RSA 2019 Toronto - Early Modern Technologies of Art

Ivana Vranic's picture
Call for Papers
August 5, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies


CFP RSA 2018 Toronto - Early Modern Technologies of Art


Can technologies of art enable us to reconsider the early modern interactions between “local” and the “global?” Seeking to answer this question, the proposed panel takes up art technology as a hermeneutic tool toanalyze production of art in the early modern world. In this period, technologies of art involved specialized and often localized practices that required systematicapplication of techniques, materials, andtools that did not travel as readily as the objects they helped to generate. Although embedded in cultural objects, artworks and materials exchanged across the Silk Road and the Oceanic networks of trade, art technologies were seldom known to those who acquired these objects of cross-cultural exchange. In contrast to the mobility of inimitable artifacts and imagesart technologies were often intangible and unknown, which heightened the foreignness and desirability of objects produced with their application. Attempting to recreate foreign objects using local technologies, practitioners across Europe, Near East, Asia, and the Americas made all kinds of hybrid things—things that were neither local nor foreign, but uniquely, early modern. 


Notable examples of objects evokingthe hybrid forms of early modern art production include Indian dyedtextiles that mirrored Dutch prints, Mexican feather painting that turned an “Old-world” technology into a “New World”-adaptation, Renaissance images that reproduced Ottoman carpets, embroideries, and metalwork, as well as Chinese silk and porcelain, and Japanese lacquer. Dyestuff, namely Cochineal, voyaged with the European travelers from the South Americas to Europe and stimulated conversations on dyeing techniques.Exploring some of these and other examples, papers can investigate any subject, artist/practitioner or cultural context that throws light on how art technologies can expand and enrich our understanding of the early modern world. 


Please send your 150-word abstracts, along with a title, keywords, and a CV (300 words maximum and not in prose) to Rajarshi Sengupta ( and Ivana Vranic ( by August 5, 2018.

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