Crisis – 2013 AHGSA Conference

I’m very happy to introduce the conference I am organizing alongside Samuel Gaudreau-Lalande. Concordia University’s Art History Graduate Student Association has been hosting an annual conference for many years; I’m very glad to be a part of the event this year.

The theme of this year’s conference is, simply, Crisis — we use the term provocatively and hope to see papers that use various interpretations of the concept as a framework for academic research. The call for papers is below.

If you don’t have a paper to submit, I hope you can attend. The conference will take place on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, 2013, in Montreal. We are also very happy to announce that Dr. Serge Guilbaut from the University of British Columbia will be delivering the keynote address.


Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, 2013
Concordia University


Keynote Speaker: Dr. Serge Guilbaut, University of British Columbia

Overwrought and hyperbolic in our present-day world, the term “crisis” conjures all manner of frenetic distress. Stripping the term of its typical, neurotic uses, however, may lead to the consideration of more dynamic relationships between creation, destabilization, opportunity, and total rupture. How can the term crisis be problematized, and made more productive in art historical practices?

From the Latinized form of the Greek krísis, Early Modern English defined crisis as the “turning point in a disease.” Our aim is to consider not only the metaphorical diseases with which we grapple, but the myriad directions and developments that result from their emergence. Approaching the topic as an issue of process and effect in art and culture, we envision this conference as a crossroads of interrogation where daily life informs the practice of art history.

Concordia University’s Art History Graduate Student Association is currently seeking original academic papers for its annual graduate conference. Proposals that consider the genesis, condition, or outcome of crisis as it relates to the study of art, visual and material culture, or art history are encouraged, as are proposals that address the systems and institutions that govern and disseminate artistic and cultural production and its subsequent scholarship. We invite creative, interdisciplinary, and self-reflexive interpretations of the term “crisis,” wherein crises persist along varying scales, from daily survival to war. We welcome abstracts that explicitly or implicitly legitimize, oppose, or radicalize notions of crisis and its effects. Papers addressing historical and contemporary examples are encouraged, as are case studies of specific artworks, artists, exhibitions, publications, or institutions.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

– aesthetic analysis of non-artistic events and conditions
– architecture and design of (dis)empowerment
– visual interpretations of political movements
– state influence on art and culture
– moments of destabilization and rupture, past and present
– art as activism
– self-reflexive and/or politically engaged assessments of art history
– mediating forces of networks and technology

Presentations are twenty minutes in length (2,500 words), followed by a discussion period. Please send a 300-word abstract in English or French, a short biography (100 words), and contact information (including your institutional affiliation and degree type), in a Word document formatted with 12-point Times New Roman type to by 5 pm, Friday, December 7, 2012. Presenters will be selected by Wednesday, 16 January 2013. A selection of conference proceedings may be published.


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