CFP - Early Career Researchers' Workshop: "Worlding Decolonial Knowledges in Modern and Contemporary Art"

Victoria Nolte's picture
Call for Papers
September 20, 2019
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Fine Arts, Humanities, Indigenous Studies, World History / Studies

Worlding the Global: The Arts in an Age of Decolonization
November 8-11, 2019
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Call for Proposals:

Early Career Researchers' Workshop

Worlding Decolonial Knowledges in Modern and Contemporary Art

With generous support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis at Carleton University will host a workshop for early career researchers on November 10, 2019. We invite graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, early-career artists, and curators from all regions of the world to submit a short abstract of research or a project-in-process that considers the world-making and decolonial capacities of modern and contemporary art from any relevant geocultural perspective. The workshop is part of Worlding the Global: The Arts in an Age of Decolonization, a four-day international academy designed to collaboratively re-imagine and pluralize the 'global' from multiple geocultural perspectives. 

This workshop for early career researchers responds to the academy's relational understanding of the global and to its emphasis on the world-making and decolonial capacities of modern and contemporary art. Recent studies in global art history call for a fundamental paradigm shift, taking aim at neoliberal conceptions of the 'global' witnessed through expansive networks of culture and capital that start from a colonial centre and disperse to its peripheries. Worlding, a concept rooted in phenomenological thinking, enters into this discourse as a decolonial "tactic" that "enacts openings of time and consciousness to other values and multiple modes of being" (Wilson 2008). Michelle Antoinette (2014), for instance, examines how contemporary Southeast Asian art contributes to a project of "re-worlding" that not only de-centres Euro-American art-historical imaginaries up also disrupts essentializing narratives about Southeast Asia. Likewise, Sonal Khullar (2015) draws on worlding as a tactic to re-shape art-historical conceptions of the global. Her focus on the national and international contexts of twentieth-century India is at the core of her understanding of modernism as both projected outward to the world as well as inwardly reflective of the place from which specific artworks and ideas were cultivated. More than acknowledging how art worlds have been shaped by globalization (Smith 2013), these authors reveal that the necessary work of global art history is that of decolonization, understood as a multi-sited and collaborative engagement with entangled histories, epistemologies, power structures, migrations, culture, and capital (Juneja 2013) that involves critically examining how particular concepts, practices, and knowledges of art-making shape our understanding and being-in-the-world. 

The focus of this workshop is the conceptual link between worlding and decolonization. We are interested in projects that address how artists conceive of the global by re-formulating critical ways of knowing and being-in-the-world. As a concept, worlding reminds us that location and belonging matter, illustrating different access points that reveal the lived interconnectedness of the global. However, the openness of this concept also reveals how different modes of being and knowing can be erased and/or obfuscated by colonial systems of power and thought. We therefore also seek to grapple with how art-making challenges the colonial violence of a singular "world." If our stated aim is to emphasize entanglements and to mobilize multiple decolonial perspectives in order to pluralize the global, how do we constitute decolonial knowledge? How do we engage the limits of our understanding and the edges of discourse? If we seek to develop a relational model to speak across differences, what knowledges are necessary to ethically and collaboratively re-imagine the global? What is gained and what is lost?

Submissions will be reviewed by a committee composed of the project coordinators and faculty members of the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis. When accepted, each participant will submit a paper-in-progress, which will be read by a faculty discussant. Papers may be dissertation chapters, book chapters, manuscripts for peer review, or exhibition proposals and/or artist essays. At the workshop, each participant will give an informal presentation that provides an overview of their project for academy attendees. Presentations will be followed by discussant feedback and a Q&A, with the intended purpose of giving each participant constructive feedback to advance their research. We define "early career" as any scholar, artist, or curator/arts professional who is in the process of building an extensive record of achievement. Eligible participants can be working towards their terminal degree (a PhD or MFA) or have just recently completed it (within 5 years) and have yet to publish a monograph. 

To apply, please send a short abstract written in English (200-250 words maximum) and a 2-page CV to: by September 20, 2019. A stipend for travel will be available to all successful applicants.

Workshop participants are invited to attend the full for days of programming for Worlding the Global: The Arts in an Age of Decolonization, which is scheduled November 8 - 11, 2019 at various institutions in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, including the Korean Cultural Centre, SAW Gallery, Galerie UQO, and the National Gallery of Canada. A full schedule of events is forthcoming on our website:

Contact Info: 

Victoria Nolte 
PhD Candidate, Cultural Mediations
Carleton University

Emily Putnam
PhD Student, Cultural Mediations
Carleton University