Re-Vision: Myth, Memory, and the Gendered Self

Carlotta Falzone Robinson's picture
Call for Papers
March 8, 2019
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Anthropology, Humanities, Popular Culture Studies


The University of California, Riverside’s Art History Graduate Student Association (AHGSA) is pleased to announce the 8th annual academic conference, Re-Vision: Myth, Memory, and the Gendered Self.


The conference will take place Saturday, May 25th, 2019 at the UCR ARTS Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts in Riverside. The goal of this year’s conference is to promote an interdisciplinary dialogue through visual and material culture by questioning imposed gendered hierarchies and identities, in order to facilitate inclusive understanding of gendered roles in myth throughout history. This year’s theme concerns re-vision – revising, re-conceptualizing, and seeing differently – as the act of “looking back” to forge new critical directions and critique androcentric world views and traditions.[1]


Concepts of gender within oral histories, literary traditions, cosmologies, and visual arts – and the relevance of gender’s constant fluidity – helps to shape our understanding of the world. This understanding becomes a cultural mythology that affects our contemporary memory. Though these mythic stories shape human experience (by informing cultural identity, world views, social structure, self-image), they themselves are not fixed. Continuing in the tradition of rewriting and challenging the historical canon, the reclamation of the distorted-self (distorted by fixed, limiting, and systematized gender concepts) is necessary for the troubling of myth and legend within the visual arts. Questioning conventions, perceptions, and conceptions of gender in art is necessary to recover the agency that mythic images of identity evoke. This conference will explore the ways in which concepts and representations of gender in myth are revised through art and art history. Such re-visioning takes on urgency when images themselves act as sites of active engagement – a dialogue between viewer and viewed – which will therefore serve to restructure human experience, history, culture, belief and understanding.


We are interested in the re-evaluation of androcentric mythological imagery, the functionality of gender (theoretically and iconographically), and how gender has been radically reworked within visual culture, which thereby constructs a contemporary memory.[2] Additionally, it will consider how myth and contemporary memory are now being shaped through movements such as the #metoo movement, Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ+ community, immigration issues, spirituality, modern witchcraft, and more. It will look at new critical directions and assertions in cultural history and how visual culture is reworked through time, across global traditions – historical to contemporary, mainstream to marginal.


Anticipated topics include but are not limited to:

  • Arts of myth, legend, lore, literature, indigenous cosmology, occult practices, shamanism, religion, folklore, and tradition
  • Challenging stagnant concepts of fluidity and liberation from gendered constructs
  • Nonconformity and moving beyond gendered concepts
  • Reclamation of lost identities
  • The reflexivity of womxn artists
  • The theory of myths in gendered identity construction and social organization
  • The didactic function of myth within communities and in creating/perpetuating issues of antipodal gender exclusivity
  • Reevaluating womxn as icon and archetype
  • Troubling dominant androcentric mythologies
  • Questioning binaries and their forms and negotiations and fluidity of identity
  • Exploring existing frameworks through inquiry and cross-cultural investigations of myth
  • Responses to ethnic, sexuality and gender-based stereotypes
  • Examining conceptions and representations of sex and gender, and conventions of femininity and masculinity
  • The idea of belonging, considering issues of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs
  • Emigration and immigration; merging communities; contemporary multiculturalism; implications of enculturation; and movements of people, images, cultures, belief systems, and the effects thereof


We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20-minute paper presentations. Proposals from graduate students in any discipline will be considered, including Art, Art History, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Dance Studies, English, Ethnic Studies, Global Studies, History, Media and Cultural Studies, Music, Religious Studies, Philosophy, and others. The conference is open to all graduate students, as well as the public; there is no registration fee. This event is entirely student-generated and organized by UCR’s Art History graduate students.


Please email an abstract and a CV to by Friday, March 8, 2019. The conference will be held at the Culver Center for the Arts in downtown Riverside, CA, on

Saturday, May 25, 2019.


[1] As discussed in Adrienne Rich, “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision” (1972).

[2] “Contemporary” referring both to the present day as well as to the contemporaneous cultural conditions of past works under consideration

Contact Info: 

Carlotta Falzone Robinson-

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