Singulier Pluriel: Collectivity, Community, Engagement
March 7 and 8, 2014 at Concordia University, Montréal, QC
To be singular, yet plural. At the outset, this statement can be read as paradoxical. The dichotomous relationship uniting the two simple words — singular and plural — has the ability to address the means with which individuals think, create, write, and understand notions of belonging and engagement. This theme for Concordia University's Art History graduate student conference reflects an interest in and questioning of how artists, institutions, and publications negotiate individuality in relation to notions of collectivity, community, and engagement.
In Being Singular Plural (2000), Jean-Luc Nancy posits that being is always "being-with”, that we are determined as individuals based on our encounters and relationships with others. Nancy questions the exclusive identity of “we” that develops in communities, and asks how communities can retain both the plurality and individuality of its participants. He writes that the singular plural is such that “the singularity of each being is indissociable from its being-with-many…because, in general, a singularity is indissociable from a plurality.” (32)
Within the context of the conference, this particular reference to Nancy reflects the multiple links that connect participants to the production, exhibition, and dissemination of the arts, as well as to art historical and theoretical writings. In keeping with this communal spirit, Singulier Pluriel: Collectivity, Community, Engagement embodies an opportunity to share and exchange individual, collective and collaborative efforts from intellectual and creative fields. Additionally, it encourages the employment of critical socially and politically engaged approaches.
Concordia University’s Art History Graduate Student Association is currently seeking original academic papers to be included in this year’s graduate student conference. Examinations of historical material and contemporary theoretical concerns will be equally considered, as well as specific case studies, comprehensive analyses of broader paradigms and the use of transdisciplinary methodologies.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
- Community-based art practices
- Socially-engaged art practices and writings
- Analysis of art collectives, cooperatives, and institutions
- Dialogical and collaborative art
- The writing of global art studies
- Artist-run centers and alternative exhibition spaces and strategies
- The politics of resistance and subversion in art
- Interactive, networked, and multimedia strategies
- Notions of receptivity and interaction
Presentations should be twenty minutes in length (2,500 words) and will be followed by a discussion period. Interested parties should send a 300-word abstract in English or French, a short biography (100 words), and contact information (including your institutional affiliation and degree type), in a Word document to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, November 30, 2013. Presenters will be notified by January 2014.
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