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CFP: 16th Annual University of Oregon Graduate Symposium in the History of Art & Architecture

Published January 21, 2020
16th Annual University of Oregon Graduate Symposium in the History of Art & Architecture

New Extended Deadline: January 31, 2020

Symposium Date: April 3, 2020

Lives/Afterlives/Futures: Engagements with the Archive

As assembled repositories of knowledge, archives provide unique insights into personal, communal, and institutional histories. Art historians frequently interact with archives in their practice: as researchers in search of primary sources, as curators of exhibitions, and in studying art that mimics or critiques archives themselves. Though philosophers have been engaging with archive theory since the early 20th century, art historical investigation of archive theory is a more recent phenomenon. Hal Foster’s seminal essay, “An Archival Impulse,” (2004) catalyzed the conscious art historical engagement with archives as a methodology. Today, archive theory intersects with broader, ongoing art historical discourses that include feminist, postcolonial, and queer perspectives to critique dominant ideologies. These intersections have rearticulated the archive as a malleable, constructed, and curated entity, recognized for its potential to reveal, and in some cases conceal, these unaddressed histories. Simultaneously, art historians increasingly utilize archival tools and methodologies to conduct their research. With the proliferation of new and digital technologies, as well as a broadened art historical narrative, the question still remains: to what extent does the archive impact art history?

This conference investigates art historical engagement with generative lives, adaptive afterlives, and speculative futures of the archive. We invite graduate students in all areas of study to critically explore engagements with the archive as it relates to art historical scholarship. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Archives and archival theory
  • Artworks or artists that engage with archives
  • Artist collectives
  • Alternative art histories
  • Speculative realism and futures
  • Canonization in art history
  • Digital humanities and art history
  •  New media technologies and their impact on art historical methods
  • Exhibitions and curation
  • Documentation as practice

Applicants should submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, a paper title, and a current CV to The extended deadline for submissions is Friday, January 31, 2020. Selected speakers will be notified on February 1, 2020, and are expected to accept or decline the offer within one week of notification. Papers should be 20 minutes in length and will be followed by a question and answer session.

The Symposium will be held on Friday, April 3, 2020, with a keynote lecture by Dr. Kristine Tanton, assistant professor of medieval art in the département d’histoire de l’art et d’études cinématographiques at the Université de Montréal. Her research focuses on two principal areas: the dynamic relationship among sculpture, architecture, and ritual activity in the Middle Ages, and the material processes in medieval art and architecture, specifically through 3D reconstructions of medieval monuments.