CFP for College Art Association session (2016, Washington, DC)- Due May 8, 2015


College Art Association 104th Annual Conference

Washington DC, February 36, 2016

Huey Copeland and Krista Thompson, Northwestern University

Submissions due to and by May 8, 2015. Visit for CAA submission guidelines, requirements, and forms.

This conference session centers on the aesthetic, historical, and theoretical terrain opened up by the “afrotrope.” We coined this neologism as a way of referring to those recurrent visual forms that have emerged within and become central to the formation of African diasporic culture and identity in the modern era, from the slave ship icon produced in 1788 by the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade to the “I AM A MAN” signs famously held up by striking Memphis sanitation workers in 1968.

As their rich afterlives make clear, afrotropes resonate widely long after their initial appearance. For instance, the “IAM A MAN” sign has served as the basis for a 1988 painting by Glenn Ligon, a sandwich board worn by Sharon Hayes during a 2005 New York street performance, and a poster wielded by protesters in Benghazi during the Arab Spring. Accordingly, our conceptualization of the afrotrope emphasizes how changes to cultural forms over time and space speak to the ways that touchstones of African diasporic history, subjectivity, and modes of resistance are produced and consumed globally by a range of actors for a variety of ends.

By homing in on the material transformation of specific afrotropes over several iterations, we hope to reframe approaches to the ways that modes of cultural exchange come to structure representational possibilities. While our theorization of the afrotrope is indebted to Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of the chronotope and Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s writing on black figurative turns, we also look toward the work of art historians such as T.J. Clark, George Kubler, and Christopher Wood in elaborating new models for thinking temporality, authorship, and transmission that the afrotrope at once instances and demands.

Indeed, we would argue that the afrotrope makes palpable how modern subjects have appropriated widely available representational means only to undo their formal contours and to break apart their significatory logic. At the same time, the concept enables a fresh consideration of what is repressed or absented within the visual archive. The afrotrope, in other words, offers a vital heuristic through which to understand how visual motifs take on flesh over time and to reckon with that which remains unknown or cast out of the visual field. Ultimately, the aim of our session is not only to identify key afrotropes—with an eye toward producing an edited user’s guide to these forms—but also to theorize how their transmission illuminates the visual technologies of modern cultural formation.



Chair: Susanna Gold, Tyler School of Art, Temple University,

The dynamics of mixed race heritage has long been a stable point of inquiry in historical American literature, music, theater, politics and speech, but this issue has been thought to emerge less often in visual culture.  There are very few examples of American art that follow the tradition of 18th-century Mexican and Peruvian casta paintings illustrating the practice and results of mestizaje, the mixing of distinct categories of peoples and the development of new peoples.  But are American images of multiracialism truly rare, or is the art historical scholarship limited because there lacks a clear academic understanding of which images can be understood to address mixed race heritage?  Is there a cultural tendency for scholars to classify figures in American art according to an overly determinate white/non white dichotomy, which avoids the relevance of a shared, divided, or indistinct racial ancestry?  This session invites papers that enlarge the art historical scholarship on race mixing, and provide new possibilities for recognizing and analyzing how complexities of a multiracial heritage affected identity construction and found expression in visual imagery.  Papers that address art practices in the art of the United States, 18th-20th centuries, are welcome.

Please send paper title, abstract (200-300 words), curriculum vitae, and letter of interest to Susanna Gold ( by May 9, 2014.
For more information about the 2015 conference, please see:

CFP: African American Expression in Print and Digital Culture @ University of Wisconsin, Madison, September 2014

“In Their Own Images: Visual Culture in African American Periodicals”

African American periodicals such as the Indianapolis Freeman, Colored American, Crisis, Opportunity, and The Black Panther emphasize the impact of images, as well as the printed word, in enabling black Americans’ self-expression and empowerment. Such periodicals often have been the primary venues for showcasing and supporting the work of black visual artists, including Aaron Douglas, Black Panther illustrator Emory Douglas, and political cartoonist Garfield Haywood. This interdisciplinary panel seeks papers that address the production, history, and aesthetics of black periodical art in a range of forms: mastheads and stock images, cover art, comics, sketches, political cartoons, and other illustrations. Papers may address any twentieth- or twentieth-first century African American periodical art or artist(s). Submissions that focus on the New Negro Movement, Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights era, and Black Arts and Black Power Movement are especially welcome.

