We are seeking proposals for 25-minute papers for a panel, Dangerous Portraits in the Early Modern World, at the 2018 Association for Art Historians Annual Conference. Please include a title and abstract (250 words maximum), your name, and your institutional affiliation with your submission.
Association for Art History 2018 Annual Conference
Courtauld Institute of Art and King’s College London
5-7 April 2018
Deadline for proposals: 6 November 2017
Portraiture was a dynamic and, at times, disruptive artistic practice in the Early Modern period. Portraits could and did undermine, reconfigure, or otherwise step outside the bounds of social propriety. Rather than upholding or reinforcing existing hierarchies and/or maintaining the status quo, these portraits challenged the expectations of spectators and consumers. Dangerous portraits could disavow normative behavioural expectations, challenge the political order either openly or privately, or imagine and even generate new identities. How were social expectations engaged and subverted in portraits? Where and in what forms were dangerous portraits consumed or shared? How did artists, spectators, critics, and/or markets respond to these challenges?
This session seeks papers that consider Early Modern portraits that pushed beyond the bounds of social norms and expectations. It engages the theme ‘look out!’ by allowing for reflection on identities traditionally viewed as ‘outside’ the bounds of the normative or desirable in terms of gender, race, class, geography, etc., produced between 1500 and 1800. Papers are welcomed from diverse cultural traditions around the globe, which address the impact of cross-cultural exchange, consider media beyond painting and sculpture, and by scholars, curators, and artists who work outside of the discipline of art history.