Art History Graduate Symposium CFP: Stories We Tell, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec

Art History Graduate Student Association Annual Symposium, Concordia University
(Montreal, unceded Kanien’kehá:ka traditional territory)

Symposium date: January 20, 2018

Call for Papers / Performances / Workshops
Submissions due November 1, 2017 at 11:59 EST

Stories are powerful; they have the ability to transform the world and change the way we imagine our place within it. In an era dubbed “post-truth,” where emotional appeal undermines factual rebuttals in political culture, fiction threatens to suppress truth and strip it of its significance. Yet, post-truth politics is also a testament to the powers of storytelling and illuminates truths about how we come to know the world, the people around us, and ourselves. At a time when truth is in crisis, attending to the politics of fiction–its ability to mask and reveal–is more relevant than ever.

Artists and writers practice alternative ways of truth-telling, and fiction has been and is used by artist and writers in historically distinctive and formative ways. Historians and critics have employed fiction as an alternative model for writing about art that asserts writing as an art practice. Artists’ engagements with fiction have recently received a surge of attention with new theory to support it, including the emergence of theories of the imaginary, futurisms, and speculative theory.

In response to current politics and an increase in theory and critical history of fiction, AHGSA seeks proposals that critically and creatively examine the role of fiction (and its close relatives) in art history and art practice through historical and/or theoretically-informed analysis. AHGSA welcomes proposals from artists, research-creators, historians, writers, and emerging scholars across all disciplines. Applicants are invited to submit a proposal for a paper, workshop, panel session, performance, or alternative form of presentation that addresses the theme.

Topics include, but are not limited to:
+ Art and fiction (pseudo-documentary, performance, etc.);
+ Imagination and imaginaries (ex. environmental imaginary);
+ Art and writing in a post-truth era;
+ Art writing as art;
+ History of fiction in art (ex. Hal Foster’s “real fictions”);
+ Design fiction, speculative design;
+ Futurisms;
+ The censorship of fiction throughout history;
+ The production of myth in art history;
+ Digital storytelling.

Presentations should be twenty minutes in length (2,500 words) and will be followed by a discussion period. Co-presenters are welcome, but for organizational reasons, please mention “co-presentation” in your proposal. We welcome presentations in French and English. The symposium will take place January 20, 2018, at Concordia University. Proposals must be 300 words or less and submitted in a Word document to All submissions will be kept anonymous and reviewed by a jury committee. Please do not include your name(s) in the Word document. Please include your name, institution affiliation, and a 50-word bio in the email body. Applicants will be contacted in early December.

Submissions due by November 1, 2017, AT 11:59 EST