This panel is proposed for the conference “African American Expression in Print and Digital Culture,” to be held on September 19 – 21, 2014:

Submit a 250-word abstract and a one-page c.v. by December 15, 2013 to Andreá N. Williams, Department of English, The Ohio State University, Please list “AFAM visual culture panel” in the subject line of your email submission.

CFP: Constructing National Identity Through Fashion @ 2nd International Non-Western Fashion Conference, November 21 – 22, 2013

2nd International Non-Western Fashion Conference
Constructing National Identity Through Fashion

London College of Fashion, UK
21-22 November 2013


In today’s rapidly globalizing world, dichotomies like ‘traditional’ versus
‘fashionable,’ ‘tradition’ versus ‘modernity’ and ‘non-West’ versus ‘West’
can no longer be justified and fortunately a new generation of fashion
scholars is acknowledging the existence of different (non Euro-American)
fashion systems. They realize there is a growing urgency for fashion
theory to rectify its ethno- and Eurocentric approach and no longer assume
that non-Western dress is (automatically) outside the realm of fashion
dynamics. Fashion designers from Asia, The Middle East, Latin America and
Africa are increasingly influencing global fashion dynamics, but
surprisingly still little is known on the effects these developments will
have on fashion as we know it today.

Therefore the aims of this annual conference, which is part of a larger
international interdisciplinary cross-regional research project set up in
2012, is to establish a broad network of scholars focusing on non-Western
fashion systems (without explicitly excluding research on Western fashion
systems), to stimulate international cross-regional comparative research
and to mobilise scholars across disciplines to engage in primary and
archival fieldwork on (emerging) non-Western fashion centres. The project
aims to meet a new intellectual and public interest in more local models
of fashion production and consumption.

This second edition of the Non-Western Fashion Conference will focus on the
construction of national identity in fashion and the roles of so-called
‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’ in this process. Fashion designers are
increasingly branding their national heritage/tradition as a successful
marketing tool, while simultaneously reinventing/modernizing it. On the
one hand, in a globalizing world, it allows them to differentiate
themselves on a highly competitive international fashion market, while on
the other hand, on a national level, it seems to make them successful as a
result of a general revaluation of national culture as a counter reaction
to increasing foreign cultural influences. However, when non-Western
designers use their cultural heritage as a source of inspiration, it is
considered ‘traditional
identity’ whereas when Western fashion designers brand their cultural
heritage, it is considered ‘fashion identity.’

This conference not only wishes to be interdisciplinary but also
cross-regional, assembling researchers who are engaged in creative and
critical rethinking of (non-Western) fashion systems in a wide scope of
geographical areas in ways that may include, but certainly are not limited
to the ideas above. Please note that all papers will be presented in
English, and no translation will be available.

Keynote speakers for this edition are:

*        Jennifer Craik (RMIT University, Melbourne)
*        Yuniya Kawamura (Fashion Institute of Technology, New York)
*        Leslie Rabine (University of California)
*        Emma Tarlo (Goldsmiths, University of London)
*        Sarah Cheang (Royal College of Art, London)
*        Reina Lewis (London College of Fashion)

300 word abstracts are due by the 30th of June 2013.

Emails containing the abstracts should be submitted to and entitled: NON-WESTERN FASHION ABSTRACT SUBMISSION.

Please include the author’s name, affiliation, email address and the title of the abstract. Please send PDF, Word or RTF formats, using plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis.

Receipt of the email will be acknowledged within one week. If you do not receive a reply, please assume that it was not received, and send it again. A selection of the papers will be invited to feature in a hardcopy edited volume following the conference.

CFP: African Diasporas: Old and New @ University of Texas 2014

The University of Texas Africa Conference
African Diasporas: Old and New
April 3-6, 2014

We are now inviting scholars to submit conference papers and full panel
proposals for the 2014 conference on African Diasporas: Old and New. The
goal of this conference is to create an interdisciplinary dialogue
concerning Africa and Africans throughout the world from both historical
and contemporary approaches. This conference seeks to bring together a vast
array of scholars on a variety of academic levels to discuss the complex
experiences of African descended peoples across the globe.

