CALL FOR PAPERS
Biennial University of Michigan Graduate Symposium in the History of Art
Deadline for Submissions: March 15, 2020
Symposium: October 10, 2020 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
DISASTER: Response, Relief, Resistance
Disaster, understood broadly and in its many forms, elicits artistic production in response—often under the guise of catharsis, historical record, utopian/dystopian futures, or a mode of resistance. In the context of the United States, artistic response in the midst or wake of crisis is now recognized as crucial at a governmental level. In 2017 the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture produced a guide entitled “Art Became the Oxygen: An Artistic Response Guide” arguing that creative response to natural disasters and social emergencies is imperative in proposing the possibility of futures. Amelia Brown writes about contemporary “emergency arts,” or the combination of artistic practice, community development, and emergency management. Historic examples are geographically, culturally, and materially diverse; they range from Japan’s many Buddhist objects created in anticipation of a spiritual crisis in the mid-eleventh century to the work of Käthe Kollwitz, who graphically depicted scenes representing the horrors of modern warfare in World War I and its aftermath. These works, among others, remain moving and relevant to this day.
This symposium seeks papers that deal with art in response to disaster and/or subsequent responses from a variety of global and period contexts. Topics include but are not limited to research on artistic response, relief, and/or resistance, such as: