College Art Association Annual Meeting 2019 - CFP: “Looking East: Russian Orientalism in a Global Context”

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College Art Association Annual Meeting, New York City, February 13 - 16, 2019


Subject: CFP: “Looking East: Russian Orientalism in a Global Context”
Deadline: Aug 6, 2018


Much like their Western contemporaries, Russian and Eastern European artists were seduced by the exotic appeal of the “Orient,” especially the cultures of Central Asia and the Caucasus. However, the genre of Orientalist painting remained ambiguous in the Russian and Eastern European context given their conflicted self-identification as neither fully European nor quintessentially Asian. Thus, the demarcations between “self” and “other” among these artists were much more porous than for their Western counterparts, resulting in an Orientalist mode that was prone to hybridity, syncretism, and even self-Orientalization. The present panel invites papers that reconsider the enduring relationship between Russia, Eastern Europe and their non-Western neighbors and the ways in which artists, architects, designers and performers engaged with this relationship throughout the centuries and into the present. What significance did Russia’s perception of its position on the periphery of the West and its simultaneous self-consciousness as a colonial power have on its artistic and cultural identity? In what ways did artists from a range of territories – spanning from Georgia and Armenia to Uzbekistan and Russia’s far east – interrogate, contest and revise the seemingly stable categories of “East” and “West”? To what extent did cultural practitioners participate in the discursive matrices that advanced Russia’s colonial machinery on the one hand and critiqued and challenged it on the other, especially in territories that were themselves on the fault lines between East and West? Papers that examine any historical period or geographical context are welcome, as are investigations of a variety of different media.


Please send proposals for a paper including title, abstract (250 words maximum), and a shortened CV (approximately 2 pages) to Dr. Allison Leigh <> and Dr. Maria Taroutina <>.

Contact Info:

Dr. Maria Taroutina - Yale-NUS College

Dr. Allison Leigh - University of Louisiana at Lafayette


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