Call for Papers Call for Participants Conference Uncategorized Upcoming Events

CFP: Agency of Things: New Perspectives on European Art of the Fourteenth–Sixteenth Centuries (Warsaw, 11 – 12 June 2015)

Call for Papers:
Agency of Things: New Perspectives on European Art of the Fourteenth – Sixteenth Centuries
Warsaw, 11 – 12 June 2015
Deadline: 30 November 2014

Co-organized by Institute of History of Art, University of Warsaw and National Museum in Warsaw.

Invited speakers:
Prof. Susie Nash (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London)
Prof. Andrew Morrall (The Bard Graduate Center, New York)
Prof. Miri Rubin (Queen Mary University of London)
Prof. Wim François (KU Leuven)
Prof. Elina Gertsman (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland)
Prof. Jacqueline E. Jung (Yale University)
Dr. Peter Dent (University of Bristol)
Dr. Robert Maniura (Birbeck, University of London)
Dr. Kathryn Rudy (University of St Andrews)

palmeselThis two-day interdisciplinary conference seeks to investigate whether agency of things as a new research model more accurately than traditional theories and methods informs our understanding of religious, social, political and ideological systems or networks which shaped various communities (court, city, convent, pilgrim) during the period under investigation. We invite proposals from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, provided that they present innovative insights into the realm of agency of artistic and non-artistic objects. Acceptable topics may include, but are by no means limited to, the following topics:

* Scale and size of things as conditions of their agency
* Physical and sensory agency of things
* Animated things and things for manual handling
* Objects actively defining and operating within a space
* Things used in performances, rituals, recitations and sermons
* Craftsmanship and its role in agency of things
* Human subjects in a process of dissemination of objects
* Emotional and psychological agency of things.

Papers should be twenty minutes in length and will be followed by a ten-minute Q&A session. Please e-mail an abstract of no more than 300 words to Ika Matyjaszkiewicz and Patrycja Misiuda-Ramlau to Along with your abstract please include your name, institution, paper title and a brief biography of no more than 150 words.

The conference proceedings will be published after the event, therefore please indicate whether you would be interested in further developing your paper for a publication.

Deadline: 30 November 2014. Successful applicants will be notified by 30 January 2015.

Call for Papers Call for Participants Uncategorized Upcoming Events

CFP: Object Emotions, Revisited (Yale, 20-21 February 2015)

Call for Papers:
Object Emotions, Revisited: An Interdisciplinary Conference
Yale University, New Haven, CT, February 20-21, 2015
Deadline: 15 November 2015

Keynote speaker: Spyros Papapetros (Princeton U)

Organizing Committee: Padma Maitland (UC Berkeley); Christopher P. Miller (UC Berkeley); Marta Figlerowicz (Yale U); Ksenia Sidorenko (Yale U); Emma Natalya Stein (Yale U)

reims“Object Emotions” continues a critical dialogue about new directions in humanities research and theory that began at UC Berkeley in 2013. This conference is inspired by the recent heightened attention to objects and emotions as new points of entry into history, literature, art, architecture, area studies, and the social sciences. We aim to foster interdisciplinary reflections about the critical uses of thing theory, affect theory, the histories of emotions, and new materialism. We also want to study how these discourses might benefit from being set in conversation with each other.

Last year, these questions inspired papers on, among many other topics, forms of animism in fourteenth-century England, the role of tiles in Taiwanese architecture, representations of churches in Willa Cather, oral accounts of labor in factories in India, and the songs of Kylie Minogue. This coming conference seeks to be similarly diverse and experimental in the kinds of approaches it brings together. By exploring emotions and objects in conjunction with each other we hope to bring out the shared stakes of these scopes of critical inquiry, as well as the divergences among the ways feelings and things are studied in particular disciplines.

Questions we want to ask include, but are not limited to, the following: How is the task of describing emotions within the context of a poem different from describing them within the context of a painting or a temple? How do the current fields of affect theory, thing theory, and the history of emotions participate in the much longer history of debates about the subjective and the objective? How do emotions and the bodies experiencing them relate to each other? Are there cultural differences in the way objects and emotions are defined and assessed? What does it mean to attribute feelings to an inanimate object, or even to describe this object as the cause or inspiration of a feeling? Do feelings have an animating force? How does the critical framing of scale—the microscopic, the individual, the human, the social, the global—change the way we pursue questions about objects and emotions?

The conference will take place at Yale on February 20th and 21st, 2015. Participants will include both graduate students and faculty members. We welcome papers that address any of the questions described above, or related ones, with reference to the bodies of theory shared across disciplines or to individual works of literature, art, or architecture. Please submit 250-word abstracts to Padma Maitland at by November 15, 2014.

