"Visualizing the French Empire"
(2020 American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference)
In recent years, art history’s ‘global turn’ has worked to acknowledge the vital role that non- Western cultures and imperialism played in the formation of European art and material culture. This commitment to more inclusive narratives has had a pronounced impact on many fields that privilege and address eighteenth-century art and history. For example, the study of British culture in this period has in many instances been fully eclipsed by the emergence of a ‘British Atlantic World’ and a model of empire that no longer views colonies in isolation from metropolitan centers, and vice versa. This phenomenon is comparatively less pronounced among scholars of French art and those exploring the various artistic legacies of France’s ‘first’ overseas empire, which at its height stretched from Cayenne to Québec and also included points in Africa, India, and the Indian Ocean. This panel seeks to address, and hopefully redress, this disparity as we meet in Saint Louis, founded by the French in 1764 and North America’s last French colonial settlement. We are interested in two lines of inquiry: first, historiographical and methodological papers that explore why, exactly, French and/or French colonial visual culture (inclusive of canonical art and material culture) of the long eighteenth century have received less of a global perspective within art history; second, papers that take on this global perspective in exploring topics and themes within the visual culture of a larger, lived French colonial experience.
We seek submissions from scholars working on any of these themes. To be considered for this panel, please submit a CV and abstract for an approximately 20-minute illustrated lecture to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by the 15 of September, 2019.
Philippe Halbert, PhD Candidate, Yale History of Art