CFP: ’68 and After; CAA Call for Session

’68 and After: Art and Political Engagement in Europe

EPCAF Sponsored Session
Submission Deadline: August 14, 2017

Chairs: Jenevive Nykolak (University of Rochester) and Maria Elena Versari (Carnegie Mellon University)

The events that swept Europe in 1968 have, without fail, occasioned successive waves of commemoration and contestation as subsequent generations struggle to articulate their significance under changing historical circumstances. While scholars have begun to look beyond a narrow focus on the student revolts to highlight immigrant perspectives, issues of gender and sexuality, third-world liberation struggles, relations to labor movements, and developments outside of urban centers, art historians have been slow to enter into these debates. On the fiftieth anniversary of the events, this panel seeks to respond to this ongoing reassessment of ’68 and its aftermath and to reexamine its legacy within art history. Which artistic currents embodied the protest ethos and political commitments of the time? What were the immediate and long-term effects of artists’ engagement with artistic institutions? How were the very categories of “art” and “politics” redefined? And how useful are these positions and formulations today, in light of the political climate in Europe and beyond? We welcome papers devoted to artistic interventions that took place in connection with the events of 1968 or unfolded in their immediate aftermath. In particular, we seek papers that address these questions from trans-European and global perspectives by focusing on moments of exchange and transmission or by considering gestures with significant repercussions outside their strict geographical boundaries. We also invite papers that rethink the artistic legacy of this period from the perspective of contemporary movements, from Nuit debout to Occupy Wall Street, to reframe the debate about art and political engagement.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, along with a letter of interest and CV to Jenevive Nykolak ( and Maria Elena Versari ( by August 14, 2017. This panel is sponsored by The European Postwar and Contemporary Art Forum (EPCAF), an Affiliated Society of the College Art Association (CAA). EPCAF is a free and open association, and panelists are requested to become members of EPCAF ( Selected panelists will be required to become members of CAA and register for the conference. Please note that CAA offers a limited number of travel grants to graduate students and international scholars. For full submission guidelines, see: