AAH Student Summer Symposium 2013, Identity: Construction and Meaning

This year’s AAH Student Summer Symposium, on the theme of ‘Identity: Construction and Meaning’, will be held at Trinity College, University of Oxford, on 20-21 June.

Keynote Speakers
Professor Craig Clunas, History of Art, University of Oxford
Identity On and Identity In the Modern Chinese Painting

Professor Marcia Pointon, Senior Research Professor, Norwich University of the Arts
Casts, Masks and Questions of Identity

Bob and Roberta Smith, Artist and Honorary Fellow of Arts, University College Bournemouth
What is an Artist Anyway?

The concept of ‘identity’ is prolific within the visual arts and in many ways its pertaining issues have shaped the discipline of art history. The biographical approach to reading artists’ work privileged by Vasari in his Lives (1550) has had a lasting influence. The portrait remains an effective medium through which to narrate the historical and contemporary identity of particular institutions and nations, and the art market continues to rely upon authentic attribution. Yet this art history of names remains problematic and by no means comprehensively represents either the discipline of art history or the plural notions of identity that have come to influence it.

During the twentieth century, subjectivity was critiqued and revised: psychoanalysis destabilized the concept of a consistent and whole subject, positioning the self as an illusion of stability and a site of fragmentation; Barthes and Foucault challenged notions of authorship, arguing instead that the reader-viewer be considered in the creation and interpretation of a work. More recently, gender and postcolonial theory has cast light on notions of identity understood as performance and as Otherness, and new technologies, such as the Internet, have altered relations between international communities and provided new platforms for constructing identity.
As art history has increasingly incorporated theories and approaches from other disciplines, how might we characterize art history’s identity as a discipline and to what extent does thinking about notions of identity offer a productive framework for the art historian?

For a full list of papers and more information click here

Symposium Convenors: Allison Goudie, Nicola McCartney, Charlotte Stokes, Imogen Wiltshire

Places are limited. Book online. Tickets: Members £35; Non-Members £45 

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