CFP: Art worlds in sites of conflict (Newcastle upon Tyne, 1-3 Apr 20)

Newcastle University & Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, April 1 – 03, 2020
Deadline: Oct 21, 2019

Troubling Borders: Art worlds in sites of conflict

Association for Art History 2020 Annual Conference

Borders, bound up with the politics of gender, race, sexuality, and sectarian identity, are troubling. There is a long history of anxiety about corporeal or geopolitical boundaries which has led to their framing in our current political moment as sites of crisis. When contested, borders can become threatening, as seen in recent rhetoric around migration and calls for militarised walls. Conventionally understood as relating to nationhood, borders exist in broader terms between communities and bodies, and thus invite tropes of complexity ‘typically assembled under the prefixes inter, trans, bi and cross’ (Michaelson and Johnson ‘Border Secrets’). As such, the border as an intellectual entry point signals a locus of possibility, creativity and complex alliance as well as antagonism and complicity. While art history has often explored those individual practices that seek to rethink the borders that define personal and political experience, what has been less considered is the ways in which borders impact the operation of art worlds. Art worlds, here understood in Howard Becker’s terms as the networks and communities who facilitate the production of art according to shared understandings of its value, are also impacted by borders national, social and aesthetic. Thinking about troubled borders, this panel invites papers that will consider how art worlds are made under contested conditions, how focus on particular identities offers productive and supportive opportunities for creative work for anti-racist, feminist, and queer communities and how identifying across national borders helps develop new forms of collectivity.

Session convenors

Edwin Coomasaru (Courtauld Institute of Art)
Sarah Kelleher (University College Cork)
Rachel Warriner (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Submit a paper

Please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenors, using the Paper Proposal Form ( You need to provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any). Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because the title is what appears online, in social media and in the printed programme. You should receive an acknowledgement receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 21 October 2019