AAH Students Call for Papers: Art and Decolonisation

This year’s AAH student New Voices conference Art and Decolonisation is taking place at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds on 16 November 2013.

Organised by the AAH Student Members Committee, New Voices one-day conferences provide a forum for current doctoral students of art history and visual culture to present and discuss their current research in a stimulating, informal and supportive context.

Call for Papers
Art and its histories have ‘complex entanglements’ with empire and imperialism, to borrow a phrase from theorist Nikos Papastergiadis. In collaboration with the Henry Moore Institute, New Voices investigates the intersections of art and decolonisation to ask what the specific implications of decolonisation are for art and art history. This symposium turns attention to the geo-political struggles, revolutions and cultural recalibrations that artists and art historians have championed, challenged and negotiated as imperialism and colonialism weakened their grip and took on new forms.

New Voices aims to identify the roles art has played in the volatile moments at the end of various empires in order to ask how has art depicted and enabled the production of cultural identities amidst rapid political change seen in examples that include the decline of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, decolonisation in the twentieth century, the fall of the Berlin wall, Indian independence and the spirit of liberation that swept across Africa. New Voices is also interested in addressing how the visual arts has resisted and altered the terms of domination or homogeneity in the contexts such as the Arab Spring and international Indigenous struggles for self-determination. The effects of deterritorialisation, migration and modernisation on art and its institutions are of particular interest.

As New Voices is hosted by Henry Moore Institute, a centre for the study of sculpture, we welcome submissions which consider sculpture and the Leeds Museums and Galleries sculpture collections, managed on partnership with the Henry Moore Institute.

We invite proposals that explore themes including:

  • Art, national independence and self-determination
  • Cultural affirmation and hybridity
  • International Indigenous collectives and networks
  • Global exhibitions and the complexities of national representation
  • Contemporary approaches to ethnographic collections
  • Historiography, methodologies and their relationships to decolonisation
  • Case studies of how curators, artists and collectors have engaged with postcolonial art historiography to produce new narratives while learning from the past

Submit abstracts of 350 words, with a 150 word biography, to the organisers, Charlotte Stokes, Imogen Wiltshire, Sibyl Fisher and Anna Beketov, by 1 October 2013 via email: artanddecolonisation@gmail.com


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