Call for Papers: Decentering Art of the Former East CAA Annual Conference, Chicago, February 12-14, 2014
Deadline for Proposals: August 1, 2013
Session sponsored by the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture (SHERA)
Panel co-chairs: Masha Chlenova, The Museum of Modern Art; and Kristin Romberg, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Whether conceptualized in terms of a periphery or an alternative center, narratives of Russian and Eastern European art have long been organized around a binary of East and West, shaped both by art history’s disciplinary biases and by the politics of the Cold War and “fall of communism.” This panel takes Partha Mitter’s argument in “Decentering Modernism” (2008) as a point of departure in order to rethink how art of these regions can be understood in an increasingly global art history. Can we find ways of rereading the default evaluation that western references to the Russian avant-garde’s monochromes and constructions are art-historically savvy, while Russian and Eastern European references to internationally known practices are derivative? What is the difference between naïve appropriation and creative misreading, and to what extent are these procedures also fundamental to the work of stably central figures of Western European and North American art? How do Byzantine and Eurasian histories and forms ground or inflect these artistic formations? Can the widespread opposition between a western artistic center and eastern periphery be productively undermined not through the lens of nationalism but through that of global modernism and art history? What do the critical lenses developed in the process of working on Russian and Eastern European topics reveal about western art, global art, or art history as a discipline? How do we interpret these practices in ways that are not just specific, but that also speak to and shape art-historical inquiry more generally? This panel seeks historically grounded case studies of Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian art from any period that productively explore these issues.
Please send a paper title, abstract (200-300 words), and 2-page curriculum vitae to Masha Chlenova (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kristin Romberg (email@example.com) by August 1.
Note that panelists must join SHERA to participate, but do not need to be members of CAA or to register for the conference.