CFP: 11 Sessions at CAA (Chicago, 12-15 Feb 20)

College Art Association CAA2020 annual conference, Chicago, Illinois, USA, February 12 - 15, 2020
Deadline: Jul 23, 2019

[1] Topographical Drawing
[2] Early Modern Women in the Streets?
[3] The Fabric of the Object
[4] From the Ground Up
[5] Beyond the Algorithm
[6] Framing Black Paintings
[7] Politics of Art in Public Spaces
[8] Rethinking Late Style
[9] Ethnographic Aesthetics, Fashion Visualities
[10] Claims on Home
[11] Women and Experimental Art Education in Latin America


[1] Topographical Drawing

From: Patricia Mainardi
Date: 09 July 19

Chairs: Cynthia Roman,The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, and Patricia Mainardi, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

In the modern era, landscape painting has been largely defined by Impressionism, favoring atmospheric visuality over fidelity to form. And yet this was not always the case. This session seeks to explore the parallel incentive, topographical drawing, in all its manifestations. We define topography as a pictorial description of a specific place in a wide array of forms with a diversity of functions and patrons or audiences. These might include travelers’ sketchbooks, architectural renderings, mapmaking, estate portraits, botanical illustration, etc. We are interested in the work of professional and amateur artists, scientists, architects, and engineers. Proposals could focus on scientific knowledge of space (detail/geology/geography); on making and learning strategies; on the functions of topographical projects (patron, creator, or audience expectations); methods of observing, recording, or conveying the desired “information” about the place (choices of media, format, style, color, technique).

Building on recent scholarly attention given to the role and history of topographical views, most notably the British Library’s project Picturing Place and broadening the ongoing Yale University-wide project on topography sponsored by the Lewis Walpole Library, we seek to cast as wide a net as possible, not limited either geographically or chronologically. Preference will be given to new participants because we hope that this session will follow the long-standing CAA tradition of identifying and making connections among scholars whom we do not yet know but who share our interests.

Completed submission forms and 2-page CVs should be sent directly to Cynthia Roman ( and Patricia Mainardi ( before the July 23rd deadline.

The submission form and more information can be found at this link:


[2] Early Modern Women in the Streets? Women’s Visibility in the Public Sphere

From: Maria Maurer
Date: 9 July 19

Session sponsored by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender
Chair: Maria Maurer,

In light of the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States, this panel seeks papers that investigate women’s visibility in the early modern world. Religious and literary discourses often admonished them to remain hidden from public view, but early modern women were skilled at negotiating social and cultural strictures. As artists, patrons, beholders and actors, and as individuals and groups, women used visual and material culture in order to proclaim their presence.

This session therefore seeks papers that explore the visibility and agency of women in the early modern world. What roles did women play in artistic production and consumption, especially in highly visible locations such as the church or city square? Conversely, what strategies did women use to publicize artistic projects that may have been less visible? How did women negotiate, and at times violate, the boundaries between domestic or conventual space and civic space? How did women participate in early modern ritual and ceremonial life? The concept of the 'public sphere' maybe broadly interpreted.

We seek papers from any area of the globe from c. 1400 - c. 1800. We especially welcome papers that take a global or transcultural approach to the question of women’s visibility and agency. Scholars of all ranks and situations are welcome to apply.

Please include: abstract of 250 words; short CV (2 pages maximum); CAA proposal form (download:
Send to:; please include 'CAA Proposal' in the subject line.


[3] The Fabric of the Object: Material and Technical Innovation Among Female Painters in the Post-War Period

From: Frauke V. Josenhans
Date: 9 July 19

Session Co-Chairs:
Frauke V. Josenhans, Rice University,
Cynthia Schwarz, Yale University Art Gallery,

This session proposes a new discussion of the crucial contributions made by female painters worldwide to modern art during the post-war period. Many of these artists pioneered new techniques and materials but their role has been largely overlooked in past art historical writings.
The session will take into consideration the cultural and historical context, which led to experimentation with and adoption of new materials and techniques by female painters. Their material investigation benefited from historical factors, such as the rapid technological innovation during the Second World War, a period during which female workers were led to perform traditionally male jobs for war-production. During the immediate post-war period, many new commercial products for the household, such as aerosol paint, were advertised to women. Additionally, increased migration during and after the war forged new aesthetic and technological collaborations that would have a lasting impact on the art world. To emphasize a global perspective, this session would focus on artists from different continents, with examples ranging from the Romanian-American artist Hedda Sterne’s early use of spray paint; Venezuelan Elsa Gramcko’s hybrid canvases; Hungarian-born Judit Reigl’s scraped “excremental rags”; Belgian Evelyne Axell’s use of plastics and spray paint; to Japanese artist Aiko Miyawaki’s incorporation of marble dust into oil paint to create evocative reliefs.
Instead of limiting themselves to one media, many of these artists took an experimental approach to their studio practice, which this session proposes to further elucidate. Submissions from practicing artists who engage in the tradition of material experimentation are encouraged.

