CFP Sep 21, 2022

Worlding Art History through Syllabi (Berlin/online, 11 Oct 22)

Online / ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Oct 11, 2022
Deadline: Sep 26, 2022

Eva Bentcheva

Workshop: Worlding Art History through Syllabi.

The recent ‘global turn’ in art history and curatorial practice has prompted the question of how to reflect this through pedagogy. The workshop Worlding Art History through Syllabi takes up the notion of ‘worlding’ to explore how art history is taught in different places and institutions around the world. What would a ‘worlded’ syllabus look like, and how can we collaboratively ‘world’ global art history?

A ‘worlded’ art history rejects the idea of a single global world framed, ordered and represented according to Eurocentric premises or as universally constituted by global capitalism. Instead, it conceives of the global as constituted from multiple and entangled geo-cultural perspectives. It is not centered on assumed commonalities of ‘global’ art. Rather, it seeks to shed light on differences and relations. What are histories, epistemologies, and ontologies that constitute ‘global’ art? What are infrastructural or institutional incommensurabilities which define the many intersecting art histories of the present?

This workshop is organised as part of the international research project and network ‘Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation’ (WPC) in cooperation with the ICI Berlin. It invites scholars from the fields of art history, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, media studies, museum studies and other related disciplines to participate in an peer-to-peer exchange of experiences and practices. It focuses on how scholars may, or already have, designed teaching syllabi to complicate dominant frameworks of ‘global’ art history. It is particularly interested in how syllabi have the capacity to restructure pedagogical approaches to teaching topics such as global capitalism in the art world, the so-called Global North-South division, transnational and transcultural entanglements, and differences between teaching regional art histories.

This workshop builds upon recent discussions on pedagogies at the Worlding Public Cultures Academy, Lessons Learned? Transcultural Perspectives in Curating and Pedagogies (14-16 July 2022), hosted by the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. It takes the form of an interactive gathering. Participants are invited to share examples of their own syllabi, as well as speak on the challenges faced in designing syllabi to reflect multiple geo-cultural perspectives, decolonial and ‘global’ art histories. Among the questions which this workshop seeks to address are:
- In your experience, how is the situatedness of art history taught across your respective regional, national and local context?
- What methodological approaches do you discuss in your teaching?
- Which discursive, spatial and temporal frameworks have you structured your syllabi around?
- What role does close-looking of artworks play in your courses? How do you connect theoretical readings and visual materials?
- Have you been interested in re-conceptualizing art historical methods through comparative approaches?
- Do you define the notions of the ‘global’, ‘transnational’ and ‘transcultural’ for students? If so, how?
- What are your different approaches to structuring syllabi for undergraduate and postgraduate students? What information do your ‘foundational courses’ provide?
- What challenges did you come across? What did students and you appreciate the most?
- How have institutional and departmental interests shaped the scope of your teaching ‘global’ art history?
- Have you collaborated with museums or other art institutions in your teaching?

This workshop will take place online over Zoom and in person at ICI Berlin on 11 October from 10:00 until 14:00 CET (lunch will be provided for all participants on site). It will follow two events on the preceding evening (10th October): the launch of the WPC publications series (18:00 -19:00 CET) and a lecture by Pheng Cheah (19:00 CET) on the notion of ‘worlding’ in the Arts and Humanities. Select proceedings from the workshop will be published in the form of a Worlding Public Cultures chapbook (published by ICI Berlin Press) on decolonising pedagogies.

Interested participants are invited to submit a short biography (max. 200 words) and statement (max. 500 words) describing your motivation for participating in the workshop, your experience with designing syllabi and what you would like to contribute to the workshop. Select participants will be invited to give short presentations on their syllabi, and others will be invited to partake as discussants. The aim of the workshop is to jointly explore how to develop more ‘worlded’ approaches to art history through syllabi/curricula in higher education.

There are a limited number of travel and accommodation grants covering one night in Berlin available for participants. Please indicate whether you would like to participate in person or online, and whether you would like to be considered for a travel and/or accommodation grant.

Please email your application materials to Eva Bentcheva ( by Monday 26 September 2022.

Organized by the Heidelberg University team of Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation in collaboration with Ming Tiampo (WPC / Carleton University) and Birgit Hopfener (WPC / Carleton University), and in cooperation with ICI Berlin.

WPC is funded by a Social Innovation Grant from the Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities and (within Germany) by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF/DLR, no. 01UG2026).

For more information see:

CFP: Worlding Art History through Syllabi (Berlin/online, 11 Oct 22). In:, Sep 21, 2022 (accessed Sep 29, 2023), <>.