Rethinking Art History: Center and Periphery

Keynote Speaker: Anneka Lensson, Assistant Professor of Global Modern Art, History of Art Department, University of California, Berkeley, Affiliated Faculty, Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Rethinking Art History: Center and Periphery coincides with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UCSD Visual Arts department. The early years of the department were defined by the emergence of a collaborative artistic community, newly formed in San Diego in the 1960s. Faculty members and students in the department engaged with a range of different media, from photography to video to film to performance to computer art and beyond, often in response to the turbulent political currents of the time, from female liberation to the black power movement, and from ecological protests to mobilization against the Vietnam War. Throughout the ensuing decades the department has consistently sought to situate artistic practice and research in a broader social context, and in our unique historical moment. A doctoral program was founded in 2002, with the intention of further encouraging the collaborative interdependence of artistic practice, history and theory that has been the department’s hallmark.

Rethinking Art History: Center and Periphery reflects the interests of the current doctoral students in the Visual Arts department. We wish to explore the myriad ways in which artistic practice and art historical research might engage with the contemporary world, and how our current political, cultural and social reality could, and should, be reflected in the writing and pedagogy of art history. We invite graduate students from art history and related disciplines to address the current state of the field of art history. Specifically, what have art history departments, scholars, and institutions been doing to engage with global socio-political issues and to challenge the Western canon and hegemonic structure of art history, academically, institutionally, and pedagogically? Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

• Critiquing the discipline
• Increasing Representation/ Diversity
• Transgressing categorical divides
• Transnationalism, diaspora, and borders
• Challenging institutional structures
• New trends in Art History (New Media / Digital Art History)
• Socially-Engaged Art, and other subfields in Art History

Interested participants should submit a CV and an abstract of no more than 250 words no later January 15th, 2017 to: The inclusion of working titles and images is encouraged. Accepted participants will be notified by early February 2017.