CALL FOR PAPERS
Tufts University Graduate Symposium 2022 in the History of Art and Architecture
Beyond Borders: Visualizing Diaspora, Displacement, and Dispossession
Deadline for Submissions: November 30, 2021
Symposium Date: April 1–2, 2022 via Zoom
In 2020, a United Nations report indicated a record number of people forcibly displaced—both inside and outside their home countries—as a result of war, ethnic persecution, and, more recently, COVID-19. Unfortunately, conflict-driven displacement dates back to antiquity. Personal and collective responses to forced displacement have and continue to inform numerous material and visual cultures. At times, objects and architecture reveal the ways in which artists used expressive means both to resist and come to terms with new environments and uncertain futures. Yet, at other times, they function principally as material witnesses, documenting the history and cultural vibrancy of threatened or lost communities.
Over the past several decades, postcolonial and decolonial methodologies have offered new insights into the tangled webs of erasure and renewal. These modes are inherently cross-disciplinary. Americanists face a new imperative to consider land-based epistemologies of Native peoples and their connections to storied places; the threat of erasure to Armenian monuments in Turkey and Azerbaijan urges renewed attention to the contentious, highly political nature of heritage conservation and protection; and migration caused by NAFTA and CAFTA requires examination via methodology that “drifts” between settler-colonial studies, migration studies, and prison studies. New scholarship must reflect the mutability of art and architecture created under conditions ranging from the personal to the catastrophic.
Over the course of two days, Tufts University’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture will host a series of panels inspired by the following questions: How have ethnic and cultural conflicts shaped material and visual cultures? What do objects and architecture of survival tell us about agency, resistance, and the displaced? How does the insurmountability of loss transform art practice? Who designs and implements processes of conversion, and for whom?
We encourage submissions on topics relating to art, architecture, and visual media from all fields across the humanities concerned with material in any time period. Potential themes might include:
- Cultural interactions
- Diaspora, displacement, and dispossession
- Forced migration and detention
- Objects and architecture of survival
- Propaganda and activism in visual culture
- Multiraciality or racial ideology
- Settler colonial logics
- Refugee status
- Oral and literary customs and practices
- Origins, ancestry, and mythical consciousness of people and land
- Potential intersections of indigeneity and nationalism
- Forced religious conversions
- Postwar physical and artistic environments
Applicants must submit a paper title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, and a current CV as a single PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 30, 2021. In the body of your email, please include your name, institutional affiliation, and the title of your paper. Responses regarding submissions will be sent out by late December. Presentations will be 15 minutes in length and followed by a panel Q&A session. All presentations and the keynote lecture (TBA) will take place virtually via Zoom on April 1–2. More details to follow.