Category Archives: Call for Papers

CFP: Negotiating Art| Dealers and Museums 1855-2015

1-2 April, 2016. National Gallery, London.

This two-day conference on the relations between art dealers and museums, organised by the National Gallery in collaboration with the University of Manchester and the University of Liverpool, will be held at the National Gallery, London.

This joint conference, which has its origins in the acquisition of the Thos. Agnew & Sons archive by the National Gallery, aims to explore the relationship between art dealers and museums, in the UK and worldwide, and across a wide chronological period. Although there will be a focus on the London and British art market in the late 19th century, we wish to include papers that span the period 1855-2015 and across a range of geographical areas, in order to establish connections and assess contrasts between places and periods.

@National Gallery
Portrait of Martin Colnaghi (John Callcott Horsley, 1889).

Many fundamental topics are implicated by the subject of this conference. For example, the relationship between consumption and culture; the creation, separation and ethical remits of professional specialisms; the nature and role of art institutions; and the multifaceted – and conflicting – roles of art collecting. We have singled out four key themes, which we envisage will comprise discrete conference sessions, and we invite paper proposals that engage with some aspect of them:

  • Mechanics of the relationship: How did the relationships between dealers and art museums work? Were these business relationships, advisory roles, or both? Which sources can we use to establish such relationships? Can quantitative evidence like pricing be used to illuminate these relationships further? Can any shifts in these dynamics be identified or measured over a geographical or chronological range?
  • Biographies: Who were/are the main dealers associated with art museums? Can the personal and institutional biographies of specific dealers, agents, curators and other associated players assist in the reconstruction of the dealer-museum relationship, either in the historical or contemporary domains?
  • Collaboration and conflict: How close was/is the relationship between various dealers and art museums? To what extent can these relationships be construed as successful or otherwise? Are there examples of conflict, such as failed deals, arguments over pricing or the breakdown of relationships? How were successful cases, such as acquisitions mediated by dealers, negotiated? What happens when dealers are in competition with each other? And what happens when museums are in competition with each other?
  • Works: How can case studies of single artworks or groups of pieces help us to understand better the model of dealer-museum interaction? How do the previous histories of works, their provenance, and the manner of their acquisition (e.g. private treaty or auction sale) affect their afterlife in the museum?

How to submit

Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes in length, and preference will be given to proposals which stimulate dialogue and engage with broader topics. Please send enquiries and proposals of no more than 300 words, indicating which session your paper relates to, by 18 September 2015, (marked for the attention of Alan Crookham).

Papers will be selected by 18 October 2015. Some financial assistance with travel expenses for speakers may be available (subject to grant approval).

CFP: ‘Heroes’, Royal Geographical Society 3-4 October 2015

The figure of the hero is a matter of great cultural debate at the present time, in British contexts and beyond. Recent conflicts; natural disasters; ambitious expeditions; Olympic and Paralympic events – all have forged potential hero figures, renewing centuries-old discussions about just who, or what, a hero might be. This two-day conference will draw together academics from a wide variety of disciplines, alongside archivists, curators and librarians, plus colleagues from the commercial and charity sectors. It will foster conversations about hero figures past and present, considering their emergence or creation, their relationship with their fans or ‘worshippers’ in their own communities and/or further afield and, if relevant, the shifting fortunes of their reputations. We ask whether heroes emerge through deeds, character or morality, or whether they are created. We ponder the value of heroes to particular communities in the forging of their group identity. We trace the shaping and maintenance of heroic reputations in texts, art practice, oral culture and curatorship. Across the scope of the conference we seek to ask: who were, or are our heroes, and how/why could or should future heroes be selected or permitted to emerge?

Possible Topics:

The organising committee are interested in proposals from across the academic disciplines, the museums, galleries and archives sector, and those engaging with hero figures in their commercial or charity work. Within the academy, we anticipate interest from anthropology, art history, film and television studies, historical geography, history, politics, literature, and sociology. Topics which may be covered in the conference include, but are not limited to:

 Theories of heroism, from ancient times to the present day  Historical heroes  Using heroes politically  Hero figures and brand identities  Heroes and charitable giving/engagement  Community identity and hero selection  Heroism and childhood  The changing reputation of specific heroes, or groups thereof  Heroism and imperialism  The perils of choosing a hero  Debunking hero figures; the heroic fall  Issues of gender in the notion of heroism  Heroism in the archives  The challenges of curating a heroic reputation  Curating/archiving heroic ‘things’ – tools, belongings or ‘relics’ of past heroes  Portraiture or sculpture and the construction of heroic reputation  Literary heroes  Heroes on film  Preserving heroes digitally  Military heroes and civilian relations  Civilian heroes; the ‘humble’ hero; heroism and class  Heroes of sport and/or exploration  Heroic bodies  Physical and mental struggle in the heroic life  Heroism and the history of emotion – how/why to heroes move us?

Note: We use ‘hero’ as ‘actor’ is used presently, i.e. in a gender-neutral way.

Submitting Paper and Panel Proposals:

To propose a paper: Please send an abstract (max. 400 words), and a biographical note (max. 200 words). To propose a panel: Please send abstracts and biographical notes (word limits as above) for each speaker, along with their contact details and institutional affiliation, plus a rationale for the panel as a whole (max. 600 words) These should be sent to Dr. Abbie Garrington (Durham University): no later than Monday 20 July 2015.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #heroes15


Conference 21 March 2016  (proposals by 1 November 2015)

University of Bristol in association with the Department of History of Art and the Transnational Modernisms Research Cluster

‘It is simply too early to try to define the 1980s as a closed or finished period … It is still unresolved and very much ongoing.’

Kobena Mercer, ‘Iconography After Identity’ (2005)

The Black Arts Movement was generated by the tumult of the 1980s – a decade defined as much by Thatcherism, civil unrest and race riots as by the rise of cultural theory and so- called ‘single issue’ social movements. It aimed to transform the nature and perception of British art and its histories. Under its banner, a constellation of artists and critics from a wide range of diasporic backgrounds worked around, and through, questions of ‘Blackness’ in Britain. They interrogated the possibilities and implications of Black British Art and its relationship to other forms of creative production, popular culture and transnational modernisms more broadly.

This conference will examine the ways in which the dialogues and discourses initiated by the Black Arts Movement are, as Kobena Mercer reminds us, unresolved and ongoing. It will continue to unpack and unpick questions around the efficacy and outcomes of the tenuously labeled Movement and reflect on the ways in which this period, only thirty short years ago, has become historicized (or not). It also aims to push debate forward, to ask how the aesthetic, historical, methodological and/or critical threads of the ‘critical decade’ wind through the 1990s and beyond; to address the rise of globlalization, multiculturalism, digital networks and technologies, developments in the bio-sciences and post-racial debates to the playful posturing of the YBAs and an increasingly transnational art scene.

Proposals are invited for papers covering any aspect of Black British Art (before and after the 1980s) and the Black Arts Movement, from scholars working in all fields of creative and visual culture. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • The global/the local
  • History and myth
  • The canon/canonicity
  • Art, science, and technology
  • Exhibitions
  • Archives
  • The relationship between art and literature
  • Gender and the body
  • Before the Black Arts Movement
  • Fashion/Style/Dress

Please send proposals along with a brief biography to Dr. Elizabeth Robles ( before 1 November 2015.

CFP: Difficult Women in the Long Eighteenth Century: 1680-1830

Saturday 28th November, 2015

University of York, Berrick Saul Building

The long eighteenth century witnessed an age of social and political revolution which profoundly affected the way in which women occupied and contributed to the public sphere. This interdisciplinary conference looks at representations and conceptions of ‘difficult women’ from the years 1680-1830. The term ‘difficult women’ encapsulates many different female experiences and lifestyles. From religiously non-conformist women to women bearing arms, a plethora of ‘difficult women’ find representation within the British Empire.

This conference welcomes abstracts and/or proposals for panels on any topic relating to ‘Difficult Women’ throughout the long eighteenth century.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

Dissenting Women – Preaching and Teaching Women, Women writing theological texts, Methodist, Quaker, or Moravian Women.

The Politically Engaged – Women involved in revolution (Glorious, American, French), female campaigners, authors of political pamphlets, female protestors, women assisting politicians

Sexually Non-Conformist women – Lesbianism, Cross-dressers, spinsters, prostitutes, promiscuous women.

Women of the Pen  – Female philosophers, Published Authors, Bluestockings and similar intellectual circles.

Armed, Dangerous, and Criminal  – Murderesses, Warriors, Thieves, Female Prisoners, Representations of Armed Women

Women in Art – Representations of women in satirical prints, portraiture, depictions of the female body, female artists

Theatrical Women – Travesty roles, Gender-bending Roles, Breeches Parts and Various Forms of Theatrical Dress, Women Working in Theatre.

Sporting Women – Female Cricketers, Hunters, Horse Riders, Boxers

Women of the Larger British Empire – Black women, women of ethnic minorities, women of conquered territories as a form of ‘other’

Women and Medicine – Hysteria, Melancholia and Femininity, Depictions of Childbirth, Love’s Madness, the female body, female medical practitioners, midwives


Please send abstracts/panel proposals of no more than 500 words to by July 1st 2015.
Panel proposal submissions should include the full name,
affiliation, and email addresses of all participants.


CFP: Image Matter: Art and Materiality

AAH Students New Voices Conference

MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University

6 November 2015

Keynote: Professor Carol Mavor (University of Manchester)

William Etty, The Sirens and Ulysses, 1837. Oil on canvas, 297 x 442.5 cm. Image detail prior to conservation in 2010. Copyright Manchester City Galleries.