What is the African Diaspora? How are old and new diasporas discussed in a
variety of disciplines? How can we conceptualize the African Diaspora? What
is the role of the African Diaspora in modern politics? How do various
groups within old and new African diasporas conceptualize themselves in
relation to others? How do diasporic voices shape conceptualizations of
individual and collective identities? What will the African diaspora look
like in the future?

Some potential topics may include:****

  • Human rights in the African Diaspora
  • Identity politics in the African Diaspora****
  • Conceptualizations of Diaspora****
  • The concept of homeland****
  • Reverse migrations****
  • Transnationalism, immigration, and citizenship****
  • Expressive culture in the African Diaspora****
  • Historiographical debates on the African Diaspora****
  • Religion, traditional culture, and creolization in the African Diaspora****
  • New Media and social media in the African Diaspora****
  • Slavery and the African Diaspora****
  • Kinship****
  • Indian Ocean networks****
  • Trans Saharan Trade****
  • Colonialism, labor, and the African Diaspora****
  • New Diaspora history****
  • Migration and memory****
  • International politics in the African diaspora****
  • Cultural expressions of political realities, including political protest in the forms of music, literature, film, art, etc., both in Africa and throughout the Diaspora
  • Forms of transnational political protest in the African Diaspora

As with all our previous conferences, participants will be drawn from
different parts of the world. Submitted papers will be assigned to
particular panels according to similarities in theme, topic, discipline, or
geographical location. Papers can also be submitted together as a panel.
Additionally, selected papers will be published in book form.

This conference also has a commitment to professional development which
will be fostered through workshops in writing, publishing, and conference
presentation. The conference will also provide ample time for professionals
from various disciplines and geographical locations to interact, exchange
ideas, and receive feedback. Graduate students are especially encouraged to
attend and present papers and will be partnered with a senior scholar to
encourage their own growth as scholars.

The deadline for submitting paper proposals is November 31, 2013. Proposals
should include a 250-word abstract and title, as well as the author’s name,
address, telephone number, email address, and institutional affiliation.

Please submit all abstracts to Cacee Hoyer/Danielle Sanchez:

A mandatory non-refundable registration fee of $150 for scholars and $100
for graduate students must be paid immediately upon the acceptance of the
abstract. This conference fee includes admission to the panels, workshops,
and special events, as well as transportation to and from the conference
from the hotel, breakfast for three days, dinner on Friday night, lunch on
Saturday, and a banquet on Saturday evening.

The University of Texas at Austin does not provide participants with any
form of funding support, travel expenses, or boarding expenses. If the
conference obtains outside funding this will be used to help subsidize
graduate students’ accommodations on a competitive basis but it is not

Convened by Dr. Toyin Falola****
Coordinated by Cacee Hoyer and Danielle Sanchez

CFP: “Making Art In/About/For Cities in Crisis” Session @ Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

Making Art In/About/For Cities in Crisis
45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 3-6, 2014
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University

This session seeks to promote cross-disciplinary discussion of the roles
verbal and visual art might play in the 21st-century American city. On the
heels of the Great Recession, cities are undergoing massive
transformations, with some gaining new prominence by attracting
what Richard Florida calls “creative class” workers while others,
particularly in the industrial Midwest and overbuilt South and Southwest,
seem to be in irreversible decline. In collaboration with government and
business leaders, architects and urban designers are arranging the physical
environments of cities on the rise to further accelerate and intensify
economic growth. At the same time, writers and artists are flocking to
cities at the other end of the spectrum—Detroit, most prominently—creating
collectives and workshops reminiscent of the 1960s poetry and art scenes in
cities like Los Angeles and New York. Are we, as Sarah Schulman argues in
The Gentrification of the Mind, on the leading edge of another wave of
appropriation and displacement, with writers and artists merely leading the
way? Can anything save cities from capitalism’s tendency toward creative
destruction? Do they need to be saved? Is there a critique from art or
aesthetic theory that might be put in productive dialogue with economic and
cultural approaches to urban problems? When will the new generation of
urban artists break through and in which media?