Please submit an abstract of 250 words maximum along with the completed CAA proposal form by July 23, 2019, to the session co-chairs. The submission form can be found at this link:


[4] From the Ground Up: Geology, Mineralogy, and Materiality in Art and Design

From: Julie Bellemare
Date: 9 July 19

Antonia Behan, Julie Bellemare, and Colin Fanning, Bard Graduate Center

"The workers dig and cut to get some mountain bones,
A labor of many long days.
A thousand wonderful scenes come to life from the stone;
How ignorant can people be not to see nature’s art."

In words that could equally have been uttered by John Ruskin in the nineteenth century, eleventh-century Chinese scholar Ouyang Xiu captures the complex connections between geology, physical labor, and aesthetic enjoyment. Building on the material turn in art history, this panel responds to broader scholarly interests in the agency of matter. We posit that a focus on geological substances can challenge art-historical and museological conventions; for instance, whereas stone and metal are often considered distinct mediums, mineral and metal ores share certain characteristics that may undercut common artistic taxonomies. We invite submissions of papers that explore historical intersections between geological materials and the arts across historical periods and cultural contexts, with a particular interest in decorative arts, craft, and design.

Themes and questions might include, among others: What cultural roles have stones, ores, or minerals played in specific times and places? How have artisans, designers, or manufacturers made use of geological materials or conceptualized their importance? What kinds of mediation have such materials (or objects made with them) performed? How might they resist or complicate binaries such as natural/artificial, organic/inorganic, or static/dynamic? And what can the histories of mining, geology, or the collection and display of rocks and minerals contribute to art and design history?

To submit a paper proposal, please use CAA’s proposal form found at:
Proposals should be 250 words max, and accompanied by a 2-page CV.
Please send your proposals directly to session chair Julie Bellemare ( by 23 July 2019.
Conference presenters must be CAA members. Notifications for selection will be sent out by 22 August 2019.


[5] Beyond the Algorithm: Art Historians, Librarians, and Archivists in Collaboration on Digital Humanities Initiatives

From: Maggie Mustard
Date: 9 July 19

Session Chairs: Amye McCarther (Archivist) and Dr Maggie Mustard (Marcia Tucker Senior Research Fellow), New Museum of Contemporary Art

Global tech companies first began to make serious moves into the business of mining cultural resources for their data potential nearly a decade ago. Today, some of the world’s top fine art collections have been aggregated and made searchable and dynamically malleable online thanks, in part, to the investment of museums and academic institutions in building accessible digital collections. Taking into account the resources afforded to the world’s biggest tech giants, and the implications of their extraction and mobilization of personal or institutional data, this panel is instead interested in exploring how individual non-profit institutions devoted to the preservation and interpretation of the visual arts are tackling innovative projects using emerging technologies that are scaled to their respective audiences and missions.

We invite presentations for consideration on museum, library, or academic initiatives seeking to develop new knowledge resources that harness the structure, content, and affordances of robust digital collections to contextualize, narrativize, or otherwise activate a collection’s assets. How might we determine and measure the pedagogical and public benefits of bridging the sometimes overdetermined boundaries of the archive and its potential interpretations? What are the infrastructural and technological challenges to these projects, and how do we critically design solutions to address the divisions and disparities they reinforce? Where is the deep knowledge of art historians, curators, art librarians, and archivists engaging with emerging technologies to create new knowledge, new access, and new resources, and how do these projects potentially highlight or obscure the often invisible labor performed in the archive?

If interested, please send a completed CAA proposal form ( and a shortened copy of your CV to and by July 23, 2019.