Call for Papers

How do art historians interpret matter? And how about artists, makers, theorists and critics? Much recent art historical and visual culture literature has argued for the reinstatement of the bodily and the material in art and its encounter, rejecting the pre-eminence of a disembodied eye in favour of a wider range of somatic responses: touching, hearing, tasting, smelling. Similarly, the material physicality of the art object in its myriad forms—surface, texture, weight, spatial extension, sound etc—has recaptured our attention.

New Voices 2015 will explore approaches to materiality and the material in light of developing discourses that implicate art history, as well as visual and material culture studies. Even if there has been a ‘material turn’, James Elkins (2008) argues that art history remains fearful of the material: ‘art history, visual studies, Bildwissenschaft, and art theory take an interest in materiality provided that the examples of materiality remain at an abstract or general level …’. If the sensorium of seeing, tasting, feeling and hearing exceeds the rationality of disciplinary categories and the systematisation of knowledge, how can writing about and through art accommodate affective objects? How have artists negotiated the conflict of a spectatorship, which disregards hapticity, surface and substance? How do traditions of connoisseurship engage with contemporary theories of materiality?

As a ‘somaesthetic’ approach of beholding (re)gains currency the primacy of sight decreases (for example, in the reevaluation of medieval artefacts that were touched, kissed and smelled). Alternatively, vision may at least be understood as opening haptic and experiential exchanges between object and maker, object and viewer. But perhaps the questionable pre-eminence of visuality also evidences an increased derogation of manual labour in lieu of what is perceived as more cerebral, more elevated from the yucky material of bodily production. New Voices 2015 takes place within the intellectual and creative space of the art school, the messy realm of art production. It therefore asks how (the) material and its associated places of production and ‘consumption’—from the studio to the gallery—can be integrated in the discourses of art history and its objects.

New Voices welcomes contributions from all periods and contexts which address the relationship between visual and material studies and practices. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Haptic encounters with artworks (incl. performative, virtual, conceptual works)
  • Historiographic reflections on attitudes towards material(ity)
  • Explorations on the relationships between visuality and materiality
  • Historiographic and methodological approaches to the material of art (and its making)
  • Social, technological, historical and cultural contextualisations of the material turn
  • Art and materiality in a digital age

Abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers should be submitted along with a 100-word biographical note to by 1 August 2015. Although the conference is open to all, speakers are required to be AAH members.

Convenors: Liz Mitchell, Rosalinda Quintieri, Tilo Reifenstein and Charlotte Stokes.

SCHOOL 29:8:07


CFP: ‘Visual Print Culture in Europe: techniques, genres, imagery and markets in a comparative perspective 1500-1850.’

5-6 December 2015

University of Warwick Palazzo and Conference Centre, Venice

CFP deadline: 1 June 2015

Visual Print Culture in Europe 1500-1850 aims to draw together scholars with a range of disciplinary skills to discuss the methods, representational forms, and distribution of and audience for visual print media in Europe between 1500 and 1850.  Its seeks to de-nationalize the study of visual print culture, and to explore the extent to which interactions between engravers and printers, artists and consumers in Europe, and a range of common representational practices produced a genuinely European visual print culture – with local modulations, but nonetheless with a common core.

Papers can draw on a range of disciplinary backgrounds in exploring the exchange of techniques and processes, the analysis of imagery, and the identification of markets, and in analysing the conditions under which particular generic forms crossed or failed to cross national boundaries.  Although the emphasis is on European visual print culture, the impact of that culture on, and its interaction with, the wider world is also of interest.


The Conference organisers, acting under the European History Research Centre are: Mark Philp (History, EHRC Director, Warwick at, Kate Astbury (French Studies, Warwick), Mark Knights (History, Warwick) and David Taylor (English, Warwick).

Proposals for papers should be submitted to June 1st 2015 but please feel free to contact Mark Philp in advance with any queries.

For more information see

Call for papers: Material Histories: Networks of Women and Art in Cornwall

Linder, Child of the Mantic Stain, 2015. Acrylic on magazine page. © the artist
Linder, Child of the Mantic Stain, 2015. Acrylic on magazine page. © the artist

Call for Papers: Material Histories: Networks of Women and Art in Cornwall

Seminar for Tate Research Centre: Creative Communities, Borlase Smart Room, Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, Cornwall, Saturday 20 June 2015

Deadline for abstracts: Monday 27 April 2015

On 13 March 1950, the composer Priaulx Rainier wrote to her close friend Barbara Hepworth: ‘There are moments in life when meetings can be turning points. One may perhaps have little intercourse later but the time has been taken, the significant germination continues an inevitable process of development.’ This one-day Tate Research seminar Material Histories: Networks of Women and Art in Cornwall seeks to explore how connections between women, such as Rainier and Hepworth, have shaped artistic legacies in Cornwall over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These connections are often characterised by creativity, friendship, patronage, community, travel, dialogue, care and support, and have had significant impacts upon how art is made, understood and displayed. Today, these connections continue to be felt in the places and institutions – both in Cornwall and elsewhere – through which art is created, experienced and researched.

