CFP May 12, 2002

EXPERTISE. Connoisseurs... (Harvard, 11.-12.10.02)

Robin Schuldenfrei

Call for papers
Connoisseurs, Consultants, and Con Men

An Interdisciplinary Conference at the Harvard Design School
October 11-12, 2002

Send abstracts of 1-2 pages and a c.v. to:
HT+ Conference
Harvard School of Design
Room 417 Gund Hall
48 Quincy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Proposal deadline is (postmarked) June 30, 2002.

Proposals are sought for "Expertise," a conference hosted by the Harvard HT+
(History Theory Plus) Colloquium that will investigate transformations in
disciplinary claims to proficiency in the fields of architecture and urban
planning. The conference is open to faculty and advanced doctoral students
from all disciplines.

Expertise, from its emergence concurrent with the rise of professionalism in
the 19th century, has been employed to justify various design practices and
to differentiate between contiguous and competing fields of knowledge. More
recently the interdisciplinary category of history and theory has claimed a
domain of expertise apart from that of professional practice. Although
distinctions are drawn between professional and scholarly activity, the
boundaries between practice and history and theory are constantly negotiated
through mutually dependent claims to expertise.

This conference invites proposals that examine moments in the historical
relationship between expertise and design practice, as it extends from the
19th century connoisseur, to the 20th century practitioner, to the
contemporary consultant; it welcomes critical inquiries into the role of the
"expert." Submissions are also sought from fields as varied as history, art
history, history of science, visual culture, literature, economics and law
that explore expertise at the disciplinary level.

The conference aims to pose a series of questions on the status of
expertise: How have notions of expertise emerged and evolved in the context
of architecture and urban planning practices? How has practice employed the
concept of expertise in order to extend its boundaries? Does the discipline
of history and theory rely upon these same claims to expertise, or has it
evolved its own? What is the nature of expertise within a discipline, and
what sort of openings or constraints does it provide? How have technological
and epistemological expertise been aligned or opposed at different
historical moments?

The Expertise conference is sponsored by the Harvard History Theory Plus
Colloquium with the generous support of the Graham Foundation. The HT+
Colloquium was founded by the PhD program in History and Theory to extend
investigations of methodologies, practices and techniques beyond the
disciplines of architecture, urban planning, and landscape architecture.
Please excuse multiple postings.

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