To see the session listing on the CAA website, please visit:


[6] Framing Black Paintings: Reconsidering the History and Legacy of Black Paintings, Nineteenth Century to the Present

From: Nicole Georgopulos
Date: 10 July 19

Nicole Georgopulos (
Amy Rahn (

From the nineteenth century onward, artists from Francisco de Goya to Norman Lewis have produced series of works they called “black paintings.” Now popularly associated with the pantheon of mid-twentieth-century abstract painters such as Joan Mitchell and Jackson Pollock, and through exhibitions like Black Paintings: Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella (Haus der Kunst, 2006-07), black paintings now occupy a critical position in American Modernism and the history of painting at large. Yet, as pervasive as the terminology has become, black paintings’ rich lineage has only begun to be fully articulated. Recent discussions of blackness and black abstraction have enriched political and artistic consideration of works and exhibitions by artists like Kerry James Marshall and Glenn Ligon, deepening the historical and cultural questions posed by black paintings.

This session invites papers that approach black paintings globally from the nineteenth century to the present on themes that could include race, opticality and invisibility, color theory, melancholia, and the occult, among others. We invite diverse methodologies and interdisciplinary perspectives in service of a discussion that considers the different aesthetic, racial, and political valences of black paintings as a powerful current in modern painting.

Kindly submit your abstract (250 words) to the chairs by July 23, 2019. Please include a CV and completed CAA proposal form, available here:

Selected panelists will be notified by August 22, 2019. We look forward to receiving your proposal.


[7] Politics of Art in Public Spaces

From: Lily Woodruff
Date: 10 July 19

Affiliated Society or Committee Name: European Postwar and Contemporary Art Forum
Sandra Uskokovic, University of Dubrovnik
Email Address(s):

Post-communist countries after the fall of their oppressive regimes used to dream about a new, more human society. However, most of the EU countries as well as US– to a greater or lesser extent – have experienced neoliberal forms of capitalism that partially cutback former liberties, and through economic exploitation reduced public spaces. This increasing loss of public spaces Sloterdijk has called the "asynodic constitution" of contemporary society.
In the context of crisis of democracy today, this session invites art works that react to the detrimental transformation of public space and sphere from diverse cultural and historical, discursive and socio-political perspectives. It is a pursuit that is searching for particular public areas and practices in relation to power structures of art world, looking at transnational processes of subjectification and community building.

In the time and place in which experience of public spaces is generally mediated by ownership and finances, a site is open for practices of mediation that show complex social experiences of the public space in more creative and palpable manner. By enhancing socio-political subversion of their art in public spaces, artists reacted to neoliberalization and privatization of cities, marketization of life sphere that were historically always outside market parameters, thus discerning the power of experience of the place created in public interest.

This session as a whole could be viewed as a product of shared public spatial field in which interactions of artist will produce opinions, ideas, values and practices that show and enhance new models of existence and art production in public space.


[8] Rethinking Late Style: New Approaches to Old Age in Art History

From: Julia Langbein
Date: 10 July 19

Session Chairs:
Julia Louise Langbein and Jack McGrath

In “Temporality and the Necessity of Dialectic,” literary theorist Charles Altieri called age “the missing dimension of contemporary [postmodern] theory.” If following thinkers like Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, art history has, in the past generation, been revolutionized by an understanding of identity as constructed, it has given little consideration to the ways identity changes over time.

Art History possesses a category of critical literature dedicated to late-life: The "late style" or “late career” study, which emerged along with the discipline of art history in the 19th century. These studies tend to contrast the artist’s late work with his/her overall oeuvre; “late style” can be assessed in a formalist void without recourse to the biological, social, and historical situation of the aging artist, or it can rely too heavily on biographical or medical readings of the aged body.

This panel seeks to reinvigorate the study of advanced age or late-life production in art and visual culture as a historical, theoretical problem, and not merely as subject or theme. How does the study of old age advance/challenge our understanding of raced, classed or gendered identities? What methods might we use to study late-life output as part of a complex social and historical fabric? How have concepts like “originality” or “de-skilling” shaped and been shaped by conceptions of the aging mind? How have artists sited biological aging in their own work? We welcome papers from a wide range of area specialties.

Your proposed abstract (250 words) must be submitted to the chairs by the deadline of July 23, 2019. Selected panelists will be notified by August 22, 2019.

