From: art history [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 9:10 AM
Subject: Negotiating Spectacle


To whom it may concern:


Please find below a call for papers for the Tufts University Art History graduate symposium, entitled "Negotiating Spectacle." We would be very grateful if you would forward it to your graduate students. We hope this will be an interdisciplinary dialogue, thus we look forward to receiving submissions from students in a variety of academic departments. 


All the best,


Andrea Gumushian

Tufts University Art History Graduate Students



Negotiating Spectacle

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tufts University, Medford, MA

Deadline for submission: October 31, 2014


Call for Papers:


It has been almost 50 years since Guy Debord wrote The Society of the Spectacle and thinkers after him have given various iterations of the influential concept of “spectacle.” Can we extend those arguments regarding the role of spectacle in the creation (or destruction?), dissemination, consumption of visual culture from antiquity to the present? How does spectacle negotiate between entertainment and mass distraction, education and propaganda, or globalism and alienation? The 2015 Tufts University Art History Graduate Symposium invites participants to consider how critical theory shapes historical interpretations of spectacular objects in specific contexts. We encourage submissions that consider how individual artists or institutions use material and visual culture to manipulate audiences through spectacle, as well as the audience responses produced. Explorations in all media, geographic regions, and time periods are encouraged. Submissions that offer contributions to art history, visual culture, literature, cultural studies, and related fields are all welcome.


Paper topics may include, but are not limited to:

·         Displays of capitalism, materialism, or commodity fetishism (e.g. art market/auctions, international art fairs)

·         The role of spectacle in time-based mediums such as performance and performance art, film, television, dance, and theater

·         Politics of display or subversion of power and control

·         Cult of relics, idols, mysticism, and fetishism of art objects

·         Visual cultures of conquest and colonization (e.g. cabinets of curiosity or World’s Fairs)

·         Exotic materials and their contextualization (e.g. ivory, gold, or silk)

·         Globalism, global citizenship, and its discontents

·         Reinterpreting phenomena of ‘spectacle,’ ‘gestalt,’ and ‘aura’ in critical theory


We invite graduate students in art history and related disciplines to submit a 300-word abstract for a twenty-minute presentation, along with a current CV by October 31, 2014.

All applicants will receive notification of the committee’s decision by December 1, 2014.

The symposium will be held on the Medford Campus of Tufts University on Sunday, March 7, 2015.

All questions and submissions should be sent to [log in to unmask].