Association of Art Historians (AAH) 35th Annual Conference

Association of Art Historians (AAH) 35th Annual Conference 2009: Art History and its Global Provinces
 2-4 April, 2009
A day-long panel to be held as part of ‘Intersections’
Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

To be chaired by:
Adele Tan, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London:
Leon Wainwright, Lecturer in History of Art and Design, Manchester Metropolitan University:
Please limit your proposal to around 250 words, and be sure to include your name and institutional affiliation.

Initiatives to establish a more global understanding of art and its histories have yet to suggest how the discipline might confront certain of its more lasting paradigms of historical and geographical division and difference. Dipesh Chakrabarty has noted that there is an underlying supposition among historians of world history which ‘makes it possible to identify certain elements in the present as "anachronistic"'. This panel will be an occasion to ask whether a related tendency informs the production of art history, by reflecting upon the discipline’s abiding attachment to the idea of reputedly 'leading' centres and 'belated' peripheries. We will ask in what variety of ways art history has narrated histories of art according to spatio-temporal schemes that order the world into 'provinces'. How might we approach the intersecting themes of provincialism and anachronism as a way of problematising and refocusing the global imagination of art history? Could an understanding of the global contexts of art history ever emerge without a provincial baggage tag?

Seeking out responses to this challenge, we welcome descriptive as well as prescriptive papers that explore the first-person experience of writing art history; contributions that face the concrete challenges of the extant field in terms of its provincialisms; papers that examine the global hegemonies and 'inclusionism' of art history and its adjacent spaces of art practice, curating and public remembrance with reference to time as well as space; and papers that tackle psychoanalytical questions about the difficulties of writing about the 'provinces'. We are especially interested in papers that seek to explain why the turn toward diaspora, migration, exile and other postcolonial themes has failed to deliver a fresh framework for thinking about art history in any specifically global, or inter- or transnational way.
The conference will be held at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, on 2 - 4 April 2009.

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