APPLY BY JULY 1 CFP: Cultural Transfer Barcelona

Call for Papers

Cultural Transfer Barcelona (Barcelona, 24-25 Nov 16), deadline: Jul 1, 2016

The advent of Barcelona as a modern, cosmopolitan, innovative metropolis, open to the world, is punctuated by two founding events: the Universal Exhibition of 1888 and, a century on, the Olympic Games of 1992. Both are key moments for the presentation and (self-) representation of the city with a transnational and global scope.

The International Symposium One Hundred Years of Cultural Transfer:
Barcelona 1888-1992 invites participants to examine, from a critical and multidisciplinary perspective, a string of cultural transfers marking the century spanning from 1888 to 1992, and opening the debate on how these transfers contributed to an interweaving between Barcelona and other Western capitals. Going beyond the privileged axis of exchanges between Barcelona and Paris, the Symposium wishes to encompass other European and American centres of reference, such as London, Vienna, Berlin, New York, Mexico City or Buenos Aires, with the aim of lifting the discussion to a transnational dimension that transcends bilateral frameworks.

By “cultural transfer” we understand the process of semantic transformations resulting from the circulation or the displacement of cultural objects between different contexts. One Hundred Years of Cultural Transfer: Barcelona 1888-1992 will set up a critical reflection on the phenomena of diffusion, appropriation and re-semantization that result from the movement of works of art, as well as of ideas, between Barcelona and other major modern art centres. The Symposium assumes a concept of the artistic object broad enough to encompass works in related media —such as painting and decorative arts, photography and film, music and architecture, sculpture and landscape design—, as well as texts and discourses of different kinds.

In terms of method, cultural transfer will not be understood in terms of exchange or influence, nor according to the logic of subordination of peripheries to centres. Instead, our object of inquiry will be constituted by the dynamic processes capable of transforming and reconfiguring the meanings and functions of artistic production in complex networks and contexts within the time interval under consideration. We will therefore shift the focus of attention from singular works and their authors towards modalities and mechanisms of mediation. The Symposium aims at investigating individual or corporate agents responsible for such mediations, as we chart the channels they employ, the public or private institutional practices they sustain, and finally the discourses from which they draw support or which they

The Symposium rests on the following axes of reflection:

– The circulation of the art object and the processes of negotiating meaning and identity, in particular those embedded in ideological and political positions,
– The relationship between circulation and reification of the art object, with particular attention for the art market and collecting,
– Institutions as ideological devices, as attested by, among others, the example of exhibitions and museums,
– The share of historiographical, critical, literary or journalistic narratives in the re-semantization of the art object,
– The notion of “art capital” and the dialectics between centre and periphery in the case study of Barcelona in relation to other art centres,
– The delimitation or continuity between the notions of exchange, influence, reception and transfer in the study of the artistic field,

We welcome paper proposals that address this thematic realm from different media and forms of artistic and cultural production, and from an interdisciplinary perspective. The proposals may develop any of the topics outlined below (as indication only):

— Individual Mediators: the role of mediation as accomplished in different professional and social fields, by agents such as critics and art historians, curators and promoters, collectors and patrons, writers and translators, magazine and journal directors, curators, or artists who themselves acted as mediators, etc.

— Institutions of Mediation: the role played by public and private institutions, addressing their objectives and specific strategies in the transfer process. Examples of institutional mediators that can be included in this cluster are museums and galleries, governmental instances, collections, the press, magazines and publishers, professional associations, universities, academies and art schools, etc.

— Transfer Spaces and Transfer Forums: the role played by specific exhibitions of old and contemporary art as well as by universal expositions, acquisitions and reproductions, publications and translations, travel and visits.

The Scientific Committee of the Symposium One Hundred Years of Cultural Transfer: Barcelona 1888-1992 has the following members:

María de los Santos García Felguera, Univesitat Pompeu Fabra
Mònica Güell, Centre d´Études Catalanes, Université Paris-Sorbonne
Eva March, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Carlos Reyero, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Joan Sureda, Universitat de Barcelona
Isabel Valverde, Universitat Pompeu Fabra


1. Paper proposals can be submitted in English, Spanish or Catalan, clearly stating the title and with an abstract no longer than 500 words. The official languages of the Symposium will be English and Spanish (exceptionally, papers in French and Italian may be included). There will be no simultaneous translation.

2. Proposals must be accompanied by a brief biographical note of a maximum of 250 words with mention of academic affiliation and lines of research, as well as a contact e-mail address. Only one proposal per author is allowed.

3. The deadline for the submission of proposals is July 1, 2016.

4. Proposals should be sent to the members of the Organizing Committee: Pol Capdevila ( Tobias Locker (, and Tomas Macsotay (

5. The Scientific Committee will make a selection of proposals guided by quality and thematic relevance. The decision shall be communicated no later than July 22, 2016.

6. Accepted contributions will be for 20-minute papers.

Spanish and Catalan Version available here.

Source: CFP: Cultural Transfer Barcelona (Barcelona, 24-25 Nov 16). In: H-ArtHist, Jun 10, 2016 (accessed Jun 10, 2016).