Funding and scholarships Jobs Uncategorized

Fellowship: Pre- or postdoc fellowships at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence

Fellowship: Pre- or postdoc fellowships 
The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz
Application deadline: 15 August 2014

The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institut is pleased to place a call for applications to pursue studies in Art History within the independent Max Planck Research Group (MPRG) “Objects in the Contact Zone – The Cross-Cultural Lives of Things”, directed by Eva-Maria Troelenberg.

– 1-2 pre- or postdoc fellowships for up to 6 months, beginning approximately 1 October 2014 
– 1 student assistant position (BA or MA level, 80h/month) for October – December 2014

KHIThe research group seeks to adapt the notion of the “contact zone” as a key term, connecting it to the object: non-European objects which are shown and stored in Western museums or collections, reproduced in Western media or are regarded, described, analyzed and categorised through a Western lens – such objects are situated in a contact zone. This follows approaches of cultural anthropology, while maintaining genuinely art historical solutions as the investigative aim. As such, these contact zones create particular conditions of perception and reception, resulting both from the object’s own aura, provenance, or biography and from the recipient’s predisposition and intentions.

Following a potentially asymmetric, but basically reciprocal or polycentric working hypothesis of transculturation, we are looking at case studies which can shed significant light on the production of knowledge in such contact zones.

Our examples deal with the interrelation between particular objects or groups of objects and their cross-cultural reception as mediated through museums, collections, publications or other visual or performative cultural practices in the colonial and postcolonial age. We are mainly focusing on exchange processes within the larger modern Mediterranean and its global connections.

Together, our case studies can bridge the theoretical space between cross-cultural studies and visual culture phenomena and may also induce critical reassessments of established narratives, categories and key terms such as the very idea of “transculturation” itself. As our work is embedded into questions of institutional history as well as into the history of science, knowledge and representation, our overarching research queries have developed significantly towards fields such as:

– museum theory and exhibitions in cross-cultural context
– agency theories for polycentric and transcultural art histories
– political and social functions of aesthetic differences and convergences
– critical approaches to canon and chronology in art history

For further information on the MPRG see also

Fellowship applications in German or English language should include 

– detailed CV
– research proposal (max. 4 pages)
– list of publications and one substantial writing sample
– one letter of recommendation

Student assistant applications should include

– letter of motivation
– CV
– one letter of recommendation
– certificate of matriculation

Please send your electronic application in one pdf file (max. 2 MB) by 15 August to

The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz is an equal opportunity employer and particularly encourages applications from women and disabled persons. Fellowships follow the rules of the Max Planck Society.

Call for Papers Call for Participants Uncategorized

CFP: Object Fantasies. Forms & Fictions (Munich, 7-9 October 2015)


CFP: Object Fantasies. Forms & Fictions (Munich, 7-9 Oct 15)

Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität,
7 – 9 October 2015

Deadline: 31 July 2014

Interdisciplinary Conference of the Junior Research Group “Premodern Objects. An Archaeology of Experience“ (Elite Network of Bavaria / Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich)

In modern understanding, the word “object” signifies something material, spatially defined and functionally determined. These notions are accentuated by the word objectivity, which defines an ideal, systematic mode of grasping objects as “subjects” that presumably operate neutrally and scientifically. In contrast, the Latin word “fantasia” has, since antiquity, signified an apparition or the ability to imagine something that can equally be an image, a concept or, also, an object.

The conference takes the latter alternative meaning, that is, the non-objective experience of objects as well as recent positions of thing studies as the basis for inquiry into the creative act in the reception and construction of objects. How, for instance, do the object fantasies let the borders between object categories or objects and creatures blur? What role do they – equally nourished by illusion and experience – play in the perception and handling of material objects? To what degree do perceptions of and references to objects have a lasting effect on the conception and creation of other material objects or fictional objects in images and texts? And finally: What correlation exists between the creative handling of the objectual, the self-perception of subjects and the concrete and imaginary conditions of their social lives?

The conference will pursue these as well as other lines of questioning of different formal as well as fictional possibilities in the creation of objects. Welcome are papers from all fields of human sciences on individual objects, object categories and systems, objects in images and texts, objects with images and script as well as object theories.

The travel and accommodation costs of the speakers will be covered. The conference serves as a preparation for an anthology on the same topic. Working languages are English, German, French and Italian. Please send a one page abstract and a short CV by July 31, 2014 to

For more information: