CFP: Constructed Realities (New Brunswick, 24 Apr 20)

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, April 24, 2020
Deadline: Jan 5, 2020

Constructed Realities: Urban Identities and Landscape Representations

10th Annual Art History Graduate Student Symposium
Organized by the Rutgers University Art History Graduate Student Organization (AHGSO)

“The space in which we live, which draws us out of ourselves, in which the erosion of our lives, our time and our history occurs, the space that claws and gnaws at us, is also, in itself, a heterogeneous space. In other words, we do not live in a kind of void, inside of which we could place individuals and things.” – Michel Foucault, Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias, 1967

Urbanization is a continuous process. It is a purposeful addition of architectural layers that lead to our modern built environment. With this concept in mind, we seek to convene scholars with critical approaches toward cities and landscapes.

Art historians and critical thinkers have long reflected on the nature of urban identity formation and the ways in which built environments and their representations shape culture. Thinking critically about the agencies behind built environments often reveals the stakes at play in historical contexts. In turn, these conversations allow us to better understand modern cities and the social relationships within them.

For instance, how do we craft personal and communal identities within our built environments? What aspects of the city are avoided or erased through these processes of identity creation? Considering wider frameworks, what roles do architecture and urban design play in the mediation between communities and ecological and climatic systems? To what extent do art and architecture interact with, and respond to, the natural environment, and in what ways does that interaction shape design and viewer experience?

The Rutgers University Art History Graduate Student Organization seeks proposals that address any of the above-mentioned questions. Abstracts are welcome from all historical periods, geographical areas, and cultural, theoretical, and methodological perspectives. Submissions within the fields of art and architectural history, archaeology, geography, history, visual and material culture, media studies, socio-cultural anthropology, and gender studies will be considered for 20-minute presentations in English. After the symposium, one paper will be selected for possible publication in Volume 37 of the Rutgers Art Review, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal produced by graduate students in the Department of Art History.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- Art, architecture and urban identity formation
- Urban planning and community formation
- Architectural aesthetics within the planned landscape
- Cartographic and pictorial representations of cities and landscapes
- Monuments and identity formation within the planned urban landscape (including nodes of pilgrimage and tourism)
- Landscape engineering and gardens
- Colonial vs. indigenous representations of landscapes
- Climate change and architectural adaptation
- Sensorial experiences within landscape, architecture, or cities

Please send your abstract and a current CV to by January 5, 2020. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by January 30, 2020.

CFP: Constructed Realities (New Brunswick, 24 Apr 20). In:, Oct 12, 2019 (accessed Oct 27, 2020), <>.

Contributor: Margo Weitzman and Sara Varanese

Contribution published: Oct 12, 2019

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