Annual Graduate Student Conference

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Breaking Conventions: Interdisciplinary Methodologies and Art History
6th Annual UCR History of Art Graduate Student Conference

Culver Center of the Arts
May 20, 2017

Since the 1970s, “outside” methodologies derived from fields as diverse as anthropology, religious studies, literary theory, media studies, sociology and the sciences have been increasingly absorbed into art historical discourse, irrevocably altering the perception, reception and even definition of works of art. The introduction of interdisciplinary approaches to the conversation challenged the traditional model where style and attribution, cultural context and connoisseurship, iconography and social history were considered the central approaches to analyzing art. This momentous shift away from the more conservative canon and methodologies has proven to be a vital means for expanding the boundaries of art history as a discipline.

In the context of the growing emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches across academic scholarship, this conference will consider the continuously evolving nature of art historical research. How have methodologies from other disciplines enhanced, redirected and fruitfully challenged the ways in which art historians view, describe and interpret works of art? This multi-disciplinary conference seeks papers that examine the impact of new and interdisciplinary methodological approaches on our understanding of artworks, visual cultures, and the discipline of art history proper. Papers from all geographical areas, historical time periods, and methodological perspectives are encouraged.

Questions we seek to consider: How have methods outside of art history affected the art historical canon? How do current methodological shifts change the ways in which we approach art objects? How have non-art historical methods prompted us to see “traditional” artistic media, such as painting and sculpture, anew? Alternatively, do traditional art historical methods have the potential to encourage an expansion of the art historical canon?

We are honored to host Carolyn Dean, Professor in the Department of History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as this year’s keynote speaker.

View the 2017 conference program



2016 Graduate Student Conference
2015 Graduate Student Conference
2014 Graduate Student Conference
2013 Graduate Student Conference
2012 Graduate Student Conference