CFP May 4, 2024

A Cultural History of Asian Art

Deadline: Jul 1, 2024

Stephen Whiteman

Proposals are invited for contributions to A Cultural History of Asian Art.
Drawing together a global team of editors and authors, this expansive history project incorporates emerging methodologies and approaches to present new interpretations of the arts across East, West, South, Southeast, and Central Asia over the last 2500 years. It offers an innovative vision of Asian art for scholars, students, and general readers alike.

CHoAA takes what we term a ‘trans-Asias’ approach to the study of Asian art. Trans-Asias seeks to interpret art through the lens of transcultural connectivity and concurrence while also being rooted in the particularities of the local. As such, trans-Asias offers a framework for exploring the arts of Asia that accounts for trans-cultural and trans-historical circulation and connection, rather than seeing art as fundamentally of one culture or one nation. Trans-Asias deploys contextual perspectives in order to prioritise the collaborative expertise of multiple researchers across disciplines and cultural and linguistic specialisms to better understand the ways in which art is necessarily and simultaneously of ‘one place’ and ‘multiple places’.

The volumes will share a number of broader thematic concerns and contextual perspectives, including mobility, connectivity, materiality, spatiality, faith and belief, attention to the totality of humanity, authenticity, and temporality. Deploying these overarching perspectives will encourage the authors to look beyond conventional binaries such as religious vs secular, civic vs political, and popular vs elite; to be alert to issues of gender, race, and ethnicity throughout; and to think in new ways about the construction of culturally situated meaning through art.

Socio-political contexts serve as the animating framework for the series as a whole. Examples include art and its meaning within Asia’s diverse religious cultures, such as Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism; practices of collecting and displaying art across different social and spatial contexts; technological developments in artistic production; the evolving relationship between the arts and sciences; image making as representing gender, class, race, and ethnicity; and the role of conflict, war, and disaster in histories of art.

Recognizing the impossibility of a comprehensive history of Asian art, CHoAA takes a very broad approach to defining ‘arts’ and invites authors and readers to think across media, and social and cultural contexts, rather than being constrained by conventional categories. In addition to such examples as painting, calligraphy and print, ceramics, metalwork and lacquer, sculpture and architecture, we anticipate the possibility of processions, feasting, performance, and other forms of spectacle that may be interpreted through art historical methodologies. We also expect to incorporate literature and other historical artefacts, seeing art not as a stand-alone category complete unto itself, but as a cultural product that is fundamentally interconnected with other forms of cultural expression.

A Cultural History of Asian Art is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing for publication in 2028.

Each volume consists of eight thematic chapters. No chapter or volume aims to be comprehensive in its coverage of Asia and its arts. Rather, CHoAA encourages creative approaches to addressing the chapter themes that are attentive to specific geographies and histories, but also to connectivity across cultural constellations. Contributors are encouraged to co-author chapters where that helps support connective or comparative work.

We envision that chapters and volumes will emerge out of a consultative process which draws on the vast expertise of our assembled editors and contributors. Potential contributors are encouraged to contact volume editors to discuss their proposals.

Limited funding is available for translation of chapters into English. However, authors must be able to engage in the project development and editing process in English. The proposal should indicate if translation may be needed.

An honorarium will be offered to contributing authors.

Proposals of 400–500 words should describe your approach to addressing a specific chapter in a specific volume. Please clearly indicate the volume and chapter for which you are submitting your proposal. Please also include a brief biography or one-page CV.

All proposals should be submitted directly to the editors of the volume for which you are applying.

For further details about the project, including descriptions of the volumes’ coverage, chapter themes, and instructions for submission, please see the full Call for Proposals:

Deadline for submission of proposals: 1 July, 2024.

Sussan Babaie, The Courtauld, University of London
Stephen Whiteman, The Courtauld, University of London

Editorial team:
Matthew Canepa, University of California, Irvine (vol 1: 550 BCE–600CE)
Kate Lingley, University of Hawai‘i, Manoa (vol 1: 550 BCE–600CE)

Oya Pancaroğlu, Boğaziçi University (vol. 2: 600–1200)
Susan Whitfield, University of East Anglia (vol. 2: 600–1200)

Sussan Babaie, The Courtauld, University of London (vol. 3: 1200–1500)
Halle O’Neal, University of Edinburgh (vol. 3: 1200–1500)

Peyvand Firouzeh, University of Sydney (vol. 4: 1500¬–1800)
Stephen Whiteman, The Courtauld, University of London (vol. 4: 1500¬–1800)

Preeti Chopra, University of Wisconsin, Madison (vol. 5: 1800–1920)
Yeewan Koon, University of Hong Kong (vol. 5: 1800–1920)

Wulan Dirgantoro, University of Melbourne (vol. 6: 1920–present)
Pamela Karimi, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (vol. 6: 1920–present)

For more on the Cultural History series, see

CFP: A Cultural History of Asian Art. In:, May 4, 2024 (accessed Jun 19, 2024), <>.