Call for Papers
Conference: College Art Association Annual Conference
Where: Hybrid format, this panel will be virtual
When: March 3 - 5, 2022
Panel title: "Imagined Geographies: (trans)regional visual practices in South and Southeast Asia"
How do artists in Indonesia claim the formation of a Nusantara Islamic identity through the transferral of linguistic and cultural constructs such as alam (universe), an Arabic term that can also be found in Mughal manuscripts? Or, how do regional court painters in India construct an imagined vision of firangistan (the west) in local visual practices? With a desire to rethink the ways in which geographies are constructed, studied, and defined in the context of South and Southeast Asia, we invite proposals that explore artistic practices which disrupt prescriptive geopolitical boundaries like the nation-state and region. From colonial histories to post-War regional categorizations, the regions of South and Southeast Asia have been defined and reinvented in accordance with geopolitical interests and cultural usages. In contrast, recent scholarship has demonstrated that vernacular social and cultural practices contributed to the formation of imagined geographies, shared communities, and coeval artistic practices beyond the political borders and territorial boundaries of these regions (Tajudeen, 2017). From the eighteenth century to the present, we aim to foreground the power and agency of artists and art in constructing new visions of the world in and across these regions. Our objective is to move beyond current geopolitically bounded framings of South and Southeast Asian art history to instead examine the ways in which the transregional circulation of people, ideas, and objects shaped notions of identity and belonging. In doing so, we hope to offer fresh possibilities for the study of non-Western art practices in and beyond these regions.
Please send proposed paper title and 250-word abstract by Sep. 16, 2021
Katherine Bruhn (PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley) & Shivani Sud (PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley)