CFP: 4 Sessions at AAH (Newcastle, 1-3 Apr 20)

Association for Art History’s 46th Annual Conference (AAH), Newcastle upon Tyne, April 1 - 03, 2020
Deadline: Oct 21, 2019

[1] Early Modern Tolerance
[2] Theatre, Art, and Visual Culture in the 19th Century
[3] Afrotropes
[4] British Curatorial Practices


[1] Early Modern Tolerance

From: Dr Jamie L Edwards
Date: 2 July 2019

Session Convenors:
Edward Wouk (The University of Manchester),
Jamie Edwards (University of Birmingham),

The representation of tolerance was relatively rare in the visual arts of the early modern period. While imagery of bigotry and violence proliferated across media, for example in battle scenes, representations of martyrdom, and images of encounters with inhabitants of the Americas – all of which have been extensively studied in recent years – far fewer images address the theme of tolerance. Correspondingly, little scholarly work has been done on how, and to what extent, early modern artists engaged with the theme of tolerance in their works. This session therefore seeks to explore whether it is indeed possible to speak of an early modern visual culture of tolerance, and will investigate how and why artists created images that both visualised and inculcated a tolerant stance in the face of prevailing social, religious, or ethnic differences or tensions. We are interested in papers that explore a range of visual material and welcome contributions that look across geographic and temporal boundaries, including those that address non-western traditions or explore the resonances of early modern images of tolerance in and for our contemporary world.

Themes can include (but are not limited to):
– images of harmony, concord, peace, and equality, and how these provided spaces in which artists and their publics could seek alternatives to the cultures of violent intolerance in which they lived and worked
– the particular forms of participation and performance, if any, that viewers enacted in response to images of tolerance
– (visual) dissimulation and dissemblance
– why early modern tolerance matters today.

Note: This session is co-sponsored by the Renaissance Society of America (RSA)

Please email your paper proposal to the session convenors using the Paper Proposal Form


[2] Theatre, Art, and Visual Culture in the 19th Century

From: Patricia Smyth
Date: 2 July 2019

Session Convenor:
Patricia Smyth,

Convened on behalf of the three-year AHRC-funded project, ‘Theatre and Visual Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century’, this session seeks to create cross-disciplinary dialogue between scholars of art history, visual culture and theatre history. The 19th century is known as a period of blurred boundaries between previously distinct media, as evidenced by the growing importance of spectacle in stage productions, the circulation of images and motifs between media, and also by the frequent application of the term ‘theatrical’ to a certain type of narrative painting. This trans-medial visual culture operated through a range of new technologies, from printing methods such as lithography, to optical toys and spectacular entertainments like the panorama and the diorama, the visual effects of which were also attempted on stage. In looking laterally across media (and disciplinary) boundaries, we hope to offer new insights into contemporary debates about spectatorship, cultural legitimacy, popular taste, and the relationship between high art and entertainment.

We invite proposals from researchers working on any aspect of the relationship between theatre and the visual arts in this period. We particularly welcome considerations of the Northumberland-born artist John Martin. The theatricality of Martin’s work was foregrounded by the 2011–12 Tate Britain exhibition, which used special effects to convey its status as the 19th-century equivalent of the blockbuster movie. This example raises questions about how inventive curatorial practices might convey the experience of 19th-century spectators to 21st-century viewers in the midst of our own technological revolution

This session will consist of six 25-minute papers presented over the course of one day as part of the 46th Annual Conference of the Association of Art History, co-hosted by Newcastle University and Northumbria University, 1-3 April 2020. The conference will be held across both campuses in the city centre and will include many opportunities to explore the vibrant cultural landscape of the North East of England. In addition to academic sessions and research papers, we anticipate that the 2020 Annual Conference will include a mix of events including artists’ film screenings, performances, roundtable discussions, and site visits.

