Recentering the Periphery: An Inclusive Future of Art History

Katharine Young's picture
Call for Papers
July 15, 2022
Ohio, United States
Subject Fields: 
Archaeology, Architecture and Architectural History, Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Recentering the Periphery: An Inclusive Future of Art History

48th Annual Cleveland Symposium

Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Friday, September 16, 2022 


The conversation continues in collaboration with

FRONT International 2022: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art (July 16 through October 2, 2022) and Assembly for the Arts

Saturday, September 17, 2022


Amid calls for the field of art history to dismantle and decolonize the established canon, a simultaneous movement has arisen to make the discipline more engaged in the community and in the pursuit of social justice. Now is the time to reevaluate and redefine the scope of art history, incorporating lost or previously silenced narratives and voices to build a more equitable future for the discipline. As the next generation of scholars, graduate students are equipped to reshape these narratives and recenter subjects long treated as peripheral.  

The Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve University invites graduate students to submit abstracts for the 2022 Annual Symposium, Recentering the Periphery: An Inclusive Future of Art History.  

The symposium welcomes innovative research papers that engage with art history outside the scope of the traditionally defined canon, or that seek to reevaluate the understanding of the canon and its role in art history. Submissions may explore aspects of this theme as manifested in any medium as well as in any historical period and geographical location. Papers may also propose how different methodological perspectives may be adopted to address issues in the field.  

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to

  • Deconstructing center/periphery models of art history 
  • Art and curatorial practice as community activism 
  • Ecocritical art history and environmental equity
  • Decolonialism in the field of art history and the museum
  • Inclusive theoretical frameworks
  • Art as a reclamation of space/place/personhood
  • Trauma-informed pedagogy and art history

The Cleveland Symposium is one of the longest-running annual art history graduate symposia in the United States, organized by students in the Joint Program with the Cleveland Museum of Art. For the first time, The Cleveland Symposium will be partnering with FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, whose second edition triennial launches July 16-October 2, 2022 , to offer a unique two-day event. Our collaboration with FRONT International promises to widen the dialogue on the future of art, scholarship, museums, and inclusivity by engaging with leaders in the field. 

Current and recent graduate students in art history and related disciplines are invited to submit a 350-word abstract and a CV to by Friday, July 15, 2022. Selected participants will be notified by the end of July. Presentations will be no more than 10-15 minutes in length, and accompanied by a PowerPoint. Presentations will be followed by a roundtable Q&A session to facilitate dialogue among panelists and the audience. Accepted presenters will be able to apply for partial need-based travel assistance.

On Saturday, September 17, 2022 FRONT will host a continuation of the dialogue begun at the graduate-student Cleveland Symposium on September 16, 2022, broadening the discussion to include artistic and social activism, with a particular emphasis on the Cleveland community. FRONT’s event hosted in partnership with Assembly for the Arts, will provide workshop opportunities and the space to connect with local leaders in the arts. Admission is free, and all Cleveland Symposium participants will be welcome and encouraged to attend both events.

Please Note: The symposium will be planned as an in-person event.  Should conditions change, we will be prepared to shift to a virtual format if necessary.

Please direct all questions to Luke Hester, Arielle Suskin, and Katharine Young at 


Contact Info: 
Luke Hester, Arielle Suskin, & Katharine Young
Co-Chairs, 2022 Cleveland Symposium