CFP: American Art in the 1930s (Durham, 17-20 Oct 12)

Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), Durham, North Carolina (USA), October 17 - 20, 2012
Deadline: Apr 20, 2012

American Art in the 1930s: Radicalism and Its Foreign Influences (Durham, 17-20 Oct 12)

This panel invites proposals that assess the sources of the radical political and artistic tendencies that filtered into American art in the 1930s. During the many crises of this era, American artists sought inspiration to give new purpose to their art. While some mined the nation’s “usable past” for inspiration, a vanguard sector of artists engaged in radical sociopolitical and artistic movements, which often sprung from foreign influences. These artists reassessed their role in society, often concluding that avant-garde techniques or ideological art would engender broad change in both art and society.
In this period (perhaps more than in other moments of American art history) artistic form became an arena for political action.

Important international examples of artists intimately linked with social change served as encouragement, such as the Mexican Muralists, the Russian Constructivists, and even the Italian Futurists. American artists took this inspiration to vocalize their stance within the political disputes of the day. In particular, we welcome papers examining the influences that encouraged artistic engagement with the fractious and contested social milieu of the era, in the realms of painting, sculpture, photography, dance, theater, film, and graphic design.

Daniel S. Palmer, The Graduate Center, CUNY, and Randall Edwards, The Graduate
Center, CUNY,

To submit a proposal, visit the SECAC website:

CFP: American Art in the 1930s (Durham, 17-20 Oct 12). In:, Mar 18, 2012 (accessed Oct 31, 2020), <>.

Contributor: Daniel S. Palmer, The Graduate Center

Contribution published: Mar 18, 2012

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