CFP Sep 19, 2021

4 Sessions at AHH (London, 6-8 Apr 22)

London, Apr 6–08, 2022 Redaktion

Association for Art History’s 48th Annual Conference

[1] Invertebrate Art: Ecologies, Practices, Ethics
[2] Painting, Discourse
[3] Empathy and Art
[4] History and memory: the contemporary artist as archivist


[1] Invertebrate Art: Ecologies, Practices, Ethics (AAH 2022)
From: Pandora Syperek,
Date: 13 Sep 21
Deadline: 1 Nov 21

Invertebrates comprise 97% of Earth’s animal species, eliciting affects that range from wonder to disgust. As nonhuman animals pervade the art of ecologically troubled times, artists and researchers increasingly look to these ubiquitous but marginalised creatures. This session examines how invertebrates, including various ocean wildlife, insects, arachnids, molluscs and worms, have featured in modern and contemporary art as materials, metaphors, protagonists and collaborators. How have artist-invertebrate relationships developed as the Sixth Mass Extinction unfolds?

From the influence of aquarium culture on the flowing forms of Art Nouveau to the Surrealist fascination with metamorphosis and the praying mantis and contemporary artists’ engagement with spiders, squids, slugs and sponges, invertebrates have inspired creative practitioners in manifold ways. They retain a capacity for anthropomorphism, despite morphologies and behaviours that appear alien to human life, including radically other reproductive processes and life cycles which explode gender binarism and heteronormative and individualist social structures. Coral symbiosis, for example, presents alternative lifeworlds for imagining human relationships to ecology and ecological crisis. Some artists’ use of live animals raises ethical questions and points to invertebrates’ traditionally lowly status within hierarchical models of life and evolution. And still, the drastic decline of insects, the demise of the Great Barrier Reef and (debated) jellyfish blooms are treated instrumentally, rather than with regards to invertebrates’ intrinsic value.

We seek presentations from researchers and practitioners on these and other issues relating to making, curating, thinking and living with invertebrates, to explore human-invertebrate entanglements in art and visual culture across a broad historical and geographical remit.

Please submit proposals for 25-minute papers, including a clear title, a short abstract (max 250 words), your name and email to the convenors:
Sarah Wade, University of East Anglia,
Pandora Syperek, Loughborough University London,


[2] Painting, Discourse
From: Matthew Bowman,
Date: 14 Sep 21
Deadline: 1 Nov 21

Since the important As Painting exhibition held at the Wexner in 2001, there has been a growing reassessment of various currents of French painting that developed in the 1960s and 1970s. Collectives such as Supports/Surfaces and JANAPA have become better understood, as have the formative role of figures such as Simon Hantaï; further to this, well-established artists like Daniel Buren have been rescued from generalizing categories like “conceptual art” and the relevance of his practice as painting has been underscored. Increasingly evident, too, is the conjunctions between these artists and a diverse conglomeration of intellectual positions—Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology, Blanchot’ writings, Althusserian structuralism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and deconstruction—that became central to French “post-war” culture. Whilst these philosophies and theories conditioned developments in Anglo-American art, criticism, and history, the art practices that first engaged those theories remained obscure outside of the Francophone artworld.

This session understands the interrelations between painting and theory in the French scene as a ferment in which not only do painters respond to theoretical developments but those theories are determined by the practices of painting emergent in the period. Influential writings on art by figures such as Hubert Damisch, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Georges Didi-Huberman arguably cannot be fully understood without reference to those practices. Therefore, the hitherto scanty attention paid to French painting compels readdressing. Painting, Discourse thus invites scholars to contribute to overcome this art-historical lacuna. Moreover, it also encourages papers that explore the impact of this theory/painting ferment upon later art practices and theoretical understandings.

Call for Papers deadline 1 November 2021. Please submit your paper proposal to the convenor:
Matthew Bowman, University of Suffolk,


[3] Empathy and Art
From: Elizabeth Pugliano,
Date: 15 Sep 21
Deadline: 1 Nov 21

Chairs: Elizabeth Pugliano, University of Colorado Denver; Susan Barahal, Tufts University

Empathy is our capacity to feel with and as someone or something outside of ourselves. While empathy has nestled in the artistic experiences and philosophies of all ages, and the arts have arguably unique capacities to evoke empathy and prompt deep emotional connections across time and cultures, the subjective and elusive nature of empathic response has often resulted in the relegation of empathy to the margins of art historical inquiry. On the precipice of the third decade of the 21st century, amidst pandemic and global health crises, civic unrest, political turmoil and persistent inequities and injustices, empathy—more than ever—is a critical necessity. Aiming to center empathy within art historical scholarship and methodologies, this session seeks to revive and reexamine notions and experiences of empathy in the visual arts.

We invite papers that explore empathy in art and art history in all forms. Topics of investigation might include empathic responses to works of art and/or artworks intended to evoke empathy in viewers, the mechanisms by which empathic connections are sought, empathy as a method or lens of study and analysis of works of art, empathy and art in educational settings, or the potential uses of visual art as a vehicle of empathy, to name just a few possibilities. We welcome contributions from any area of art history, and we especially encourage perspectives that probe cross-disciplinary intersections or invoke theories and methods from outside of traditional art historical approaches.

Call for Papers deadline 1 November 2021. Please submit your paper proposal to the convenors: and


[4] History and memory: the contemporary artist as archivist
From: Deborah Schultz,
Date: 16 Sep 21
Deadline: 1 Nov 21

How is the past remembered? And how is the past represented in the present? In recent years, the representation of memory has become a prevalent point of discussion across disciplines, addressed extensively within the public and the private domain, in politics as well as in relation to questions of identity and belonging.

While specific events are often the focus, artists also examine the processes of remembering, memorialising and forgetting. Within this wider framework of history and memory, archives have become of particular interest in highlighting the structures that shape material remains of the past in the present. From Fiona Tan to Dayanita Singh, Goshka Macuga, Rosângela Rennó, Walid Raad, Thomas Ruff, and many more, numerous contemporary artists investigate archives as a means of rethinking the past in the present.

Taking as its starting points several significant essays from the first decade of the 21st century – Hal Foster, ‘The Archival Impulse’ and Mark Godfrey, ‘The Artist as Historian’ as well as Ewa Domanska, ‘Material Presence of the Past’ – this session addresses more recent theories on the artist as archivist. How have artists in the last decade explored new ways of thinking about archives? What kinds of practices and strategies are artists using to do so? And what theories are most productive in discussing their work?

We invite 25 minute paper proposals that explore archives in contemporary art across cultures and media.

Your paper proposals should include a clear title, a short abstract (max 250 words), your name and email address.

The 2022 Annual Conference is open to all, both members and non-members of the Association for Art History.

Dr Deborah Schultz
Reader in Art History, Regent’s University London

Dr Sian Vaughan
Reader in Research Practice, Birmingham City University

CFP: 4 Sessions at AHH (London, 6-8 Apr 22). In:, Sep 19, 2021 (accessed Oct 28, 2021), <>.