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Midwest Art History Society

Call for Papers

Midwest Art History Society Annual Conference 2014
April 3-5

The deadline for proposals has been extended! Proposals of no more than 250 words and a recent CV are now due by Thursday, January 2, 2014. Please submit proposals electronically to the respective chairs of individual sessions.





Prints in Series

Elizabeth Wyckoff, Department of Prints,Drawings and Photographs,Saint Louis Art Museum

Papers considering series of prints from all periods and nationalities are invited.The session will be held in the St. Louis Art Museum's Study Room for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, allowing for the display of select works associated with the papers during the session. For this reason, of particular interest are papers that consider series in SLAM's collections, though they need not. As examples, highlights in the collection that might be of interest include Albrecht Durer's Apocalypse (1498), Joannes Galle's Speculum diversarum imaginum speculativarum (1637), Jean-Honore Fragonard's Bacchanales (1663-64), any Max Beckmann series, Jean Dubuffet's Phenomenes (1958-59), several iconic series by various Pop artists, and James Turrell's First Light (1989-90), as well as many more. In addition, the Museum will be exhibiting Kara Walker's Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) (2005) in the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs galleries during the conference. For information on the Museums holdings, please contact Elizabeth Wyckoff, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the St. Louis Art Museum.

International Currents and Global Impressionism: Visual Conversations with France

Elizabeth C. Childs, Department of Art History and Archeology,Washington University in St. Louis

In the spring of 2014, The Saint Louis Art Museum will host a major exhibition "Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet" that will feature Impressionist paintings representing both urban centers and regional landscapes in France. The MAHS conference offers us the perfect opportunity to reflect on the significance of this pivotal movement in French modernism from the 1870s until after World War I and to consider how and why it had such an impact on art worlds beyond France's borders. On the one hand, this session may address how key Impressionist artists such as Monet and Renoir carried the style abroad, working in such locations as Norway, Italy, England and North Africa, and how (or if) they adapted their style to non-French soil and culture. How did French Impressionists such as Monet or Morisot regard their foreign markets, and how did dealers such as Durand-Ruel export and market this French style abroad?

This session also asks how and why the style was appropriated and adapted by non-French artists, either foreign and immigrant artists working in Paris, or those adapting the style to local practice in their homelands, and to what cultural and aesthetic ends. Was Impressionism adapted to celebrate national identities in a fresh way? Or, was it borrowed to attain a certain cosmopolitanism through sharing in leading-edge currents of modern art? How have non-French authors understood and critiqued the movement, and to what social, aesthetic or political ends? What is the significance of the "belated" adoption of Impressionism several decades later in so many non-European countries? All such questions addressing the impact of Impressionism on the global stage are welcome.

Contemporary Art and Global Politics

Sabine Eckmann, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis

Okwui Enwezor, artistic director of documenta 11, demonstrated, with his 2002 iteration of one of the most important exhibitions of international contemporary art, the acuity and significance of contemporary political art. While primarily focusing on art that employs documentary means, he exhibited a broad range of art forms that included multi- and single-screen video projections, photography, performance, and cross-disciplinary practices as well as more conventional mediums such as painting and sculpture. The art assembled at documenta 11 was in large part the result and consequence of radical political changes brought about by the end of communism in 1989/90, the decisive moment that for many marked the end of history as it terminated the competing political systems of communism and democracy and their respective promise for human betterment. Profoundly transforming nations and societies, the end of communism in Eastern Europe gave rise to escalating violence and accelerated worldwide terrorism and economic and political inequality between North and South.

Triggered by fast-paced globalization, these conditions have significantly contributed to individual experiences that are dominated by trauma, statelessness, and daily exposure to political violence and conflict. This situation created an urgency on the part of artists to participate in, visualize, and engage political realities. This panel seeks papers that examine contemporary political art in all media and from a wide range of artists working within and at the margins of the globalized and networked art world. Preference will be given to proposals that not only explore political themes but also analyze the aesthetic means through which artists conceptualize and visualize today's political realities as well as past histories of violence and conflict that are inscribed in the political and geographical landscape of our shared global world.

Kinetic Art: Then and Now

Meredith Malone, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis

In the mid-1950s and 1960s kinetic art became an international phenomenon. With no single leader, manifesto, or aesthetic the term covers a wide range of works involving actual and optical movement, as well as works that demand collaborative engagement in the form of audience interaction. Tracing a lineage through early twentieth century avantgarde artists, such as Marcel Duchamp, Naum Gabo, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the revival of interest in kinetic practices in the postwar period was manifest throughout Eastern and Western Europe, the United States, and Latin America. The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum has recently acquired a number of significant kinetic works from the 1960s, including artworks by Robert Breer, Davide Boriani, Karl Gerstner, Julio Le Parc, and Man Ray that reflect a range of experimental approaches emerging in the postwar period.

In light of the appearance of several major exhibitions of kinetic and Op art in Europe and the United States in the past decade, as well as these new acquisitions at the Kemper, it seems time to reflect on the resurgence of interest in and contemporary resonance of this movement. This panel seeks papers that examine the diversity of approaches, strategies, and social and political agendas articulated by various artists throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who engage with the production of kinetic works. Papers might consider topics including the split character of much kinetic art, between scientific attitudes and a positivist embrace of technology on the one hand, and an interest in play and chance, on the other; or the relationship between the populist tenets often underscoring the conception of kinetic works and their critical reception. Papers that address the ways in which contemporary artistic practices embrace or integrate movement, technology, and audience interaction are also welcome.