Many of these histories, however, have remained peripheral to narratives and displays. As Shari Benstock has written of the marginalisation of women from the canon of literary modernism in her seminal study of women’s networks in Paris, Women of the Left Bank: Paris, 1900–1940 (1986): ‘In rediscovering the lives and works of these women, however, I also confronted the ways in which our working definitions of Modernism – its aesthetics, politics, critical principles, and poetic practices – and the prevailing interpretations of the Modernist experience had excluded women from its concerns.’ What Benstock’s study achieves is a remapping of modernist Paris as seen through the networks of women writers and artists of the period. This seminar likewise aims to take a forward-looking approach by considering whether connections or communities between women can form an alternative reimagining of the networks surrounding art in Cornwall.

Additionally, the seminar seeks to explore the continued impact of these networks today for contemporary artists, institutions and others working in heritage or research. The seminar keynote speakers, Linder Sterling and Professor Dawn Ades, will discuss their shared interest in the surrealist artist Ithell Colquhoun, whose writings and ‘mantic stain’ paintings have stimulated Linder in the creation of new works, including her experimentation with acrylic pigment on found magazine images and the development of a new ballet commission. The seminar will also include an alternative tour of St Ives by Jeanie Sinclair (Falmouth University / Tate St Ives).

We invite current or recently completed PhD candidates across the humanities and social sciences to propose abstracts for 15-minute papers. Proposals that highlight women’s relationships or provide engaging comparisons are particularly welcome.

Papers might investigate the relationships, connections and practices of women artists, networkers and gallerists, including (but not restricted to): artists Eileen Agar, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Sandra Blow, Romaine Brooks, Ithell Colquhoun, Gluck, Barbara Hepworth, Rose Hilton, Frances Hodgkins, Laura Knight, Jeanne Du Maurier, Margaret Mellis, Marlow Moss, Winifred Nicholson, Dod Procter and Marianne Stokes, and others who combined careers and family life such as Elizabeth Forbes, Mary Scott and Monica Wynter; architects Jane Drew and Sadie Martin; composers including Priaulx Rainier; ceramicists Janet Leach and Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie; writers Daphne Du Maurier, Cindy Nemser, E.H. Ramsden and Virginia Woolf ; gallerists Elena Gaputyte, Kay Gimpel, Nicolete Gray, Martha Jackson and Kathleen Watkins; and patrons including Margaret Gardiner.

Subjects are not restricted to discussions of art in St Ives, but should either relate to an artist who was associated with Cornwall for a time or provide context to the theoretical or historical underpinnings of the seminar. Possible topics include:

  • Relationships between women and the creation of networks of exchange

  • The role of conversation, dialogue and co-production and material appropriation and quotation

  • The spaces of production, contact and display, including studio, home, art school and gallery

  • The role of financial support, patronage, custodianship and gatekeeping, as well as friendship, hospitality, families and care

  • The changing ideas of family and how this was negotiated or represented in women’s work

  • The gendering of style, dress and presentation in photography, press and film, and in the language used by artists and critics

  • The gendering of ‘St Ives’ and the production of space

  • The role of women in the production of local, national and international artistic histories and legacies

  • Connections between women across time and place facilitated through materials, objects and technologies

  • Institutional responsibilities and legacies, and the role of archives and oral histories as repositories of alternative histories

  • The intersection of theoretical debates on gender, networks, mobility and modernity

  • Interdisciplinary approaches to women artists, moving across fine art, ceramics, literature, music, film and dance, including reflective comparisons

  • The role of formalist art histories for examining relationships between women artists across media and place

  • Signs of gender and the production of gendered and queer icons for the twentieth and twenty-first centuries

  • The generation of new legacies through contemporary artists’ work and the founding of new museums such as The Hepworth Wakefield

  • The impact of artist residency programmes in Cornwall on creating new networks and legacies for women artists today

  • The presence of women artists in museum collections, display and exhibitions, which might include recent or current exhibitions of Barbara Hepworth (Tate Britain) or Emily Carr (Dulwich Picture Gallery).

Please email abstracts of up to 250 words and a short biography to the convenors, Helena Bonett and Rachel Smith, at and by Monday 27 April 2015. We are open to proposals for presentations that use alternative methods or technologies. Seminar speakers will be invited to a midsummer supper on Saturday 20 June and a field trip on Sunday 21 June. A contribution towards the costs of travel and accommodation will be provided. The seminar will also include a poster session; please get in touch if you would like to present in this format.

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Barns-Graham Charitable Trust