Call for Papers: Past Time: Art, Anachronism and Anachronisticism

The Department of History of Art at the University of York will be hosting a conference on anachronic art, November 18-20 2016. This will be a groundbreaking three-day conference intended to explore, if not expand and explode, the boundaries of this invaluable concept. This conference is open to scholars of any career stage, and is the second half of a pair of events which includes the postgraduate research student conference held November 4, 2016.

Call For Papers 

Time and Art History go hand in hand. The discipline is bound by periodisation and temporal specificity; caught in taxonomical moments segregated by time: ‘Late-Antique’, ‘Medieval’, ‘Renaissance’, ‘Modern’, ‘Post-Modern’ – the list of art historical periods is seemingly endless. Used, as we are, to addressing art works and objects through a period lens, and with a period eye, it is time to readdress the roles of time and temporality in constructing Art History; in the way these ideas define the art we look at, but also in the manner in which we look. This conference suggests it is time to reconsider these pervasive backwards glances and anachronistic modes of looking in order to address works in a pan-temporal and anachronic manner – allowing past works to have a dynamic presence in current scholarly discourse; not then, but now.

Building on Nagel and Wood’s Anachronic Renaissance and Nagel’s Medieval Modern: Art Out of Time this conference brings together new research on a range of sculptural and related visual material across periods; addressing ideas of periods, periodization and scholarly constructions in, out, of and against the potentials and dictums of time. The conference will explore sculpture, broadly conceived, from past and present, medieval to post-modern – asking how these were viewed in their contemporary contexts, and, more pressingly, how they continue to spark intellectual engagement, up to and including our scholarly discourse today, both in and out of time.

The conference presents a platform for a critical engagement with time and sculptural objects, seeking deeper and broader readings of works which may have been previously seen as derivative, barbaric, referential, imitative or otherwise ‘less than’, in response to subsequent artistic periods and critical epistemologies. Taking visual examples from various ‘periods’, it repositions them in a temporal system which spans centuries and millennia rather than the immediate milieu of production and reception, asking questions of the artwork/artist’s/scholar’s purposeful and critical engagement with concepts of time, temporality, continuity, historicity, style, substance, other, past, present, duality, multiplicity, resonance and relevance. The conference provides the space for a discursive intertext between then and now, art and object, vision and voice in a manner that opens out avenues of thought around vision and visualisation of art objects in and out of time.

Possible topics could include but are not limited to:
• How the anachronic affects current art historical practice
• Anachronic time in the pre-modern and post-modern West
• Trans-historical or queer temporalities
• Viewing the Medieval from the Modern
• Anachronic display or curation in a museum or gallery context
• Temporal Art/ Objects in or out of time and place
• The fluidity or rigidity of temporality in Art
• The crossover between time and space
• Encountering a work out of time
• The temporal vs. the temporary in Art
• The significance of making or breaking of periods and periodization
• Subverting the period gaze
• The anachronic vs anachronistic gaze

Abstracts of no more than 300 words are invited to be submitted to by March 30, 2016.



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