Call for Chapters: Art, Identity, & Cultural Diplomacy: (Re) inventing Eastern and Western Europe (Leuven University Press)

Cassandra Sciortino's picture
Call for Papers
July 1, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, European History / Studies, Fine Arts, Geography, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies

Call for Chapters: Art, Identity, & Cultural Diplomacy: (Re) inventing Eastern and Western Europe (Leuven University Press)


We would like to invite selected contributions for an edited volume on art, identity, and cultural diplomacy underway with Leuven University Press. Its working title is Art, Identity, and Cultural Diplomacy: (Re) inventing Eastern and Western Europe.


The proposal for the volume has been accepted by Leuven University Press. The majority of the contributors have developed chapters from papers selected from Euroacademia’s conference editions: Re-Inventing Eastern Europe & The European Union and the Politicization of Europe.


We expect to submit the final manuscript this summer. Following a favorable assessment from two external peer reviewers we anticipate publication in 2019.


– Chapter submissions should be approximately 4,000 to 7,000 words

– Deadline for chapter submissions: July 1, 2018

– You are welcome to submit an abstract or query in advance to determine your piece’s fit with our volume


In an environment where the perceived legitimacy of the European Union is being called into question and of rising nationalism, culture has become increasingly recognized as an important tool of public policy across a broad spectrum of issues concerning questions of identity in Europe. The volume combines a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives to explore how art—its various practices, history, and theory—engage cultural diplomacy and issues of identity at the local, state and EU level.


Papers are welcome which explore the role of art as an instrument of cultural diplomacy and identity articulation in relation to the politicization of the European Union and its candidate countries. We are particularly interested in questions of how the arts have pursued or resisted East-West dichotomies and other narratives of alterity in Europe and worldwide. As Larry Wolff has shown, Eastern Europe is an invention traceable to Enlightenment thought that later found its peak of imaginary separation during the Cold War. Similarly, Maria Todorova has argued that Balkanism is less a variant of Orientalism than it is Europe’s “Other” within and related to a negative public image of the Balkans which cohered around World War I and persisted through the twentieth century, intensifying since 1989.


In Provincializing Europe Dipesh Chakrabarty has emphasized the importance of decentering Europe –- as an imaginary figure that has remained embedded in clichéd forms interposing questions of modernity in a world where new global configurations have rendered provincial the centrality of Europe as the privileged subject of all histories. The volume, delimited to the contested concept of Europe and its struggle to define itself within a dynamic and porous EU boundary, seeks to call attention to the multiple narratives that contribute to an image of Europe itself as polycentric and dispersed. At the same time, as the contributions to this volume reveal, consideration of the parallel histories of the way in which art has engaged questions of identity and diplomacy throw into high relief substantial parallels and commonalities.

The book aims to complicate one dimensional assignments of cultural diplomacy as instruments of the state, an association which tends to tie it to state manipulation. We are interested in how independent, nongovernmental organizations have or are poised to engage the arts in questions of culture, diplomacy, and identity at the local, national and EU level. Recent scholarship has complicated assumptions limiting definitions of cultural diplomacy to political agents by pointing to the dependency of government organizations on non-governmental actors. Artists, teachers, curators, students etc. who have agendas and interests of their own may blur state drawn policy lines, regardless of the governmental program under whose jurisdiction they may operate.


Some examples of topics include:


– How can art serve as a neutral platform for exchange to promote dialogue and understanding between foreign states?


– How can art, including organized festivals (i.e. film, art, music.), cultivate transnational identities that undermine dichotomies of East and West, and other narratives of alterity in Europe and beyond it?


– The implications for art as an instrument of diplomacy in a postmodern age where geopolitics and power are increasingly mobilized by image based structures of persuasion


– How has/can art facilitate cohesion between European Union member states and candidate states that effectively responds to the EU’s efforts to create “unity in diversity”?


– The politics of mapping Europe: mental and cartographic


– Community based art as a social practice to engage issues of European identity


– The difference between art as cultural diplomacy and propaganda


– The digital revolution and the emergence of social media as platforms for art to communicate across social, cultural, and national boundaries


– Artists as diplomats


– Art and expression of cultural heritage


– Art history as diplomacy—exhibitions, post-colonial criticism, global art history, and other revisions to the conventional boundaries of Europe and its history of art


– How can art engage issues of memory and identity in Europe


– Role of images in multicultural/multinational collectivities’ identity construction


– Arts and the formation of a social imaginary in Europe


– Performing European identities: identity and performance in literature, theater and the performing arts


– European identity and migration or displacement in art


– Collective memory, identity and urban image construction


– Immigrants and the cultural identity of European cities


– European capitals of culture and European identity


You will find the style sheet for Leuven University Press at this link:


Scroll down and select, "Style sheets for preparing a manuscript for production"


Please use the Chicago Manual of Style (footnotes) 16th edition:


Please send questions, abstracts or papers to


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Contact Info: 

Cassandra Sciortino


Scientific Organizer Euroacademia 


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