CFP for CAA Annual Conference 2022
Beyond In/visibility: the Politics of Asian American Representation in American Art History (Association of Historians of American Art [AHAA] Panel Session)
What are the consequences of asking for greater Asian American visibility in art history?
We are reckoning anew with our discipline’s intellectual and material priorities which have enforced racial-class-gender hierarchies and American imperialist and exceptionalist ideologies. Across museums and universities, immediate solutions call for increased inclusion and representation of marginalized peoples into existing historical canons. What are the limits of these correctives for peoples who have been dehumanized through aestheticization and surveillance throughout American history, and endangered because of their hypervisibility in everyday life? Now over 50 years since the term “Asian American” emerged as a disciplinary and political category, we must reflect on ways to narrate the specificities of the Asian diaspora within American academies and museums beyond the binaries of visible/invisible, inclusion/exclusion.
This panel invites ongoing research, curatorial case studies, and experimental methodologies that engage with issues such as: How has “Asian [United States] American” been a useful and limiting category for research, curation, and museum interpretation? What are strategies to present the historical absence or loss of Asian American subjects in archives and permanent collections? Are there ways to identify unconventional presence through creative citation or display practices? How might Asian American art histories attend to moments of solidarity and failure with respect to Black, Latinx, Indigenous and Pacific Islander communities and objects? How can Asian American art histories counter existing disciplinary priorities to aestheticize, visibly represent, visually clarify, expose, access, and possess its subjects—for example, through opacity, obscuration, dis-orientation, mistranslation, protective veiling?
Please submit by August 20, 2021