Submit a paper:
Please email your paper proposals direct to Patricia Smyth (, using the Proposal Form available on the Association for Art History website.
You need to provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper, your name and institutional affiliation (if any). Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because the title is what appears online, in social media and in the printed programme. You should receive an acknowledgement receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 21 October 2019


[3] Afrotropes as an Analytical Framework to Expand Art Historical Methodologies of the Black Atlantic?

From: Sarah Hegenbart
Date: 3 July 2019

Session convenors:
Sarah Hegenbart (Technical University Munich),
Levi Prombaum (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum),

This session will explore how the ‘afrotrope’ elucidates an art history dedicated to the artistic expressions and exchanges between the African continent and its diaspora. The notion of the ‘afrotrope’ was introduced by Huey Copeland and Krista Thompson as an analytical framework to examine the circulation of motifs that feature centrally in African Diaspora aesthetics. While ‘afrotropes’ facilitate alternative theoretical models beyond the Western epistemologies structured by time and space, they are also inspired by concepts such as Mikhail Bakhtin’s ‘chronotope’ and its subsequent adoption in the work of Paul Gilroy, as well as Hortense Spillers concept of the ‘pornotrope’.

The theoretical discourses in this thematisation raise large questions about ‘African’ art history’s relationship to ‘Western’ art history, as well as questions about the specificity and universality of image cultures across Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Since the movement of afrotropes involves an oscillation between latency and forceful recurrence in response to socio-political events conditioning black experiences, to what extent does an in-depth understanding of afrotropes and their distinctive materiality require challenging existing tendencies within theoretical discourses of Western art history? How does ‘afrotrope’ function to (or need it function to) account for traditional distinctions between fine art and the vernacular? How might the term account for the different social conditions that emerge in post-colonial and post-slavery contexts?

We would like to invite you to submit paper proposals for our panel "Afrotropes as an Analytical Framework to Expand Art Historical Methodologies of the Black Atlantic?" that will form part of the Association for Art History’s 46th Annual Conference. The conference will be co-hosted by Newcastle University and Northumbria University from 1 April until 3 April 2020.

TO OFFER A PAPER, please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenors: Sarah Hegenbart (Technical University Munich) and Levi Prombaum (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper, your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Deadline for submissions: Monday 21 October 2019
For further details see:



From: Laia Anguix
Date: 6 July 2019

Session Convenors:
Laia Anguix (Northumbria University),
Elisabetta Fabrizi (Newcastle University),
Massimiliano Papini (Northumbria University),

Scholarly research is giving growing importance to curatorial practices. Publications such as the Museum History Journal (8:1, 2015) have discussed how, since the mid-to-late 19th century, curators worldwide have adapted from the scholarly and administrative art expert archetype (George, 2015) to one that ‘possesses an authorial/artistic function’ (O’Neill, 2012), in which the ‘making’ takes centre stage (Acord, 2010). Have British curators followed the same evolution or are there distinctive characteristics that set British curators apart from their colleagues abroad? This panel aims to cover a gap in curatorial research by discussing the history of curators in Britain, reflecting on how they have engaged with their economic, political, and professional contexts since Victorian times (Black, 2000). It will analyse the role of professional associations such as the UK Museums Association (1889) as a forum for exchanging ideas and practice, the emergence of training programmes in the mid-20th century, the creation of the first HE curatorial course in the Royal College of Art (1992) and the potential professional challenges of a post-Brexit scenario.

We invite papers on the following possible topics:
- Distinctiveness of British curatorial practices;
- peculiarity of British curators’ training in different periods and its impact upon practice;
- isolation and connection in the relations with foreign artists, institutions, colleagues, critics, connoisseurs, private collectors, commercial art galleries and public powers;
- internationalism and Britishness in curatorial discourses;
- class and gender inclusion in the profession compared to other countries;
- the impact of curation on the art market and art education in the UK and abroad.

Please email your paper proposal to the session convenors using the Paper Proposal Form on the website.

CFP: 4 Sessions at AAH (Newcastle, 1-3 Apr 20). In:, Jul 8, 2019 (accessed Oct 1, 2020), <>.

Contributor: ArtHist Redaktion

Contribution published: Jul 8, 2019

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