Send 250-word abstracts with contact and affiliation information to Nate Mickelson, by September 30, 2013.

About the Conference:

The 2014 NeMLA convention continues the Association’s tradition of sharing
innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. This capitol
city set on the Susquehanna River is known for its vibrant restaurant
scene, historical sites, the National Civil War museum, and nearby Amish
Country, antique shops and Hershey Park.  NeMLA has arranged low hotel
rates of $104-$124.

The 2014 event will include guest speakers, literary readings, professional
events, and workshops. A reading by George Saunders will open the
Convention. His 2013 collection of short fiction, The Tenth of
December, has been acclaimed by the New York Times as: “the best
book you’ll read this year.” NeMLA’s Keynote Speaker will be David Staller,
Producer and Director of Project Shaw. Mr. Staller presents monthly
script-in-hand performances of Bernard Shaw’s plays at the Players Club in
New York City.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA
session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar).
Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at
a creative session or participate in a roundtable.


CFP: Feminist Art History Conference @ American University, November 2013

Announcing the Fourth Annual FEMINIST ART HISTORY CONFERENCE at American University in Washington DC
Friday-Sunday, November 8-10, 2013

Keynote speaker:
Professor Patricia Simons, University of Michigan
Sessions and keynote will be held on the campus of American University

This fourth annual conference continues to build on the legacy of feminist art-historical scholarship and pedagogy initiated by Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard at American University. To further the inclusive spirit of their groundbreaking anthologies, we invite papers on subjects spanning the chronological spectrum, from the ancient world through the present, to foster a broad dialogue on feminist art-historical practice. Papers may address such topics as: artists, movements, and works of art and architecture; cultural institutions and critical discourses; practices of collecting, patronage, and display; the gendering of objects, spaces, and media; the reception of images; and issues of power, agency, gender, and sexuality within visual cultures. Submissions on under-represented art-historical fields, geographic areas, national traditions, and issues of race and ethnicity are encouraged.
To be considered for participation, please provide a single document in Microsoft Word (title the document [last name]-proposal.doc or .docx) comprising a one-page, single-spaced proposal of no more than 500 words for a 20-minute presentation, followed by a curriculum vita of up to two pages.

Submit materials by May 15, 2013 to:
Accepted proposals will be notified by July 1, 2013.

Please direct inquiries to:

Sponsored by the Art History Program, Department of Art, College of Arts and Sciences at American University

Organizing committee: Kathe Albrecht, Juliet Bellow, Norma Broude, Kim Butler, Mary D. Garrard, Namiko Kunimoto, Helen Langa, and Andrea Pearson

CFP: “Gendering Native Modernisms” Panel @ Native American Art Studies Association Conference

I am seeking submissions for my panel on Gendering Native Modernisms at the biannual conference of the Native American Art Studies Association.  The conference will be held in October in Denver.  For more information on the conference go to: The deadline for submission is just around the corner.  If you are interested but might need a little time, please do email me.

Gendering Native Modernisms
Chair: Cynthia Fowler, Emmanuel College

Recent scholarship on Native Modernisms has revealed the far more complex ways in which Native artists have actively defined and shaped Modernist art movements than has been previously recognized when relying solely on the lens of primitivism. In this scholarship, the agency of Native artists in defining modernism on their own terms has been recognized and relationships between Native and non-Native artists and collectors are now being more comprehensively understood through the lens of transcultural exchange. But the role that gender plays in these new narratives about modernism needs further exploration. To what extent are Native women artists included in these new narratives? To what extent do the gender biases of art museums influence the construction of these new narratives as art historians rely on existing collections in constructing them? How did gender constructions in Native communities affect the creation and distribution of Native modern art and how do they continue to influence these new narratives today? Overall, the panel will attempt to consider the impact of historical and contemporary gender constructions on emerging narratives about Native Modernisms.

Submit 100-word abstract for session Gendering Native Modernisms, by May 15, 2013 directly to:

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