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Call For Papers: The Ohio State University History of Art Graduate Student Symposium 2020

Published December 3, 2019

On Radical Practice: Representing Politics, Resistance, and Subversion 2020 Graduate Symposium: April 10-11, 2020

Keynote: Julia Bryan-Wilson, Doris and Clarence Malo Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of California, Berkeley

Call for Papers due by January 5, 2020

Considering the recent anniversaries of historical activist movements and the current state of political turmoil and cultural protest worldwide, The Ohio State University’s History of Art Graduate Student organization is hosting a symposium that questions the role of art in moments of subversion and revolution. How do art and visual imagery mediate the social imaginary in various approaches of revolutionary praxis? How have the abstract concepts of conflict, resistance, and revolt been made visible and intelligible through different forms of visual culture? How do ideas of revolution and representation connect or diverge? Does art have the power to transform established social orders and structures of power, authority, or hierarchy? In addressing understandings of revolution in different cultural contexts and theoretical discourses, this symposium joins the social and political meanings of the concept itself together with the modes of its representation in visual culture.

We welcome papers that address these issues from a broad variety of periods, disciplines, and geographical regions. We are also honored to have Professor Julia Bryan-Wilson from the University of California, Berkeley as our keynote speaker, which will take place on Friday, April 10, 2020 with student presentations the following day on April 11, 2020.

Suggested topics should discuss artistic or art historical responses, actions, and interventions in revolutionary and political moments. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • –  Identity politics in art and its shifting paradigms
  • –  The visual culture of religious revolutions
  • –  The role of art in decolonization and anti-colonial movements
  • –  Visualizing the politics of environmentalism and the Anthropocene
  • –  Hacktivism and other modes of activism through new media
  • –  Institutional critique and critical exhibitions
  • –  Visual imagery and revolutionary violence
  • –  Revolutionary iconography and materializations of resistance
  • –  Images as politically charged sites and catalysts of revolution
  • –  Art workers and creative labor

Graduate students at any stage of study, working in the field of art history and other related disciplines, are invited to submit an abstract (300 words maximum) for a 20-minute paper, along with a current CV.

Please include the title of the presentation as well as your level of graduate study in your submission. Selected participants will be notified by January 30 with the final presentation paper due no later than March 30, 2020. Please send all materials to along with any questions you may have.