Landscape, Photography, Identity

April Watson, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

This session will explore the resonances between landscape and identity as represented in photography. Topics may span the history of the medium, from its inception in 1839 through contemporary practice. Identity is here defined broadly and may include explorations of selfhood as tied to a specific place or region or as situated within a wider national or political context.

Time Keepers

Gretchen Wagner, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

This session, which invites papers examining all periods, cultures and mediums, explores the representation and expression of time. How has change and duration been traced and mapped and what are the aesthetics and methods employed in different historical moments? Clearly, there are many, many examples, ranging from the pre-Columbian Maya calendar to folk cuckoo clocks to artist Tehching Hsieh's performance One Year Performance 1980-1981 . One ambitious recent attempt to find a way forward with the marking of time is the 10,000 Year Clock being constructed presently in the Texas wilderness by the Foundation for the Long Now. Artist and musician Brian Eno, who has devised sound compositions produced automatically and indefinitely, has been enlisted to construct the chimes for this longterm timepiece. This session is an opportunity to investigate how humans have given material and sensorial shape to the duration of experience.


Art of Africa and the African Diaspora

Olubukola A. Gbadegesin, Department of Fine and Performing Arts, Saint Louis University

This session invites papers on all aspects of the art and visual culture of Africa and the African Diaspora.

American Art

Kristin Schwain, Department of Art History and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia

This session invites papers on all aspects of American art and visual culture.

Ancient Art

Nate Jones, Department of Art History and Archeology, Washington University in St. Louis

This session invites papers on all aspects of the art and architecture of classical antiquity.

Art of the Ancient Americas

Billie Follensbee, Department of Art and Design, Brick City, Missouri State University

This session invites papers on all aspects of the art and architecture of the pre- Columbian Americas. We encourage papers on the more traditionally studied areas such as Mesoamerica and the Andes, as well as papers on lessfrequently studied areas such as lower Central America and Amazonia.

Asian Art

Philip Hu, Saint Louis Art Museum

This session invites papers on all aspects of East and South Asian art.

Contemporary Art

Ivy Cooper, Department of Art and Design, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

This session invites papers on all aspects of contemporary (c. 1960-present) art and visual culture.

Eighteenth-Century Europe

Craig Hanson, Department of Art and Art History, Calvin College

This session invites papers on all aspects of the art, architecture, and decorative arts of eighteenth-century Europe.

Islamic Art

Persis Berlekamp, The Department of Art History, The University of Chicago

This session invites historically specific papers within any area of the broad field of Islamic art.

Medieval Art

Sherry Lindquist, Department of Art, Western Illinois University

This session invites papers on all aspects of Medieval art and architecture.

Modern Art

James A. van Dyke, Department of Art History and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia

This session invites papers on all aspects of art and visual culture of modern Europe, 1900-1960.

Nineteenth Century Art

Bradley Fratello, Art Department, St. Louis Community College, Meramec

This session invites papers on all aspects of European art and visual culture of the nineteenth century.

Recent Acquisitions in Midwestern Collections

Joan Stack, The State Historical Society of Missouri

This session invites papers on recent art acquisitions in public Midwestern collections.

Native American Art

Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Saint Louis Art Museum

This session invites papers on Native American arts.

Renaissance and Baroque Art

Cindy Stollhans, Department of Fine and Performing Arts, Saint Louis University

This session invites papers on all aspects of Northern and Southern Renaissance and Baroque Art.

Technology and Digital Media

Anu Vedagiri, Department of Art and Art History, University of Missouri-St. Louis

This session invites papers that explore the roles of technology and emerging digital media in the practice of art history

Women, Gender and Sexuality

Michael J. Murphy, Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Illinois Springfield

This session invites papers that address issues, themes, or topics related to women, gender, and/or sexuality in the production, content, reception, collection, and exhibition of art.

Round-Table: Art History Pedagogy and Curricula in the 21st Century

Maureen Quigley, Department of Art and Art History, University of Missouri-St. Louis

This will be a round-table discussion of emerging questions in the teaching of art history. These might include but are by no means limited to: "flipping" the classroom and the use of digital technologies in on-line teaching, developing a "global" or "world" curriculum, fostering students' professional aspirations. No abstract is required, but those interested in participating should provide the moderator with an account of their recent experience with current pedagogical or curricular questions.

Undergraduate Research Session

Valerie Hedquist, University of Montana

This session invites faculty members who have received outstanding research papers from undergraduate students within the past 2 academic years to submit them for inclusion in our first Undergraduate Research Session. These papers should explore specific art historical research questions. Appropriate topics might consider the roles of artists, patrons, and audiences; the cultural contexts of art works from a range of times, geographic locations, and styles; or issues of iconography or theory. In all cases, a faculty member (usually the submitter) must serve as a mentor and accompany the undergraduate student to the annual conference. Submitted papers must be no more than 2500 words. In the event that the paper is accepted, undergraduate student presenters and faculty mentors are expected to pay membership and conference fees.