterpretations of canonical art, using sustainability as a lens, could be used as models for future analytical work. In short, we will consider the usefulness of environmental sustainability as a conceptual anchor for the arts. Papers must reflect critically on the concept of sustainability as well as apply it to art. Proposals by scholars who are not able to speak at the conference will be considered for inclusion in the published version.
To submit a proposal, email a 300 word abstract and CV to Travis Nygard by March 31, 2010: firstname.lastname@example.org
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