Please also include a CV and completed CAA proposal form, available for download here:


[9] Ethnographic Aesthetics, Fashion Visualities

From: Alice Morin
Date: 10 July 19

In 1967, American Vogue published « The Quest for Beauty in Dahomey, » a 16-pages photographic essay shot by American photographer Irving Penn, accompanied by a scientific text by Belgian ethnologist Jacques Maquet. While it has seldom been critically analyzed, fashion photography has a long-standing tradition of fascination for ethnographic subjects, categories and imagery. Conversely, visual anthropology has often been accused of aestheticizing “the Other.” Photographs such as Penn’s, that flirt seductively with both fashion and ethnography, were widely disseminated in periodicals such as National Geographic, Life and Vogue. Mainstream press, and the fashion press in particular, has largely participated in the naturalization of the Euro-American worldview. Can fashion photography help us rethink the categories of anthropological knowledge?

This session will explore photographic works produced at the intersection of fashion and ethnography, that convey an aesthetic and a particular worldview. Our focus will be on images circulating via mainstream magazines—understood here, after Mary Louise Pratt, as « contact zones, » that is as sites of encounter between Euro-American and Global South cultures and aesthetics within the context of unbalanced power relations. We welcome papers located at the critical juncture of fashion studies, media studies and postcolonial studies that interrogate the reciprocal influences of fashion and ethnography as they unfold in a variety of images, be they editorials, advertisements, photographic campaigns or commissioned series, from the 19th century until today.

Submission Requirements can be found here:


[10] Claims on Home

From: Todd Porterfield
Date: 10 July 19

Co-Chairs: Kirsten Scheid and Todd Porterfield

This session investigates artistic, critical, and historigraphic practices that make claims on home, an urgent and long-standing issue with disciplinary and international consequence. Movements to repatriate looted objects and claims to return exiled peoples sometimes suppose an integral bond to home. Opposed to the dispossessed and the transient, home sits on the side of possession, permanence, and immutability. Has it always been and must it be the case? What are the ethical stakes in starting histories of art with a given, preset home?
We seek papers on artistic and art historical practices from multiple perspectives. In both Lebanon and Algeria, as in "France-proper," for example, claims to be at home were made through art while impossible in other realms. More contemporary concerns interrogate artistic strategies that stand for home and signify at-homeness in currently colonized lands or sites of dispossession. How does art renew standing claims of affiliation with a "home audience" or broadcast new claims in an unfamiliar context? What formal strategies and economic arrangements effectuate home-making?
We know that art historians and curators have long deemed origin and provenance as essential markers and determinants of character, meaning, and value. How do those points of claimed origin fix notions of identity and presumptions of belonging? Does one start Vietnamese or Palestinian art history with the pre-colonial "lost homeland" or with the later exchanges that articulated the right to the homeland? The recent flux in discourses around home-lands offers an opportunity to reevaluate art narratives, vocabularies, and methodologies.

Proposals are due to the Chairs by July 23, 2019. Selections will be made by August 22, 2019. The conference is February 12-15, 2020, in Chicago.
The CAA Proposal form can be found at:


[11] Women and Experimental Art Education in Latin America

From: Cristiana Tejo
Date: 10 July 19

Chair: Giulia Lamoni,Instituto de Historia da Arte Universidade Nova de Lisboa - giulialamonihotmail.comDiscussant:Margarida Brito Alves, -

This panel aims at exploring the intervention of women artists in the field of experimental art education in Latin America from the 1960s to the 1980s, a period characterized by shifting gender roles, growing demands for female liberation and the development of feminist struggles. Conceived as a radical site of individual and collective emancipation at a time of political oppression in many countries of this area, the creation of pedagogic projects by artists, often founded in a symbolic break with the institutional space of the classroom or the museum, developed in multiple and heterogeneous directions.

In this sense, the panel aims to discuss individual and collective educational experiences that blurred the boundaries between artistic practices and teaching, between individual and collective work, while often claiming a wider, more democratic definition of creativity and the capacity of art to intervene in social, political and psychological processes.

We invite proposals for papers that engage, from different theoretical and methodological perspectives, with the triangulation between artistic experimentation, art education and radical pedagogies in Latin America from the 1960s to the 1980s, with a specific focus on women´s contribution in this area. Proposals that question the historicizing of these practices and the methodological challenges that they present to art historians and curators are also welcome.

CFP: 11 Sessions at CAA (Chicago, 12-15 Feb 20). In:, Jul 12, 2019 (accessed Nov 13, 2019), <>.

Contributor: ArtHist Redaktion

Contribution published: Jul 12, 2019

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